Smart phone owners hit with data roaming fees

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.

In a couple of articles, I suggest that telecom companies could do a better job of warning people about the possibility of shockingly high charges.

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.

62 comments

  1. AnnieD

    Jul 26 2011

    My daughter is going out of town. I put $5 in her Mobilicity wallet so she would be able to send me an “I arrived safely text” when she arrived (safely!).

    Turns out Mobilicity also charges for incoming texts while roaming. Since she’s a teenager, the second she turns on her phone at her destination, her entire wallet will be emptied. She is charged for all the incoming texts *which she has no control over*!!!

    Public Mobile doesn’t charge for incoming texts while roaming. This makes a whole lot more sense.

  2. global citizen

    Aug 16 2011

    VOID FIDO! THEY DO NOT TELL YOU ABOUT DATA ROAMING CHARGES.

    I HAVE NEVER HAD DATA SERVICES WITH FIDO and my recent bill shows approx. $1,400 worth of US data roaming charges between June and July 2011.

    My solution is to just leave Fido altogether. I’ve also been a Fido customer since 2004 and since Rogers took over it’s been worse and worse. So get this – I don’t have a data plan with Fido! I’ve never paid to connect to data or never asked them to provide me with data. I use WiFi only.

    So apparently (and maybe something changed with the system), for a few days in June and then for 1 transaction in July when I was in transit in the US and I thought I was connected to my hotel or apartment WiFi, apparently AT&T roaming 3G kicked in again.

    REMEMBER – I have never had a data plan with Fido, nor have I even paid for one of the day or week passes in Canada. One transaction alone (on June 30/July 1) for 32 megs was billed at over $900!

    One transaction at a time when I was in bed in a hotel connected I thought to WiFi. REMEMBER – I HAVE NEVER HAD A DATA PLAN WITH FIDO EVER! I HAVE NEVER PAID FOR DATA SERVICES. I HAVE NEVER ASKED FOR DATA SERVICES.

    I was traveling on another continent for the month of July and didn’t see the charges on my bill until August. I called in specifically about the single $900 charge because it stood out as OUTRAGEOUS on the bill. They told me it was my fault and the charges were legitimate because I had used the services.

    Lots and lot of really annoying boiler plate customer “non-service” until after one hour on the phone I got a sympathetic ear. They finally gave me the privilege of paying $62 for a data pack and they gave me a “credit” of $833 back on the account (after the sticker shock of fighting against a $900 charge that you never ever requested. you are relieved to have any concession).

    BUT THERE IS MORE, and this is important. In their own language and belief, I am still at fault. Therefore. they did not reverse, cancel or remove the original charge, which actually means they think they did not admit any fault or responsibility and actually did me a big huge favour for which I should be grateful.

    By “accepting” their offer, again in their own special language, I was accepting that the deal was closed and they would never, ever do anything special for me ever again.

    THEN THE KICKER, at the end of the call, the sympathetic CSR mentioned that she also saw approximately $450 worth of additional type charges on my account from June. (REMEMBER that because I “accepted” their resolution for the single $900, I was no longer entitled to even a discussion regarding the additional charges that resulted from the same root problem.)

    So today, after my account was suspended for non-payment and was still at a balance of about $1,000 because I am contesting almost half of that account and therefore won’t pay the amount I don’t believe is owing, I spent 3 hours (YES THREE HOURS) on the phone again, being told that my logic was flawed, I am wrong, they can’t and won’t discuss the other charges with me and it’s all my fault.

    I asked three reps to shut down my account and after 2 hours on the phone was told they couldn’t do that because the department to close accounts was closed.

    I then got a fifth reconciliatory CSR who offered the $100 deduction (which I took) and hopes I’ll stay with FIDO (she only did this because I told her I want to get as far away from FIDO as possible and am switching carriers tomorrow).

    NOT A CHANCE WILL I STAY WITH FIDO. They refused to offer me the same resolution for the earlier transaction that has the same root cause as the single transaction they did “credit” back to me because it’s my fault and because they say they don’t ever have to do anything for me ever again.

    I DON’T KNOW HOW ROGERS THINKS THEY CAN STAY IN BUSINESS WHEN THEY CONTINUE TO TREAT CUSTOMERS THIS WAY. I HAVE NEVER HAD A DATA PLAN WITH FIDO. 3G KICKED IN WHEN I WAS IN THE U.S. ON ROAMING WITHOUT MY CONSENT AND FIDO CHARGED ME $30/mb.

