Bell cut his $9,350 data roaming bill to $1,600

June 10 2012 by Ellen Roseman

Russ Moyer took his iPad with him on a trip to Israel, but didn’t turn off the data roaming feature. His Bell Mobility bill was the highest I’ve heard of so far.

“I was charged almost $10,000 for the 10 days I was in Israel,” says Moyer, the president of Eagle Worldwide Ministries in Hamilton, Ont.

“I used my iPad to take pictures and write down my daily notes and plans. I didn’t really use it to surf the Internet while I was there.”

When he complained to Bell, he received a $2,000 credit on his $9,350 in data roaming charges. Hoping to get more, he contacted me.

Moyer already had a data plan for his iPad, covering travel in Canada and the United states. But he didn’t know that going overseas could be so expensive.

Also, he didn’t get any real-time messages from Bell about data roaming, either when he crossed the border or when the costs started mounting.

Bell has a warning system for residential customers (as does Rogers). But Moyer has a corporate account and didn’t get any warnings. Seems that Bell plans to start doing it soon for corporate accounts.

Fortunately, this minister ended up getting a bigger refund — and so did a travelling companion. I’ll let him tell the story.

Bell said they would apply an international data roaming plan to our account as if we had purchased it. In the end, with the discounted rates, and the previous $2,000 credit, our bill was brought down to $1,607.30.

Another minister who came with us had taken his iPhone and never used it, but was charged $4,000 in roaming fees. Bell brought down his charges to $706.53.

Wow, what a huge difference. This is more affordable and we’re glad to pay.

Data roaming complaints have diminished, but not disappeared, since I wrote this blog post a year ago. I still get a few, as you can see below.

Should wireless companies do more to tell people about the potential for high bills? Or is it a customer’s responsibility to learn how to travel safely with a digital device?

Please give me your views, plus tips on how you keep roaming costs down.

28 comments

  1. BG

    Jun 10 2012

    We travelled to Miami in December, purchasing talk and text plans from Rogers. We also purchased data plans, but had to do that through our phones.

    We were told that we would receive a message warning us when we got close to our limits. We indeed received a message and governed ourselves accordingly.

    We travelled to Jamaica with our kids from April 5-15. We purchased talk and text plans, in addition to 10 MB data plans. The data plans were purchased through a customer service agent, although we were previously told that was not possible.

    At our resort, there was only Wifi in the lobby (which required a password) and only by ethernet in our room. No one had their Wifi on for their phones, as we don’t even use it in Toronto.

    I received my bill the other day, with a whopping $1,300 in data fees.

    I immediately called Rogers’ customer service department. I was told that even though our WiFi was not active, the phones automatically search for signal and download updates.

    The outcome: “I spoke to a manager and there’s nothing we can do, except forward you to Accounts Receivable to make alternate payment arrangements.”

    I was fuming and let it sit overnight. My wife called Customer Retention the next day. She was told that the
    warning messages were a courtesy only.

    She asked why we weren’t told of the risk that WiFi may ‘activate’ even when not turned on. She was given the same answer and an offer for $150 bill reduction.

    We have been Rogers’s customers for 15 years. We have put up with crappy internet service and sometimes cable service, but this takes the cake.

    We’re hoping that you can help us out, or at the very least, point us in the right direction to the Rogers Ombudsman.

    ———————————————————–

    Hi Ellen, the President’s office credited us a total of $1,094.90 in data roaming charges.

    They said we were provided with the wrong data roaming package and worked out the difference in charges.

    We are happy with the outcome, considering that we were originally offered a $150 credit by the customer retention department.

  2. RL

    Jun 10 2012

    This is my nightmare story with my little smart phone, Fido and my trip to Europe.

    I’m not an avid phone user and many times I forget my Samsung at home.

    We bought a family package at the end of 2011 to be in touch with our two boys and check where they are and what they are doing. They are going through the delicate teen years…

    At the end of May, I had to travel to Europe to see my old parents after 4 years of absence. By accident, I took my smart phone (if you can call it smart!) with me.

    Luckily, I forgot my charger and the universal plug adapter to be able to use my North American phone abroad.

