Once you are all set for an abroad plan, it’s important to decide on your iPhone roaming charges as well. A single change in your iPhone’s settings can costs you more unnecessarily. You might have seen ‘Data Roaming’ in the settings, and just put it to ‘off’ to avoid iPhone data roaming charges. However, it is not the only option and let us discuss more possible ways to save your money!

What is Data Roaming?

When you are away from the coverage area of your mobile operator and still you use mobile data, then it is referred to as roaming or data roaming. It helps you make calls or use the internet in the same manner you use in your own place. But what matters is the cost! Most mobile operators never charge extra for domestic roaming but they do for international roaming. When you are out of your country, it’s likely that you are going to pay more when you make or receive calls, send or receive SMS, and upload or download videos to the Internet. So be cautious before you travel to avoid iPhone data roaming charges.

How to Avoid iPhone Data Roaming Charges?

Use Wifi Wherever Possible

All you can do to avoid iPhone data roaming charges is not to use your mobile network wherever possible. Instead, join a Wi-Fi network to make calls, send messages, and to access the Internet. With the Internet over Wi-Fi, you can do whatever you do with your mobile network on your iPhone. Just look for a secured or open Wi-Fi network in the hotels you stay, coffee shops, shopping malls, etc. This can help you save your bill and to avoid iPhone data roaming charges. But before you join such a network be sure that it is a secured one or do secure your transactions by using a VPN. Read here to know about How VPN protect Online privacy?

Change your iPhone Settings

This is the most important thing that you should do to avoid iPhone data roaming charges.

Turn Off the Data Roaming

1.Go to Settings -> Cellular or Mobile Data (based on the model of the iPhone).

2.If your Mobile Data is ‘on’, then you can see ‘Mobile Data Options’.

3.Under the Mobile Data Options, just select ‘Roaming Off’.

This can help you to avoid iPhone data roaming charges when you are on travel.

Turn Off the Mobile Data

Even after disabling data roaming if you still want to be more pre-cautious, then you can turn off the mobile data on the whole. It never allows you to access the Internet from your mobile network through your iPhone.

1.Go to Settings -> Cellular or Mobile Data.

2.To the side of Mobile Data, you can see its option as ‘On’ or ‘Off’.

3.set it to ‘off’ if you wish to avoid iPhone data roaming charges.

So before you start your journey, do it and it can save some money from your wallet.

Allow Only a few Apps to use Cellular Data

If you are keen on checking emails or messages, then you can let only a few apps to use the cellular data. But even those apps may consume more data and it may result in a huge bill. So be sure of using it and if you need it anyway, then proceed.

Read here to know the Best Free iPhone Apps.  

  1. Go to Settings -> Cellular.
  2. Scroll Down and enable ‘Use Cellular Data For’ for only those apps for which you need the Internet connection.

Choose a Network Plan from your Mobile Wireless Carrier

It is better to take a wireless plan than paying more money in the form of data roaming. Most network providers offer such plans to suit your needs and it is based on how much data that you use. So pick a plan based on the data usage to avoid iPhone data roaming charges. Also, it is important to unlock your SIM card slot, if you use an older iPhone. It enables you to use the identity card of your iPhone when you are in a foreign country. Otherwise, you may be in trouble using the network over there.

Get a New Local SIM Card

The SIM card locking never accepts any foreign country’s SIM on its slot. So be cautious about it and unlock your SIM card slot before you travel. It is, especially, needed when you have older models of iPhone. Just find out the right place to get a new SIM in the foreign country and make sure that it fits your SIM slot. That means you have to get a micro-SIM or a nano-SIM to fit your iPhone. As you have already unlocked the SIM card slot to use a foreign SIM, now can simply start using the newer one! It enables you to access the Internet in the same way as you did in your place and it helps to avoid iPhone data roaming charges as well! Read here to know Which size SIM do I need for my iPhone?

Keep Track of Your Data Usage

You are all set to avoid iPhone data roaming charges by either completely or partially disabling data roaming. If you wish to keep track of your data usage, then just do the following.

1.Go to Settings -> Cellular.

2.‘Current Period’ and ‘Current Period Roaming’ indicates your data usage.

It is better to reset it before your travel, otherwise, it includes the older data as well. Read here to know 8 Ways to Improve Your Road Trips with iPhone and Apps.

How to Fight/Contest the Mobile Network’s Roaming Charges?

Most people are unaware that they should do few precautions to avoid such huge roaming charges. Here is what you need to do after you have seen such a huge bill!

  1. List your information such as the Account Number, Name, Plan Type, Plan Features and the Disputed Amount clearly.
  2. Get ready with a proof for each of the above-mentioned details. For example, you take a copy of your previous month’s mobile bill and it would include all the necessary details. Do not forget to take a copy of the current bill with the roaming charges.
  3. Once you are down with those documents, compile a letter conveying the reason for the dispute. For example, mention like it is unexpected and had never been explicitly told, or you have no money to pay, etc.
  4. Contact the Customer service of the mobile network by sending emails. If you get a response, then it’s well and good otherwise it is better to seek legal advice.  
  5. Now, draft a letter mentioning all your information and explain clearly that you did not get any reply from their team. Also, specify what you would do, if they fail to respond again. Just be polite in your sentences and never ever threaten them.
  6. Also, mention that you would wish to get the reply in the form of emails so that it would serve as a record. You can also use it as an evidence in the case of court proceedings.
  7. Review it once to ensure that you never threatened them or used any abusive language in your draft. If possible, ask someone to review it and give a feedback. As per the feedback, draft it again.
  8. Send it as an email to the complaints department and wait for at least 5 business days. If you did not get any response within that duration, then resend the email.
  9. Meanwhile, if you get any calls regarding the matter, then just convey them to send an email and not to talk over the phone. It is important to follow this as you need a record of your conversation with the mobile network team.
  10. You would probably get one of the following replies after resending the email.
  • They are ready to hear your words and in favour of you.
  • Ready to hear but can do a partial favour.
  • Not at all ready to hear and not ready to do any favour.
  1. The first two replies are satisfactory as it works in favour of you. So you can accept as such or can negotiate further.
  2. But the third one is completely against what you have asked for and hence it is time to seek legal advice.
  3. Remember to record everything and hence email conversations are better. Also, be polite and decent in your language.

Conclusion-How to Avoid iPhone Data Roaming Charges

When you are on travel, you cannot escape the data roaming charges unless you do few precautionary steps to avoid iPhone data roaming charges. It is better to disable the ‘Data Roaming’ on your iPhone or you can also disable mobile data on specific apps. This can considerably reduce your bill. There is also a provision to contest the mobile network for such as unexpected charge but there is no guarantee that you can wave it off. So the better solution to this issue is to use Wi-Fi networks wherever possible! Read here to know How to turn an iPhone into a Wi-Fi hotspot.


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Jerold Forney is technology admirer and a computer specialist who is always curious for new technological advancements in the IT industry. With his extensive experience and apprehension of IT industry and technology, He writes after concrete research and analysis with the intention to aid the reader the content full of factual information. Being so ambitious to facilitate the readers, he intermittently tries his hand on the tech-gadgets and services popping frequently in the industry to reduce any ambiguity in his mind related to the project he works, that a huge sign of dedication to his work.


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