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Video: Roaming Trap For Smartphones On Board Ships And Planes: More Protection Or Personal Responsibility For Customers?
2023 Author: Sheila Hailey | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 04:29
A Drillisch customer (Simply) receives an invoice for almost 5,000 euros after her vacation in Thailand. But she is absolutely certain that she hadn't even switched on her device in the holiday destination, and only then did she use her smartphone after getting an inexpensive SIM on site. So how did this perverse high roaming amount come together?
With classic EU roaming - explained here by the provider Vodafone - there are no longer any direct cost traps:
Vodafone explains: what is EU roaming?
The solution to the riddle: The "Wegebagerer" was already waiting for her on the plane. More and more holiday bombers are allowing smartphones to be used on board. However, WiFi is not always used for this; the machines quickly switch on their on-board mobile network in the air (above at least 3,000 meters), which transmits the data and phone calls via satellite. The prices are of course salted and actually intolerable. Use should only be considered in exceptional cases. If you do not know all of this, your cell phone will then log into the vehicle electrical system unnoticed and try to make a fortune. Similar “traps” are already familiar to holidaymakers on cruise ships, and the floating hotels also switch on their own, expensive cell phone network on the high seas.
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The local mobile operators treat the "problem" in different ways. For example, Telekom or Vodafone are quite exemplary. Here there are absolute cost limits of almost 60 euros when roaming, then it is switched off - additional costs cannot arise. At Vodafone you also have to book a special package before roaming works in these cases. Not so with the provider Drillisch (brands: WinSIM, Simply, Maxxim, Smartmobil, Yourfone and Discotel). Here, the flight and ship roaming is released from the start, without any cost control.
My thoughts on the weekend: The column wants to provide food for thought, call for discussion and reflect on the “news surge” of the week towards the end. A small selection of the previous articles in the column:
- Huawei's smartphone future after the spell: USA wakes up the red dragon
- Apple Pay and Google Pay increasingly popular: is digital really (always) better?
- Dark mode in the smartphone just a gimmick? I do not care!
For me and other users, the question arises: Should the mobile phone providers be legally obliged to protect the customer more in these cases, or should more pressure be placed on the personal responsibility of the user?
For me personally, the solution is a compromise. On the one hand, a mandatory upper limit for roaming outside the EU-regulated zone would be appropriate - not your "upper limit", dear Horst, please lie down. Once this has been achieved, information must be sent to the customer, who then only has to consciously confirm that this has been exceeded, combined with additional costs. On the other hand, it does no harm if the users are aware of the danger and act accordingly. Columns like this and informative articles are intended to raise awareness and educate. At the end of the article, I'll be happy to explain what you can do specifically.
How "big" should a data contract be - the experience of the GIGA editorial team:
Start photo gallery (7 photos)
Smartphones on board: what you should know
If you are on board an airplane or a cruise ship, the following applies to your smartphone:
- Switch on airplane mode, which initially deactivates all radio connections.
- If you want to use an existing WLAN, you can also activate it afterwards in airplane mode.
- If you still want to be mobile for emergencies, you should definitely deactivate data roaming and data services themselves. But that's not enough, if you don't want to get into “ghost roaming” - I already reported last year - you also have to deactivate LTE and only use 2G / 3G networks. Otherwise, the data traffic that is compulsory for LTE could be incorrectly invoiced.
Note: The opinions expressed in this article represent the views of the author only and are not necessarily the position of the entire GIGA editorial team.
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