    Long story short – avoid FIDO and ROGERs totally! I’m switching to Wind or Mobilicity as soon as I can get to an outlet.

  3. KH

    Sep 7 2011

    Last year i started traveling to the USA more frequently. So i called them to see how i could reduce my bills from being outrageous. They gave me some plans that were “one time” so that i would put them on before i go away and it would be 30 days.

    Well EVERY TIME i did this my bills actually ended up higher and higher and higher. The last 10 months I’m always making payment arrangments and the bills keep getting bigger and bigger. Phone is being cut etc.

    Finally in Feb this year (2011), Rogers retentions offered me a $50 unlimited canada and usa plan, plus i would put my data on that so the bills should have been around $90 to $100 a month (which i can live with for a blackberry).

    NOPE, never has once happened. I went away in May come home to a $1,000 bill (i was on a boat in the middle of the ocean and phone was not on ONCE) and they are charging me for what?

    I managed to get that talked down. They went down to $700. I got tired of arguing and made a payment arrangment.

    Went to the states in June. I called them asked for VOICE ROAMING, TEXTING in the USA and DATA roaming…NOPE they never put it on, i now have a $1,500 cell phone bill.

    I spoke to retentions the middle of august. They said it was “their mistake.” They would put a note on the account and transfer me to billing to make a new “arrangement” and they wouldn’t be allowed to cut anything. NOT true. Billing said unless retentions gave me a credit, the phone would be cut.

    I am soo tired of Rogers. Every time they offer me something new it sounds better and im binded to a new 3yr contract. They DO NOT help or explain anything.

    I’m tired of payment arrangments, i’m tired of these high bills and the reality is i don’t get $1,500 a pay. These phone bills are ABSURD and I feel like they keep going up, yes i’m behind also….becuz of this and i’m stuck and dont know why.

  4. Seema Verma

    Oct 11 2011

    I went to India for 3 weeks and turned my roaming and data plan off as suggested by Fido Rep. I still got bill for $1551.00 from Fido. I called Fido and CSR gave me $200 discount. How can I spend $1551.00 worth of roaming in India? Please help me sorting out this bill.

  5. L

    Oct 16 2011

    We’ve had Rogers mobile service for my son since 2009. His usage has remained within the plan we purchased since that time. We thought we were covered for texting Canada wide.

    He has moved for school just outside our local area and we just received a bill for his usual level of activity, but now from the new location. It was for $980.

    When I called to ask why we were not advised when the charges were now falling outside of our plan parameters, I was informed this was my responsibility.

    This does not look like a company that is interested in keeping customers who have been loyal, but rather appears to be an attempt to gouge good customers.

    Had I been aware I would have changed plans immediately. Instead the activity continued without warning until I called them.

    Had I missed seeing this invoice (because I have an automatic debit system in place), this activity could have continued and racked up charges far more crippling than this.

    I am quite certain there are many other consumers who experience this shock when their children move within Canada for school purposes.

    I am quite certain Rogers sees a revenue spike in their numbers as a result and probably count on this to make their quarter.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if their fiscal year is from October to September.

    What I find tremendously disappointing is there was no call (as many credit card companies have in place) to say, “Hey, we notice unusual activity on your account and want to know if there is a problem”.

    If this is happening on a broad scale, then there is an issue and Rogers has to make it public information as to the volume of revenue they receive as a result of this error.

    My disgust with this obvious cash grab on the back of students and families who are already paying significant dollars for education is profound. Rogers should recognize that these students are their future customers.

    Putting families through this stress (when funding university is already a significant expense) does not engender loyalty and definitely denigrates their reputation.

    I am seeking your support in investigating this on a broader scale to put an end to this unfair method of driving revenue. Thanks for your attention.

  6. Ross Baylin

    Oct 20 2011

    Most interested to know if using airplane mode with prevent roaming charges.

    All I want to do is use the camera feature of the phone but scared to death of incurring roaming charges equal to buying a new camera. Any comments?

    Thanks
    Ross

  7. William Chau

    Oct 21 2011

    I’ve been a satisfied Rogers customers for years now. I was on a recent trip in Boston last week. I turned off my phone (along with data services, everything!), knowing of all these horror stories that people talk about.

