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It cost me my cap of £30 to receive ONE text when abroad, why?

I received ONE text when in Thailand and it cost me my cap of £30! I had data roaming off. I changed my sim to the UK sim (I had a Thai sim in) . I then got a message from Virgin stating I'd hit my spending cap of £30. I have messaged them twice (once 5 days ago and again today) and received no response yet. I was under the impression that receiving a text was free. I know if I send one to Thailand it costs 50p, so how can it cost £30 to receive one? A message clearly says texts are free to receive. Even calls only cost £2.60 per min. A minute was about all it took to look at the text!

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Message 2 of 38
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Re: It cost me my cap of £30 to receive ONE text when abroad, why?

Sounds like somehow the phone has used data. £30 would equate to 6MB. Very easy to do.

How it happened I have no idea but Virgin would have not put the charge out without usage details being passed from the Thai network first.

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Message 3 of 38
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Re: It cost me my cap of £30 to receive ONE text when abroad, why?

Thank you for your reply, however, to be honest it doesn't help to explain what happened, I have no idea which Thai network Virgin deals with, but if what you say is correct, then they are ripping off Virgin customers (and maybe other networks around the world).I can't see how it's possible to use 6MB in less than 2 minutes.
I have SIM cards from a number of countries (including Thailand) and it costs about £5 -£8 for 2GB+. In Thailand I have unlimited GB with max net speed 2Mbps for a month for about £8 with AIS.
Also, why do Virgin say receiving texts are free in Thailand?
Is there a way of receiving UK texts whilst abroad without switching on roaming? I tried several apps, but none of them showed me the text I wanted to see from a bank. Maybe the banks put a block on?
Incidentally, where do you get your figure of £30 equates to 6MB? Even in the UK you can get 1GB for around £5.
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Message 4 of 38
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Re: It cost me my cap of £30 to receive ONE text when abroad, why?

Hi there @motoguzzibob

 

Thanks so much for popping along to our Community, we are sorry that you're not happy with some charges you have had since being abroad. 

 

From what you have advised, this charge would be down to data used whilst abroad - not the text message. It is free to receive a text message; however, you do have you have your roaming activated in order to receive the message. 

 

All our roaming charges can be checked online at anytime here: virg.in/abroad

 

For Thailand, our charges are as follows: 

 

Making a call - £2.60 per minute

Receiving a call - £1.50 per minute

Sending an SMS  - 50p

Sending an MMS - 50p

Data - £5 per MB

 

As our user @enlli advised, the £30 would equate to 6MB of data used. Our charges are very accurate and can be used in a court of law; the data is taken from a unique set of information which can only be linked to your own phone number.

 

Have you received your bill which show these charges in detail or is this showing on your unbilled section when looking online? 

 

Cheers

Katie - Forum Team


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Message 5 of 38
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Re: It cost me my cap of £30 to receive ONE text when abroad, why?

The online bill is as follows:
Spending cap £30.00
Used £30.00
Remaining £0.00
But, I'm sorry, I just don't get the £5 per 1MB charge for data! How can it possibly be that much? Am I missing something? Everywhere I've looked in this country (Now in the UK) and SE Asian countries charge around £5 for 1GB
How could I have used £30 for one text, when as your above message shows, even to send one from Thailand is only 50p and, in any case, I didn't send one.
I will say this again:
I did NOT use any data (Or, I didn't look at anything on the internet), assuming you are correct regarding a text. All I did was put in my UK sim to receive the text. My phone always has data roaming off, except, as you say, I had to change to roaming for the text.
Is that the catch 22 ???? It is free to get a text, but you have to pay roaming charges to receive it? That's not what I call free!
I was reading a very short text (2 minutes max), a message came through from Virgin stating I'd used up my £30 cap.It was only about 2 minutes in all that my UK sim was in the phone before I took it out and replaced it with my Thai sim. So it cost me £30 to read one text from my bank and one text from Virgin. Can that really be true.
Is it possible that something that is supposed to be free, actually costs £30? It beggars belief!

In any case, please explain to me how Virgin can charge £5 for 6MB. That equates to roughly £800 for 1GB!!!!! Or have I missed something?
1GB = about 12 hours of browsing, so 6MB is about 4 minutes. That is browsing the internet, not just reading a text.
So Virgin, very roughly, charge £7.50 per minute and you consider that to be OK? Even though making a phone call is £2.60?
Crazy! If this is correct, then this needs to be taken to PSA or similar.
I'll be interested to read how you or anyone can justify the charges I am supposed to pay to look at one text.
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Message 6 of 38
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Re: It cost me my cap of £30 to receive ONE text when abroad, why?

More than likely it was background data. Maybe an update or something similar that occurred when you switched roaming on. 

6MB sounds a lot but it isn't. My camping app updated today and that's 4.9MB and one of the smallest apps on my phone. There are also hidden systems apps that consume data without you knowing

In the end it is your word against theirs and until you get a usage breakdown there is no way of knowing where and when things happened

Virgin's roaming charges are clearly laid out on their web pages and it is always wise to check before you roam anywhere outside of the EU.

 

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Message 7 of 38
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Re: It cost me my cap of £30 to receive ONE text when abroad, why?

Hi there @motoguzzibob

 

Thanks for the reply - I am sorry that you are not happy with our charges, but as we have advised and as our VIP @enlli has advised -correctly, all our charges are clearly listed on our website for customers to view at any time. 

 

We charge £5 per MB when in Thailand as per our roaming charges which you can see here

 

In order to have been charged, your handset would have used data in some form. This may not be from browsing and again as @enlli has advised, this is more than likely background data or updates occurring.

 

As mentioned, receiving text messages are free of charge so the charge would be for using your data whilst abroad. Once you get your full bill, this will be clearly outlined for you to read in full. 

 

Cheers

Katie - Forum Team


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Message 8 of 38
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Re: It cost me my cap of £30 to receive ONE text when abroad, why?

your txt if not free. if you didn;t turn off data your phone will use data in the background. I can use 100mb/day without having anything open.
My phone is showing 10-20mb usage today for apps i never even opened as they run thigns int he background, Even the phone OS it self eat though about 20mb of data today.

You wasn't charged for the txt you were charged for the data usage the phone used. Weather a app you had open or your phone used int he background its still billable data.

I've seen people come back to £1000+ bills so be thankful you had a cap on

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Message 9 of 38
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Re: It cost me my cap of £30 to receive ONE text when abroad, why?

I know it's completely different, but roaming charges always reminds me of this. 

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2017/10/holidaymaker-sailing-greek-islands-charged-8000-after...

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Message 10 of 38
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Re: It cost me my cap of £30 to receive ONE text when abroad, why?

Thank you Katie,
Apcyberax has given me the explanation that seems most likely (i.e. apps running in the background).
The charges are truly an absolute disgrace. Of course an employee would never admit that. Nothing like small print to get you out of a tight spot.
It amazes me how people seem to just accept that's the way it is!
I'm an old geezer and back in days gone by, lot's of folk would've complained to a local manager/ representative.and something would've been done. But now, similar to banking, for example, no individual will accept responsibility and/ or act on a complaint, but just to say that's the way it is, end of discussion.
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