T-mobile Shut Down My Account For Usage Abroad

T-Mobile Simple Choice International Plan for Frequent Travelers

As you may know, T-mobile got all of us frequent travelers attention a few years back when they introduced the so famous Simple Choice International Plan, which gets you at no extra charge automatic coverage in 140 countries for data and text, as well as 20 cents per minute phone calls. It wasn’t a super fast internet but did the job. I really really loved my plan, until T-Mobile shut down my account.

Back in the day it was the best deal in the market for keeping your own number while abroad, more importantly, to avoid the hassle of what most of us used to do: buy a local sim card to work with our phone during our time in that particular country. 

With all my travels being with T-mobile was a no brainer for me, although I was kind of tired of the lack of signal on certain areas in Houston.

T-Mobile Simple Choice International Plan for Frequent Travelers


A lot of people try to stay away from T-mobile, but for me it was super convenient having internet in most of my destinations for the past 2 years or so. I visit around 15 different countries a year, with travel almost every weekend to Mexico. 

Why did T-mobile Cancelled My Account?

Apparently I was using way too much data while traveling, even more than what I consumed in the US. What really disappoint me is the how the communicated the issue. Didn’t get a call or even a text warning me of what was happening. All I got was this:

T-Mobile Simple Choice International Plan for Frequent Travelers


Later that day I called in to ask about the issue with my account. Totally aware that I’ve been roaming way too much outside of their own network kind of thought this was a warning for me.

For my surprise, it end up being an actual notice. The rep gave me all the details about how much data my account was getting from partner towers overseas, and that he didn’t have anything to do. After being a T-Mobile customer for over 7 years my account was being shut down as of March 28, 2017. 

It looks like they take this very serious, have to say that all the time my T-mobile account was open never had a single delayed payment. Totally understand that nobody cares for an account with a single line on it, but at least should value loyalty. 

Just before finishing the call, the rep added a suggestion of porting out my number before that date if I wanted to keep it.  

Goodbye T-Mobile; Hello Verizon

Fair enough, it was time to move on. While I loved the international coverage at no charge, I was ready to get a higher performance network on my daily usage at home. 

After reviewing a few carriers to see which one got me the best value, I decided to switch to the Verizon Unlimited Plan, which won’t get me coverage in 140 countries at no charge, but at least will have all my data and calls included when in Mexico. Works for me.

For my upcoming international travels, I guess getting back to local sim cards will be the best option, or simply renting a WiFi hotspot as I did last year in Seoul. 

Have T-Mobile Cancelled your Account as well? What’s your carrier of choice?

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25 Comentarios

  • Reply
    June 28, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Try Google project fi

  • Reply
    June 28, 2017 at 9:27 am

    You should also consider Project Fi from Google as a provider

    • Reply
      Mike Toledo
      June 29, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      I’ve heard good things about it, will give it a shot on my next trip! Thanks!

  • Reply
    June 28, 2017 at 9:29 am

    I’m sorry for your loss, but I see this line time and time again: “value loyalty”.

    There is so such thing as loyalty in today’s business environment. The bottom line is what matters the most. The sooner people drill this into their heads the less disappointment there will be.

    • Reply
      Mike Toledo
      June 29, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      Hey Tony, I Totally agree with you!

  • Reply
    June 28, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Good info, thanks for the post as I entertained the thought of switching to T-Mobile.
    Is $150.23 your regular monthly bill? In that case you would’ve been much better off anyways switching to another carrier (e.g. Cricket where I’m paying $55/mo unlimited call/texts and 12GB of data before throttling) and buying local SIM cards when you travel.
    Watch out for Verizon phones before you switch – unless you’re BYOD – they might not all be GSM phones and/or will take a while to unlock before you travel overseas.

    • Reply
      Mike Toledo
      June 29, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      Yeah, I used to pay about $150 for unlimited data and calls. I knew it was kind of high but wanted to avoid the hassle of moving around. The thing with Cricket is that it wouldn’t give me coverage in Mexico and that trip was every week, so didn’t want to be switching Sim cards that often.

      With Verizon I’m using my very own iPhone which was unlocked from T-Mobile, so far is going great, let’s see when is time for the first overseas trip. Thanks!

  • Reply
    June 28, 2017 at 9:39 am

    I presume this is the reason for termination you unintentionally violated:

    “Results in more than 50% of your voice and/or data usage being off-net (i.e., connected to another provider’s network) for any 3 billing cycles within any 12 month period;”

    Some international providers gouge roaming customers quite badly. The balance T-Mobile has struck is to ABSORB those possibly quite large fees and write them off. As my family only travels internationally 2-3 times a year we are not a burden.

    I believe due to it being a FINANCIAL barrier, they can’t really predict that you’ve used X gigabytes time to give you advance warning like with data caps. They have to wait for the roaming charges to trickle in and look at the numbers after the fact.

    As long as roaming providers are allowed to extort any sum they want, nothing will improve.

