Why man was charged $130 for 'Switzerland' data roaming even though he went to Cambodia

Submitted by Stomper Samuel

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He did not go to Switzerland. He was not on a Swissair flight.

Yet a man was charged $130 by virtual telco RedONE for apparently using a Switzerland roaming network on Oct 17, the day he was flying from Singapore to Cambodia.

How could this have happened?

That was what Stomper Samuel wanted to know.

"They first claimed that I was roaming in Switzerland, to which I said I did not travel to Switzerland. I provided my passport to prove that I was flying to Cambodia on that day," recounted the Stomper.

"They then claimed that I must have been on a Swissair flight instead of being physically in Switzerland. So I provided my SQ flight itinerary to prove that I was not on a Swissair flight."

RedONE sent him his data usage logs which show the roaming network as "Switzerland Onair Switzerland".

But the Stomper insisted that he did not roam.

He went online and found someone else who encountered the same problem.

The Stomper said: "I am appalled by their business antics as well as their bad customer support, purposefully waiting for time to pass so that it's past their customer support operating hours so that they have the option not to reply to me."

In response to a Stomp query, RedONE said the Stomper has reached out to the company and it has explained to him how the charges work.

"The charges were incurred when the subscriber connected to the in-flight service provider on board his plane for Wi-Fi. However, as the Wi-Fi signals may not be stable, his device was connected online via data roaming through the same in-flight service provider," said RedONE.

"The in-flight service provider name is On-Air Switzerland, which is why the subscriber got mistaken that the charges were incurred in Switzerland, the timing reflected in the bill is also based on Switzerland timezone (GMT+1).

"Records show that there was genuine usage on various platforms during this period of connectivity."

The telco advises users that to avoid such charges, they should ensure that their mobile device is on Airplane mode or switched off during the plane ride.