Mobilicity Customer Accuses Rogers of Charging $6,000 Per GB with Chatr

Toronto-based Mobilicity customer Evan Kosiner is not happy with Rogers, alleging the wireless carrier is abusing its power with huge data price increases for prepaid customers transitioning to Chatr, reports the Financial Post.

Kosiner filed a complaint with the CRTC and Competition Bureau, over prepaid rate increases that surged to $6 per megabyte (the equivalent of $6000 per GB) for U.S. roaming on Chatr, versus the previous $1.50 per megabyte with Mobilicity. He believes there should be a penalty for companies charging rates like this under the Wireless Code:

“I think $6,000 a GB is outrageous and I don’t know of another carrier in North America let alone the world that charges that much for roaming in our neighbours next door,”

While the CRTC Wireless Code caps data overages at $100 per month for postpaid customers, those on prepaid do not fall under the rule. Kosiner says he’s speaking up for all customers who could be affected by this jump in prepaid roaming data.

Kosiner’s plan with Mobilicity is a grandfathered offer, which has unlimited talk, text and 20GB of 3G data for $35 per month.

“You shouldn’t have to go to a different provider just because your provider is trying to take advantage of you,” he said. “The roaming rates just seem crazy.”

Rogers responded to the complaint, to note less than 1% of Mobility customers jumped on “attractive” data roaming packages when offered. The price increases, according to the carrier, are related to the “side effects” of the transition to Chatr, related to IT systems, business and “other limitation,” reports the Post.

Most Chatr and Mobilicity customers rarely roam outside their home zones, says Rogers, and customers always have the choice of switching to Rogers or Fido to subscribe to the company’s $5 per day U.S. roaming,  to bypass price increases at Chatr. Rogers says for prepaid customers, they will stop receiving service if they decide to not to pay the new higher rates.

In a letter dated September 21, Rogers said “Since Rogers’ acquisition of Mobilicity, the amount of wireless competition in Canada has not materially changed,” noting Mobilicity’s future was “in serious doubt” when they acquired them last June.

This May, Rogers said it would shutter Mobilicity and move its 150,000 users to Chatr.

The Competition Bureau is looking into Kosiner’s complaint, saying they take “all allegations of anti-competitive conduct seriously.”