    Had an emergency and turned on my phone for a few minutes. I purchased an one-time roaming plan for 10 MB through the text Rogers automatically sends to people once they’re roaming.

    I returned this week and quickly emailed CSR just to confirm that my package was on my account. CSR said that it wasn’t on my account and that I’d be responsible for the charges that I’d incurred.

    I haven’t received a bill yet, but this completely baffles me. The CSR in the email pretty much acknowledged that it was a glitch, yet I am still fully responsible for that error.

    I’m going to be penalized for a mistake in system when I did my due diligence as the customer. The CSR said they couldn’t do anything because they are “unable to backdate a roaming package.” This is just so frustrating.

    Any comments?

    Cheers,

    Will

  8. Sarah

    Nov 9 2011

    Telecom companies do not warn clients about potential high rates when roaming, just like they don’t warn clients about hidden charges.

    I think as a business, they think it’s not their job to let people know what they are getting into, and that it’s up to the client to ask and find out.

    I don’t agree with this unwritten policy, but it is what takes place, and customers should be smart enough to avoid falling victim to unannounced charges by making sure they know what they are getting into.

  9. Dave

    Nov 9 2011

    I own a small company and use iphones registered with Bell.

    This morning, I received a text saying that my data exceeds $250. When I called, it actually exceeded $600.

    This was supposedly for a trip from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit to cross into Windsor. In that time (approximately 30 minutes), I used over 66 mbytes of data! I knew that here would be a small charge but…over $600?

    I finally had the bill reduced to $124.18 by buying a backdated plan, which cost me an extra $100 plus $10 per month forever.

    But to top it all, we received another text about my son’s phone that his data exceeded $250. I chuckled because he had laughed at me.

    So I called Mumbai (I think) and was shocked to find out that the data roaming charge was over $10,600. Yes, $10,600.

    My talking got me down to $1,781. Then my son talked to them and it was reduced to slightly more than $250.

    What gives here? How can they get away with this crap? He was in a hotel room, made two phone calls and one text, set his iPhone to airplane mode for the WIFI service, turned his radio on and went to sleep. It was still in airplane mode in the morning.

    Eh?

  10. Jesse

    Nov 28 2011

    I’m with Bell and I have an iPhone. My wife is currently living in the USA, so I have been traveling there most weekends while she’s doing her work.

    As I approach the border, I always get a text message from Bell telling me I’m about to exit Canada and there are roaming fees. It also gives a small explanation of how to go into airplane mode.

    I have had the phone for 4 years and it has always done that.

  11. Paul Lamarche

    Dec 3 2011

    Two weeks ago, I changed from Rogers to Wind. I went with their “Oh Canada Plan”.

    I was going to the USA and I expressly asked about USA usage. I was shown pamphlets and advertising that I could expect .25 cent per minute for all phone, data, internet use.

    I was a new customer and was expressly told that I had a $350 line of credit.

    Well, my phone was suspended in the USA after three days, and I had no communication available. I could not call Wind, nor make any emergency calls.

    When I got back to Canada, I got through to Wind and found that all their operators are in Egypt. I asked to speak to a Canadian operator, but was refused each and every time I called in.

    Here’s the problem: I watched movies while traveling (have never done this before) and I could not believe it. I owe over $6,000.

    I am still without a phone as I have to pay the full amount. I cannot get my phone # back, I cannot write a letter, and I cannot send an email, as there is no Canadian office.

    I had their phone plan for exactly 10 days. I watched five movies for $6,000. HELP!!!!

  12. Monica burns

    Jan 9 2012

    I am from Canada and spent two weeks in Hawaii this Christmas. I purchased the recommended data plans for both my blackberry and iPad, as well as a roaming package.

    I came home to a $1,000 phone bill. And when I talked to someone, they say it’s my fault because they are billing us what the US phone company is charging them for my usage?????

  13. Christine Sepuya

    Feb 3 2012

    PLEASE HELP!!

    I am a loyal customer of Fido, but I am afraid of what awaits me on the coming bill!!

    I switched off my phone last month when I travelled. I charged it on the day of return and switched it off 30 minutes or so later when I realized it was on.

    While flying back home, I heard a sound and later realized it was the phone. It had switched itself on again! And until I see the bill, I don’t know what Fido will charge me in roaming fees!