    While in the plane, as a good citizen I turned it off following the basic rules of the flight. While enjoying blue skies at 10,000 meters, I took two pictures of the red wing of the Austrian Airliner as a souvenir.

    In Vienna, I had to wait more than 10 hours for my connecting flight. Once in a while, I used my phone to check the time while reading a book in the waiting room.

    I also took a picture of the airport but I didn’t call anybody in the world and I didn’t send message to anybody in the world.

    Once I arrived in Europe, the battery of my cell was almost dead (the battery can’t last more than 24 hours).

    I put the phone at the bottom of my suitcase and left it there for the whole period of my stay in Europe.

    The shocking surprise when I came back in Toronto was the Fido bill. Usually, as a family, we pay $56-57 monthly, but this bill was $157!

    I called Fido and they told me I have to pay this amount because it is not the responsibility of the company to explain to its customers what to do when they travel abroad.

    I pointed out the facts: I didn’t call or send text messages while I was away, but I was charged big money for the international roaming.

    I insisted that I can’t pay this money, especially now that I remained unemployed, but Fido didn’t seem to listen to my complaint.

  3. Melissa

    Jun 10 2012

    The company shouldn’t make it difficult to find out about the fees, but it comes down to personal responsibility to go looking for them in advance.

    Pleading ignorance doesn’t fly in this day and age. When planning any international travel you’ve got to do your due diligence.

    Look up roaming fees the same as you would educate yourself on travel visas and baggage fees.

  4. CC

    Jun 10 2012

    Last December, my boyfriend and I went to Thailand and bought packages along the way. The packages warn you when you have, say, 20 per cent of your data remaining, but not when the package has expired.

    We returned to Canada and I was charged nearly $600 for my account – probably 80 per cent of that due to roaming.

    I phoned Rogers a few weeks later. My boyfriend and I just moved from Ottawa to Toronto to start new jobs and we were staying with my parents and apartment shopping, so it was hectic.

    The first few sales reps we talked to said they couldn’t do a thing to help me with my bill. They said that, typically, charges from data packages abroad usually end up in the pockets of the carrier of that country, so if they offered me a refund, they’d be losing out.

    Ellen, I have been with Rogers for nearly a decade now. So has my family and my boyfriend’s family’s household – we all use their cell phone, Internet and cable services. They didn’t seem to think that made a difference.

    When I was talking to retention, one CSR kindly offered me $15 off a month for a year. I wasn’t happy but I wasn’t sure what else I could do. I didn’t say yes and I didn’t say no.

    Next, my boyfriend had to discuss his account. I handed over the phone, but they continued to talk about my account and my boyfriend pressed to see if there was anything else they could offer.

    The CSR handed our call over to his supervisor. And when my boyfriend was getting pretty heated up, the supervisor pulled the $15 off deal off the table.

    I took the phone back and said that he should be talking to me about my account and not to my boyfriend.

    If my account was going to be discussed by someone else, I know that the CSR needs to ask for my permission first or my boyfriend should have the rights to discuss my account beforehand.

    The supervisor was curt and said, “The offer’s off the table” and variations of “Your boyfriend refused to take the offer, so now it’s off the table.”

    As a supervisor representing the company, he was rude and unprofessional and that encounter left a horrible taste in my mouth. It’s made me consider why Rogers would deserve my money as a consumer. I took his ID number and made sure I made notes about what had happened.

    I filed a complaint to the Rogers’ ombudsman office after I received advice from a friend who worked at the company. They phoned me a few days later and offered the deal again, but refused to apologize for the encounter.

    This person said that once I hand over the phone to my partner, I’m handing over my decision-making rights for my account.

    I’ve had roommates before, and if I want to even call in about our Internet crashing while she’s in the room, we need to set up authorization for me to speak about the account. Why didn’t this apply in this case?

  5. ES

    Jun 10 2012

    On our last Bell Mobility bill, there was $2,700 in data roaming charges. We were shocked when we saw the amount.

    I have called Bell 11 times since April 25th and spoke with at least 15 different people. I tried to explain the same thing over and over again.

    All of them told me that they had to review my situation and get back to me. But nobody called me yet.

    Customer service agents told me that my next bill will be even higher, around $11,000. As soon as we realized about the high charges, we shut down the data roaming on April 25th. We did not know about this and nobody warned us.

