International Roaming Fees in El Paso?


POSTED: Friday, July 30, 2010 - 4:08pm

UPDATED: Saturday, July 31, 2010 - 4:55pm

EL PASO, TX - If you're stuck with a higher phone bill than you expected, there may be a reason. People in El Paso say they've been getting charged international roaming fees when they don't even go into Mexico.

"Border residents need to be aware that signals in this region often intertwine. It's inconvenient, but it's a reality," Annabelle Estrada said.

Estrada, the Spokeswoman for the Better Business Bureau, knows that cell phone users in the Borderland sometimes get charged ridiculous fees for international roaming when they don't even travel over the border.

"If you're not looking at your bill you may not even realize that you're paying incorrectly for these international calls."

According to the Utility Consumers' Action Network, a consumer advocacy group, it happens because your cell phone constantly searches for cell phone tower signals, and sometimes the one it finds is over the border.

"You're phone may all of a sudden say Movistar or show another Mexican provider."

So what's the fix? The Utility Consumers' Action Network says there isn't one, but providers can build more cell towers, and Estrada with the B.B.B. says talk to your provider about turning off your phones roaming option.

"If you know you're never going to be in Mexico or you don't do business there blocking that option may simplify the issue for you."

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People should also pay attention to their home phone lines...I had trouble with AT&T a couple of times dealing with international phone calls made to mexico. When in fact I'm not suppose to have international calling on my phone plan. I struggled with the phone company to remove these charges for about 3 months. I don't even live close to the border so keep your eyes open on home phone lines too.

First of all, landline calls do not go through towers like cell phones. Secondly, as long as you have long distance capability, you can dial anywhere in the world. You don't have to have in international plan to call out. The international plan is there to provide a discounted rate per minute. That's with any carrier, not only AT&T. If the call shows up on your bill, it means the call was made, if not by you, by someone else in the home, or outside directly through the network interface device.

Also, another thing that most people don't know is that by not selecting a carrier for long distance or local toll (in-state and out-of-state long distance), it doesn't mean that long distance is blocked. It only means you have no preference for the carrier that bills you for your long distance use. The only way to ensure that no long distance can be made is to add a toll restriction, which usually carries a charge.

All you have to do is put your phone in the menu/settings/network/ HOME ONLY!!!! This will not allow your phone to access any tower that is outside of your network. The only bad thing is if you are out in the fringes of town San Eli, Clint Montana Vista, Riverside, West way you probably will have limited service.


anytime you call or recieve a call while on border freeway or anywhere along the border you will incurr these charges. check with your provider to stop these charges. they are more than happy to assist.

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