  14. Jack

    Feb 18 2012

    Pull the SIM card before you get on that plane! That way no accidental turn-on of the device will cost you. I spent 15 years traveling and never once got a bill I did not expect. Due diligence comes to mind.

    I will say that the cell phone companies web-sites are NOTORIOUSLY BAD for figuring out what things will really cost. This is not an accident. One could never plan out a website that bad by accident. To that end, I do have a bit of sympathy for some.

    To the person above, took me about 60 seconds to find Winds roaming rates .. which are exceptionally low for voice, and quite high for data. Come on, who pays for data by the minute? ….. it is right there, $0.10/25kb or $4/mb. Is it robbery —- you bet, but it is clearly stated.

    Oh, always have unlocked phones. In the U.K. I could call home for <7 cents a minute! Even in the U.S. its tolerable.

  15. bob james

    Feb 22 2012

    I was charged $39 in international roaming fees by Rogers when I was in Mexico. I was there for 2 weeks and made sure data roaming was always switched to off and I only used the local wi-fi connection.

    I can’t stand the lack of empathy from these customer service reps. I find the vast majority of them to be cold and unsympathetic. I might as well be talking to a robot.

    I’m not sure how Rogers trains their call centre staff but they will be losing a lot of customers due to the simple fact that these operators don’t even pretend to care.

    Here is a simple tip: you don’t even have to give me a refund. Just pretend that you care about the issue I am having.

    I’m switching to Virgin Mobile.

  16. Rick Maddocks

    Mar 19 2012

    Hello All.

    Switching to Virgin Mobile? THINK AGAIN !!!

    I was recently down in Las Vegas for three days. I was well aware my phone would be roaming, so I inquired about various calling options using my cellular.

    I ended up buying a $10 calling card from PENNYTALK, which advised me I could use my cellular phone so long as I followed certain steps.

    I did all that and made some calls back to Canada and was satisfied I was not using my own carrier.

    My bill when I got home was over $200 for the roaming from Virgin. I called to complain and they blame it on PennyTalk. Virgin REFUSED to reverse the roaming charges.

    Now …. I DID get the text telling me I was roaming and I DID respond to that message by shutting data roaming OFF and by buying the Penny Talk card.

    BUYER BEWARE !!!! VIRGIN MOBILE would rather you dumped them as a provider than reverse these charges.

    I pay them over $100 monthly in legitimate fees and they would rather LOSE that business than reverse this $200 one-time charge incurred … probably by my own naivete, I admit.

    STILL – NOT good news from VIRGIN who clearly can do without my business !!!

    GRRRRRR.

  17. Micah

    Apr 4 2012

    Virgin Mobile is a perfect solution to this problem.

    Be sure to select a prepaid option. When the MB or minutes run out, the device will simply stop working until you top it up again.

    If 20 cents per minute is not available, it won’t work. If you do this, there will never be an unexpected bill.

    I’ve been doing this for years and it’s simply impossible to have an unexpected bill show up when you do it this way.

  18. Micah

    Apr 4 2012

    If you really want to be safe using Virgin Mobile, pay for your top off with cash. If you want to use a credit card, do NOT select automatic top off.

  19. Martin

    May 22 2012

    Just got back from Barcelona two weeks ago and Fido had a nasty surprise waiting for me – $400 for 10MB of data roaming.

    Seems I had turned on roaming in an emergency, trying to contact a friend/guide who hadn’t shown up. Yes, I expected to pay a few dollars in a pinch, but it turns out the wifi I was using afterwards was constantly cutting out and reverting to mobile data with roaming still enabled.

    After an hour on the phone with a rep who offered me a pitiful $25 credit, and then customer retention who informed me exactly how stupid I was and how they couldn’t do anything for one of their longest customers, I put my tail between my legs and took a $90 “get out of our face” credit.

    Lesson learned – the pack of mutts (Fido) stays home.

  20. Jason

    Jul 4 2012

    Just went to the USA for the first time ever. And even though I, very soon after crossing the border, turned off both data and roaming, I was still charged over $300 by Rogers for less than 10 MB of data.

    It must have been some app that was updating as I crossed over and before I noticed it was on…at most 20 minutes 🙁

    I called up Rogers and they offered me $50 against the $300 in roaming charges…is this the best they’ll do? If so, I’m just going to walk as I’ve been looking for the push to move to wind or Mobilicity….thoughts?

    Thanks.

