Beware of the Fido Roam

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Beware of the Fido Roam

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....

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Re: Beware of the Fido Roam

Hey @Fredyo!

 

Thanks for your feedback! That's certainly a lot of points to cover and I promise not to copy/paste anything. Smiley

 

I just have a few points to clarify there:

 

1. We extended Fido Roam to everyone so all our customers can take advantage of it while traveling. In general, there's more value in using Fido Roam then pay-per-use. Hence why we went with the opt-out model rather than the opt-in one.

 

2. Although we extended this to everyone, you do have the options to opt-out anytime to use our pay-per-use rates. Those rates and Fido Roam information can be found here.

 

3. Usage that triggers Fido Roam includes making or receiving a phone call, retrieving voicemails, sending a text (receiving is free), sending/receiving a picture message or using data. Rejecting a call will not trigger Fido Roam.

 

That all being said, I completely understand if Fido Roam doesn't meet your particular needs. We will certainly take all your other suggestions in consideration.

 

If you would like to discuss you billing, I would be quite happy to send you a PM to discuss it further with you. Smiley

 

Let me know.

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Re: Beware of the Fido Roam

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.....

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Re: Beware of the Fido Roam

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.



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Re: Beware of the Fido Roam

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


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Re: Beware of the Fido Roam

To clarify, we do send you a notifications 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 simply texts aim to inform you of the applicable rates and coverage available at your location. No charges are in effect as long as there's no usage made. 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.

Except what you may not know is that you may be automatically enrolled in Fido Roam and not aware of what triggers a Fido Roam period to begin. If you had no intention of using Fido Roam, you'd just ignore that message and just proceed to use the same rates you've been using for years before that (as was the case with me and many others who were caught off guard). A very simple courtesey would be to inform users that a Fido Roam cycle has begun via text message. This how the European carriers do it... of course they have way better

regulations over there for this sort of thing.

 

Putting aside the fact that you shouldn't be automatically enabling such services on people's accounts to begin with, what I'm saying (and what many others have said) is that when that message comes in, it should be clear what triggers a Fido Roam period and there should be a very simple way to opt-out of Fido Roam right there and then by replying with a text message. These are all VERY simple things to implement but you won't do it because you know MANY people would just opt-out right there and then..... 

 

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

Right, a free call.. to talk to a customer service rep in order to disable it. Other options: log into your account, start a chat with a customer service rep in order to disable it.... 

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Re: Beware of the Fido Roam

@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.

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I'm a Participant Level 1 Nancymani1
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Re: Beware of the Fido Roam

Hey Fido, 

 

you always catch client using new charge. I had been your customer for 8 years, every time you have new charge surprised us. We are learning didn’t new charge from your service.

 

i just back from Bahama, see the billing is 16 times Fido roam charge in 2 trip. ($192) your service are too powerful, even access to my phone changed roaming settings. I don’t know is it legally? Should we report to public media let every client knew it? 

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Moderator (inactive) FidoThomas
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Re: Beware of the Fido Roam

Hey @Nancymani1,

 

That's definitely not the kind of experience we wish to provide! We want to be transparent with our service and how you are billed for your usage. 

 

Let's take a closer look at  your situation. We'll send you a PM, talk to you soon!



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I'm a Participant Level 3 FaridGM
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Re: Beware of the Fido Roam

With all the due respect to the OP, I am glad to use this Fido Roam feature as I never faced issues the OP mentioned and I travel pretty often. To me personally, Fido Roam is more valuable than pay per use and I see the logic Fido decided to put this option first. I would hate to pay per use until I realize that my Fido Roam had to be manually turned on. The good thing is that Fido does not force anyone to use it and let you switch if you want. Days when I do not plan to use the phone, I switch the data off, and Fido does not charge me. Rejecting calls never costed me a penny. I just wish Fido did not increase their US roaming rates from $5 to $7 and limit from 10 to 15 days.

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Re: Beware of the Fido Roam

Right. They don't force you to use it but it is automatically activated on your account and if you aren't aware of that, that's where the problems start. If I wanted a roaming package, I'd get one but I don't want (or need) one. It used to be that if you made a call or sent a text, you'd get dinged for just that amount where as now sending a text, receiving a picture text, making or receiving a call automatically starts the roaming package and you won't get any indication that you were just charged for a day of roaming when you had no intention of doing that. You'd think it would be pretty easy for Fido to send a quick text indicating you've started the roaming package for a 24 hour period! In the EU, there are strict rules about this and you have to get informed about ALL activity like that and you have to specifically opt out of those informational texts.

Want to disable it? Well you can't disable via text OR through your online account portal. you have to specifically get in contact with a customer service rep to do that which is a little ridiculous. 

 

Mobile providers make a TON of cash off roaming packages,  it is not in their best interest to make these things easy. 

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Re: Beware of the Fido Roam

Hello FaridGM,

 


@FaridGM wrote:... Days when I do not plan to use the phone, I switch the data off, and Fido does not charge me. Rejecting calls never costed me a penny...

  For those who are not aware, disabling data and/or roaming data does not prevent roaming for voice and messaging. Making/receiving calls or sending messages with that setting disabled will still incur the Fido Roam charge.

 

  Thank you for verifying that rejecting calls no longer incurs roaming charges.

 

Hope this helps 😀

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 


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