  • Reply
    June 28, 2017 at 11:23 am

    How much data were you using?

    • Reply
      Mike Toledo
      June 29, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      Around 10gb including data in the US. Honestly, I used my phone overseas plenty of times with no troubles, the speed was fair but not such a thing that would make me use it as I do when I’m home. Had to wait for Wifi to actually do my stuff.

  • Reply
    June 28, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Perhaps you could have a friend sign you up. I love T-mobile. I am a teacher so I travel only during the summer and breaks but having data internationally is AMAZING. I have a friend that works for T-mobile so I understand the business costs associated with this on their end though, which explains why they cut you off I guess.

    • Reply
      Mike Toledo
      June 29, 2017 at 12:17 pm

      That’s a great idea! I might think into it, a friend just invited me to join his 4-line contract, that means the cost per line would be way less than what I was paying for a single line. Thanks for the advice!

  • Reply
    June 29, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    I think I might trickle into the same boat soon. BUT when I’m in the US I virtually never use wi-fi so that keeps my usage while in the US pretty high (~8 gb/month).
    When I’m overseas I’m usually gone for 3-5 weeks at a time but the network isn’t fast enough to casually browse the web with things like Facebook, Youtube, or anything. I just like being connected enough for somewhat decent Google Maps, Uber, iMessage & Whatsapp connectivity.

    Maybe the trick it just to keep your usage high while in the US so the 50% off-network usage cap raises.
    For me more than the international data is the perk of having Wi-Fi calling so I can make local US phone calls when I’m on wifi in a different country.

    • Reply
      Mike Toledo
      June 29, 2017 at 8:22 pm

      Hey that’s a pretty good strategy to make sure you usage abroad does not exceed your actual usage in the US. Totally agree with you on the internet not being fast enough to do a lot of things, I used it exactly for what you said, just being connected. The WiFi calling feature is something I discovered very late, but agree it’s super useful!

  • Reply
    July 22, 2017 at 6:12 am

    And for those of us that choose not to live in the US? So far I have not had problems but………

  • Reply
    July 27, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    I just got the dreaded text today from T-Mobile. I live in Mexico and travel a lot from there but I’m from the US and I really want to just keep my number. Couldn’t beat the T-Mobile plans four years ago or whenever it was that this came out. Guess I’ll have to look at Verizon you say

    • Reply
      Mike Toledo
      July 31, 2017 at 6:56 pm

      I feel you! You should better port out your number before it gets cancelled. Other than that you will be ok, I´m happy at the moment with Verizon, a little more money though…

  • Reply
    February 24, 2018 at 12:13 am

    I just got the dreaded warning text and have been with Tmobile for 16 years!!!! Ugh. Was googling (on WiFi LOL) to see what can be done about it. :/

  • Reply
    Susan E King
    March 20, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    April 17 2018 is my cut off date. I was totally unaware of it… but probably since I had no service where I was in Tucson and Ruidoso for 4-5 months of the spring and summer last year…

    Am in contact with the CEO’s office but am not holding my breath that anything will come of it other than to vent. Will be making a trip to the states to take care of this in a week or so.

  • Reply
    May 15, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    Just got my first warning and my usage is not high in Canada. I checked the past 4 usage cycles, under 2 gb each cycle (2 cycles didn’t even reach 1 gb). Recent cycle was 2.7 GB and I got the warning. Husband got the warning twice and he travels more than I do for his work, so he keeps his usage under 1 gb each month after the 2nd warning. For those curious, he was using around 3-3.5 gb per month when he got the warning. Sigh, looks like we are going to have to switch soon too. It is just too stressful to try and keep track like this.

  • Reply
    Stephen Lim
    August 29, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    Anothter t-mobile user here. Business account with 8 lines. Used just one of them while overseas and got the warning text. Our company uses both AT&T and T-mobile (7 on one and 8 lines on the other). Going to switch these 8 lines over to AT&T and just buy a local SIM when traveling. Been with T-Mobile since they were Voicestream. Oh well!

    • Reply
      September 19, 2018 at 3:41 pm

      also got a warning while staying for 3 month in Europe. The issue I have with T-Mobile is that IMHO they commit False Advertising, because they use the term “UNLIMITED” in their ad but in the fine-print they detail the exact restrictions. So I am considering filing complaints with the FCC and FTC.

  • Reply
    September 19, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    also got a warning while staying for 3 month in Europe. The issue I have with T-Mobile is that IMHO they commit False Advertising, because they use the term “UNLIMITED” in their ad but in the fine-print they detail the exact restrictions. So I am considering filing complains with the FCC and FTC.

  • Reply
    September 19, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    also got a warning while staying for 3 month in Europe. The issue I have with T-Mobile is that IMHO they commit False Advertising, because they use the term “UNLIMITED” in their ad but in the fine-print they detail the exact restrictions. So I am considering filing complaints with the FCC and FTC.

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