Some background on my experiences with mobile provider call center support first...
A few years ago my wife needed data for one month while travelling. We called in and had them remove the data block on her iPhone service and subscribed to a data plan.
When she returned she called in to cancel the data plan.
A month later the crazy bill arrived for all the data her iphone was using without a data subscription plan.
We called in and the helpful call center rep told her that as a service subscriber she should have known that she had to explicitly ask for the data block to be turned back on. Essentially he told her that if she wasn't smart enough to avoid being tricked by her mobile service provider, then she deserved it. Awesome.
So, now I keep getting texts from Fido telling me that I should turn on data roaming to get Extended Coverage for better service while outside of the city.
Sounds awesome, but I also end up travelling close to the US border and often see the phone connecting to US networks from the Canadian side.
Should I assume that I'll get huge bills for US data roaming whenever I forget to turn data roaming back off near US networks?
Solved! Go to Solution.
Thanks for pointing this out!
You are correct. With our new accidental roaming solution, customers who live or travel along the border will no longer be charged accidental roaming charges. The entire US/Canadian border (up to 2 kilometres in radius) is covered to make sure you won’t be charged roaming if you connect to a US tower while in Canada.
Hope this helps!
I know this is an old post however it is worth updating.
This "accidental Roaming" policy is no longer true and in fact seems to be a "scam" from Fido itself. I live near a US border (and have my entire life) but since August 2018, (when I stupidly upgrded to a PULSE Plan), I have been charged the $7/day roaming charge on numerous occasions even though my phones Data Roaming is OFF. To be clear, It is the same phone I have had for years. The only change I made was to accept a Fido Promo to go to a Pulse Plan.
After several phone calls the only solution according to Fido is to have a block on my phone. The problem is that if I need it, I have to call to have it removed, then of course I would have to remember to call Fido to turn on the block again.
This is a cop-out by Fido. The onus is placed on the customer to keep track of our location even though the phones have GPS and Fido has the ability to correct this at their end. I live in Canada and I'm being monetarily "punished" for living near the US border. RIDICULOUS.
I'm tired of having to constantly call and have False Roaming charges reversed. Once this billing cycle is over, it's time to change service providers.
I can understand your concern regarding these charges. We would hate to see you go because of this.
We’re working with US carriers to make sure that all towers located along the border are identified. This will make it possible for us to charge domestic rather than roaming rates when you connect to these towers.
That being said, when new towers are created, we’re not always notified right away. From what you mentioned, it looks like your phone probably connected to a new tower that hasn’t been flagged in our system yet.
If you were charged incorrectly, this can definitely be corrected by reaching out to us.
You can reach out to us here.
Well FidoValeska, your response is, in my opinion, a cop-out answer and here is why;
When I move away from the US border and out of range from a Fido tower, my phone simply stops being able to be used. Correct? Of course.
When I, however, move towards the US border and get out of range from a Fido tower, the same should be true. That is not what happens. Rather than simply not being able to use my phone, and rather than being given the option to "roam" based on my requirements, Fido chooses to automatically connect my phone (even though I have my roaming OFF) to a US tower, so that they can make money. This has nothing to do with Fido knowing the location of towers in the US near the border, because, new or old tower, Fido can certainly tell which tower I have been automatically (and incorrectly) connected to in the US and would cwertainly know that I am still in Canada, and consequently not charge me for roaming. After all, I have called at least 5 times in the last several billing cycles to complain about this and have my charges reversed and the only solution offered by Fido, is to have data roaming blocked.
What about customer service? Why should I be inconvenienced? Why does Fido, not just simply bounce my signal to closer Canadian towers rather than US towers? Because then it would cost Fido money rather than having the opportunity to make money from people that may not even bother calling Fido to have the charges reversed. It is nothing more than profit driven, rather than customer service driven.
Ironically, a friend who is also on the same Fido pulse plan, with the same phone, was with me on several occasions and her phone settings are identical to mine, but she is simply notified that her phone is "roaming" but is given the option to turn on her data roaming. Her account is never automatically charged the $7. My account was charged $7 each of these times.
There is 1 "Fido Tower" near my home and 7 Bell towers. Across the border is 1 AT&T tower that my phone insists on connecting to. Why does it not simply "ping" off a Bell tower while I am still in Canada? Because then Fido doesn't make any money.
Sorry FidoValeska, but your response does not offer/provide any reason/solution to this issue. When 90% of Canada's population is within 100 miles of the US border, it seems that this is license for cell providers to over-charge an already overly expensive cell phone service in Canada.
Welcome to the community!
@me101 wrote:...Fido chooses to automatically connect my phone (even though I have my roaming OFF) to a US tower, so that they can make money....
...Why does Fido, not just simply bounce my signal to closer Canadian towers rather than US towers?...
