CTIA’s Consumer Tips on International Travel: What Your Carrier Offers

As we announced this morning in our press release, CTIA and the wireless industry are pleased to work with the FCC on their “Wireless World Travel Week”  to inform consumers on what they should do before they travel internationally.

For those who are staying close to home, but want to know how to manage their wireless service, please check out this blog post.

This blog post focuses on information available from some of the carriers. A subsequent post will highlight a few of the applications available for consumer to help manage their usage.

  • AT&T:
    AT&T provides a number of different resources for customers planning to use their wireless devices while traveling internationally.  This site includes information on how to get the best international voice and data rates based upon planned destinations, and offers tips and tutorials for customers traveling abroad, including:

    • Know Before You Go
    • Verify Rates
    • Travel Guide
    • FAQ on International Roaming
      • Customers do have the option to call customer service at any time to have international roaming blocked, or to ask questions about international travel. 
      • To help track and manage data usage overseas, iPhone users can utilize the device’s Usage Tracker option. Laptop users can view data usage in the Communication Manager window on their screen.
  • Sprint:
    Information about travelling internationally with a Sprint phone:

  • T-Mobile:
    What to do before using your phone while traveling internationally

    • International Roaming Information
    • International Roaming Warnings
      • Once registered on foreign carriers’ networks, customers receive the following free text message alerting customer to check settings: “Free T-Mobile Msg: CAUTION: Charges while roaming are higher for voice, web, email & applications. Alter device settings or call +1-505-998-3793 for rates.”
      • Account personalization
      • Text Message Blocking
      • Family Allowances (available to any account with two or more lines to allow parents to monitor use and set limits on minutes and messages on particular lines.  It also allows parents to block calls to or from specific numbers, block messages, and block content downloads.)
      • Content blocking (free add-on feature that lets customers block all chargeable downloads, such as games and ringtones, billed through T-Mobile.) 
    • Numerous ways to check balances
      • Using the device itself (#min#, #msg#, #bal#)
      • Calling into IVR (voice recognition service)
      • Calling customer service
      • Going into dealer or store
      • Website
        • Data Use
        • Customers’ home page is free
        • Warning message sent first time customer accesses Web.  Message also sent to account holder.
  • Verizon Wireless: 
    Verizon Wireless customers may access country-specific voice, text and data rates from a number of sources.

    • Website.  Verizon Wireless provides customers a single website where they may access the voice, text and data rates for almost every country as well as other information regarding international services.   
    • Quarterly Customer Booklet.  Verizon Wireless publishes a quarterly customer booklet containing extensive information about the company’s devices, services and plans, entitled “Your Guide,” that is available to all customers who activate or renew in stores or via telesales.  “Your Guide” provides information on how to obtain service and rates while placing or receiving calls or data in foreign countries.
    • Customer Service.  Customers can contact the company’s Customer Service via a toll-free number to obtain information about service options available to them while traveling. 
    • Real-Time Alerts.  Verizon Wireless provides customers with certain real-time alerts regarding international usage. 
      • Verizon Wireless sends a free text message to customers when they turn on their phone in a foreign county welcoming them to the country, providing dialing instructions for calling from that country back to the U.S., and sending them the 24/7 customer service number for global customers. 
      • If the customer is located in a CDMA country, Verizon Wireless also provides the customer with the data roaming rates for that country.  
      • Mobile Broadband customers using VZ Access Manager and operating their device outside of the U.S. must click-through a disclosure screen providing information about potential data charge rates before being allowed to connect.  
    • International Usage Controls.  Verizon Wireless allows customers to control their international data usage by shutting off data services on their handset, thereby preventing international data roaming. 

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