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  • FIRST POST
    • kblack71
    • By kblack71 8th Nov 18, 5:02 PM
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    kblack71
    outrageous mobile charge from UAE call to UK number which I don't recognise
    • #1
    • 8th Nov 18, 5:02 PM
    outrageous mobile charge from UAE call to UK number which I don't recognise 8th Nov 18 at 5:02 PM
    Hi there. I haven't posted here before but maybe someone can help. I was recently in the UAE, in Abu Dhabi, with my roaming switched OFF, I made a number of whatsapp and facetime calls while there and when I received my phone bill, instead of it being £9 for the month, it was £214, with a call from the UAE to a UK mobile costing £205 for 41 minutes. I have no record of having made this call, my phne doesn't log this as one of the calls I made, nor have I ever come across the number before, it's certainly not in my phone's address book.
    After a few calls to Virgin they've offered me £20 off the bill which, naturally I haven't accepted.
    The only possible explanation I can imagine a this point is that I made a 40minute facetime call on the same evening and I'm wondering if a scammer might have been able to 're-route' or re-direct this to a different number thereby causing me to be charged at this ridiculous rate, which is in fact the correct rate from the UAE. I've no idea if scammers are capable of such tricks but what else could it be?
    I told the 'manager' at Virgin not to go ahead with the 'deadlock letter' she mentioned until tomorrow, which would then mean my going through an independent ombudsman, but this can take ages, so I was hoping to find a better alternative. She'll be ringing me up again tomorrow afternoon and if I haven't made any progress I may then decide to go ahead with the ombudsman. In any case this manager seemed fairly low down the ranking and didn't have any understanding of anything beyond the basics, and yet she didn't allow me to speak to her supervisor, claiming "they don't take calls".
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Page 1
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 8th Nov 18, 8:36 PM
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    pmduk
    • #2
    • 8th Nov 18, 8:36 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Nov 18, 8:36 PM
    If you've been offered a deadlock letter already, then the network is sticking by its bill and your alternative is to go down the ADR route.

    I suspect the Facetime app has chosen to route the call via the mobile network rather than using mobile data. This is all the more likely because Facetime is not permitted in the UAE. Google the number the call was made to.

    If this is the case accept the network's generous offer with both hands and say thank you.
    Last edited by pmduk; 08-11-2018 at 8:40 PM.
    • ballyblack
    • By ballyblack 8th Nov 18, 10:04 PM
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    ballyblack
    • #3
    • 8th Nov 18, 10:04 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Nov 18, 10:04 PM
    Good to know that info

    Does UAE allow WhatsApp calls?
    • kblack71
    • By kblack71 8th Nov 18, 10:22 PM
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    kblack71
    • #4
    • 8th Nov 18, 10:22 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Nov 18, 10:22 PM
    Yes Whasapp and skype are allowed but the quality was very poor (possibly intentionally), which explains why I tried facetime.
    I feel the mobile provider, in my case Virgin should have mentioned this, or I should have been given the option to accept or reject the call being re-routed to ordinary £5 / minute call.
    • kblack71
    • By kblack71 8th Nov 18, 10:24 PM
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    kblack71
    • #5
    • 8th Nov 18, 10:24 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Nov 18, 10:24 PM
    Thanks pmduk. I am still puzzled as to why the number was different to the facetime number
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 9th Nov 18, 9:45 AM
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    pmduk
    • #6
    • 9th Nov 18, 9:45 AM
    • #6
    • 9th Nov 18, 9:45 AM
    I feel the mobile provider, in my case Virgin should have mentioned this, or I should have been given the option to accept or reject the call being re-routed to ordinary £5 / minute call.
    Originally posted by kblack71
    No mobile network has control over the actions of apps, whether pre-installed by manufacturers or the customers themselves. Neither can they usually offer any effective support for them.
    • kblack71
    • By kblack71 9th Nov 18, 11:12 AM
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    kblack71
    • #7
    • 9th Nov 18, 11:12 AM
    • #7
    • 9th Nov 18, 11:12 AM
    Assuming I can't get any more sense out of the Virgin staff I'm able to speak with, I've decided not to accept the measly £20 and to make an independent complaint through resolver (in association with money saving expert), my argument being twofold :
    1, I have no idea who the number I'm claimed to have rung belongs to, the number is +44 7953 939 675, furthermore, I am unable to send a text to this number or even get through if I try calling so clearly I'm contesting ever having made a 41 minute call to this number.
    2, if Facetime can be rerouted via the ordinary phone line then I believe I should have been alerted of this. Imagine the number of UK citizens in the UAE who might try using facetime.
    If I've missed anything or if anyone has anything else to add, I'd be most grateful.
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 9th Nov 18, 11:37 AM
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    pmduk
    • #8
    • 9th Nov 18, 11:37 AM
    • #8
    • 9th Nov 18, 11:37 AM
    Once a network has issued a deadlock letter your further recourse is to CISAS, (in this case, or the ADR of the network's choice). Any further complaints to the network on the same issue, even via Resolver, will not be considered.

    If you're unhappy with the behaviour of the app, you should be complaining to Facetime. Its developers are the ones who control its behaviours and actions. Not the networks.

    If you're now suggesting denying ever making a 40-minute call via Facetime in order to defraud a network then you're on your own.

