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When VZAccess Manager attacks. (And guess who gets stuck with the bill!)

I'm looking for some guidance from those who may have been down this path before, because I've just about exhausted my customer service route. Appreciate any feedback. Thanks.

I have a Verizon Wireless data card (PCMCIA air card) I use with my trusty, dusty Thinkpad. I travel internationally a lot and to avoid any surprises, I make sure my VZAccess Manager program is set up to 'never connect while roaming'. Additionally, my data usage plan specifically excludes 'I-Dial', which according to my contract, is required to connect in China, Isreal, India and most other countries outside the USA.

So, I was in India two weeks ago, staying at the ITC Sheraton in New Delhi (lovely place). I purchased the hotel's internet access plan for the week, plugged in my laptop and surfed away the sleepless night. 20-30 minutes into my session, I noticed my 'network cable unplugged' icon in my systray. "That's odd", I thought, since I was still downloading several radio programs I regularly listen to. A bit of probing revealed that my air card, in spite of all my precautions, had connected to the internet. Don't know how or why, but there it was. (I had NOT opened VZAM or clicked connect. Very certain of this.) So I disconnected (and unplugged the card) and reconnected to the hotel service....I figured that was a $20 or $30 mishap.


The bill came two days ago - $607.43.

I called Verizon and explained.
At first the CSR offered to credit 50% of the charge. I fussed a bit and he offered to credit 75% of the charge. I was about to bite, but then I also had a technical question about how/why the card connected even though I set everything up to not connect while roaming (I would hate to make the same mistake twice). The next day, Verizon called back and said I owed the entire amount, it's a legitimate charge and that the roaming prevention features only apply within the United States.

To make a long story short, they're saying it's a legitimate charge, I should be more careful and they are not budging one penny.

I'm a long-time Verizon customer and the kind of client Verizon spends millions every year to try to attract as a customer. Other than cancelling my account, how can I prevent this from happening in the future???


I guess the point being is that I did what I feel a reasonable person would do to prevent just such an occurance:
My contract. (no I-Dial)
My program settings. ("Do not connect while roaming" checked)
My intent: (Purchasing Hotel Internet Access)
My actions. (Not opening VZAccess manager and clicking 'connect'.)

Could I have also removed the card? Sure. I could have also smashed it under foot just to be sure. But at some point, 'doing everything possible' has to give way to 'what would a reasonable person do?' I've traveled with this card for the last 5 years, and my experience has been that the above precautions have been sufficient.

Re: When VZAccess Manager attacks. (And guess who gets stuck with the bill!)
Not applicable

To be safe, I would ALWAYS remove the card when connected via another route.  Oh yes, make sure the "other route" is plugged in.  I don't think you have any recourse.

Re: When VZAccess Manager attacks. (And guess who gets stuck with the bill!)

Two questions:


1.) If you had zero intentions of using the card while travelling internationally, then why did you bring the card and plug it in to the  computer? Something does not sound right here.


2.) Is NDIS mode enabled within VZ Access manager?

Re: When VZAccess Manager attacks. (And guess who gets stuck with the bill!)

This sound like a painful reminder of how technology makes life easier and more difficult at the same time. I think the only recourse you have is to figure out what the roaming data charges are of the carrier in India and offer VZW the "actual" cost of your usage. Speaking of actual usage, VZW should provide you with exact time/date/kB billed.


I agree with the other posts regarding completely removing the data device. Otherwise, you can disable it in the device manager or Lenovo's "radio management" software which is invoked from the keyboard. It may not have been VZAccess Manager that dialed out, it may have been the OS connecting for automatic updates or something similar.