My trip to the USA earlier this month was my first trip after switching from pre-paid “Pay As You Go” service from Rogers Wireless to a regular monthly account. And where on previous trips I’d avoided using my mobile altogether, on this trip I decided to experiment and see what additional roaming charges I’d incur if I went about something approximately regular usage.
And so while I didn’t spend hours on the phone calling home, I was fairly liberal with calling friends and colleagues in the US, sending text messages, and making occasional use of data (mostly for local search and maps in Brooklyn).
Over the course of 6 days traveling, I incurred $37.52 in extra charges on top of my regular $50/month bill, as follows:
- $2.13 for adding “Call Display” to my account (pro-rated portion of the $8/month fee for this service), added so that I could see who was calling me while traveling and decide whether or not to answer the call.
- $13.32 for 9 minutes of voice calling (a rate of about $1.50/minute).
- $9.17 for using 1523KB of data.
- $4.50 for sending 6 text messages within the US.
- $1.00 for sending 2 text messages from Canada to the US.
- $4.10 for sending 14 text messages within Canada.
- $3.30 for receiving 22 text messages while in the US.
I’m not complaining about the charges – I could have mitigated some of them by pre-paying some minutes in a “roaming pack” if I’d wanted – but what irks me is that there was no way for me to monitor my roaming charges while I was on the road.
Rogers only adds these up, customer service tells me, at the “end of the billing cycle,” so I had to have faith that I wasn’t accidentally racking up hundreds of dollars worth of roaming fees; it was only a call to Rogers’ customer service that produced information about the breakdown of the charges.