Cell Phones

Talk & Text Overage Charges Thread

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  • Apr 6th, 2019 8:22 pm
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Talk & Text Overage Charges Thread

Thought it'd be time for this topic to get its own thread.

Carriers are required to cap data overages unless the user consents to continue incurring overages.

Many of us are used to "unlimited talk & text", but the big three main brands (Bell, Rogers, TELUS) don't offer global texting, and they might even charge extra for US texting. It's also easy to incur long distance charges calling the US, since wireless accounts can only block or enable overseas calls, but cannot block outgoing calls to the US (even if they're not included in the plan).

Savvy customers have no trouble with this. Either they don't send international SMS and instead turn to peer to peer messaging apps, or they sign up with a plan that includes global texting. For voice calls, it's fairly easy to dial the US via Google Hangouts. But parents handing post-paid wireless devices to teens can be a whole bag of chips.

Should carriers be expected to notify account holder about talk & text overages and cap them?
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Feb 5, 2019
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Toronto, Ontario
More than capping overages, carriers are required to receive consent from the account holder on multi-user plans for data overages.
the CCTS has interpreted the Code to mean that only the account holder can consent to additional charges.
Section 103 of the Wireless Code

Sadly, this also doesn't apply to long-distance talk or text. Carriers only need to contact the device that is incurring the charges. The incidents that appeared in the news lately with bills numbering in the thousands of dollars demonstrate the need to receive approval from the account holder.

Does anyone have experience with the new Telus Data Management tool? It allows the account holder to parcel out the shared data to each user and prevent one line from hogging all the data. I'm curious if there's a way to limit long-distance talk and text through that feature.
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The reason that data specifically is in the wireless code for caps is because it's possible for your phone, without your knowledge, to use data. And it's also very hard to know exactly how much data you're using for any given task (it's not fixed - how much data does sending an email take? Could be anything. Same with viewing videos, browsing websites). On the other hand, it's impossible for you to make phone calls or send text messages without knowing that you're doing it, it's an action that you are taking, which is why they don't cap it. Calls and text messages have fixed prices set out in your contract, on a per minute or per message basis. In all honesty? I don't really have a problem with this lack of a cap.
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wearysky wrote: The reason that data specifically is in the wireless code for caps is because it's possible for your phone, without your knowledge, to use data. And it's also very hard to know exactly how much data you're using for any given task (it's not fixed - how much data does sending an email take? Could be anything. Same with viewing videos, browsing websites). On the other hand, it's impossible for you to make phone calls or send text messages without knowing that you're doing it, it's an action that you are taking, which is why they don't cap it. Calls and text messages have fixed prices set out in your contract, on a per minute or per message basis. In all honesty? I don't really have a problem with this lack of a cap.
That, and concerned parents should set their kids up on prepaid anyway.

But, that's not what the carriers are selling at store level. They're selling "family plans".
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titaniumtux wrote: But, that's not what the carriers are selling at store level. They're selling "family plans".
If I"m not mistaken, the two recent occurrences of insane overages incurred by teenagers were both on small business accounts.
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wearysky wrote: If I"m not mistaken, the two recent occurrences of insane overages incurred by teenagers were both on small business accounts.
This is true. Small business wireless sales reps persuade business owners to get their entire families onto the business wireless account to "save more".
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