Rabbit Holes and Roaming Fees

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The pictures above are screen caps, taken from the Rogers website on September 17, 2013. The first is from the “Plans and Pricing” page, and the second from the “small print” link at the bottom of that same page.

1024 kB = 1 MB , 1024 MB = 1 GB (FYI)

Hold the phone. Is Rogers charging $10 for 1GB increments or 2 cents for 1MB increments? (Works out to $20.48/GB)  Or are they charging $15 per GB as the above says? Or how about $51.20 per GB, which is what the first one works out to?

At first glance it seems like #7 and #8 must be for different plans since their in-country overage charges are different. But, look closely at the first picture. 7 and 8 both apply to both plans.

Seems to me that if Rogers can’t even figure out how much they’re charging for roaming, then:

A.) How are they figuring out what to charge when they bill you?

B.) How on Earth can you be expected to know how much you’re going to pay at the end of the month?

Go 1kB over your limit in Canada, and you’re charged $10 (or is it $15, or…) for additional 1GB increments, whether you use just the 1kB or the whole GB.

But Rogers can apparently count your data by the kB when you’re out of the country?

I tried to figure out what the charge per kB would be in Canada, but my calculator returned “9.5367432e-06.” I wonder if Rogers’ billing has had any better luck.

Just in case you’re curious, the listed charges for roaming seem to be uniform across both plans:

US data roaming works out to $6.14 per MB or $6,291.46 per GB.

For International Roaming: $30.72 per MB, or $31,457.28 per GB.

Further down the rabbit hole, Rogers has introduced an “automatic” system that charges your account $7.99 for up to 50MB of data when roaming in the US. It’s advertised as a deal for those looking to travel down south who don’t want to spend a fortune to stay connected.

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$7.99 seems cheaper per MB than what’s listed above ( it works out to 16 cents/MB vs $6.14/MB), which has me wondering why they’re listing that first price at all. Upon closer inspection, the fine print says it charges you for the full 50 MB after you use the first byte – which means that all you have to do is check your email or Facebook one time and you’re in for the full $7.99. And if your kids should happen to watch a movie, you should know that 1GB works out to $163.63.

So, if you just wanted to do a quick internet check that would be expected to take up a couple hundred kB, it would actually be cheaper if you could somehow avoid the “automatic” roaming charge of $7.99.

Having a hard time keeping this all straight? Me too.

The CRTC just issued a Wireless Code of Conduct that is supposed to govern these types of issues. It comes into effect December 2, but anyone already in a contract on December 1 will have to wait until June 2015 for government protection.

Part of the Code lists your rights as a consumer. One of these is the right to not have to pay more than $50 in data overages and $100 in data roaming fees per month.

Triumphs for civil liberties aside, it seems from the above that Rogers is gearing up to make sure that customers make frequent and liberal use of these rights.

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One comment

  1. Hi Ben,

    Due to a technical error, incorrect information was posted on our website recently regarding our roaming fees. The correct information is: U.S. data roaming is $7.99/50MB for 24 hours. International data roaming is $10/MB for Europe and $15/MB for all other applicable international destinations.

    This is now updated and correct on our site. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

    Rogers customers who roam will get a text message when they arrive to their destination outlining the pay per use plans, as well as of our data roaming packs available to them. They can also add a roaming pack via their My Rogers before their trip.

    Customers can also reach out to us on Twitter @RogersHelps or on our Facebook page for account assistance.

    Best,

    Nicolas

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