Cell Phones

Rogers - US roaming charges while in Canada

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  • Jan 4th, 2012 5:50 pm
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Jul 14, 2010
4 posts

Rogers - US roaming charges while in Canada

Apologies if this has been answered elsewhere - looked around prior to posting, but didn't see anything that addresses this particular situation.

We have a wireless family plan with Rogers and have for like 5 years or something. We have a family cottage in the 1000 Islands which is very close to the Canada-US border in some places. At the cottage, there are only 2 places on the island where you can get rogers reception, and it's pretty awkward and not at all convenient (i.e., standing on a stool next to the window). So, we allow our phones to connect to AT&T or whatever US networks are available and we get charged for roaming (for text and voice) despite the fact that our cottage is in Canada and we are in Canada when we are using the phones.

For the last several years, we have called rogers every month when we received the bill and explained the situation, and they credit the amount of the roaming charges to our bill the following month (so essentially, they refund us the roaming charges). In the past year or so, some family plan members got smartphones and Rogers has even credited us for data roaming. However, Rogers called last week and told us that as of January 1, 2012, they will no longer be refunding text and data roaming charges. Their map of coverage on their website shows that they provide service in the area where our cottage is located, and we are in Canada when we are incurring roaming charges. When I complained and re-explained all of this, they said there was nothing they could do about reversing the charges, but agreed that within a certain period (I believe the next 60 days or something like that) we can cancel our wireless service with them without incurring the outrageous early cancellation charges. Oddly, they agreed to provide me with some kind of written document verifying that I can cancel the whole plan early without penalty (since I was a little skeptical about that), but they told me they couldn't include anything in the document about no longer reversing the roaming charges (which is the whole reason for cancelling). Not a big deal, but this got me thinking - can they actually (legally) refuse to reverse the roaming charges? Why else would they not be able to put that in writing?

Anyway, any other advice about how to deal with this would be appreciated. Anyone else from the 1000 Islands region with advice on a new carrier? Thanks for reading :)
3 replies
Deal Guru
Sep 28, 2010
10649 posts
2887 upvotes
Irregular Heptagon
gossipgirl wrote:
Jan 4th, 2012 3:10 pm
Apologies if this has been answered elsewhere - looked around prior to posting, but didn't see anything that addresses this particular situation.

We have a wireless family plan with Rogers and have for like 5 years or something. We have a family cottage in the 1000 Islands which is very close to the Canada-US border in some places. At the cottage, there are only 2 places on the island where you can get rogers reception, and it's pretty awkward and not at all convenient (i.e., standing on a stool next to the window). So, we allow our phones to connect to AT&T or whatever US networks are available and we get charged for roaming (for text and voice) despite the fact that our cottage is in Canada and we are in Canada when we are using the phones.

For the last several years, we have called rogers every month when we received the bill and explained the situation, and they credit the amount of the roaming charges to our bill the following month (so essentially, they refund us the roaming charges). In the past year or so, some family plan members got smartphones and Rogers has even credited us for data roaming. However, Rogers called last week and told us that as of January 1, 2012, they will no longer be refunding text and data roaming charges. Their map of coverage on their website shows that they provide service in the area where our cottage is located, and we are in Canada when we are incurring roaming charges. When I complained and re-explained all of this, they said there was nothing they could do about reversing the charges, but agreed that within a certain period (I believe the next 60 days or something like that) we can cancel our wireless service with them without incurring the outrageous early cancellation charges. Oddly, they agreed to provide me with some kind of written document verifying that I can cancel the whole plan early without penalty (since I was a little skeptical about that), but they told me they couldn't include anything in the document about no longer reversing the roaming charges (which is the whole reason for cancelling). Not a big deal, but this got me thinking - can they actually (legally) refuse to reverse the roaming charges? Why else would they not be able to put that in writing?

Anyway, any other advice about how to deal with this would be appreciated. Anyone else from the 1000 Islands region with advice on a new carrier? Thanks for reading :)
Rogers has some SOC codes they can add that prevent charges for 'accidental' roaming, with accidental being defined as roaming charges incurred while you are in Canada. This matches your case exactly, even though you are intentionally roaming (since Rogers can't provide real coverage out there). I know they have these SOC codes for major cities close to the border but am unsure if they blanket codes for the entire border area outside of these cities. At one point you could only get the codes added if your number was in one of those cities (Windor, Niagara, parts of BC) but I think I read somewhere that they will added to any account now. If so, then the only question is whether it only prevents roaming charges in those areas or all along the border. Worth a call into Rogers to ask. If they are unsure what you are even asking about, tell them to look up NIA1RATE and WIN1RATE SOC codes as examples. It covers voice and data roaming, so if it all works out you are golden.
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Deal Addict
Sep 22, 2007
4599 posts
120 upvotes
gossipgirl wrote:
Jan 4th, 2012 3:10 pm
Not a big deal, but this got me thinking - can they actually (legally) refuse to reverse the roaming charges? Why else would they not be able to put that in writing?

Anyway, any other advice about how to deal with this would be appreciated. Anyone else from the 1000 Islands region with advice on a new carrier? Thanks for reading :)

Why wouldn't they be able to refuse to reverse the fees? If you are roaming on another network, you are roaming on another network. By reversing the fees, they are doing you a favour and nothing says that they have to do you favours. From their website
The map is a general representation of wireless coverage, current and projected, where indicated. The areas shown are approximate. Actual coverage area may vary from map graphics. Reception may be affected by various factors, including system availability and capacity, customer's equipment, signal strength, topography and environmental conditions. Charges are based on the location of the site receiving and transmitting the signal, not the location of the subscriber.
Deal Addict
Sep 17, 2011
3579 posts
472 upvotes
The only thing you can do is get a usa roaming package put on your phone when you head out to the cottage... Either that or unlock your phones and run att sim in them...

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