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Alfa Statement Roaming Charges

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victor | 01 May, 2010 09:08

I just got off the phone with Alfa Call Center regarding a weird charge that occurred on my detailed bill where I found many roaming charges for the number +9613488888 each being charged at $0.299. The charge occurred within the period of my my last trip to Tunis. The weird thing about it is not only that I don't know what this number is, but also that the invoice is for the period 27-March till 27-April while the charges in question are for the period of 21-23 March.

After spending 34 minutes with the Alfa Customer Service representative on the phone, below is the conclusion for how your Alfa Invoice displays charges as well as the detailed explanation about this issue.

Whenever you travel outside Lebanon and use the SMS Romaing service, 2 charges apply:

  • The first charge is related to the Alfa SMS service for the number that you are sending the SMS to. Currently, if the number is in Lebanon, the charge will be $0.09. If the number is outside Lebanon, the charge will be $0.18.
  • The second charge is for the Roaming Service charged by the network that you are roaming through. This cost is variable from one country to another. For Tunis, the cost is currently at $0.299 per SMS.

On your invoice, you will find one of two cases:

  • If the charge occurs within one line, you will see it as type R (for Roaming) and the cost will be the cost of SMS + the cost of Roaming.
  • If the charge is split into two entries, you will see it as one charge of type S (for SMS) and another charge of type R (for Roaming).

For example, if you send an SMS from Tunis to Lebanon through roaming, the charge can appear either on one line as $0.389 or on two lines where the first line displays the cost of SMS as $0.09 and the second line displays the cost of roaming in Tunis ($0.299). If you send another SMS from Tunis to a country different than Lebanon, then the charge will appear either on one line as  $0.479 or on two lines where the first line displays the cost of SMS as $0.18 and the second line displays the cost of roaming in Tunis ($0.299).

Another thing that should be noted as well is the fact that all roaming charges from external networks (Tunis in this case) are not charged in real time and can take up to 4-5 days for the charge to arrive to Alfa. If you travel around the end of your billing cycle, the SMS charge can occur on one invoice while the roaming charge will occur on the next bill. This last fact is what resulted in large number of charges of $0.299 being listed for the number +9613488888 which turned out to be the SMS Center number of Alfa. My trip to Tunis took place on March 21-23. Thus, the SMS charges appeared on my March bill. The Roaming charges, however, were not charged back due to the delay explained above and, thus, my April bill was charged with these numbers.

If you ever face this situation with Alfa, now you can know the details without having to spend half an hour with them analyzing the charges over the phone.

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bassem | 01/05/2010, 13:27

that was a weird thing in deed vix. i bet you thought they would give you the money back. eh? looooool

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