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Dad Argues $22,000 Data Roaming Bill Down to $200, Releases How-To Guide

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Remember the dad whose son ran up $22,000 in data roaming charges down in Mexico? Well, he has finally managed to negotiate the final bill down to $200 with Fido, reports the CBC.

Buie refused to pay, and argued all the way up to the office of the president at Fido, which is owned by Rogers. The company eventually settled, and reduced Buie’s bill to $200.

Despite the cost in time and stress, Buie considers it a victory.

“This has taken six weeks of my time,” Buie said. “It’s not about the money. It’s the principle and fair play.”

Originally his bill was reduced to $2,200 by Fido, but Buie’s persistence over over a month and a half has paid off. He wants Canadian carriers to cap roaming charges once they reach a certain threshold, and only to continue should users authorize the excess charges, similar to practices by telcos in Europe.

Part of Buie’s journey resulted in him collaborating with OpenMedia.ca to release a tool kit for ‘mistreated’ cell phone users, that provides step-by-step instructions on how to negotiate with wireless carriers. The guide is based around the example of Buie’s data roaming charges.

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Here is an excerpt from the first three steps:

1. Call in to your provider and speak to them about billing issues, make sure you speak to customer service and have not been transferred to accounts receivable.

2. Understand that in 90% of cases, the maximum offer that a first line agent can offer you is a 50% reduction of overages. If this is not satisfactory, make sure to escalate the request to a supervisor or manager.

3. When dealing with the supervisor, calmly explain the situation, i.e.; “Sir/Madam, I have been charged $22,000 for using data while roaming. I was never notified that the charges were mounting until it was too late and I find it unfair that I am being held responsible, when you ultimately had control of the situation and could have notified me of the impending charges.”

A supervisor’s goal at this point is to work with your to resolve this issue AS FAST AS POSSIBLE, remember that every minute on the phone dealing with these issues costs the providers.

Have you ever had to call in and negotiate excessive data roaming charges? What do you think about Buie’s situation?

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