Fido Roam - Warning

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

Fido Roam - Warning

Fido Roam is a deceiving.


I was recently out of the country for a month. I used my phone 7 times on 7 different days to check voicemail, or answer a 1 min call, or send 1 text message. Each of instances automatically activated Fido Roam, which triggered a $12 charge per day totalling $84! 


$12 to check my own voicemail once! It’s ridiculous. 


The website says says in order to activate Fido Roam you need to turn on data roaming... the whole time I was away data roaming was turned off. 


This Fido Roam shouldn’t be the default setting. You should have to opt in to this option. 


My previous out of country experience with Fido I was charged standard per min rates, $3 / min, I just assumed it would be the same this time.


Customer service has been poor, phone agents have had contradictory advice and understanding of how Fido Roam works. I’m switching to another carrier. 


Very disappointing. 



Accepted Solution

Re: Fido Roam - Warning

Hello RJCC,


  Welcome to the community!


@RJCC wrote:...


The website says says in order to activate Fido Roam you need to turn on data roaming... the whole time I was away data roaming was turned off. ..


  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.


 The 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.


@RJCC wrote:...

My previous out of country experience with Fido I was charged standard per min rates, $3 / min, I just assumed it would be the same this time....

  Fido was not trying to deceive anyone with Fido Roam. When your phone first connected to a foreign network, you should have received a SMS indicating your phone had connected outside of Canada with provided the daily rate for use.


  Any use of your services -- using your device to make or receive a call, send a text message or use data while abroad -- will trigger the Fido Roam charge 


  Receiving SMS does not trigger the Fido Roam charges. However, you should note that the data within a MMS would be considered roaming data and would trigger the daily charge.


  In addition, rejecting an incoming call should no longer trigger the Fido Roam charge either (see here).


  If you opt out of Fido Roam, you would then use your services on a pay-per-use basis (see here for rates).



Hope this helps 😀



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Message 1 of 22
I'm a Participant Level 2 ricksmithers
I'm a Participant Level 2

Re: Fido Roam - Warning

This is such an obvious scam, Fido should be ashamed of itself. At minimum, the brilliant marketing VP that approved this should be given their walking papers. I cant think of a better way to demonstrate to the customer base that their customer experience and satisfaction is of absolutely no interest!

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Message 11 of 22
I'm Helpful Level 1
I'm Helpful Level 1

Re: Fido Roam - Warning

Yep happened to me last year and judging by the number of posts about this, we are certainly not alone. 


Fido (and it's overlord Rogers) is well aware of this but don't expect them to provide and easy soloution such as being able to opt-out with a simple text message. They could EASILY implement this in a day but they won't. They make far to much $$$ with roaming and overage this is why they automatically turned on Fido Roam on everyone's account and then make it difficult to turn off yet so very easy to activate.


This would never been allowed in the EU and other countries with stricter telecom rules.


I should have done this last year but I will be filing an official complaint with telecom ombudsman and for good measure, I think CBC GoPublic would love to hear about this. Would make a nice little evening segment on the National. 

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Message 12 of 22

Re: Fido Roam - Warning

Hey @Fredyo


Are you still having trouble with your account?


I'll send you a PM.

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Message 13 of 22
I'm a Participant Level 3 Cheebase
I'm a Participant Level 3

Re: Fido Roam - Warning

I note Fido changed the reply contents when HELP is sent to 222.

It is not ROAM anymore to turn the feature on but TRAVEL.

One would think that if this was so easily done (since January 2019), the feature turn off will be done too at the same time.


Well, no...


Could you tell those guys to include the UNTRAVEL command in the line up as well, please? It would be just as easy programming...

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Message 14 of 22
Moderator (inactive) FidoFaiza
Moderator (inactive)

Re: Fido Roam - Warning

Hi @Cheebase


I am not too sure I understand what you mean? Are you inquiring about opting-out of Fido Roam? It's something that needs to be done from our end. Let me know and I will send you a PM, or you can always contact us here




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Message 15 of 22
I'm Helpful Level 3
I'm Helpful Level 3

Re: Fido Roam - Warning

just to add to the discussion.

I let my wife borrow my phone and take it to work tor a day to test FIDO/Rogers service, and then had to call customer service to have the US roaming charge reversed when my bill came through.

She sent a single text message .  Wasn't quite expecting that but it was quickly handled and a note was put in my file that it will be a possible ongoing issue until she retires or they close the OPG hydroelectric plant on the Niagara River.

