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Beware of the Fido Roam

Fredyo
I'm helpful level 1
I'm helpful level 1

If you have a Fido Pulse plan, Fido will have enabled (whether you wanted it or not) the Fido Roam plan. You might think you can just ignore it if you have no interest in using their roaming services but that is not the case. There are in fact a few sneaky little gotchas that may cost you upwards of $180 in extra charges on your next bill if you aren't fully informed. Read on.

 

It used to be that when you arrive in a destination country, you'd recieve a text message informing you that you were roaming and that pay-per-use roaming charges would apply. You would then even be given some roaming package you could choose to opt-in to. Cool!

Not the case anymore. Now with Fido Roam enabled, what happens it that once you arrive in your destination country, you'll recieve a text message that looks something like this:41945306_10155496318011734_1795333541324652544_n.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It would be very easy to think that by just not turning on your data (and data roaming) you'd be ok BUT that is not the case at all. There in lies the grand trap that cost me a small chunk of change! 

 

You will automatically enable Fido Roam services for a 24 hour period at whatever cost was specified in the initial text if you simply send a text message OR recieve an MMS message (a text with a picture) OR recieve a call and reject it (rather than letting it ring and go to voicemail). You won't have any idea that you activated it either until you get your bill at the end of your billing cycle. Further more, you can't even disable it from your customer account portal, you need to either get onto live chat or call a customer service representative to have them disable it!

 

I have a dual-SIM phone and in my case, it used to be that upon leaving, I'd disable Fido's data and enable my host countries data plan and I'd be free and clear. If I recieved a text or call on my Fido line, I could simply respond to it and pay the one time usage fee... turns out this year, that wasn't the case and rather than paying $10.50 for sending about 14 text messages I was dinged $84! Now that's one hell of a markup in price! 

 

I highly recommend you disable Fido Roam ASAP before travelling and instead, get a SIM chip for the country you are visiting. You will almost ALWAYS get a far superior deal to any roaming package Fido offers you! 

 

Going forward, here is what FIdo should do:

1) When the roaming plan has been activated for a 24 hour period, you should recieve a text message indicating it has been activated and should also give you the exact time it will be deactivated (as it lasts for a 24 hour period).

 

2) There should be a quick and easy way to opt out by text message.

 

3) It should NOT be automatically enabled on any plan, instead users should be able to opt-in to it like before.

 

4) It should be easily enabled/disabled via the customer service portal as opposed to having to actually have a customer service rep do it for you.

 

I don't forsee any of these happening though because there is money to be made as data overage and roaming charges bring HUGE dollars to telecom providers. 

 

Hope this helps someone from falling into this trap because if you think Fido will reimburse you, you are sorely mistaken. You will be told that their roaming policies are "clearly laid out" on some part of their site for anyone to read... sadly this is all after the fact that you've fallen into the trap!

 

Now cue the customer service reps and community mods to chime in with their copy-pasted responses indicating how sorry they are that I feel this way and that it's not for everyone and so on....

90 REPLIES 90

Fredyo
I'm helpful level 1
I'm helpful level 1

@Cawtau wrote:

Hello Fredyo,

 


@Fredyo wrote:...

 they would have never known that even if you tried to avoid roaming charges by switching off their data roaming (which used to work just fine) they now had to put their phone into airplane mode to be completely safe! THIS alone tells you just how aggressive and utterly absurd this policy is!...

 

... I'm sure there aren't many people who would think that just recieving a call OR sending a text message OR recieving a picture message would, despite their data roaming being disabled, still end up activating the service for a full 24 hours!...


  It's unfortunate you misunderstood the term data roaming. However that is not a Fido issue. It is a fact of newer cellular phones. Older cellular phones used to have a roaming setting as well as a separate data roaming setting. Disabling roaming would prevent all roaming while disabling data roaming would only disable roaming data, but allow for voice and message roaming. However, that separate roaming setting was removed from Android a while back (I'm thinking circa Jelly bean or Kitkat...). I'm not sure if iOS ever had a separate roaming setting, but I'm pretty sure they currently only have a data roaming setting.

 

That means, newer phones automatically roam. With data roaming disabled, it is still possible to roam with voice and messaging. The only way to prevent voice and messaging roaming is to enable a phone's Flight or Airplane mode. That's for all newer phones, regardless mobile provider.

 

I do know the difference. That was a typo and meant to say data. As in the switch that toggles the data connection but leaves general radio services such as phone calls and texts working. 