Firstly, most modern smartphones roam automatically. The ability to disable roaming was removed from Android circa KitKat or Lollipop. Since then, the only way to prevent roaming is to enable Airplane or Flight mode (you can manually enable Wifi, when required). The data roaming setting on smartphones is only supposed to prevent data usage when on a foreign network. That said, there have been instances where phones have been able to use little bits of data despite data and roaming data settings being disabled. However, I'm still not quite sure why, or how, that happens.
The mobile providers do not choose to which cellular towers a phone connects. They can't simply bounce signals around like you suggest. That is entirely dependent on the phone. If you choose manually set your mobile network to Fido, it will not connect to the other cellular towers. However, if you choose to let your phone automatically select the mobile network, the phone will connect to what it deems as the best connection available. In your situation, the AT&T cellular tower is likely providing a stronger signal -- even stronger than the signal from those Bell towers.
@me101 wrote:...Ironically, a friend who is also on the same Fido pulse plan, with the same phone, was with me on several occasions and her phone settings are identical to mine, but she is simply notified that her phone is "roaming" but is given the option to turn on her data roaming. Her account is never automatically charged the $7. My account was charged $7 each of these times....
I'm not sure why you're not receiving the same notification your friend received. Fido only usually provides that notification once during a trip rather than following every connection to a foreign network. Have you ever received that notification?
To reiterate, having data roaming disabled does not prevent roaming for calls and messages. If she did not use her phone for those services, she would not have incurred the Fido Roam charge. Had you used your phone for calls and/or messages while your phone was connected to the AT&T tower? If not, it's possible your phone is one of the examples of phones which use bits of data despite data settings disabled. Again, there has been no clear reason why some phone suffer this issue while others do not.
Sorry FidoValeska, but your response does not offer/provide any reason/solution to this issue...
FidoValeska's response could possibly provide a solution. As she noted, it's possible that particular AT&T tower has not yet been flagged. Once it is flagged, connecting to that tower would not incur Fido Roam charges! I understand you might be inconvenienced by having to flag that cellular tower for them, however, they can't know which US cellular towers will cause an issue without having one already identified.
Hope this helps
I have been annoyed by the incorrect roaming charges for a long time. I drive regularly through the Niagara Parkway and tired of getting the roaming charges and after many chats with Customer Service decided to block roaming on my lines.
Now, this is very inconvenient because I cross the border quite often and would like to have the option of roaming without having to go through the lengthy process (20-30 minutes chat) of contacting Customer Service to unblock it and then remember to block it when I'm back.
Do I understand you correctly when you say that if the Network operators setting in my Android phone is changed to "Select manually" it won't be connecting to AT&T (or any other network for that matter) and therefore avoid the roaming charge?
Then, when I cross the border, I could change the setting to "Select automatically" and will be able to get roaming again?
Thank you for your help.
Welcome to the community!
Have you relayed the locations where your phone connects to the US cellular towers to Fido? There is suppose to be measures in place to prevent roaming charges when accidental roaming close to the border. However, there may be some culprit cellular towers which have not yet been identified as problematic.
@georgepie wrote:...Do I understand you correctly when you say that if the Network operators setting in my Android phone is changed to "Select manually" it won't be connecting to AT&T (or any other network for that matter) and therefore avoid the roaming charge?
Then, when I cross the border, I could change the setting to "Select automatically" and will be able to get roaming again?..
Providing your phone uses those settings correctly, manually selecting a Fido network should prevent connection to the AT&T cellular towers. However, it would also prevent the phone from connecting to other Canadian cellular towers as a part of the exended coverage (Fido-EXT). In addition, if your phone labels the networks as Fido and FidoLTE (or Rogers and RogersLTE), selecting one or the other won't switch between the two networks when necessary. I'm not sure why some phones differentiate the '3G' and LTE networks when the manual network selection is chosen. My phone only shows Fido and switches between '3G' and LTE networks when necessary.
Hope this helps 😀
Back in the bad old days before the 'smart phones' the older handsets used PRL files, usually pulled by the phone when requesting an update. Imho, this older tech worked far better at preventing accidental roaming.
That said, regardless of plan subscribed to (unless it's an all inclusive cross-border plan), the system SHOULD be configured to push out the 'Welcome to Roaming Service' text alert message. Not sure why this isn't the case.
In a word, YES! Expect hugh bills if you turn off roaming and living near the border.
External coverage doesn't seem to be for you giving your geo location, unless you want crazy bills.
email notifications won't help you either becuase from your location it is constantly switching between US and Canada cell tower.
I'm sorry to learn of the experience your wife had in the past.
In order to use our extended coverage service, roaming must be enabled on your phone and Fido account. We can however apply an international roaming block to your account. This will not prevent you from using the extended coverage service. I invite you to contact us via Live Chat, Facebook, or Twitter, if this is something you would like to have set up!
Also, when connecting to a U.S. or international network, you will receive a welcome text informing you that you are roaming. This is a great reminder to turn off your data roaming to avoid any unwanted charges!
I hope this helps!