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Samoa - Vodafone roaming charges

Auckland
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Samoa - Vodafone roaming charges

I deal with customers on a regular basis and am more than conscious of the perils of communicating frustration while angry, so... I'm going to try and be objective while i write this and make this a genuine attempt to make readers aware of the pitfalls we encountered rather than a pure whinging session.

in the interests of full disclosure, I need to start this forum by saying our family returned from 7 days in Samoa, and I stayed on for a further 6 days for a conference. I've posted a couple of reviews separately so won't comment on any aspects of Samoa, the culture or attractions other than to say for the most part it is a fine island to go for a family holiday.

However... Having being back for over four weeks, I've today been made aware of a particularly surprising aspect of Samoa that I had not even considered... Vodafone roaming charges.

In the 6 days I was in Samoa without my family, I naturally called home on a few occasions to check in, say hi etc etc - this would be fairly normal I would expect and something I'm not unfamiliar with as i travel internationally pretty regularly. The Samoa only portion of my Vodafone bill today is $800! Yup, $800. As an example I made a 27 minute phone call to my son and it cost $92 , I rang my colleague in the room next door to say "meet you for breakfast" - was a 1.02 minute call and it cost $6.46. I took a call and it cost me $6.00!

Please be very aware that it is at the extreme upper end of "obscene" in terms of cost to make a mobile call on your Vodafone mobile from Samoa to NZ. To make a call from somewhere exotic like The Isle of Capri is cheaper than calling from Samoa.

My suggestion? Leave your phone alone if at all possible, or ensure you've got a big credit card limit if you plan to check on family back home. This has left a nasty taste in my mouth which is likely to put me off ever going back.

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Samoa
Samoa
South Pacific
Auckland, New...
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1. Re: Samoa - Vodafone roaming charges

Just so everyone is aware about global roaming, the charges are not that of your provider but yet of the country that you are roaming in. As you are using your sim card in another country and using their network to make your calls/txts/data, the country you are roaming in will charge your provider and those charges are passed onto you, majority of the roaming cost actually go to that provider in that country that you were roaming in. Pretty much most of NZ mobile providers only really make a small amount in those charges.

In countries that have lots of mobile providers charges for people roaming in there countries would be kept at a low cost. Countries that only have a few mobile providers would be a little more higher than usual.

I would recommend purchasing a sim card from either DigiCell or Blue Sky Samoa, it's cheaper to call back to NZ & Australia, they have some good deals on calls and txt back home.

I'm surprised since you're a 'regular' traveller, you did pop into a store to ask, call their service desk, check online, email your query to the provider to see how much it would cost you to call or txt from Samoa while roaming.

Expensive lesson to learn but no one to blame but yourself.

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Samoa
Samoa
South Pacific
Auckland Central...
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2. Re: Samoa - Vodafone roaming charges

Malo le soifua

I agree with the post above. If you are travelling away from home and plan to use your phone, check the roaming charges first. There are plenty of ways to get around the roaming fees, buying a local sim is just one of these.

I don't see how you can blame anyone but yourself. Additionally, if you call Vodafone and plead ignorant, they may just credit some of the charges back to you; it's happened to others before and it's worth a shot.

Fa soifua

Tina

Woolgoolga...
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for Apia, Samoa
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3. Re: Samoa - Vodafone roaming charges

Malo

I really can't see why you say you won't go back as if Samoa the country, it's people and the culture is at fault.

We stay in Samoa for months at a time and calling either NZ, Australia or the US is incredibly cheap compared to AU costs, reason being that half of the Samoan population live in those countries and the service providers give a fabulous service so everyone can keep in touch with their families. We bought very simple phones in Samoa from Go Mobile, cost around 29 tala and a 1 hour call back home usually costs no more than 6 tala - $AU2.50, can't beat that anywhere.

As the others say, I hope you've learned a lesson and that if you look around there is always a simpler, less expensive option.

Tofa

Deb

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Samoa
Samoa
South Pacific
Sydney
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354 posts
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4. Re: Samoa - Vodafone roaming charges

Other readers sould also note that if your family is calling YOU in samoa from Australia the rates are absolutely astronomical if you are calling via mobile.

Big name retailers like, Vodafone, Virgin and Optus are currently charging between $8 to $12/min for international calls to Samoa. The reasoning is that since Digicel and BlueSky have drastically reduced call rates for customers in Samoa they are passing on that reduced rate to you overseas.

Solution? Buy a calling card like Oceania which Asian groceries are selling for $8 it gives you up to 150minutes worth of calls using local call rates.

Also check out the travellers guides & traveller hints section of TripAdvisor there is a section about telephone use there.

Its unfortunate for any traveller to be hit with an 'unexpected bill' but as they say... always read the fine print

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Samoa
Samoa
South Pacific
London, United...
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5. Re: Samoa - Vodafone roaming charges

I am a little confused. This post was written in 2012 - we have been using mobile phones for at least ten years now and you only just realised that roaming is expensive?

A poor workman blames his tools - and I find your blaming Samoa for your own incompetence completely offensive, not only to Samoa, but to any traveller.

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Samoa
Samoa
South Pacific
6. Re: Samoa - Vodafone roaming charges

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