  21. VH

    Aug 9 2012

    So recently I went back to Taiwan to visit my dad, who was getting chemotherapy done. I was really careful and always made sure i had wifi before I accessed the Internet because I do not have a data plan.

    However, my sister in Canada told me I am being charged $1,381.20. Apprently, I did not turn off my network data. I honestly forgot and had no idea.

    I don’t remeber getting a warning from FIDO when I got off the plane.This is the first time this has happened to me and I’ve learned my lesson, but $1,381.20 is way too much for me to handle. Do you think FIDO will reduce to at least 50%? I had no idea. Please help! Thanks.

  22. CW

    Aug 11 2012

    Hi, VH, I got the same issue with you. I went to US last week, just for one day shopping there, today, i received my bill which is over $1,000, same problem as yours.

    I might have forgotten to turn off the data roaming, so AT& T caused the data roaming charge. i spent many hours to negotiate with Fido, but they just give me some discount.

    I declared that i never use data and i didn’t need that, just because one button is on. so AT&T catch my phone and automatically give to me, so i have to pay one thousand?

    Finally i got 50% discount..but i want to discuss furthur since i think it’s totally unfair to customer to bear the charge just because they are using the smart phone? without any notice, you pay money..

  23. Sue Chun

    Aug 15 2012

    I recently came back from Cuba with a surprise from Fido: $907 in charges for my cell phone bill.

    I made sure I kept my data and 3G off (with my iPhone) and only turned it on a couple times but I made sure I turned it off right after.

    I called Fido and they said they were only able to give me $250 off my bill. It is still a lot of money to pay the remainder of the bill…

    I asked if they could replace this horrendous bill with a roaming package that I could have (and now, should have) gotten before traveling to Cuba.

    The representative on the phone said that it is possible and they can do that, but they cannot for my case because ‘the charges were for the last cycle and it is your new cycle now, we do not have access to go back and change the charges that have already been made’.

    My billing cycle is on the 13th and today it is the 15th.

    I told her that I couldn’t have known about these charges until the end of the cycle when they send out the account summaries… The lady still stuck with her argument that it is not the current cycle and they cannot change it for me.

    Is there anything I can do? If I had known this 2 days earlier I definitely would have called ASAP on the spot!

  24. Julie Textor

    Aug 22 2012

    I went to Cuba for one week and was very careful to turn off my 3G and data roaming for the entire trip. I only turned it on for a few minutes a day, so I was surprised to get hit with a $500 phone bill when I received my statement.

    Apparently, Cuba Cell is charging $3.00 per KB – not megabyte but KILOBYTE! That is absolutely ridiculous!

    As I spoke to Rogers and asked if they could apply a travel package to my account to mitigate these insane charges, they replied that they have never, ever been able to do that for clients….even though several people I know have done this.

    Is there anything else I can do? Rogers simply does not care and pretty much told me to just pay up!

  25. Rachael Ruszel

    Nov 20 2012

    Hello, I recently travelled to France and Spain. Since I returned, I have been living in mass anxiety.

    A trip that was supposed to be good for me has turned out to be destroying my life. Reading these posts has given me a little bit of comfort.

    However, it does not change the fact that I now owe Rogers over $2,000 in roaming charges for a two-week trip ($1,200 of these charges were from one day). I used Wifi wherever and whenever possible on my trip.

    Before I left for France, I contacted Rogers to purchase a data plan. I was aware these costs could be high and wanted to make sure I was covered on my trip.

    I was willing to pay up to $100 for a special plan. I knew that I would be using my Google maps to find my way around and that I would want Internet access to find the best tourist sites.

    When I called, I detailed what I would be using the phone for. I even said, “I don’t want any surprise charges when I return.”

    The woman gave me two options. I purchased a plan for $50. I was careful to ask her if this would cover me. She assured me that this should do it and if I felt as though I may go over, it would only be a minimum charge because I had purchased this plan.

    Once I got to France, the place I was staying had Wifi and I used this while in my apartment. I turned on airplane mode, thinking this would do it. I woke up two mornings in a row and was receiving texts from other iPhone users. I was quickly informed by my friend that I needed to turn off data roaming. So I did this as well. For some reason, I kept receiving random texts.

    I only used the data when I was out and needed to find my way around or was looking for something specific. After the 14th day of my trip, I received a text from Rogers saying my roaming charges were excessively high and that for security reason I should contact them.

