If you are an iPhone owner, or any user of a data plan in Canada, you should know that data roaming should always be turned off. Why? Well, because if you turn it ON and surf the internet freely and liberally, you’re going to get a hurt real bad.
Winnipeg Student Gets $18,000 iPhone Data Bill: Ouch
We’ve all heard the same story before. Some Canadian wireless customer takes their iPhone overseas and decides to turn ON data roaming. They use data here and there. They come home and are shocked to find a monstrous bill–and one painful lesson.
According to the Winnipeg Free Press, here’s the story of Miguel Yetman’s travel experience (read our top iPhone travel tips here):
…the precise amount on the Rogers bill — $17,913.14 — was closer to $18,000. And the full amount was due on Sept. 20, which, just to upsize the pain, happens to be his 18th birthday.
He said it happened in July, while he was out of the country on vacation.
He and a friend spent two weeks in New York City, checking out jazz bars, but judging by the bill he got in August, most of the damage was done while he was visiting his mother’s family in Trinidad.
All I can is..OUCH. Miguel is a university student and he didn’t clue in that data roaming in Trinidad wouldn’t cost him an arm and a leg? He says he used his iPhone to go on eBay to sell his saxophone, some Facebook, and texting. How much data did he use? 452MB to be exact! That’s more than what some of you are using in CANADA!
This $18K bill has been reduced by Rogers to $6000. Even then, that is still a massive chunk of change and the ultimate lesson learned for using your iPhone data plan overseas. His family does not have the resources to cover the remaining balance–and Miguel just entered university.
On one side of the coin it’s the consumer’s responsibility to be educated on your cellphone plan and overseas roaming charges. But the other side is how can a wireless carrier get away with charging a customer $18,000 in data roaming? It’s mind-boggling!
Rogers iPhone Terms on Roaming (if only Miguel read this prior):
Substantial charges may be incurred if your iPhone is taken out of Canada even if no services are intentionally used. Voice and data usage while roaming, including data usage incurred from delivery of Visual Voicemail messages, will be charged at our regular roaming rates. Visit rogers.com/roaming for our roaming rates and destinations. If you subscribe to a data plan, then your data roaming usage (including receipt of Visual Voicemail messages when roaming) are charged at the roaming rates applicable to your data plan. If you subscribe to an international data roaming plan, then your data roaming usage (including receipt of Visual Voicemail messages when roaming) will be deducted from the number of kilobytes included in the roaming plan. If you want to reduce data charges while travelling, please ensure that the Data Roaming toggle is set to “OFF”, which will block data roaming when the iPhone is outside Canada.
This is just another story of why it is imperative that you DO NOT turn on data roaming on your iPhone (unless you’re rich and feel like giving Rogers some of your cash). By default, data roaming is turned off. So Miguel made an extremely expensive mistake to turn it ON, don’t you agree?