 

  Fido was not trying to trap anyone with Fido Roam. Within that Fido Roam message you provided, it clearly states:

 

...use your data, talk and text from your plan in the U.S. for just $6/day.

 

  There's no ambiguity there -- data, talk and text -- for the stated amount (+ taxes, even!). The last statement to enable data roaming is to remind people it needs to be enabled to use data. Since phones now automatically roam, the use of talk and text is inherent because there is no other setting.

 

There is no ambiguity in the price for sure but that's not my issue.... my issue, once again for those in the back, is that there is plenty of ambiguity surrounding how exactly it is activated, especially for an unsuspecting user who believes that with their data (and DATA ROAMING) disabled, they should be free and clear as was the case in all the previous years I've been using your services... quite happily I might add.

Who the hell would think that recieving a picture message or even just rejecting a call and having it go to voice mail would result in you getting dinged for a day's worth of roaming when you had no intention of doing so ... THAT ... IS A TRAP!

And it seems I'm not the only person who has brought this up! You guys automatically enabled it on Fido Pulse plans and if people had no intention of using it, they wouldn't have read into it and would thus have no idea just what they were getting into. You guys can claim moral high ground and say "oh but look all the details are clearly laid out here" but that's a moot point if you don't have a reason to go looking for it. 

 

  I'll admit, perhaps Fido could provide better options to opt-out of Fido Roam. I personally preferred being able to purchase a Travel Pack (I have a non-Pulse plan).

 

Well if you personally prefer getting utterly ripped off for using an over-priced roaming plan, that's your business. Not only does this plan need better opt-out options but also a text message sent to the user each time they've activated the roaming option for the day, it should include the time frame they've got  to work with and IDEALLY what caused the roaming plan to kick in. You know... be informative and not underhanded. 

 

The European providers notify you about every little change on your account as it happens and they are held to a much higher standard than Canadian telecoms are..... don't worry. We'll slowly change this.

Hey @Fredyo,@Cawtau, 

 

I just wanted to provide a little update that we can confirm that simply rejecting a call without answering will not trigger a Fido Roam charge in any of the eligible destinations covered by Fido Roam. 

 

 



oiwah
I'm a participant level 1
I'm a participant level 1

I thought i would post to warn others about FIDO ROAM as well.  I specifically turned off data roaming on my ANDROID phone before a trip overseas and then I just found out I was billed $12/day for a few kbs of data a day.   I was very careful to only use whatsapp after signing on to hotel wifi but still got dinged by FIDO.  I guess the only way to be safe is to turn on airplane mode or to opt-out of FIDO ROAM and turn off data roaming.  I would say FIDO ROAM is a pretty terrible option if you are leaving the phone on for emergency use.  Below is capture from my bill.    Opting out of FIDO ROAM shouldn't be too bad since the new CRTC rules require carriers to suspend roaming charges if they exceed $100 during international roaming.

 

Capture.JPG

SH75
I'm a participant level 3
I'm a participant level 3

Yes, this also just happened to me $120 in charges I have been billed for nothing.  I have been a long time customer also and basically was told to make sure I know how to use the features on my phome.  I don't expect to be billed for something I'm not aware of. Very poor customer service, it's enough for me to change provider's when my contract is up for my 3 phone lines with Fido.

Hey @SH75,

 

Thank you for sharing your feedback with the Community.

 

We understand that unwanted charges are never fun and we don't want our customers to have any such surprises on their bills either!

 

Keep in mind that only a usage made through the Fido sim card will trigger a charge. If you do not make any usage, there is no fee. We also make sure to send a text notification to our customers when they connect to a local tower in a covered destination about the charges they will incur if any services are used.

 

Did you receive the sms notification?

 

That said, Fido Roam is enabled on all our postpaid plans automatically. You can opt-out by contacting customer service and have pay-per-use rates going forward.

 



SH75
I'm a participant level 3
I'm a participant level 3

I hooked onto WIFI at the Hotel, unknowingly being charged anyways.

SH75
I'm a participant level 3
I'm a participant level 3

No I never recieved that message, I got a message saying I have Fido roam for 12 dollars a day well I already knew that.  What it should say is if you don't want to be charged turn the Data off because you will be charged whether you use the phone or not.

Hey @SH75,

 

The message we were referring to was the one Welcome one that we send when your device connects to a foreign network: "Hi, it’s Fido: Welcome to the U.S.! You’ve got Fido Roam with your plan, so go ahead and use your plan's existing data, talk and text like you do at home. As of February 6th, 2020 the rate is $8/day (+ taxes) in the U.S. Happy travels! Questions? Check out www.fido.ca/m/roam or call +1-514-933-3436 (free)."

