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There is a well documented phenomena of Android users getting charged for data roaming abroad when data roaming is explicitly disabled on their phone. `So-called ghost-roaming (Geister-Roaming).

In our case, Android 6.0.1 (Samsung S5) we got billed 4 bucks on multiple days each for 60KB (yes, kilobytes) even though data roaming was off. Apparently 4 bucks is the minimum charge per day. The fact that it's always exactly 60 KB shows it's some sort of system/systematic data download ignoring the setting.

The network companies refuse to budge because they say it's a bug with the phone. IMO it's a scandal.

What can we do to utterly shut down any data roaming?

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    In the very same linked bug, you can find at least a work-around: Disable 4G/LTE before going abroad. LTE is "data only", so even to check if it can register, the device needs to open a data connection. I'm calling it a work-around (not a solution), as turning off 4G is exactly what should happen automatically when in roaming. Crux is, it only knows there's no "local carrier" after checking for it – which again causes data being sent. So it's somehow a cat biting its own tail.
    – Izzy
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 21:04
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    Living near a border means you often get a connection to "foreign" towers without even leaving the country. Our workaround has been to disable 4G in general. If a "bug" goes unfixed this long it's surely a hidden feature and a scandal.
    – Marc
    Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 8:13

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Our solution was to contact our provider, explain what happened and they... twiddled something and it stopped.

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