My T-Mobile cell phone bill came today. The Bahamas trip cost $144 in roaming fees. The interesting thing about this is that the phone was turned off for nearly the entire time that it was in the Bahamas and I didn’t make or receive a single call. When I settled in at the first hotel, I noticed that no service was available. To save the battery, I turned off the phone. Once or twice at other islands, I turned the phone on to see if service was available, and once or twice it was, but I turned the phone off afterwards. So the T-Mobile system knew that I was in the Bahamas, but the phone never rang and no calls were ever connected. Nonetheless, they billed $3 for every incoming call that anyone attempted to make during that time and then another $3 as a “voicemail fee” for the person talking to their voicemail system. If the person leaving the message was longer-winded, and spoke for two minutes, the total charge for the call would be $12.00 total.
One interesting note is that when I checked my voicemail, there were only 5 messages, yet T-Mobile charged for 21 inbound interactions with their voicemail system (at either $3 or $6 per interaction).
I called T-Mobile customer service and asked that they remove these charges. They refused.
[One positive note: The T-Mobile SMS system seems to bill a little more accurately. The system did not charge me for any SMS messages during the time that the phone was powered off.]