Data roaming bill limit needed, consumer watchdog says

You don’t really understand the meaning of the phrase “bill shock” until you rack up a huge cell phone bill while on an international trip due to roaming charges.

Outrageous bills after what may seem like moderate cell phone use while out of country has caught many Canadians by surprise and been the subject of media reports. The issue also affects businesses that send employees out of country with a company phone, and then receive large bills that include hefty roaming fees.

Well now the Ottawa-based Public Interest Advocacy Centre wants to do something about it. They’ve conducted a poll that finds 89 per cent of Canadian feel they pay too high roaming charges, and not surprisingly, 89 per cent of Canadians have received a large bill for data roaming while traveling.

How telecommunications work when you’re traveling.

To fix the problem, PIAC is receommending the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) require wireless carriers to notify subscribers via text message of the international data roaming rates when they enter another country. They also recommend a monthly bill limit for data roaming to safeguard consumers, chosen by the subscriber and with a default of $50.

But businesses shouldn’t be counting on employees to self-manage their roaming expenses while traveling. It’s best to negotiate with carriers for the best possible rate for regular roaming employees – often a monthly add-on package will avoid unexpected bill increases from traveling. There’s also policies that can be put in place on mobile devices to limit their activity while roaming as another option to limit expenses.

Source | Public Interest Advocacy Centre

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