Cell Phones

Warning: Rogers (data roaming bogus charges) RESOLVED

  • Last Updated:
  • May 27th, 2013 11:08 am
Jan 1, 2013
6 posts

Warning: Rogers (data roaming bogus charges) RESOLVED

RESOLVED -- see page 3. Thanks to all who gave helpful suggestions!

Original post:


If you are unfortunate enough to be a Rogers cell phone user, then do not take your phone with you when you travel outside Canada.

Rogers charged roaming data charges against our account when my wife and I visited the U.S. in early August.

When we crossed the border, a prompt appeared on my wife's phone saying she had to accept roaming charges. She declined. My phone's roaming setting was always disabled, from day 1. We both turned off our phones for the duration of the trip.

Our bill from September shows $191.38 roaming charges ($14.50 + $176.88) from our trip to the U.S. in August, despite the fact that we declined roaming charges and then kept our phones turned off for the duration of our 6 day trip.

For 3 months Rogers hassled my wife to pay the bill, and my wife told Rogers each time to phone me on my Rogers cell phone. Each time Rogers said they would call me. They never called me.

In December my wife received an automated message stating that our account would be terminated because we have not paid the full $191.38 roaming fees from August.

I phoned customer support and asked politely, then demanded, that the charges be dropped. The representative, Christy, kept interrupting me to say "the system shows that data was being used" during our trip. She was the rudest customer service representative I have ever dealt.

I asked to speak to her manager, and after an hour of sitting on hold, Christy returned to tell me that I would have to wait much, much longer to speak to a manager.

I then emailed the Rogers ombudsman 1 month ago.

No reply.

I will be filing a small claims suit against Rogers. If anyone has other suggestions as to how to get my money back, I would very much appreciate hearing them.

If you are stuck on a Rogers contract, do NOT take your cell phone with you when you travel outside Canada.

Johann Tienhaara
Halifax, N.S.
52 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
27958 posts
East Gwillimbury
Rogers does not prompt you to accept ROAMing charges

Once you cross the boarder, you are on the AT&T Network. You are no longer on the Rogers Network. What you received was a text message stating that you will be billed for data ROAMing and you need to disable data if you do not want these charges.

I hate to break this to you, but Rogers is not at fault here.

Your wife's phone may have apps that run in the background like weather apps that grab updates every 15 mins. It could be checking email every 5 mins. Whatever the case, your phone did use data.

Keep in mind, the data was used on a foreign network (AT&T) and they sent an invoice to Rogers, I'm sure Rogers marked up the invoice before sending it to you. But either way, they are not at fault. Your lack of understanding on how international ROAMing operates cost you $191.

I suggest you pay the invoice. There is no question that your wife's phone used the data. I am sure they can show you records of when and how much was used. Your best bet maybe to negotiate a discount.

*** For The Record ***

I am not employed or affiliated with Rogers Wireless or any subsidary within the Rogers family.
Deal Addict
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Dec 14, 2004
4713 posts
another person who joined just to complain....and is in the wrong.
Deal Addict
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Nov 19, 2004
1761 posts
Markham, ON
I wouldn't risk my credit rating over $191 and principle.
There's no prompt asking you if you want to enable data roaming. Data roaming is automatically enabled for US and a handful of other countries.
The question (paraphrasing) is do you want to add a data-roaming package.

I went to The Bahamas a couple of weeks ago and turn off my Fido Blackberry when I got in the plane, but put it in my laptop bag.
When I got to the hotel we just went to bed, and I woke up in the middle of the night to my phone ringing. Obviously one of the phone keys got pressed the phone was turned on sometime during the day. I had about 70-80 unread e-mails. Obviously it was my fault for not taking the battery out, and/or turning OFF the roaming data. I just paid the $40 roaming fee.

