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Avoiding Roaming Fees Is a Full-time Job

Day in the Life Series: 11 p.m. - 12 a.m.

By Dennis Jones


By now, it was late morning at the data center, and the team seemed like it was finally trickling in. “Late as usual,” the Analyst thought. By now, he’d formed a pretty negative opinion of the team over here, with which he’d been embedded for nearly a week.

How had he managed to start his day bright and early at 8 a.m., even though he’d been at the engagement meeting just that night and was of course still fighting crushing jet lag? He’d dragged himself out of bed and out of his hotel, where the concierge had ordered him a car service.

He would have liked to be more self-sufficient while he was abroad, but he didn’t have Wi-Fi. And he was afraid of taking his phone off of airport mode, lest he incur a staggering roaming fee. In fact, he’d been expressly warned by his boss about avoiding roaming fees, which could only mean leave all of his mobile devices in an offline mode. Turns out the last Analyst sent out to the data center hadn’t gotten the pre-travel, avoiding roaming fees memo. As a result, he had racked up more than $750 in roaming fees in a couple of hours, until the company carrier had alerted the Mobility team, who alerted his boss, who almost had a heart attack.

Suffice it to say, the new Analyst would remain in digital purgatory, while avoiding roaming fees for the rest of his trip, roughly another week. Yes, he did get free Wi-Fi at his hotel, which was sluggish at best, unusable at worst. And to add insult, he got the same foreign language login portal when he tried to access the internet. Somehow, the system wasn’t smart enough to remember his credentials.

The data center was connected as well, which is partly why he’d rushed over this morning. Although it was probably late night in the States, his inbox would probably be overflowing. Somehow his boss expected him to be always on, when the same boss had instructed him to severely limit his time online.

See what happened next.