    ETA

    2, if Facetime can be rerouted via the ordinary phone line then I believe I should have been alerted of this. Imagine the number of UK citizens in the UAE who might try using facetime.
    Originally posted by kblack71
    I've never used Facetime, but I'm pretty certain that it will have asked for permission to make phone calls before first use. Apps have to do this.
    Last edited by pmduk; 09-11-2018 at 11:42 AM.
    • kblack71
    • By kblack71 9th Nov 18, 1:06 PM
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    kblack71
    • #9
    • 9th Nov 18, 1:06 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Nov 18, 1:06 PM
    No I'm not denying ever making a facetime call, that's not what I said. What I did say was that I do not know the number I'm supposed to have rung, and the 40 minute facetime call was to a completely different number
    • Herongull
    • By Herongull 9th Nov 18, 1:19 PM
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    Herongull
    Is there any way you can check the time of the Facetime call and compare it with the call that Virgin claimed you made?

    If they match, then this makes it virtually certain that Facetime must have routed the call through the phone network. This is nothing to do with Virgin as they have no control over the settings or behaviour of an app.

    You said the Facetime call duration matched the Virgin call and it was the same evening so even if you can't find out the exact time it is still very likely that Facetime caused the bill.

    If this is the cause, it really is your bill.

    It could have been much worse - what if you were making Facetime calls every day on your trip?
    • kblack71
    • By kblack71 9th Nov 18, 1:58 PM
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    kblack71
    Thanks for your help Herongull.
    My FaceTime call of 40 mins was made at 20.33, there was also a 48 second call made at 20.28, (but no call of this length features on the virgin bill), the virgin bill states the time of the 41-minute call as 19.47. However you do the maths, it doesn’t quite add up, and it’s still a different number.
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 9th Nov 18, 2:12 PM
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    pmduk
    Then you need to raise this now with VM, stressing that you will be including this fact when you raise the case to CISAS.

    It may be that VM has only had preliminary data from the network in the UAE.
    • kblack71
    • By kblack71 9th Nov 18, 2:21 PM
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    kblack71
    Thanks again pmduk. I've just spoken to the 'manager' again at VM but she's not really listening, just avoiding my comments due to lack of understanding or ability to resolve the issue. How would you recommend I raise this aspect with VM, through their resolver page, or through CISAS? Can I start my CISAS claim now or do i need to wait "up to two weeks" for VM to send the deadlock letter?
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 9th Nov 18, 2:24 PM
    • 9,390 Posts
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    pmduk
    AIUI you need to wait until you get the deadlock letter. Someone more senior may overrule the manager in the interim. Don't bother with Resolver as you have an open complaint at Deadlock stage.

    I'd also be making a complaint to Facetime which is where the fault probably lies. I've not often come across the issue with FT, but there was a regular issue with Whatsapp - to the extent I could recognise the 'unknown' destination number.
    Last edited by pmduk; 09-11-2018 at 2:28 PM.
    • mrcamp
    • By mrcamp 9th Nov 18, 4:24 PM
    • 294 Posts
    • 75 Thanks
    mrcamp
    Honestly, the bill from Virgin is likely correct. My guess is that the number is different because, when a call is re-routed, a different number is usually involved with the routing, and the call log is probably showing this number. As for the difference in time of call, I think it's because of the rerouting, and also may be the time difference between UK and UAE. Bottom line, the fact that you made a call for that duration, virgin's bill is probably correct.

    Thanks for your help Herongull.
    My FaceTime call of 40 mins was made at 20.33, there was also a 48 second call made at 20.28, (but no call of this length features on the virgin bill), the virgin bill states the time of the 41-minute call as 19.47. However you do the maths, it doesnít quite add up, and itís still a different number.
    Originally posted by kblack71
    • Herongull
    • By Herongull 9th Nov 18, 5:46 PM
    • 1,326 Posts
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    Herongull
    If you google, you can find other examples when people thought they were making a free international call using Facetime and wifi but they were then charged for the call.

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8302046

    In the above example, they tried to make a Facetime call to someone in their contacts list who didn't have an iphone so it just went though as an international call.

    From googling, it appears that Facetime, Skype and other VOIP services are banned in UAE to protect local telecom monopolies although they have been having talks recently to try to get the ban lifted.
    https://www.macobserver.com/news/apple-microsoft-uae-facetime-skype-ban/.

    So maybe when the call was blocked from using Facetime by the UAE, it went through as a billed international call (a bit like the first example when people tried to call a non-iphone using Facetime).

    If that is the case your bill would be correct (but not sure why the time and number called is different - maybe this just occurs when the call is re-routed as an international call). The duration of the call seems to match.
    • Herongull
    • By Herongull 9th Nov 18, 6:23 PM
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    Herongull
    According to Apple, Facetime is still unavailable in the UAE
    https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT204042

    If this is correct, what you thought was a Facetime call must have (somehow) gone through as an international call.
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 9th Nov 18, 7:06 PM
    • 9,390 Posts
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    pmduk
    Check out CISAS here; they're reportedly the more consumer-friendly of the two ADR schemes, although I really don't think you've a strong case against VM I'm afraid.

    ETA Highlight any and all irregularities in VM's case eg dates and times etc, ADR's like these, they can win you cases.
    Last edited by pmduk; 09-11-2018 at 7:34 PM.
    • Ian011
    • By Ian011 9th Nov 18, 8:24 PM
    • 2,151 Posts
    • 1,290 Thanks
    Ian011
    07953 (originally 0953 before 2001) is a mobile number range currently issued to EE, previously allocated to T-Mobile, and before that One-2-One.

    The particular number may be in use on EE, or by an MVNO that uses EE systems, or may have been ported out elsewhere.
    • kblack71
    • By kblack71 9th Nov 18, 9:44 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    kblack71
    Thanks guys. Looking a bit bleak isn't it... I'm beginning to wish I'd accepted the £20 payout!
    Appreciate all your help and advice.
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