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Bill Confusion

BDOID
I'm a Participant Level 1
I'm a Participant Level 1

On November 29, 2021 I purchased a a new plan to replace my old one and get a new phone as part of cyber monday. In the confirmation email, dated November 29, 2021, it states "summary of fees" and includes the plan and shows 50 dollars, which was what I agreed to when I selected purchase  (it showed I would be paying 50+ fees&tax anda new phone.) It shows the same thing under "critical information summary", an additional attachment in the confirmation. When I signed up for the phone, I was shown it would be zero dollars, This is reflected in my original confirmation email. There was no mention of financing and it listed "Device Subsidy" and showed $1,125 dollars. I presume the value of the phone.

For the record, the terms subsidy, is defined as:

"a sum of money granted by the government or a public body to assist an industry or business so that the price of a commodity or service may remain low or competitive"

An alternative definition is not present in your contract or terms of service. In such situations the ordinary meaning is imputed onto the word. Fido as the Grantor is granting me, the grantee a subsidy per my understanding of the bill.

I ordered the phone and switched my plan, excited to recieve it. After two months I was somewhat suprised to have not recieved my phone. I went to sign into my account, and I was locked out do to a "fraud alert" being placed on it (later I learned it was because I switched my addres when purchasing, who would have thought someone would move after 2 years??) I recieved no phone call, no email, or any contact whatsoever, regarding the "fraud alert" and later what I learned to be the cancellation of the phone being sent.

After two phone calls, a physical visit to a store in the middle of a pandemic I was able to get my account set back up.  However, now I was paying a bill 90+ dollars a month as I was being charged for the phone as part of a second confirmation I recieved. Which now mentions no subsidy,  but instead a financing arrangement.  I am curious if you could explain to me the following:

1) what is a "Device Subsidy" per the November 29, 2021 account change confirmation.

2) Why a fraud altert was placed on my account and despite you being a phone carrier who had both my phone number and my email did not attempt to notify me? Is fraud not taken seriously at Fido?

3) Why after this "fraud alert" I was paying more than the original agreement.

1 REPLY 1

Cawtau
Senior MVP Senior MVP
Senior MVP

Hello BDOID,

 

  Welcome to the community!

 

  While I cannot provide information with regards to the second and third aspects of your queries, hopefully, I can shed some light as to Device Subsidy.

 

  Thank you for providing a definition of subsidy. However, words can often have different meanings. I do not know who coined the term, but the term Device Subsidy has been in use since at least 2013 when the Wireless Code was introduced.

 

    In order to offer the latest smartphones and other mobile devices as well as provide an incentive to customers to sign a contract, cellphone carriers offer up-front subsidies on the price of handsets and work the cost of recovering that subsidy into the monthly plan. ~ taken from here.

 

  With the subsidised model, the subsidy is incorporated into the plan (ie small, large, etc). Since the subsidy is incorporated into the plan, your plan does not automatically switch to a BYOP plan at the end of a contract (see here). It is not possible to merely remove the device cost from those plans.

 

  For a while, subsidised plans was the norm in the industry.  You should note that Fido has now switched from their subidised plans to a financed payment program for new devices. That is, the cost of devices is now separate from the cost of services. Once the payments have competed with the new program, your only remaining monthly costs would be for services. It's possible the term device subsidy was removed from the Terms of Service as they now have a separate Payment Program Agreement.

 

  That said, I'm not sure why device subsidy was mentioned in the confirmation email you received since the switch to the payment program was prior to November 2021.

 


@BDOID wrote:

...When I signed up for the phone, I was shown it would be zero dollars,...


  Are you sure that wasn't $0 upfront? If that was the case, the full amount of the device would be financed over 24 months. While Fido might have offered bill credits to offset the cost of the device, no provider would offer a high-end device (in excess of $1000) for free.

 

  As already mentioned, I cannot speak as to why your account was flagged for fraud. You would need to contact customer service to discuss the matter. In addition, they can also be contacted via Live Chat, Facebook, or Twitter. Those methods can be accessed via the contact page posted above. They may require you to contact their Fraud department.

 

Hope this helps 😀

 

Cheers