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Strange message charges when abroad

piecemaker
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Anyone shed any light on this?

 

I’ve got a SIM only business contract. I work in Algeria on a 4 weeks on 4 weeks off basis. When I’m Algeria I turn roaming off and avoid using my UK number.

 

I’ve noticed recently some quite high monthly bills and when I check them the charges all relate to numerous text messages (maybes 10-15 per day at 40p each) I’ve allegedly sent to 2 different numbers whenever I’m in Algeria, a UKone and an Algerian one.

 

Both numbers are unknown to me. I’ve never received any calls or messages from the numbers and nor have I sent messages to or called them myself either at home or abroad.

 

I’ve tried speaking to o2 customer services who can’t explain it and are saying I must have sent them. But I definitely haven’t. As a goodwill gesture they’ve waived the charges this month for about £20 worth of these but if I start looking back at previous bills all these charges are going to add up to quite a lot, and going forward it looks like I’m still being hit with them each day I’m abroad.

 

Any ideas?

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MI5
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@piecemaker 

An iPhone using iMessage or an android with visual voicemail will send silent texts to register the phone on a network for the services.

You'll need to disable those features if that's the cause.

I have no affiliation whatsoever with O2 or any subsidiary companies. Comments posted are entirely of my own opinion. This is not Customer Service so we are unable to help with account specific issues.

Currently using:
OnePlus 6 (O2 & Sfr), Z3 Tablet (Three UK), iPhone 8+ (EE)

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MI5
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@piecemaker 

An iPhone using iMessage or an android with visual voicemail will send silent texts to register the phone on a network for the services.

You'll need to disable those features if that's the cause.

I have no affiliation whatsoever with O2 or any subsidiary companies. Comments posted are entirely of my own opinion. This is not Customer Service so we are unable to help with account specific issues.

Currently using:
OnePlus 6 (O2 & Sfr), Z3 Tablet (Three UK), iPhone 8+ (EE)

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Cleoriff
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@piecemaker 

Algeria is not included in Europe or eligible for O2 travel or O2 travel inclusive. All rates are International.

http://international.o2.co.uk/internationaltariffs/travelling_abroad# 

If, as you say, you don't use it at all, then you would be better taking the sim out and just use a local sim. If people call you  on your O2 sim and leave a voicemail you will be charged (if you listen to the voicemail you will be charged again)

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piecemaker
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Thank you I did suspect it would be something like this. But I've looked further into it by running reports from my account and since May 2021 I have been averaging about 65 of these messages per month at a cost of around £26 per month above my allowances. So quite substantial. But going further back I can see that in the 12 month period May-20 to April-21 there was only a total of 87 of these messages! So this is a huge jump and I have no idea why. I am still working in the same location, for the same lengths of time on each occasion...its bizarre.

 

I have worked overseas for a number of years now and this has never happened before.

 

I don't really want to turn off the line or iMessage as I use this (on wifi) when away to keep in touch with people, and occasionally I may have to send a message to someone not via iMessage (in which case theres no issue in the charge for this), same with receiving any calls when I am away. I just cant see how its fair / justified for o2 to bill me for these silent messages, which I see no reference to in their Terms and Conditions...

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piecemaker
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Thank you but I was under the impression that if I do not answer nor check my voicemail, I cannot be charged:

 

(from O2 Voicemail FAQs):

 

How much does it cost to use voicemail?

If you're a Pay Monthly customer, calls to 901 are free. If you're a Pay As You Go customer, they’re charged at your standard tariff rate. If you’re abroad, it costs the same to listen to a voicemail as it does to make a call to the UK. There’s no charge for receiving a message if you don’t listen to it.

 

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Cleoriff
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@piecemaker 

The info you gave is when you are the EU zone. We have had questions about this before and it really depends what country you are in. If out of EU and your phone connects to a foreign network when abroad to leave the voicemail then ostensibly you have received a call. If you check the link I gave in my post, you will see in Algeria it costs £2.00 to receive a call.

This is why we always advise travellers to turn VM off (if travelling outside of Europe Zone) due to the costs you will incur.

Algeria costs you international rates.

Algeria.JPG

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MI5
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@piecemaker 

It depends on how often you turn your phone on and off or how many times it registers on a different network as to the frequency of the handshake messages.

I have no affiliation whatsoever with O2 or any subsidiary companies. Comments posted are entirely of my own opinion. This is not Customer Service so we are unable to help with account specific issues.

Currently using:
OnePlus 6 (O2 & Sfr), Z3 Tablet (Three UK), iPhone 8+ (EE)
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piecemaker
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Thanks I did not realise what I sent was for EU....it clarifies the situation somewhat but all of these additional charges on my bill do not show as charges for receiving calls, they are shown as individual text messages, purportedly sent by me, at 40p each. I have had no notifications of any voicemails being received either.

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