    I did so immediately. I was told that no plan was ever put on my phone. But, as a favour, they would backdate a plan and give me $3,000.

    However, the plan was only going to cover part of the charges and would cost $225, in addition to the overage charges. They could not tell me the cost of the overage charges as they had not been billed yet.

    Upon arriving home, I have received a bill for $2,000. If I had known that loading one page would cost me x amount — or had the person I initially talked to given me any information that actually informed me of what these costs were or how the data roaming worked — I never would have taken my phone.

    Rogers does not provide a plan that even comes close to the coverages I would have required. Has I known the largest plan would not even cover four days of using Google maps, I never would have used the phone.

    In the end, this bill costs almost as much as my entire trip. As I had been saving for a year for this trip, I am at a loss of what to do. I make $2,400 a month and this bill will cost me an entire month’s income.

    I have contacted Rogers customer care, a manager and the president’s office. They simply keep repeating that the charges are legitimate.

    I am not a dumb person. I took the precautions to avoid these charges. And now I am falling asleep and waking up every day to anxiety and worry.

    Please, please, someone help me! I don’t know what to do. I have looked online to see if there were any legal options for fighting this. However, I can’t find anything and I am at a loss what to do.

  26. AB

    Nov 22 2012

    Hello, I was recently in Morocco for a vacation since october 23rd.

    I had to call Fido customer service on october 22nd to reduce my plan to the minimum before leaving Canada, since i wouldn’t use my phone (iphone4s) while on vacation and would turn it to airplane mode.

    Unfortunately, on november 2nd, I received an outrageous bill of $782.10 for data roaming fees, even if my phone was always on airplane mode and i only used wifi at home (in Morocco).

    I have never used data package plans with Fido in Canada. So how could my phone get connected to the network in Morocco without my permission?

    I called Fido to contest the data fees and they created a case to investigate the data usage.

    After 2 weeks, the result was that the data usage was valid. They told me that my iphone 4s is not a Fido phone and might have technical issues which I highly doubt since my phone is a brand new phone.

    Finally, after several calls to Fido customer service, they gave me a credit of $482.10.

    I had to pay $300, which i accepted and paid. But now I’m left with almost no money when i come back to Canada.

    Is there any way to help me get my money back? I feel that I was a victim of a robbery and this is my first-time data roaming dispute with Fido.
    Thanks.

  27. AB

    Nov 23 2012

    I just received a call from Fido office of the president and they will give me 150$ as a credit on my account and i accept it.

    I really appreciate your effort Ellen and the way that you solved my issue in less than 24 hours.
    Thanks a lot !

  28. Alyssa

    Nov 29 2012

    I’ve been a loyal FIDO customer for almost 2 years. I’m Alyssa Marie Bautista from Toronto and my account number is 627712110 with former cell no. 647-886-0074.

    In Sept. 2012, I went to Singapore for vacation and brought my Iphone 4s with me. By the way, this is my first time travelling outside Canada.

    I didn’t have a data plan with me but I still used my internet data on my iPhone whenever there was no WIFI in my area. A customer service representative gave me a call when I was in Singapore and offered me a data plan package, for I had been using the internet too much, and I agreed upon it.

    He also told me that every time I would make a call, it would cost me $3/minute and text messaging would cost me .75/msg. No problem with that.

    Early October 2012, I went to the Philippines for vacation. I haven’t seen my family for 3 years. A week after, another CSR gave me a call asking me to pay for my current balance which is $100 plus, but that was THE ONLY REASON he called. Just to ask for my credit card number.

    I told him I didn’t have it in my hands, so I would do it the next day. And I paid for that right away.

    And recently, about 1 week ago. I received my online billing from FIDO stating my balance is $6,248.92. I was totally shocked and freaked out. How could I accumulate such a high bill…???

    I’m totally aware that when I was in Singapore, I used my internet so much. So I tried to figure out the reason why I got that bill.

    Then I found out I got charged because of the consistent Incoming Calls from Canada. I had this impression that they would be free, since the CSR who called me when I was in Singapore didn’t tell me about this.

    I know it’s my mistake too because I was ignorant. But he didn’t even explain to me everything, so that’s a lack of information from FIDO’s side.

    And the fact that they could give me a call, if they really cared about their customers and ask if I was aware about this, would at least help.