    I think this is ridiculous. The worst thing is I am trying to call Bell and resolve this issue but nobody cares from Bell’s side. I feel really hopeless and stressed out.

    ————————————————————————————————————————
    Attn: Ms. Ann Marie Greer, VP
    Bell Canada

    May 14, 2012

    Dear Madam:

    I have been trying to reach somebody who has the authority to resolve my issue since April 25th, 2012.

    My husband and I just got new cell phones on Jan. 16, 2012. Both of us were eligible for upgrade and we upgraded our phones to Samsung Galaxy S2. My husband travels to US regularly due to his job.

    Last month we got a bill of $3,253.34. We did not know the roaming charges would be so high.

    We are very careful about our cell phones use. My husband hardly uses his cell phone in US to make calls.

    As soon as we saw the roaming charges on April 25, from the self serve Option on cell phone, I called Bell Customer Service immediately and made an inquiry.

    I told them there is no way we can pay this amount. How come the bill got so high???? Why didn’t anybody call us and let us know that our data usage was so high and we should
    pay attention? No warning system? Why???????

    My bill can be a good candidate for the Guinness Book of World Records, I guess.

    We do not understand how that much data can be used, as my husband continuously drives to US as a truck driver and he does not have time to even talk on the phone, forget about surfing on the Internet and stuff.

  6. SH

    Jun 10 2012

    I have a ‘shared data plan’ for my Blackberry smartphone AND Apple IPad, which, as the name implies, gives monthly data usage between the smartphone and tablet for an extra charge per month.

    Over the March Break (2012), I prepared myself to purchase a travel data plan for international roaming for $75 (applicable to Bahamas, which they consider a ‘premium’ area) for one week to avoid extra costs.

    To my surprise, contrary to what a ‘shared plan’ implies, it does not cover the charges on BOTH devices. It is only intended for one device – the smartphone – despite being referred as a shared plan between a smartphone and tablet.

    After less than three minutes of checking for an email on my Ipad while in Bahamas, my April 2012 statement came in with a whopping $378.95 charge.

    You can review their policy on ‘shared plan’ for smartphone and tablet here:

    http://www.rogers.com/web/content/ipad-dataplans?cm_sp=homepage-pre-_-ipad3-en-0312-_-slot2

    I spoke to their office and, despite being a loyal 20 year customer with them, Rogers is of the view that a shared plan is not covered beyond Canada.

    Interestingly, nowhere in their website do they indicate that with regards to international travel plans, specifically for shared data devices, they only apply to one device. Is Rogers finding ways to gouge their customers?

    ————————————————————

    I thank you for bringing this matter to Rogers attention. Unfortunately, I remain unsatisfied with the call I received and feel that Rogers “Shared Data Device Plan” is misleading.

    The Rogers employee spent the entire call confirming that the ‘shared time measured in KB’, warrants the bill minus an additional $12 credit.

    This call appears to be made to avoid having my concern printed in your section. He did not apologize for Rogers’ error in guiding me or the lack of interpretation of this particular plan on their site.

    Obviously, all precautionary steps to purchase the roaming plan and limit charges to $75 with their store personnel failed. But he cleverly placed the onus on the subscriber.

    Clearly, under any definition of ‘shared’ and as quoted by the Oxford Dictionary, it implies “portion that person gives to or receives from common amount or commitment; divide and distribute”.

    Moreover, under their website of “Shared Plans”, lifted word-by-word it states:

    “Why tether and impact your phone battery life? Maximize your plan dollars and monthly data usage with a Shared Data Device plan from Rogers.

    “Share data from your smartphone plan with up to 4 additional mobile internet devices, whiles still enjoying the optimized performance and independence of separate wireless connections for each device. Perfect for the iPhone and iPad.”

    Again, there is much ambiguity on this plan allowing for additional charges, as I sadly encountered.

  7. MG

    Jun 10 2012

    I’ve been following your blog for a while now and am usually on the right side of things when it comes to billing issues, mistakes, etc.

    I always double check my bills for errors and usually have few show up. But I finally experienced something that most of your readers complain about.

