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Unsecured Wi-Fi Rocket Hub Lands Senior $800 Rogers Bill [u]

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A senior from Chilliwack, BC, is trying to fight her $800 Rogers internet bill after piggy backers racked up overages on her unsecured Rocket Hub Wi-Fi hotspot.

Darlene Davis normally pays $60 per month for her Rogers internet but when a bill arrived showing over $600 she was shocked, and more so when it continued to rise as months went by.

The telecom told her the excess data usage was from movie downloads, streamed TV shows and online gaming, activities she denies ever doing, she told CBC News.

“First of all, I don’t even know how to download a movie,” she said. “I haven’t got a clue. Online gaming is something I’ve never even been interested in. So I kept trying to figure out and talk to people why I had this bill.”

[…]

“I just turned 65 years old. If you ask me to pay $810, then how do I pay my rent and put groceries on my table?”

Davis says Rogers investigated the situation and concluded she was responsible for the data usage since it happened in her home. She says he did not know her wireless network had to be secured.

Customers should educate themselves on their wireless purchases, but at the same time Rogers should provide setup support, especially when it comes to a senior who’s not tech-savvy, says Andy Baryer, co-host of GetConnected TV.

“It sounds like it was an unsecured network, and had it been password-protected, they would have had to have known her password to start using her data,”

[…]

“If you’re selling something like this to a senior who’s not tech-savvy, you need to, as customer service, set it up for her to make sure they’re protected from other people who are trying to piggyback off her data,”

Rogers listened to Davis and reduced her bill to $345, but Davis still isn’t happy about it. She said “If I was responsible for it, I would pay for it, but I’m not responsible, and I don’t think that I should be paying for it.” The company told CBC News they are going to look into her account once more.

It’s unfortunate Davis did not know her wireless network had to be secured before using it—a costly mistake. But at the same time, how much responsibility is on Rogers for educating customers?

Update: Rogers sent us an email to update this story; the situation has been solved:

We have spoken to the customer again to solve this situation. We also apologized to her. We recognize we need to do a better job educating customers in the future.

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  • Omar Zebian

    The smart thing would’ve been to compromise with her and avoid the negative PR.

  • JMCD23

    If it’s a Roger’s device it should come with a preset password. Excessive overages need to be capped at reasonable amounts.

  • Tim

    It should have been secured out of the box. Most routers are these days, and their system should indeed flag high overages and either shut off the connection or call the customer to notify them, especially if it represents unusual usage activity. The CRTC should totally outlaw these gotcha situations. Internet access is a unique utility (yes it is a utility) where the customer can inadvertently share it with others and be unaware of it. Nobody is going to tap into your water, your hydro (in rare instances perhaps), or even your landline for the most part. With all of those other utilities you have some conception of what you’re using. A cold month in the winter might mean more hydro. Calling overseas anticipates a higher phone bill. A company providing a product out of the box that can be easily shared because it’s not secured, then coupling it with stiff overage fees, should be stopped in their tracks from exercising such business practices.

  • Peter Pottinger

    So if somebody breaks into my house and cranks up the heat I’m responsible for the theft?

  • Miguelsmith393

    If you left the doors and windows open in a public place, yes you are.

  • Ting

    I used to hv a un-secure wifi because the time Rogers switch me to a new modem(I didnot realize then it was actually a wifi router as well). I started seeing an open wifi network keeps popping up (I did connected the Rogers ‘modem’ through my own router at the time to my desktop, and have my wireless devices connected through a properly setup wireless network).
    Took me 3 months to realize that strange unsecured wifi was also mine from my Rogers modem, and that in order to deactivate or change the setting of it, I had to connect directly to the modem and go into some backend portal to modify, it was exactly a straight forward thing to do nor did Rogers mentioned any precaution when they sold me that modem. And even worse, it came as a modem, with a wifi function that’s unsecured and actively emitting wifi signal. Those few month’s bill were higher then usual, yet I have no sufficient proof to make a case against Rogers. Seeing what happened to Ms. Davis, I think I was very lucky to be able to realized the odds before the situation went out of controlled.

  • Update: Rogers sent us an email to say this situation has been solved.

  • Ah, that scenario does make sense if Wi-Fi is enabled and open by default, despite the wired connection.

  • Jesse

    I’m surprised to see their reply seeing how they’re prettying much taking the fault for it since they didn’t educate her about the devices… However with their recent price hikes from the other day I’m sure covering her bill won’t be a problem for them… Well let’s be honest, it wouldn’t either way since there making so much money in the wonderful telecom of Canada world.

  • RH

    WRONG! I’ve sold many of these and they are secured out of the box.

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