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WiFi Calling not free from outside USA?

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WiFi Calling not free from outside USA?

I feel stupid this morning.

I went to Toronto for a few days and came back to a $300 bill.

On my iphone I turned off cellular data and thus roaming, and made sure WiFi calling was on.

I called my wife every night when I was on Wifi in the hotel.

 

Was I incorrect in thinking it was free?

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Message 1 of 14
ACE - Master

Re: WiFi Calling not free from outside USA?


@caliscotsman wrote:

I feel stupid this morning.

I went to Toronto for a few days and came back to a $300 bill.

On my iphone I turned off cellular data and thus roaming, and made sure WiFi calling was on.

I called my wife every night when I was on Wifi in the hotel.

 

Was I incorrect in thinking it was free?


WiFi calling isn't necessarily free. It extends your plan so calls made on WiFi calling act as if you're in the U.S. That means, (assuming your wife was in the US), you should have paid whatever it would cost to call her when you're at home which I imagine is nothing. Did you call any Canadian (or other foreign) numbers while you were there? That's more likely to be the culprit (assuming you don't have a plan that includes Canada).

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Message 2 of 14

Re: WiFi Calling not free from outside USA?

I was trying to be careful and didn't use the phone to call anyone in Canada.

Only used it to call my wife back in the US, who has the other phone on our ATT account.

 

I called an agent and she said that Wifi still used the international towers and is not free. I'm so confused.

Cellular data was definitely switched off all my time away.

Message 3 of 14
ACE - Expert
Solution
Accepted by topic author
Accepted by caliscotsman
‎08-02-2018 11:33 AM

Re: WiFi Calling not free from outside USA?

Yes, any calls to your wife on WiFi calling should have not have had extra charges.  However, just being on WiFi does not mean you are on WiFi calling. You are not on WiFi calling unless you see “AT&T WiFi” on the display. If you see any other carrier, you are roaming. Also, turning cellular data off does not disable roaming. It only disables data. What you should have done was put your phone in airplane mode, then turn WiFi on.

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Message 4 of 14

Re: WiFi Calling not free from outside USA?

Thanks. That's probably the mistake I made.

Costly lesson.

 

I followed the steps you told me..And yes it now shows the little airplane and says ATT WiFi.

That should then give me free wifi calls when calling the US from outside the US?

Message 5 of 14
ACE - Expert

Re: WiFi Calling not free from outside USA?


@caliscotsman wrote:

Thanks. That's probably the mistake I made.

Costly lesson.

 

I followed the steps you told me..And yes it now shows the little airplane and says ATT WiFi.

That should then give me free wifi calls when calling the US from outside the US?


Yes. Free texting too.

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Message 6 of 14
Contributor

Re: WiFi Calling not free from outside USA?

That actually isn't the case. Just get the $10/day international day plan and then your cellular data can be on and it will use your existing plan - for us that is "unlimited data".
Being in airplane mode should only be used while actually ON an airplane. Turning airplane mode "on" means you won't receive calls or texts which you generally DO want to receive.  You aren't charged for incoming calls or texts you don't answer.

Choosing cellular data "off" is always the best bet as it makes your phone revert to wifi which is what you want. Forget the "airplane mode" part.

If on a cruise ship - always have cellular data off unless you are IN a port with the $10/day international day plan.  Also, in "settings" you should also turn off your iTunes/App store updates, your general Background App refresh, and iCould storage backup as those drain your phone/data.  Turn off all media auto downloads (Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, etc.)

Have fun the next time and your bill will be much lower.  Smiley Happy


Message 7 of 14
ACE - Expert

Re: WiFi Calling not free from outside USA?

@CMola2 The OP wanted to call without roaming charges. Everything I told him is exactly true and the OP even verified it, or did you skip that. One guaranteed way to avoid roaming charges is to leave airplane mode on. 

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Message 8 of 14
Contributor

Re: WiFi Calling not free from outside USA?

The steps I mentioned are just easier than all of that.  Have done this in Italy, Spain, Russia, Scandinavia, the Caribbean, cruise ships, etc etc.
If someone truly doesn't want to spend a single dollar then I guess they could try that but $10/day unlimited data in a different country or in a port is pretty hard to beat.  To each his own, and everyone has a different plan, budget and travel itinerary.

Cheers!

C

Message 9 of 14
ACE - Expert

Re: WiFi Calling not free from outside USA?

@CMola2 The international day pass does not cover cruise ships but I’m sure you knew that and did not mean to imply that it did. You are right, do what works for you but the OP was not looking for options.  He was asking if calling his wife from Canada on WiFi calling is free, which it is provided you are actually on WiFi calling. 

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Message 10 of 14
ACE - Expert

Re: WiFi Calling not free from outside USA?


@CMola2 wrote:

but $10/day unlimited data in a different country or in a port is pretty hard to beat. 

$60 for the 30-day AT&T passport, significantly beats 30 days on International Day Pass for $10 a day.

 

But it all depends on the individual's own usage.

 

 

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Message 11 of 14
ACE - Sage

Re: WiFi Calling not free from outside USA?

My son just returned from Greece last night. He used WiFi to FB message me in the evenings.  He kept roaming off.  Made one WiFi call using the method @sandblaster  wrote.  

Didn’t  cost a dime.

 

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Message 12 of 14
Contributor

Re: WiFi Calling not free from outside USA?

Correct, @sandblaster .  Exactly why I mentioned "if IN a port".
The International Day Plan works for us far beyond a call back home but may not be right for everyone.

Message 13 of 14
ACE - Expert

Re: WiFi Calling not free from outside USA?

@caliscotsman  What plan are you on? The EXACT name, from a bill (and how much data does it include).

 

Many AT&T plans include Canada these days.

 

 

  • Rember the Golden Rule: Treat others how you would like to be treated.
  • Just because my answer does not solve your issue (or agree with you), it may still be correct information...
  • Stating a fact about how something works, is NOT taking sides, it's just stating a fact...
  • Information provided might not be for "you" only, it might be clarification for other community members.
  • This is the public AT&T Community Forum (not AT&T support), please do not post personal info.
  • When provided an answer, please click "Accept solution" which helps other people to find an answer more quickly.
The (very) fine print - This footer is at the bottom of all my posts, its particulars may, or may not, apply to you & your post.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
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