    I was in South America for a couple of months. Before heading out, I double checked with Rogers what my options were in terms of forwarding calls, roaming/international calling plans, extra charges, etc.

    Since none of their plans suited me (way too overpriced), I just decided not to use my phone while out of the country for any calls, text messages or data, since it would be way too expensive.

    Unfortunately, I still had to pay full monthly plan rate ($50) each month I was away. They couldn’t (or wouldn’t) downgrade my account to a less costly one, nor were they able to suspend it for a few months as I wasn’t going to be using it anyway, so I still ended up getting billed $100 for the two months I was away without using my cellphone at all.

    The fact that I was a 15 year long customer didn’t mean a thing – they just couldn’t offer me a cheaper, temporary plan without cancelling my current one and me giving up on all the options I had on it so far.

    But that’s not the main issue. The problem was that I did turn on my phone in South America, only once or twice a day or so to check for any incoming messages (which are free) from my family. That was the only way of them getting in touch with me immediately.

    Apparently, some apps on my phone found it convenient enough to connect to the internet and possibly download some data or updates.

    Nobody at Rogers mentioned anything when I inquired about this matter. So I didn’t even consider it an issue until I returned back to the country to find a $235 data usage charge on my bill.

    I used up 8 MB of data while turning my phone on for a few minutes at time. Rogers calls it a legitimate charge and tries to convince me that it was billed for a small usage like that by the international provider I was on at the time.

    No warning, no heads up, just a $235 fee that they are not willing to do anything about on their end.

    The best I could get from them, after numerous calls to customer reps, managers, cancellation department and such, was $25 credit on my next bill.

    Feel free to publish this on your blog as a warning to other customers who are thinking of travelling out of the country and are looking for some flexibility in their monthly plans or are anticipating using their phones while out of the country.

  8. Claire

    Jun 10 2012

    Try renting a wifi hotspot from http://www.FrenchConnection.fr when in France, to avoid international data roaming charges.

  9. PW

    Jun 10 2012

    I’ve been very frustrated with all telcos, because of the obfuscation that goes on. Plans for this, plans for that, plans that can’t be understood.

    Rogers claims that social media and texting is different from Blackberry messaging and texting. Really, how are the 0’s and 1’s any different than any other 0’s and 1’s?

    Why can’t I just buy an all-inclusive unlimited data plan? They exist in the US for $100, sometimes less. Why not here in Canada?

  10. Marie

    Jun 12 2012

    I have always resisted the temptation to carry my cell phone with me when I cross the border; it stays locked away here at home.

    I have read too many stories about misinformed front-line staff and malfunctioning hardware to trust the handy little device when on foreign soil.

    I carry a tablet computer with me, and rely on wi-fi for email updates. My husband and I also have an inexpensive cell phone (purchased at a garage sale); we bought a sim card (now easily available online from one of the big box retailers) and set it aside for travel — our friends and family are provided with the number, to be used only in case of emergency.

    Rather than whine about the unfair practices of the handful of telcos that dominate our landscape, we take great pleasure in trying to beat them at their own game. Maybe some day, we will have the critical mass that will lead them to sit up and take notice.

  11. MA

    Jun 13 2012

    I think it should be pointed out in your article that Rogers and Bell do not have any infrastructure to support your phone outside of Canada. Whenever a cell phone is turned on, it tries initially to connect to a network and once it realizes that Bell/Rogers networks aren’t available, it connects to the closest one.

    Turning on your phone in a foreign country almost immediately initiates a roaming fee, and as long as your phone is on and connected to the foreign network, roaming fees will be charged.

    I find it surprising that most people with smartphones incur roaming fees against their will, since all smartphones now have settings to control whether your phone can access foreign networks. Smart phones for stupid people, maybe?

    Marie’s got it right, don’t bring your phone with you on international trips. If travelling to the States, get a prepaid phone and top it up when needed.

    If you do plan on bringing your phone, do the following in the settings menu:

    1- Disable roaming.

    2- Disable background data (this will automatically download updates when enabled).

    3- Disable auto-sync/push notifications (these are your apps updating to tell you you’ve got new mail/Facebook post/score of the sports you follow).

    Most of the people that get stuck with these charges are really doing it to themselves. However, it sucks when you contact the company, get your plan changed to accommodate your needs abroad and then still get screwed with bogus roaming charges. The latter is the group I have sympathy for.

