Mexico Vacation Triggers $23,000 in Roaming Charges From Rogers

by Istvan Fekete on June 20, 2013

How much does a vacation in Mexico normally cost? Well, it mostly depends on your spending habits, but for an Edmonton woman, this went up to $23,000, and that was only her Rogers cellphone bill for roaming charges, CBC.ca reports.

Two days after Sarah Farrell returned from her vacation in Mexico, her smartphone notified her of a text message from Rogers: “Your roaming charges are excessively high. Please contact Rogers to confirm @15147347699.”

“I had no idea I was going to get a $23,000 cell phone bill,” she said. “Which is just insane.

“It just blew my mind that they would let my cell phone bill get that high,” Farrell said. “My heart rate was just pounding and I felt almost sick to my stomach, because I was, like ‘that’s half a year’s salary.’”

According to Farrell, she thought roaming was turned off. However, she turned off airplane mode during a stopover in Houston, so she could send a text message to her mother, which is natural considering the long trip.

While using the iPhone in Houston she also received a text message from Rogers inviting her to check out USA data plans, but that’s all. The next message from the Canadian carrier came 15 days later, prompting her to contact Rogers due to excessive roaming fees.

It was that moment that she needed a chair to digest her roaming bill: $23,000 for using the phone for about an hour a day in her hotel to upload images to Facebook and send text messages, assuming she was using the hotel’s free Wi-Fi network.

When contacted by CBC Rogers says its customer service agent misinformed Farrell when she first called, as the correct amount was closer to $10,000. The carrier, however, immediately reduced her bill to $2,200, plus $225 to enroll.

Farrell eventually paid Rogers $600.

Although Rogers took steps to reduce Farrell’s bill, the issue remains: why does Rogers fail to inform its clients of excessive charges, to avoid the shock of a huge cellphone bill? Telus currently caps its customers’ roaming charges at $200 and even sends spending alerts before capping the charges.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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