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Couple Uses Data on Their Trip to Switzerland; Gets $143,000 Bill After Coming Back Home

Remund immediately called T-Mobile to speak to a representative who told him that the bill was good and that was what he owed.
Cover Image Source: Couple shocked to receive ridiculous phone bill after vacation (representative image) | Pexels | Photo by Karolina Grabowska
Cover Image Source: Couple shocked to receive ridiculous phone bill after vacation (representative image) | Pexels | Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Apart from flights and hotel bookings, international calling plans are one more thing that must be figured out before embarking on a vacation abroad. People are excited to share the experience in a new destination with those back home, or may want to stay updated about work, but not checking how much international connectivity is costing them can catch them off guard later. A Florida man was shocked when he was hit by a massive $143,000 phone bill from T-Mobile for using data overseas during his trip to Switzerland. ABC Action News reported that the man, Rene Remund who had been a customer of T-Mobile for 30 years, even went to a T-Mobile store to make sure their plan was okay. Despite this, the couple were charged a ridiculous amount which they had to fight hard.

A T-Mobile sign hangs outside of a store | Getty Images | Photo by Joe Raedle
A T-Mobile sign hangs outside of a store | Getty Images | Photo by Joe Raedle

Remund told ABC Action that they travel frequently and always notify their cell phone carrier before they leave the U.S. Last September, the couple planned a tour of Switzerland and visited the T-Mobile store to share their travel plan. Redmund said that the store representative told him, “You’re covered,” and hence he didn’t think of changing his plan and left for the trip, during which the couple kept sending pictures and messages during their trip.


After coming back home he received his T-Mobile bill, which he at first thought was for $143. But Redmund was shaken when he realized that the amount on the bill was $143,000 for using 9.5 gigabytes of roaming data while overseas.

Since talking to the customer executive didn’t help, Redmund hired an attorney who wrote letters to the president of T-Mobile, which failed to get a response. Finally, the attorney reached out to ABC Action News for help and the publication contacted T-Mobile’s corporate offices. Soon the carrier called Remund and offered to credit his account for the entire bill amount.



T-Mobile also sent an email to ABC Action News that the company recommends that customers always check the travel features of their plan as some older plans may not include international roaming for data and calling. The company also recommended using airplane mode and wi-fi for data to make sure their device doesn’t connect to an international network.

As per a New York Times report, three of the biggest U.S. carriers provide some version of an all-inclusive international data plan that people can use while traveling overseas. Even T-Mobile includes international coverage at no extra cost in its most popular plans, president of marketing, strategy, and products, Mike Katz, told The Times.

Tourists can consider swapping their SIM cards for the local providers especially when they are taking an extended trip or using a large amount of data. A local SIM with a pay-as-you-go or prepaid package will usually be at a cheaper rate, depending on the provider, country, and offerings.

Firstly, travelers should limit their phones from connecting to overseas networks by switching off data roaming in their phone’s settings. They can also download maps offline while on Wi-Fi. Cellular data usage can also be switched off while overseas to only allow connections to Wi-Fi which are secured and not open public networks. Apps like FaceTime or WhatsApp can be used for calls to avoid voice or long-distance fees.