  12. PW

    Jul 1 2012

    MA, As a consumer, and a former telco developer I find that your solution of disabling roaming is dis-tasteful. We shouldn’t need to take such steps. There is absolutely no reason that roaming fees need to be high. These fees are “artificially” high and have no biases in actual costs incurred. We should be all pushing hard to remove these barriers.

  13. AM

    Aug 27 2012

    My last Rogers bill included $446 in US data roaming charges. I was in the US for about 24 hours as I was driving from New Brunswick to Ontario.

    I was aware of the US data roaming charges and that there were packages available, but I made the decision to go pay-per-use when I entered the US, knowing that I was not going to use that much data.

    I sent a text message and made a phone call. Although those fees are ridiculous, I accept them since I made them knowingly.

    The data that I did use while in the US was primarily from Google Maps while I was checking my route home. I would turn data on, check Google Maps and then turn it off again.

    Apparently, this used 74MB of data! I had no idea this much data was used. I was expecting to see maybe a $10 – $20 charge for US roaming, but not $446!!

    There is no way to track your data usage while in the US and there is no way to know how much data each of your apps are using.

    Honestly, I wouldn’t have even been able to estimate what size data roaming package I would have needed beforehand.

    I spoke with a Rogers CS agent and her manager today and both told me the same thing – Rogers cannot/will not subsidize these charges.

    I am tempted to believe them and pay because I did legitimately incur those charges, but I wanted to check if there was anything else I could do before conceding?

    I honestly had no idea that Google Maps uses as much data as it does.

  14. Jen

    Aug 30 2012

    I’m with Rogers and encountered huge roaming charges when travelling to the US.

    I got a $40 plan at the call centre’s advice. But I was not told how much 10 megabytes were, after saying I would be there for a week. Nor was I told that if I went over, I’d pay $3 per megabyte after that.

    I received no warning messages about being close to or over my limits.

    Manager was no help. Said it is what it is. “You bought the plan and the bill is legitimate.”

    Who can I turn to next? I didn’t get what I thought I had bought.

    I feel misled and I am fuming!

  15. Thomas Ellwanger

    Oct 3 2012

    Dear Bloggers,

    I refer to your article about how to cut roaming fees when travelling to the USA: my name is Thomas Ellwanger and I am of co-founder of Tele10 b.v The Netherlands.

    I would like to get in touch with you regarding the subject Data Roaming.

    High and unexpected bills for data roaming are recognized all over the world, and ancient history with MyPrivateHotspot.

    We have noticed that there is a huge demand for a solution like MyPrivateHotspot in North America. When it comes to world wide internet,as these users often pay a rediculous amount of dollars per MB to recieve emails and other sorts of data.Furthermore, we are the only company in the
    world who offers a world wide package, and reduces the customers international telephonebill by at least 50% and probably more (usually 80%).

    There is no need to change your current provider or subscription. Users can continue to use their normal devices.

    MyPrivateHotspot offers great savings, budgetability, transparency, realtime email and hassle-free internet access anywhere in the world.

    The Vodafone Worldwide Network is used to insure quality and a secure connection. (As opposed to free WiFi Zones or hotel-WiFi)

    Please visit: http://www.myprivatehotspot.com/en

    Should be interest in exploring this subject, I shall be more than happy to personally answer any questions that may arise. We are currently busy putting foot on US soil, so if you have any questions or remarks, feel free to contact me.

    Sincerely yours,

    Thomas Ellwanger

    Director

    My Private Hotspot
    Torenlaan 55-B
    1251 HH Laren
    The Netherlands
    e: thomas@myprivatehotspot.com
    t: 0355 384050
    m: 06 1115 8960

  16. LK

    Oct 25 2012

    I signed up for an international data roaming plan with FIDO. I was assured that it was enough data for sending and receiving emails.

    I travelled, used my phone only for emails. Much to my surprise, they dinged me for over $2,000!!!!!!

    “Because you have an iPhone and the apps are using data in the background” is what they said.

    My beef is, well, if they know that, why do they sell you plans that they know won’t be enough?

