June 17 2011 by Ellen Roseman
I’ve written about the “bill shock” that can arise when taking your smart phone with you to the United States or overseas.
They could urge people to protect themselves with detailed instructions on how to turn off their data settings or unlock their phones.
And they could make it easier for customers to find and choose the right prepaid data roaming packages.
In response, I’ve heard many stories about being caught unaware by high fees. Even corporate executives, who should know better, have had bad experiences.
I’m also getting feedback from readers who have no sympathy for those penalized for not knowing the rules.
They say it’s a waste of my time to defend clueless clients or try to get their data roaming charges “right sized,” as Rogers calls the process of putting people on a prepaid plan that would cover them.
Informed consumers often resent attempts to protect the uninformed. The issue of penalties for those who broke the rules for tax-free savings accounts in the first year springs to mind.
I always look at communication when deciding whether to not to use my power to help customers. I feel companies should go out of their way to let people know about bad things that might hurt them.
If customers aren’t warned in a way that catches their attention, they should have their charges written off — at least the first time — as a learning experience.
I’ll post some comments below to give you a feel for the debate. As usual, please feel free to add your own comments.