Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

FIDO roam is a complete scam

I'm a Participant Level 2
I'm a Participant Level 2

I just returned from the UK. My 12 year old son was very careful with his phone. We not only disabled data roaming but turned cellular data completely off to avoid any charges. Then I get the bill and it is charging $12 per day for Fido roam. He only used wifi when on the web but somehow I guess SMS text messages get through and he unknowingly incurred these charges. I called support and they gave a $20 credit against what will be about a $84 charge, claiming this was a good faith gesture as these were valid charges. Says who? I never asked for roaming access - that is why we turned off cellular data (which is what I do successfully with my tigers phone). And now Fido tells me the only way to avoid this is to put in airplane mode. News flash Fido - airplane mode is intended to avoid signal interference on, you guessed it, airplanes! Not to be used as a way to avoid charges.


I accepted the $20 credit as what else can I do? But This is absolutely astounding. I actually feel violated by Fido. I have had a cell phone since 1995. I have never once complained about anything to any carrier (bell, Rogers or Fido)but this one is actually offensive and needs a regulator to act on. I now see plenty of complaints online about Fido roam for the same reason. Spare me the sales speak Fido, this is highway robbery.




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

On the phone right now, totally uncaring support staff. I do not think if you turn your iphone data roaming to "off" you are responsible for how Fido works their end. In my opinion once you have placed the data roaming on off you have done your part.


Not to mention they can analyse the data- did you make phone calls, did you send text messages? In my case I tunred it off right away. Assuming that would be enough, and taking the mistake to trust that they would see this data at the end fo the day. Very dissapointing that they forget the customer in all this. The rate per day is not a lot for use of internet but when you have not used the service because you turned data roaming to off it is unreasonable to pay for the service that was unused.

Hello Kayhodson,


  Welcome to the community!


  I can understand it's frustrating incurring roaming charges when you thought your phone would not use data abroad. However, you would only get charged for roaming if there is any usage on your SIM card when abroad. In fact, Fido would not even know you were out of the Country unless the Fido SIM connected to the local networks. Roaming charges will incur when you use your device to make or receive a call, send a text message or use data while abroad. (see here). While receiving SMS would not incur the roaming charge, it's worth mentioning that the data contained within MMS (incoming or outgoing) would be considered roaming data and charged accordingly. You should note that MMS are not solely restricted to pictures or video messages. Messages with subject headers or group messages etc are also considered MMS. In addition, you should note that sending/receiving iMessages while abroad (and not connected to Wifi) would be considered roaming data. Unfortunately, if the usage listed on your bill, your phone did connect the SIM to the foreign networks and use services.


@kayhodson wrote:

... I do not think if you turn your iphone data roaming to "off" you are responsible for how Fido works their end...

  I understand you had disabled roaming data on your device. However, the mobile providers have no control over how your device operates. They will only relay what your phone sends or requests. You should note that it's possible disabling iPhone's roaming data setting doesn't necessarily disable all types of data usage (see here, here, here, here, etc). I understand some of those links are dated but there are more recent other examples as well. An explanation I have read is that devices connect to Apple servers for certain essential functions so it is allowed despite data and roaming data settings disabled. Unfortunately, I don't think there's an official solution as Apple tends to deny it's an issue. It's also possible Apple doesn't consider iMessages as data and not disable them as a part of disabling roaming data. They may also view system data different from user data and allow the former despite roaming data settings.


  I also understand that may also not be your fault, but it's not the providers fault either. As mentioned, they only provide services your device uses, whether you intended them or not. They cannot force a device to use services.


  For future trips, to ensure unintended data usage, you might consider enabling Airplane or Flight modes for the duration of your trip. You could manually enable Wifi when required. I understand those modes would also prevent receiving SMS, however, you would need to know how your phone behaves in order to prevent unintentional data usage.



@kayhodson wrote:

...Not to mention they can analyse the data- did you make phone calls, did you send text messages?...

  Have you had a chance to view the billing details for those charges? You should be able to do so via your My Account --> Billing & Payments --> View Bill. From there, you can Print or Save a copy of your bill. Alternatively,  you can view the details online. If the usage is during your current billing cycle, it is possible the details of usage might not be available until the current cycle ends. While the foreign networks inform a customer's home network of usage, there can be a delay in receiving the actual usage details.**


Hope this helps 😀










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

Same story for me, after a trip in Italy where I sent probably 20 message ( I though I was charged by each message ) but they said since they send me a message :

Hi, it's Fido: Welcome abroad! You've got Fido Roam with your plan, so go ahead and use your plan's existing data, talk and text for just $12/day (+ taxes) in this destination. Happy travels!

So by sending this message they wave their responsabity saying is my fault to not go through and change it or call them. Since I’m otherside of the world dealing with 1000 things I suppose to call them to change my plan! When I expect if I want a daily plan I suppose to agree about it if I want it or not. No charge me by default. So is a SCAM to me. Company suppose to take care of their customer instead try tricky way to make my suggestion change company with a cheaper plan so you will save money on it to recover the damage caused by Fido ! And please spread word around social media so other people will know about it 

Hey @Simosimo


Sorry to learn you had that experience with your invoice.


For assistance with your bill, it will be necessary to contact our customer service. You can find the ways to reach us on our contact page here.


Hey @Qwerty987654321! Welcome to the Community! 


I definitely understand how these charges can be surprising.

I can assure you however that we do not try to hide any information regarding Fido Roam and if you were charged, it means your phone and SIM indeed connected to a non-Canadian network and were used. 


When arriving at an eligible destination, you receive an SMS to let you know about Fido Roam. 

As per the information given, using your data, sending a text and making / receiving a call will trigger the charge.


To avoid Fido Roam fees, you have to make sure that your mobile / roaming data is turned off, to not send texts and to not make / receive phone calls.

You can also put your phone on airplane mode, turn off the device or remove the SIM.


While the airplane mode is usually used while on a plane, it is mainly because of the fact that this feature completely prevents any connection to any network, therefore it's a great solution to avoid charges while abroad.


All Fido Roam details can be found here here


If you still need assistance with your account or bill, feel free contact us here



I'm a Participant Level 2
I'm a Participant Level 2

I appreciate you responding. I recognize that it is not anyways easy to respond to irate customers.


Yes I did receive that text. That said, I assumed that turning off roaming and all cellular data would make roaming charges impossible. The text did not advise me to turn on airplane mode  to avoid charges. 


I guarantee if that you survey 100 people, 95 of them would have the same expectation. 


The fact I now have to either remove my SIM card or turn on airplane mode for an Entire trip is ludicrous. 


Is there a way I can just opt out of Fido roam and instead just buy a pay per use roaming plan when I need it?



Hey @Qwerty987654321!  

I definitely understand where you're coming from. 


Taking out your SIM or putting your phone on airplane mode are only suggestions. If you are being careful with the usage (not making / receiving calls or sending texts), you shouldn't be incurring any fees. 

Of course, the data has to be turned off at all times, but receiving a regular SMS won't trigger Fido Roam. 


The last thing we want is to create confusion, so as per the information given in the Fido Roam SMS welcome message, data, talk and text from your plan are all mentioned as being part of it. 


While it's possible to disable Fido Roam, you'd be still charged for roaming at the pay per use rate, which in some cases turn out to be more expensive than the flat daily rate of Fido Roam, which is why we'd rather recommend our customers to be careful. 


I really hope this information help you avoid these kind of charges in the future.