Action 9 investigates monster cellphone charge



ORLANDO,Fla. - Action 9 investigates cellphone charges that could burn anyone who travels.

A Seminole County woman claims she was hit for more than $800 in roaming charges on a phone she didn't even use.

On a four-day cruise, Nancy Boyer told her son they could not make cellphone calls.

"We both knew the charges were outrageous and to not use the phones," said Boyer.

She said she was shocked when her AT&T monthly bill included more than $800 for international roaming charges. Nancy disputed the bill.

"If we didn't use it, you can't bill me for it," she said.

Boyer is the latest cellphone customer to discover hidden international roaming charges can be sky high.

It's not just calls. Many smartphones and tablets have automatic data updates that trigger roaming charges.

Boyer said she was told her son's phone kept updating time and weather.

"It was pre-set, when we bought the phone, for international roaming," said Boyer.

She said she had no idea it had to be reset to avoid charges.

Consumer groups say it's a billing time bomb.

Data rates can be through the roof.

Uploading just a few pictures could cost you $20. View a  three-minute YouTube video:  $100. Watch a movie and you could be charged $8,000.

Nancy challenged her charges and AT&T offered a small discount.

Still furious, she called Action 9.

"My thoughts were, 'How was I going to fight this huge company?'" said Boyer.

Action 9 contacted AT&T. The company said it reviews billing disputes case-by-case, and its website shows how to avoid big roaming fees.

The company said it then removed all the international charges from Nancy's bill.

"I'm very pleased you were able to take care of it for me," said Boyer.

Before you travel, contact your provider, who can tell you how to turn off the roaming feature.

You can also remove the SIM card, so you can access apps without triggering data charges.