Tech

Son Grounded Forever After Dad Gets $22,000 Cell Phone Roaming Bill

Massive roaming charges, Canada roaming charges, Mexico roaming charges, how to avoid roaming charges, British Columbia, Canada, cell phone roaming, cell phone roaming charges, Rogers roaming charges, Fido roaming charges, mobile roaming charges, cell phone bill, cell phone bills, mobile phone bills, how to reduce your cell phone bill, how to reduce your mobile bill, reducing your mobile bill, reducing your cell phone bill, $22,000 cell phone bill, Matt Buie, Mexico roaming, Canada cell phones, Canada mobile phones, Rogers telecommunications, Rogers cell phones, Fido cell phones, decrease your cell phone bill, decrease your mobile bill, avoid roaming charges, Canada telecom monopoly, Canadian telecoms, Canadian telecom monopoly,

(Via alaina.buzas/Flickr)

A family from British Columbia got the shock of their lives upon returning from a Mexico vacation – a bill from their cell phone provider for $22,000 (U.S. $21,385.50) in roaming charges.

Matt Buie was on vacation with his family in Mexico in January, when his son got a bad sunburn and decided to spend a few days indoors.

Buie, having put his phone on airplane mode, handed it over to his son so he could play video games and amuse himself.

He would later find out, to his dismay, that his son took the phone off airplane mode and streamed approximately 12 hours of YouTube videos, or 700 megabytes of data.

Their Canadian cell phone carrier, Fido, a subsidiary of Rogers Communications, allowed three days to pass as the boy streamed data on roaming, racking up a bill of $22,000.

Buie told the CBC in an exclusive interview:

I made a mistake here — as his father — and he made a mistake. He turned off the airplane mode and was watching YouTube videos. I should have taken the SIM card out… or not let him use the phone. That’s guilt that I have to live with. I clearly should have known better.

Still, the B.C. father was outraged that 700mb of data could cost as much as a new car. He called Fido and demanded to know why they didn’t contact him sooner as the charges added up.

Massive roaming charges, Canada roaming charges, Mexico roaming charges, how to avoid roaming charges, British Columbia, Canada, cell phone roaming, cell phone roaming charges, Rogers roaming charges, Fido roaming charges, mobile roaming charges, cell phone bill, cell phone bills, mobile phone bills, how to reduce your cell phone bill, how to reduce your mobile bill, reducing your mobile bill, reducing your cell phone bill, $22,000 cell phone bill, Matt Buie, Mexico roaming, Canada cell phones, Canada mobile phones, Rogers telecommunications, Rogers cell phones, Fido cell phones, decrease your cell phone bill, decrease your mobile bill, avoid roaming charges, Canada telecom monopoly, Canadian telecoms, Canadian telecom monopoly,

(Via TBoard/Flickr)

At this point I am wondering, how did this happen? I was on airplane mode. We got no messages, other than when you shut my phone down after the fact.

Fido representatives quickly agreed to lower the bill to $2,200, but Buie was still not satisfied.

It is gouging. It is $20 in Mexico [for domestic customers] to get the same amount of data [700 mb] from their carrier and it is $40 to get the same amount of data while in Canada.

Buie said he’d be willing to pay $200 – the amount at which other Canadian telecoms cut off service for roaming charges. After some discussion, Fido eventually relented and offered a new bill for $500.

Instead, Buie said he is taking his complaint – and massive bill – to the company’s ombudsman and wants his contract cancelled without penalty.

Unlike the U.S., where there are multiple telecom companies to choose from, Canadians suffer under a veritable monopoly, with just three major firms dominating the market.

This means higher prices, less competition and fewer options for consumers.

Respond To This

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Tech you need to know