At least 90% of Canadians want roaming data fees to be capped. This would be to prevent “bill shock,” which far too many Canadians are familiar with.
It sucks seeing $50 or $200 tacked onto a bill all because of a silly mistake made while on vacation. But many Canadians have been faced with eye-popping amounts in the five digits.
The most recent case is a $22,000 bill racked up by Matt Buie’s 11-year-old son during a family trip to Mexico. A few YouTube videos and bam—here’s a wireless bill worth more than a new car. And it took until that $22,000 mark for Fido, owned by Rogers, to call Buie and alert him of “excessive roaming.”
“Now if I was a Telus subscriber, they would have shut my phone down at $200,” Buie said to the CBC, “and I’d be having a very different conversation with my son.”
The $22,000 bill was a result of just 700 megabytes of data used, an amount included in $30 plans with companies such as Wind Mobile. While Telus charges $5 to stream one megabyte of data while roaming, Fido charges $30, according to the CBC.
Fido offered to reduce the bill to $2,200. But after Buie turned to the media, Fido further reduced the bill to $500.
And sadly, that’s the same story for all bill shock recipients: unless they make the story public and force the telco’s PR hand, they very rarely reduce four- and five-digit bills.
UPDATE: Fido states that “the $22,000 was never billed to the customer. When this type of situation happens, we have internal processes in place to identify these customers and their usage prior to their bill being sent out and then we proactively work with them towards a resolution.”