    I would also like to know if there is some class action lawsuit happening because of this disingenuous practice.

    I was called a liar by the supervisor at FIDO when I told him that all I did was use the phone for emails!!! NOT A HAPPY CAMPER!!!!

  17. Hussain Syed

    Oct 30 2012

    I’m having to pay a $540 internet bill for the rocket hub. FIVE HUNDRED FORTY DOLLARS for internet. That’s right.

    I had a 50 gig max cap, and that was the limit, but no overage charges — that was the policy.

    I paid $125 for internet monthly, but that was alright. It was hardly reliable, went down consistently, and the speed was throttled depending on the time of day — 3 am was the only time you could get good reliable internet. I’m not a bat. No one stays awake till 3 am just to use the internet.

    Anyway, they changed the plan without contacting me or informing me. They had no conviction they had reached me but still proceeded to change the plan regardless.

    When I talked to the customer service guy, he was a total devious ****** who kept walking me around in circles. After a half hour of lunacy, I was finally transferred to the manager.

    I waited another half hour. No changes to my bill.

    I’ve been a Rogers customer for 12 years. 12 years. This is the service I get. These guys will swindle you out of money.

    My family is educated. It’s not like we are illiterate and uninformed. Both my parents have a masters degree in science. Mom is a biochemist, dad is a businessman and was a food technologist.

    If a highly literate family like ours can be entrapped and conned, the average family will get screwed twice over. DON’T BUY THE ROCKET HUB AND DON’T USE ROGERS. You’ll regret it down the road, I can assure you.

  18. Brian Foolmeonce

    Oct 31 2012

    @hussain Syed, I am going through the exact same thing with Rogers. I went round and round with Rogers over the phone about this last week.

    They all tell me there was a notice on our June bill that “you must have missed”. They put me through to what they called a manager (she didn’t sound like a manager) and I told her I have my bill in hand and to show me where the notice was.

    She admitted there was no such notice, but she could only refund for this last invoice. She basically told me she went through the same thing and I should suck it up like she did.

    A letter on coloured paper saying “your $100 data overages cap is now $540/mo” is the least they should have done — and there was nothing even close to that.

    I notified the president’s office last week via the “make a complaint” link and I have yet to hear back.

    I am going to give them a chance to make this right by refunding all of my >$100 bill payments and restoring the $100 cap. If they don’t, on goes the war paint and I begin the internet crusade against them for this while I take them to small claims court.

    Maybe we can gather up enough folks impacted and see about a class action suit. It’s not like we were going over by that much. We average 39gb/mo. Once we used 91gb, when my daughter was home doing streamed university lectures.

    I originally had Bell Unplugged portable internet, but it was always going offline. So while I was on the phone with Rogers (to get yet another billing error corrected), they told me they had a better offering on their own network, called Rogers portable internet.

    It was unlimited data, just like Bell’s was, so I signed up for it and ran with both of them for a while, hoping we would have coverage if one went down.

    Well, they both kept going down at the same time. So when I called in to tech support, the Rogers tech laughed like I was some sort of sucker and said Rogers portable internet is just a rebranded Bell Unplugged. What a deception that was.

    We stuck it out on the Rogers one and then they told us it was being shut down last year. No more unlimited Internet for $50/mo. But they said I was being grandfathered into a rocket hub and the max they would ever bill me was $100/mo.

    The person in the president’s office told this to me. Now less than two years later, our $50/mo unlimited Internet went to $100/mo and now to an average of $160/mo for 40gb/mo.

    Not sure how they figure they can get away with this. We have 2 cell phones with them and were just about to move a 3rd cell phone over.

    They do not value loyal customers at all any more. They used to be so good at resolving problems before.

    It’s a shame because our cell phone service with them has been great. Sure, they made a number of billing errors, but they always corrected them and it was easy to get this done.

    So we wait for the president’s office to resolve this and start filling out the small claims court paperwork, just in case. I’m sure Ted is rolling in his grave!

  19. Hussain Syed

    Nov 3 2012

    @Brian, please contact me @ hussainsyed197@hotmail.com

    I will try to help you. I got my bill reduced only after we threatened to cancel all Roger services (we have been customers for over a decade) – and the only reason they did it was because we agreed to continue using the rocket hub service.

