Rogers Pay As You Go in the USA

The last time I tried to use my Rogers Wireless “Pay As You Go” pre-paid mobile SIM on my phone here in the USA, it didn’t work: any attempt to use it resulted in a “No Service” message, even if the phone found a local GSM network to connect to.

This wasn’t a surprise, as the Rogers website made it clear that the pre-paid plan didn’t support US roaming.

Imagine my surprise today, then, when I noticed I had a Cingular signal here at Yankee in New Hampshire, made a call back home to Charlottetown and the call went through.

I talked to Catherine for 31 seconds and then checked my account balance on the Rogers website to see what the charge was: it cost me $4.98. I assumed this was the per-minute charge, as the pre-paid charges in Canada are traditionally billed to the nearest minute.

Turns out that this is a new pre-paid feature of Rogers Pay As You Go offering, something they’re promoting on the front page of their wireless site with a big banner ad. Here’s the rates page for US roaming; they quote $2.49/minute, which suggests they mis-billed me for a two-minute call. That’s the rate for making or receiving calls, both local and long distance.

I called Rogers customer service number (using my own hint to talk to a real person) and found out that the billing actually starts when the phone starts ringing. Turns out that my call was actually a 62 second — aka “two minute” in mobile phone math — call and hence that’s what I was billed for.


Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on October 17, 2006 - 14:08 Permalink

Supplemental: While roaming in the USA with “Pay As You Go,” it looks like SMS messages are free to receive, and 40 cents ($CDN) to sent, and that GPRS data charges are exactly the same as they are in Canada. I was succesfully able to use Mobile Plazer to set my location here in New Hampshire using my Nokia N70 this morning using my Rogers plan, and it cost me 37 cents in data charges.

Ken's picture
Ken on October 17, 2006 - 16:51 Permalink

For the record, Aliant prepaid only works in the Maritimes.
Telus prepaid works Canada wide; neither works in the US.
On the flip side, Verizon Pre-paid works in Canada, SMS and all, the rate is about $1 US a minute (the old verizon prepaid plan could only recieve calls in Canada, not originate like the new plan does.

A final point; roaming in the US means being on your providers network wether that is your home city, or Hawaii, or anywhere in the US. Roaming in Canada means you are in your home city, even if you travel and stay on your providers network that is considered roaming (unlike the US).

oliver's picture
oliver on October 19, 2006 - 20:16 Permalink

Wherever you roam, “the Man” is there to stick it to you.