Merely 2 days after Edmonton based Sarah Farrell returned home from a vacation in Mexico, she got an SMS from Rogers notifying her of “excessively high” roaming charges and that she should contact Rogers for confirmation. In an interview with Go Public (via CBC News), she said “I had no idea I was going to get a $23,000 cell phone bill”.
Farrell told the source she thought she might be facing a bill for $500 or so. “It just blew my mind that they would let my cell phone bill get that high,” she said. She claims to have turned her iPhone to Airplane mode on leaving Edmonton, but turned it off during a stopover in Houston to text her mother. While she received one text from Rogers inviting her to check out their USA data plans, but never heard anything from the company during her stay in Mexico.
“My heart rate was just pounding and I felt almost sick to my stomach, because I was, like ‘that’s half a year’s salary.’”
She used the phone for about an hour every day in her hotel room to post pictures on Facebook and to send texts thinking her phone was using the hotel’s free WiFi. The next time she heard from Rogers was back in Edmonton 15 days later, when received the text telling her to call them, she said.
Rogers immediately offered to sign her up for a data plan that reduced the bill from $23,000 to $2,200, plus $225 to enrol.
Even though Farrell and Rogers eventually settled at $600, she says she’s not going to wait for Rogers “to comply with the Wireless Code” and plans to switch cell phone providers.