    But I didn’t get a call from FIDO. They’re not concerned at all! If I knew about this, I would have not received a single incoming call.

    I spent a lot of money, time and effort to contact FIDO and talked to at least 8 CSRs who couldn’t do anything for me. They were passing me to different departments, name it- Retentions, High Billing Service, etc.

    I am so frustrated. And the fact that I’m still here in the Philippines, it’s really hard to contact the 1-800 numbers.

    I’m not a rich person. My parents just paid for my trip. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to run away from my bill. I’m willing to pay for the amount I have consumed- internet data, my outgoing calls and outgoing text messages. I’m going to be a customer of FIDO for another 3 years because I got a contract. Majority of my bill charges is the incoming calls.

    Please help! 🙁

  29. Lathy

    Jan 11 2013

    Hello, I recently travelled to Norway to stay with my sister-in-law’ family with my three kids age 12, 10 & %. Since I returned, I have been living in mass anxiety.

    A trip that was supposed to be good for me has turned out to be destroying my life. Reading these posts has given me a little bit of comfort.

    However, it does not change the fact that I now owe Rogers over $13,000 in roaming charges for a three-week trip. While we were in Noway, my kids used my sister-in-law’s home Wifi.

    My kids only used my Iphone 5 when we were in home as we had setup the Wi-Fi connection.

    I have never received any roaming charges warning from Rogers while I was in Norway, but upon on my return to Canada, I received a text from Rogers saying my roaming charges were excessively high and that for security reason I should contact them.

    I did so immediately. I was told that no plan was ever put on my phone. Roaming charges for 453 MB, would be something like $13,000 But, as a favour, they would backdate a plan and give me something like $1300.

    However, the plan was only going to cover part of the charges and would cost $225, in addition to the overage charges. They could not tell me the cost of the overage charges as they had not been billed yet.

    Now I am waiting for my bill for $1300 plus. My data plan with Rogers expired in December 10th 2012 and I was under impression that I have no data plan, so I did not worry about any roaming data.

    In the end, this bill would be costing me more thans my entire trip. As I had been saving for a year for this trip, I am at a loss of what to do.

    I am waiting to see my online bill (billing cycle Dec 18th) to contact Rogers customer care to further discuss.

    I am falling asleep and waking up every day to anxiety and worry.
    I don’t know what to do. I have looked online to see if there were any legal options for fighting this. However, I can’t find anything and I am at a loss what to do.

  30. Kevin

    Feb 15 2013

    Crazy! My family and I went to the United States for a family vacation. When we came back, we had a bill waiting for us that was around $800.

    Apparently, one of our lines used over $400 worth of data while we were in the US. When I called FIDO, all they did was send me to the payment department and got them to “set up a payment plan” with them.

    They did not bother checking if they could do anything about it or even bother sympathizing.

    I’ve been a loyal FIDO customer since 2005, but that might end soon.

  31. Lathy

    Feb 23 2013

    Dear Ellen,

    I would like to take this oppotunity to sincerely thank you for all your efforts in reducing my rogers international roaming charges to $233. Rogers, finally adjusted the charges to $233 and I have paid that charges in full and closed the case.

    Without your involvement in this case and all you efforts I would have been in big trouble to pay back the original amout of $1343. Your help in this matter highly appreciated.

    Once again, I sincerely want to thank you for your valuable time and efforts.

    God Bless you and yours.

    Best Regards,

    Lathy

  32. GregO

    Mar 7 2013

    New Canadian user to iphone, using Rogers. While traveling in USA, I only use hotel wifi and have Data roaming on phone set OFF.

    The hotel’s wifi was not connecting. I found out later, that I had been watching Netflix on iphone using data. I should have had my iphone Cellular Data set OFF as well…

    I received invoice of extra $936 in data roaming charges….

    I have not spoken to Rogers service yet. Any advice?

  33. Malcolm

    May 13 2013

    I was on the Isle Mujeres, just off Cancun, Mexico, for 14 days in Feb/March of this yr.

    Same as everyone else with my phone, airplane mode, data off. I lost my phone March 2 till March 5.

    Can be proven with hotel I stayed at and restaurant where my phone was returned. I was very happy to get my phone back.

    I had talked to my wife and daughter using Skype. When I get back 3 weeks later, I get a bill from Rogers for $1,700.

    WOW. SHOCK. Rogers offered me a $100 reduction, no good. Can I speak to a manager, please?

