Student Gets Hundreds of Dollars in Cell Charges After Trip Abroad

It's getting harder for many of us to go anywhere without our smartphones. We use them for directions, banking info and taking photographs.

And if we travel out of the country, many of us pack our phones, too. But if you're not careful you could rack up a small fortune in roaming charges.

Elise Sher saved up to send her daughter, Emily, on a trip to Israel to learn more about her Jewish heritage.

"She was so excited to go to Israel, which she heard so much about," Sher said.

Shortly before Emily was set to head overseas, her mother signed up for an international calling plan so her daughter could use her smartphone.

"I wanted her to be able to call me in case of anything. She's a little directionally challenged, so I wanted her to be able to use her maps app," Sher said.

The plan promised full access to everything on her phone for just $10 a day. They have unlimited data already, so the $10 would just carry those benefits with Emily as she and the tour group toured Israel.

"Within an hour of landing, I get a text message that says she's $100 over her data. I call AT&T and they said they forgot to activate it," Sher said.

They promised to fix it, but she kept getting alerts of more overage.

Sher says she was told her daughter had traveled to Jordan and Lebanon, and those locations weren't covered in the international plan.

But Emily hadn't been there. Her tour was on a set itinerary that didn't take her there. Sher said she was promised it would get handled, but then the bill came with more then $500 in extra charges.

AT&T told NBC 5 Responds they issued a credit before we called and said, "We've spoken with the customer about this billing issue and the issue has been resolved."

AT&T and most phone service providers have a list of the countries covered under their international plan, so make sure the country you're visiting is on the list.

If you start getting overage alerts, it can't hurt to take photos and map screenshots to document where you truly were located.

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