 

In addition to the welcome text message which details the regular rates you would be charged, you can also check roaming rates from our website. We also have a useful article on the Community that you can check out to learn more. 

 

If the Data Roaming is left ON, your smartphone will connect to data in the background for various reasons, as many applications automatically search for online updates whenever the device is on.

 

I hope this helps clarify a bit. 



SH75
I'm a participant level 3
I'm a participant level 3

Yes I keep getting the run around same answer. Basically Fido counts on the fact that people who are not smart phone savvy would just assume we will not be charged if we DO NOT use the phone otherwise the message sent would say welcome abroad blah blah blah and at the end of the message in BOLD it should state if you do not TURN OFF DATA you will be charged whether you use the phone or not. I'm sure at few extra words could be added to our welcome abroad message so save us all hundreds of dollars. 

Hey @SH75 ,

 

The text message we send out is to inform of the applicable charges should usage take place. Within the same text message, we do provide a link to our web page about fido roam and also provide a phone number where the customer can reach us for any inquiries. Also, the call is free if you call the number mentioned from your fido device! 

 

It's important to always review our information before travelling to ensure you won't generate any unwanted roaming charges. You can always reach a live rep by calling in, via Live Chat or via Facebook or Twitter. We're here to help. 😊  



SH75
I'm a participant level 3
I'm a participant level 3

The website info and phone number should be replaced with a very simple message TURN OFF DATA OR YOU WILL BE CHARGED that simple. Please stop with all the long drawn out replies..its a money grab. FIDO HAS ALREADY RIPPED ME OFF FOR 120 DOLLARS AT LEAST LET ME HAVE THE LAST WORD. Its sickening.

Rest assured, we aren't trying to rip people off. 

By all means, we do thank you for the feedback!   



storminne
I'm a participant level 3
I'm a participant level 3

So if a phone owner is traveling and gets the warning message to go ahead and use Fido Roam (even though it had been requested to be turned off), that tells you that it has in fact been reactivated without your request.

 

So if the phone owner is already in a different country when they get your message by text, how can the Fido Roam be deactivated??

 

Can the person deactivate Fido Roam without contacting Fido by making a phone call, or sending a text message, or using LTE? Any of those activities will trigger a flat roaming charge.

 

PS: Europe is $12 per day( or maybe that has increased as well?)

Hey @storminne

 

Even when you're out of the country and wish to be un-enrolled from Fido Roam, you can contact us via live chat, or by private message over Facebook or Twitter. If you don't have access to an internet connection when roaming, you can also call in by dialling our international number from your Fido device. You can find the number here: https://fido.ly/35FucaV. Also, the call is free when you call our customer service line. 😊

 

An agent will be able to deactivate Fido roam from there. 



storminne
I'm a participant level 3
I'm a participant level 3

The problem is that I have requested 2 times in the past to have my phone service deleted from the Fido Roam feature. Each time I was promised by the agent that I had been deleted. After returning from trips I found that I had been charged the flat rate daily fee after having made only a one minute phone call or sent one text in a day. A $12 charge for one text sent is much more than a $.75 charge or $2 call that I was expecting to incur.

 

Most of the time I took the agent's promise that the feature had been cancelled but it was never done. Each time when I called after the fact the agent said they would need to search the archive records to determine that I had indeed asked for Fido Roam to be turned off. The last time after 2 hours on chat, the agent finally confirmed that the records said I had indeed requested it be turned off and offered a refund.

 

I no longer can trust that the Fido Roam is OFF and I must call in prior to any trips I take. I suggest that any other users do the same or they will end up with unwanted charges. The default that Fido sets is to automatically have Fido Roam activated which means that you will be charged $12 for a single $0.75 text or a $2.00 one minute phone call. Be aware!

 

My advice is that people should make note of the date and time or save printouts of any chat conversations with Fido agents that they may have because they will otherwise deny having such notifications from you and deny any credits for their faults.

 

Just speaking from past experience......

 

 

Fredyo
I'm helpful level 1
I'm helpful level 1

Yeeepp... even with data roaming off, you still can and will get dinged even if all your phone did was recieve an MMS text message (a text with a picture attached). You also get ZERO notifcations that Fido Roam has been activated for the day (and at what cost). I raised all these flags back in my original rant but cleary nothing has been done about because the dirty little insider secret amongst all telecom companies is just how much they make in overage charges of all sorts including roaming.