I did see the text message they sent me during the day asking if I wanted to add roaming packages for voice and data. Not if I wanted to turn on roaming.
Deal Addict
Sep 17, 2011
3524 posts
I would love to know what the providers make in a year from people who dont do there homework before they cross the Border...
Jan 1, 2013
6 posts
Ah so the question on my wife's phone was carefully worded marketing schlock. That does not make me feel any better about Rogers practices.

A few clarifications:

1. My phone's roaming settings have been OFF since day 1. I *still* got charged $14.50 against my phone.

2. Rogers customer service is rude and un-serviceful.

3. Rogers ombudsman does not reply.

I believe it is useful to warn others who "did not do their homework" about these practices. Rogers will screw others too until the word gets out publicly that they will charge you for not serving you, then refuse to help or negotiate when you call their support lines.

For the record Bell / Aliant and Eastlink have always serviced my calls, even when I demand a refund, quickly and professionally. When I have complained that they overbilled me, even when I have been "in the wrong" -- they have treated me with respect and tried to keep my business.

Rogers, on the other hand, goes out of its way to screw its own customers.

Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
27958 posts
East Gwillimbury
1. If you were charged $14.50, I would double check to see what those charges are for. Perhaps you didn't turn off the data immediately after you crossed the border.
2. No arguement here.
3. They're a waste of time

It is common knowledge that charges are high when ROAMing on foreign networks. Consider yourself lucky, some people go over seas and receive invoices in the thousands. Read this article. There ROAMing charges were almost $10,000 and they were gone for 10 days.


BTW, they are a Bell customer. It is not just Rogers
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 4, 2006
2536 posts
no mention of phone brand/model?

just something I was curious about.
Deal Addict
Apr 14, 2007
2848 posts
Probably an iPhone. I don't know but when I hit the US border with my BB9900 I get a text message right away indicating that I'm in a roaming area. I also have my data roaming off. I also turn off my phone or disable the cell connection before entering in case any texts happen to come while in the US
Deal Expert
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Mar 18, 2005
17402 posts
Niagara Falls
Do you have an iPhone? I had no idea until recently that apparently iOS has a fairly known bug where even if you have roaming turned off, it will turn itself back on.

I go to the states every week and never get unwanted data charges on my Rogers phone. My phone is on the entire time in case I get a call or text.
Deal Guru
Sep 28, 2010
10277 posts
Irregular Heptagon
Evil Baby wrote:
Jan 3rd, 2013 9:16 am
Do you have an iPhone? I had no idea until recently that apparently iOS has a fairly known bug where even if you have roaming turned off, it will turn itself back on.

I go to the states every week and never get unwanted data charges on my Rogers phone. My phone is on the entire time in case I get a call or text.
I recall a few years ago there were some complaints about such a bug with iPhones. Haven't heard of it for a few years though. From what I recall it wasn't that roaming was re-enabled, but the carrier settings ignored the roaming setting and allowed data roaming. I am guessing the phone was somehow not aware it was roaming on a foreign network.

I've traveled with 3 different generations of iPhones, from 3G to 5, in the US, Europe and the Caribbean and have never encountered this bug. Then again, I only keep my SIM in until I pick up a local SIM and usually for trips to the US I have the US SIM in before I cross the border.
2015 wins: Trip for 2 to NYC with airfare, limo, hotel and insurance ($3700); Maple Leafs tickets($250); 32GB HTC One M9 ($700), Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1($200), Samsung Galaxy Note 5($850), Aukey 2 port fast car charger($23), Fitbit Flex ($120), Blue Piston Bluetooth Speaker ($30). 2016 wins: nada
Deal Fanatic
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May 11, 2008
9185 posts
I've travelled to the US, Caribbean and Asia with my phone and never had roaming charges. Set my BB to not use data when roaming.
Deal Expert
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Jun 9, 2003
23697 posts
Markham, ON
err? airplane mode = solved? (you can turn on wifi)

mind you turning off your phone for 6 days should have done the trick lol
Dec 24, 2006
433 posts
I take out my SIM when I travel - it's the only way to be sure :)