Roaming Scam?

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I've Been Around
Posts: 1

Roaming Scam?

Before I will label it an outright scam, let me describe our experience: we are vacationing in Europe. Since we value connectivity, we carry a laptop, an iPod Touch and an iPhone. I also have an independent European cell phone. I turned off iPhone cellular, 3G, dataplan, roaming and all other wireless functions before boarding the plane at Pearson. Our hotel provides wifi, so I turned on wifi on my iPhone, but left the rest off. The hotel's wifi requires two steps: (i) connect to the hotel's wifi net without password, (ii) login to the hotel's internet web portal with a login/password combination. It worked great on all three devices - at first that is. But after the fourth day, the iPhone balked. I could still connect to wifi, but I was blocked from getting to the hotel's web portal and beyond. The phone claimed that I couldn't get an http connection with roaming turned off. I tried and tried. It was strange, since it worked for the first few days, and I could still access the web on my other two devices. By accident I opened the messenger app. Lo and behold, there were two messages from Rogers offering me a roaming package for Europe (not cheap, mind you!). And to top it off, the messages came in at about the same time, the iPhone refused to login to wifi.

A naive user would probably claim pure coincidence. But is it thinkable that Rogers is systematically using this marketing ploy to force unsuspecting customers to get a roaming plan? In any case, I have powered my iPhone down and removed the Rogers chip, to keep the phone clear for a forensic audit.

Retired Moderator
Retired Moderator
Posts: 385

Re: Roaming Scam?



Thank you for sharing your experience with us and welcome to the forums!Smiley Happy


Hopefully, there will be more positive roaming experiences for you in the future, I'm glad to you were able to take immediate action in powering down your iPhone and removing the Rogers chip for your own peace of mind . Rather than having to power down your phone and removing the chip, you can check out our Roaming Checklist next time you or your family members travel. 


Your feedback is greatly appreciated.



Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 14,231

Re: Roaming Scam?

While it does sound odd.. it may be still co-incidental.

Even with roaming OFF.. the phone will always still go out and search out the nearest tower regardless of carrier, for emergency purposes.  (mind you, 911 or whatever wouldnt work over there..)

Even a phone, with NO SIM card in it, will still connect to a cell tower for emergencies.


When it connects.. probably based on the ID of carrier in the sim, etc.. the other carrier likely then contacts rogers, which then sends the message to you.

Incoming texts, shouldnt be chargable even while roaming, especially carrier ones, as far as I am aware.


Best bet next time, if you want to more 100% ensure that it cant do anything, other than emergency and wifi, would be to remove the rogers SIM from it.



I have had WIERD things with hotel wifi before.. devices which would just never connect.

Once where it would cause me to re-log in like every 30 mins (would have to pay attention to watch as it would just randomly drop me off wifi and have to re connect and sign in again)