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Go Roam charge when data roaming off


I've spent hours today with THREE trying to resolve this. I was in Italy recently and this happened with both iPhones on my account: minuscule amounts of data are shown as being used on my account (total 6.6KB divided over 4 occasions) even though roaming is switched off. This caused the daily Go Roam charge to kick in.

THREE customer support is adamant that there is no problem, the bill is correct, and can't say what the data use was for 'security reasons'.  At one point I was told that I had joined a 'maritime network' that wasn't included in Go Roam which, of course, doesn't explain the problem (and is just an attempt to confuse me - or, more likely that they are confused).

I suspect this is some kind of handshaking with the roaming network that is not being properly processed by THREE's billing platform.  After some to-ing and fro-ing I was offered a 'goodwill' refund, but having read about this elsewhere during the hours of sitting on 'Chat', I've opted for a deadlock letter and have referred the case to the Ombudsman/ADR on the basis that I don't want to go though this every time I travel abroad.

It should not be this difficult to get a company to stick to its own terms and conditions so that we know where we stand when using (or rather not using) roaming services.


Experienced the same issue myself last year but managed to get the daily go roam charge refunded. It has been raised numerous times on this forum and examples of this requested and passed to a specialist team via the forum moderators. But unfortunately no solution has been posted yet. Please keep us updated with the outcome of your ombudsman complaint. 


I’d encourage anyone affected by this to also submit details via this OfCom form: Whilst they won’t deal with the individual complaint, this should lead them to ask questions of THREE.


UPDATE: I got a call from Customer Relations - even though the complaint was officially closed yesterday. This time they wanted to give me MORE than the amount charged for roaming, but it was still as a "one time" refund.

I tried explaining patiently that they have to accept that there's a problem with their billing system, but got the party-line back that 'we have absolute confidence in our billing system' and 'perhaps you turned on roaming for a second' (so it's my fault).  Pointing out that this is all over their own forums was going nowhere fast ... so I said goodbye.

I suspect all this is to avoid the Ombudsman having a look at what is going on. Most people would give in and take the money, but I've got all the time in the world 😉