    In a way, we are still trapped. These guys will prey on you unless you show strong will. If they offer you a $100 or $200 “good will credit,” refuse it. If nothing works, take them to court. I will support you in whatever way I can.

    This should be a very simple case. They failed to provide you notice of a policy change – the onus is on them to provide you with the information and make sure that the information has reached you. I suppose many other users have similar stories. I see a major lawsuit coming.

  20. Brian Foolmeonce

    Nov 9 2012

    @Hussain, Ellen got their attention and the president’s office guy finally called and we came to an agreement.

    They credited all the overages, but they would not reinstate that cap. I suggested they not punish existing customers, but rather make it known upfront to new folks signing up. They wouldn’t budge.

    So I ended up buying a second rocket hub, as it’s way cheaper per GB to switch to it when we use up our data allowance.

    It’s not ideal, but it’s all I can do at this time until a DSL or cable internet option comes up our road.

  21. Mary Ann

    Nov 15 2012

    I have been with Rogers for 4 years. But after my current Rogers bill, I will never ever pay for their services. They are not a company that provides decent service. They are out to get you further in debt.

    I am currently a student. I pay all of my own bills and education costs. I work a part-time job, which barely covers my tuition and textbooks. I have student loans in order to pay for all of my other expenses.

    I went on a school trip to Boston. Since I go to school in Toronto, it wasn’t extremely far away and for just 4 days. I used my phone minimally.

    The next week, I get a call stating that my Rogers bill has $670 in roaming charges. I spoke to the customer service agent and she was unhelpful. I then spoke to a manager and she simply said I was given a warning when I entered the country.

    I have used my phone in the States in January 2012 and August 2011 and my roaming fees never exceeded $10 extra on my bill, so I did not need to purchase a roaming package. Well, apparently, Rogers decided to make some changes to the way they bill me.

    In January 2012, 1 kilobyte cost me 0.005 cents. My 4-day trip in November now cost me 1 cent per kilobyte. That is 200 times more than what I was paying in January and I was NOT notified at all about this change.

    Rogers has been very misleading. And a school trip that I thought would benefit my education only put me further in debt.

  22. Marcus Petit

    Dec 25 2012

    I’m really hoping I have some luck with Rogers. Although the dollar amounts are a lot less than many people here, I’m very stressed about the bill that will occur.

    Apparently, my self-service didn’t work and I’ve been getting charged full roaming charges for the past week.

  23. Marcus Petit

    Jan 12 2013

    Hi Ellen, you recently assisted me with some roaming charges on my Rogers cell phone bill.

    I had gone to the USA and was concerned that the package I added didn’t take effect on time, as the confirmation was received after a lengthy phone call was made.

    After trying to find information online as to how these packages work, I came across your blog and left a comment, saying how I hoped I had similar luck in having a re-rate done.

    A couple days later, you responded by email asking for details.

    After sending you a more detailed synopsis of the situation, I was contacted by a representative from the Office of the President. He advised me to wait for my bill to finalize and, in the event a re-rate was required, to contact him directly.

    When we spoke again, the representative tried to explain the package was added correctly and any roaming was just an overage of the package.

    I was able to quickly prove him wrong by calculating the rate, which proved to be the full roaming cost.

    Presented with this information, the representative went ahead and credited back all roaming charges AND the value of the roaming pack I had added.

    In short, my bill was the same as it would have been if I had never left the country.

    This was more than I even expected but certainly left me pleased with my experience and a lot more likely to recommend Rogers as a provider.

    All that stated, I truly believe that acting on my own may not have achieved such a positive result.

    It certainly would have taken a greater deal of time to get in contact with that department and I likely would have settled for a lesser offer from a supervisor should it have been offered.

    I want to thank you for your assistance with this. I really can’t express enough my gratitude for your help, but want you to know you made a major difference in my household, specifically keeping food on the table.

    Marcus

  24. Furious

    Jun 14 2013

    Before entering Canada for a day, my College Senior called T-mobile customer service to ask about potential data charges. On speaker phone with a witness, the rep mistakenly said there was a 50 MB allowance.
    Turns out there is only a 50 MB allowance in US for data roaming. Now, after using 40 MB we have a $400 bill.
    T-mobile insists on full payment in spite of
    numerous protests. Time to switch carriers.

