Recently, a woman, who lives near the US border in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, went onto a local radio show and stated that she was being billed for international roaming fees without her even leaving her house.
Kimberley Dietz says she got a automatic voice message from her wireless carrier, SaskTel, claiming that she surpassed her $100 data roaming limit. The only problem was that she had not left her house during this billing period.
According to the President of the Consumers’ Association of Canada, Bruce Cran, this is a national problem that is hurting all Canadians near the US border. Heck, even SaskTel admits to this issue but claims that customers are “made aware of the problem when they buy cellphone plans” and that there is “very little” that can be done to help.
What better way to sell your service!
According to Dietz, when she called up SaskTel to complain about the charges, she was told that SaskTel agreed to “waive the charges on a one-time basis.”
Wait, what? On a “one-time basis”? Is SaskTel really trying to claim that those who have these bogus charges are somehow liable for them if it happens a second and third time?
SaskTel has a history of questionable billing practices. In 2012, several thousand SaskTel customers were getting inflated bills for as much as $100,000 because of a so-called error in SaskTel’s billing system which was incorrectly charging customers at U.S. data rates. This incident led the Globe and Mail to note that SaskTel has previously faced a “barrage of criticism.”
Then again, AT&T isn’t much better for those living on the US side of the border. AT&T customers have found out that it is possible to run up a $750 international data roaming bill in one minute on AT&T’s network.