    I wait on the phone for about 30 minutes (put it on speaker knowing they would make me wait), no deal. They said they warned me.

    No answer from me, so being the great caring company that they are, they put a $275 data plan on my bill to help me, LOL.

    I tell them I will only pay for my regular monthly bill price and NOT ONE PENNY OF THE REST.

    I called once more. This time, somebody said they would give me a $300 reduction.

    I said no way. I did not even have my phone when the supposed charges occurred and I would not be bullied by a big company like Rogers.

    Just received my online bill today for $2,012. I cannot deal with the Rogers outlet, since I got my phone from customer service.

    I want to go down to the lowest cost plan they have. I have 1.5 years left.

    Just yesterday, I came upon this site. I will write CRTC and whoever else will listen. Any suggestions?

  34. Max

    Jun 8 2013

    Rogers sent me a bill of $1,157 for the overuse of data because I was roaming when I was Japan earlier last month.

    One of their representatives called to tell me that the charge of $5,000+ was resized to $1,157 by them. I would need to speak to the customer service to see what else they could do for me.

    The International Data Travel Pack was the change they made to my plan so I could pay less.

    DATA: I checked on the date I came back and my usage was 157 MB only. But now it’s 279 MB, they wrote.

    Total Wireless Usage : $851.11

    75MB Intl Data Travel Pack $225.

    So I called a few times but the regular staff could not do anything about it…and I finally got to speak to one of the managers today.

    I told them I could not afford to pay such a huge amount for the bill and it was my first time travelling outside the country and I had no knowledge about roaming and everything.

    She offered another $100 discount and said they had already cut down the bill so there was nothing else they could do.

    Then I was transferred to the financial department to set up a plan to pay the bill. The woman did not help but only informed me to pay 1/4 of the bill by the due date of this month and finish paying the total within 60 days.

    So I did make a 1/4 payment to Rogers earlier today. (I probably should not be so rushed to send the payment?!)

    Can you advise me how I should negotiate with Rogers to see if they can cut down the bill more for me in this case? It would be a great great help for me. Thank you!! >_<

  35. Matt

    Jun 19 2013

    Came back from Brazil hit with $300 overage on data. Talked to the rep told me to contact the Brazil phone company. This set me off.

    Also told me that other countries might use more bandwidth when browsing.

    Contact me at marcusrai@gmail.com to be part of a movement that will stop this nonsense.

  36. Someone_asdf

    Jul 18 2013

    Man, all these people with bad phones.

    My cellphone, by default, automatically turns off data while roaming and puts one into the Notification Area that I am roaming. If I click on the notification, I can turn it back on with 1-2 taps.

    As a side note, it also has a breakdown of how much data I’ve used between periods of time and which applications have been using it, so I can better control my usage.

    As such, I have never been charged a cent for roaming data.

    Maybe you people should get better cell phones, especially since you guys voluntarily opted onto a platform that allows the company a monopoly on your services and is super greedy.

    (Samsung and Nokia, for example, make more phones than they do, but don’t make as much profit because they include more features.)

    Google “30% in-app payment” or just download and compare Dropbox’s subscription rates in the store with what’s on their website — it’s not Dropbox’s fault, they’re just passing on the cost forced upon them because of user ignorance.

    You have zero sympathy from me, and tbh, the companies should ride your wallet into the ground. If you can afford to pay for a $700 phone, stop complaining about a $700 bill that “you can’t afford.” You know you can, you just don’t want to.

    As for Wind/Mobilicity and certain other companies, these companies cannot charge you over what you have in your account already. So, unless you’ve put several thousand dollars into your account, you won’t be charged.

  37. Duncan

    Oct 1 2013

    I use Roam Mobility and they’re great. You can also save 10% using this coupon code: AFF-XXLJL. Check out their roaming plans here:
    http://bit.ly/16EL8Or

  38. Brad

    Nov 5 2013

    Unfortunately, the data charge rules come in a little late for me also.

    I used 326mb data roaming in the USA and Bell gave me a bill for $2,100. I wasn’t aware that I was racking up such a huge expense just using Google maps.

    I phoned them 4 times and got the bill reduced to $1,000, which is still too much. And they want it paid to them by the end of the month.

    Bell is not a moral company, they are all about the money. And no, I won’t be paying th em despite the small hit my credit rating will take.