  25. K. V. Seth

    Jan 28 2014

    DTN News – SPECIAL REPORT: A Nightmare For An iPad Traveller

    *Rogers – Canada claims iPad occur roaming charges of $11,285.40 between Nov. 7 to 12, 2012 (period of 6 days)
    Source: DTN News – – K. V. Seth

    (NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada – Feb. 14, 2013: We have heard mostly seniors are targeted by scammers, but I never realised as soon I turned 65 years old that Rogers, a reputable Canadian company, behaves in an abnormal fashion to extract funds from seniors.

    I had Rogers Flex Rate Plan as 3G for my iPad 2, paying $25 monthly since the conception of the Apple darling tool iPad 2 early March, 2011. Rogers Flex Rate Plan covers from Coast-to-Coast in Canada only.

    Prior to March 2011 and to date, I had made with my family several trips abroad visiting dear, near and friends in the East & West. It is understandable Rogers Flex Rate Plan for iPad 2 is and was not compatible in Asian and European countries, the regional WiFi is required for exerting iPad 2 respectively.

    Beginning of the episode – my nightmare and Rogers harassment; Mid January, 2013, I received a call from Rogers and an entity identifying himself as Jamal claims outstanding of $1,182.34 on G3 account relating to my iPad 2, which was a shocker.

    This hideous episode is related to my last trip to Singapore, as I had a knee replacement surgery at Glen Eagle Hospital on Nov. 8, 2012. Rogers claims my iPad 2 had 3G in roaming charges.

    Second day of the episode – my nightmare enlarged and added Rogers harassment. The very next day another guy Vaden called from Rogers relating the outstanding account explaining, which turned out to be an astonishment atrocious act, claiming that the actual amount I owed was $11,285.40, but Rogers was kind enough to allow a DISCOUNT of $10,000, bringing to current amount of $1,182.34.

    If I settled the account immediately, Vaden claimed he had the authority to allow a further discount of $50 on the outstanding $1,182.34 and mentioned that my iPad 2 usage of the internet between Nov. 7 to 12, 2012 (period of 6 days) for downloading was 31,849 MB, while the iPad2 was switched off for safekeeping with my wife and I was in post surgery for a week till I was able to function my laptop / iPad2.

    There were several other people from Rogers calling about the outstanding account. I would like to repeat and reemphasize that Glen Eagle Hospital Singapore issued me an User ID and Password to activate my iPad 2, and without their consent it was not possible to operate the internet.

    Our trip started Nov. 6, 2012 to Singapore and returned home to Toronto on Dec. 17, 2012.

    It seems Rogers has enormous authority to charge consumers at will unquestionably. It is time for the authorities to protect seniors from such fraudulent scams. Technology should be used as a boon and not as a curse.

    I browsed through the internet and noticed umpteen articles on this aspect in pattern and self-explanatory.

  26. Katie

    Jul 29 2014

    My complaint is my data usage has been fine for years, my some reason this past month my son wasn’t connecting to wifi, opened the bill $844!!!! I never got any warnings from bell to my primary phone (we have a shared plan). What baffles me is how they can’t notify you of abnormal usage charges!

    What is worse, is that a few months ago I was getting text messages saying I was close to going over limit, I called and they said..oh no sorry, your not, the system is sending out inaccurate texts!! So do we believe them..do we not!

    I have called several times, and no help. I have been with bell for years, and yes I have a story, but it will sound like a sob story, so I won’t post. Just have no idea how I am going to pay this, plus the upcoming charges on August 8th.

  27. Carmen

    Mar 15 2016

    Hi Ellen,

    I shared a similar experience while traveling on a cruise. We have a data package in US, which is why we turned on Roaming and have a data package with the cruise line.

    But the wi-fi wasn’t connected. All of a sudden, I saw an alert pop-up saying “We have reached the maximum allowance for Data Roaming”. Later I received a phone bill for $2,800.

    It was exciting to see your article and wondering can you share more information with me to follow up with Bell.

  1. Call Me Maybe: Why my $783 unlocked iPhone is a ringin’ deal | Squawkfox