 

The only way you can disble this is to log into your account and disable Fido Roam... which of course requires data.... do you see the dilemma here? Oh and you can't manually disable it, you need to start a chat with a customer service rep and have them do it, further more, if you do this while abroad even with data roaming disabled and just WiFi, you will still get dinged as you did...... you see where I'm going with all this!?

This is the type of shady excrement one would expect from Bell.....

Hello again,

 


@Fredyo wrote:... even with data roaming off, you still can and will get dinged even if all your phone did was recieve an MMS text message (a text with a picture attached)......

  Receiving the text portion of a MMS does not require data. However, downloading the associated picture does. Even in Canada, data needs to be enabled to send/receive the full MMS. If your phone downloaded the MMS with data and roaming data disabled, that's an issue with the phone or settings on the phone. This situation is different from the others who's phones have used small bits of data despite the those settings disabled and using no other services.

 


@Fredyo wrote:...

The only way you can disble this is to log into your account and disable Fido Roam...


  The only way to opt-out of Fido Roam is to contact Customer service. They provided the phone number in that first notification you received. If you note, that call would be free.

 

Hope this helps Smiley

 

Cheers


Fredyo
I'm helpful level 1
I'm helpful level 1
@Fredyo wrote:... even with data roaming off, you still can and will get dinged even if all your phone did was recieve an MMS text message (a text with a picture attached)......

 Receiving the text portion of a MMS does not require data. However, downloading the associated picture does. Even in Canada, data needs to be enabled to send/receive the full MMS. If your phone downloaded the MMS with data and roaming data disabled, that's an issue with the phone or settings on the phone. This situation is different from the others who's phones have used small bits of data despite the those settings disabled and using no other services.

Plenty of devices automatically download the picture content automatically and many people don't know that. You are expecting everyone to have advanced knowledge of these kind of things.  There is also the issue of other "small bits of data" being sent... basically, it's THAT easy to enable a Fido Roam cycle and you wouldn't have even known it..... hence why I said there should be a follow up SMS sent EACH TIME a Fido Roam cycle is initiated.

 


@Fredyo wrote:...

The only way you can disble this is to log into your account and disable Fido Roam...


  The only way to opt-out of Fido Roam is to contact Customer service. They provided the phone number in that first notification you received. If you note, that call would be free.

 

Hope this helps Smiley

 

Cheers


Why not inform the user each time a Fido Roam cycle has started and the cost? Why not just have an easy way to reply with a simple "opt-out"? 

Because you know many people would right there and then.

Hynes
I'm a participant level 2
I'm a participant level 2

"Why not inform the user each time a Fido Roam cycle has started and the cost? Why not just have an easy way to reply with a simple "opt-out"?"

 

As of December 2020, you still have to call customer care or live chat (service is disrupted due to 'Holideals' - which means pay $14 per day till they are 'Not Busy'). Point being, I don't think Fido is technically aware that this feature can be added to the app, else they would have done it by now - approx 2 years from your post.

FidoSaad
Former Moderator
Former Moderator

Hey there @Fredyo,

 

To clarify, we do send you a notification each time you cross a border when you're travelling overseas. As incoming SMS are free of charge, you don't get billed when receiving the welcome message. These texts simply aim to inform you of the applicable and coverage rates available at your location. No charges are in effect as long as there's no usage made on your device. How you decide to use your device is up to your discretion following that.

 

In regard to billed usage: Calls, sent texts and data will trigger roaming fees. All of these can be blocked by having your phone on airplane mode or by avoid sending texts, making calls and having the roaming data setting turned off on your phone.

 

To answer some of your previous concerns/questions:

  • To opt-out from FidoRoam you do need to reach out to us. We do offer you many options to do so, and one of them would be a free call from any international destination by dialing *611 from your device as seen here.
  • As we already notified you of the applicable rates upon your arrival, there would be no further notifications sent. Though you can keep track of your usage on your Fido My Account (web or app) 
  • Fido Roam provides you with a flat daily fee spanning on 24 hours from when you first begin your usage. The fee is not based on the volume of usage made but only of the number of days used. You can find more info here as well.

Hope this clarifies and let us know if you have any questions. We'd also be happy to take a  closer look at your account if you need any assistance.



Wagui
I'm a participant level 1
I'm a participant level 1

 

"". Though you can keep track of your usage on your Fido My Account (web or app) ""

You cannot track roaming usage..need wait till next billing cycle