Then when I added a line for her to my plan and she took her FIDO phone to work, I as the primary account holder got a SMS message from FIDO saying "welcome to the US" and an explanation of roaming charges for her phone. She didn't get any message on her phone. So if you have multiple lines on your account, it seems the Primary holder gets the notification not the second device that is the one doing the roaming. 

So i sent a SMS to her BELL phone and told her to turn off the FIDO phone.

Where she works, BELL has LTE service. FIDO/Rogers phones roam to US towers because they have no service.


And at home her BELL phone has no service, and we get great LTE from FIDO/Rogers.

Roaming within Canada doesn't exist across National Carriers it seems. /*Opinion:: Couple of 10 year olds in the CEO Chairs I think. "It's my ball and you can't play with it." */ But they certainly have no problems with default roaming onto carriers in other countries, even if you don't cross an International border.


First FIDO Rep had said to disable data roaming. Didn't work, that is when i got the message.

Next one has the better answer, put on Airplane Mode. It works, but she "doesn't have time to toggle phone settings all the time." 

So I went nuclear with the help of FIDO rep and put a block on International/US call/text/data roaming for her phone. I don't get any more messages. When she border hops to the US for lunch her OTHER plan covers roaming, when she goes overseas she either uses public/hotel wifi for Messenger/Facetime or she gets a local network prepaid SIM and pops it in the phone at the arrival airport if she thinks she will want to voice call. Far easier than having me call FIDO especially since I really don't want to be on the hook for it.


She travels way more than I do and has it alll figured out. i don't mess her plans..

But it is worth sharing, since she says it works and if it didn't she would keep plugging away until she found something better. Can't figure out why after 20 years he hasn't found something better than me ...





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Message 16 of 22

Re: Fido Roam - Warning

Hello thePoodleFarmer,


  Thanks for the contribution!


@thePoodleFarmer wrote:..Roaming within Canada doesn't exist across National Carriers it seems...

  Just to clarify, roaming between the Canadian mobile providers is called extended coverage (Fido-EXT). It's possible your wife's phone connects to the US cellular tower at her work location because that signal is stronger than the Bell signal. She might be able to manually connect to the Bell tower (Fido-EXT) in her network settings.


  Is her Bell phone set to manually or automatically select networks? Her Bell phone should be able to manually connect to the Rogers cellular towers (Bell-EXT) in her network settings when she is at home. However, both those scenarios would entail fiddling with phone settings.


Hope this helps 😀







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Message 17 of 22
I'm Helpful Level 3
I'm Helpful Level 3

Re: Fido Roam - Warning

I am always happy to try anything and see what happens.

I am aware of the Extended coverage, there is a map of of FIDO network coverage that shows where EXT is generally available. The GTA and Niagara peninsula doesn't show any light blue EXT coverage. but maybe there is single site negotiated sharing that doesn't show on a graphical representation.

And there are limitations - it is for occasional use. She is at work 40+ hours a week, so even if the BELL equipment also supported EXT I might see a warning after a few weeks. So maybe it isn't a long term solution. The fact that the BELL equipment co-located on a corporate customer property probably doesn't hold out much hope they will share with FIDO/Rogers but I will see if she will try. The signal is definitely strong there, the BELL equipment is on the site. And they have little incentive to share.


I tried on my phone, to manually connect to Fido-EXT which was shown after i searched available networks. "Cannot connect to the network at this time. Please try later"

We had a CKC dog trial here today, and I asked the 20+ people if anyone was on Bell. lots of unhappy faces. One looked up and said "I am". So I asked to borrow her BELL phone (fortunately it was Android) and tried to see if i could hook her up with FIDO/Rogers and it would not connect to the network either even though a scan of available networks did show EXT. "Cannot connect to the network at this time. Please try later" So maybe the hardware/firmware exists, but it isn't enabled. 

Funny thing - I was talking about our BELL issues and she said "guess I shouldn't tell you what i do". And of course, she works for BELL. As a Network Engineer. not for Mobility, something with the WiFi thing. She was confused why we have a PoodleWiFi network visible but no Internet connection. I had to explain that it is IntraNet so our computers can communicate with peripherals and share files. And I can USB tether through the my AP router to get mobile data sharing to multiple devices at much higher speeds (especially devices that will not support RNDIS tether vis USB) and greater range than a mobile hotspot. I have built my own little network here, outside the asylum. 


So BELL devices here on our property with no good BELL signal don't seem to want to connect through the FIDO/Rogers network even if you fiddle with network settings manually. So that half of the equation doesn't look very promising.


Will see what happens when she goes to work Monday. fingers crossed but not holding breathe. i don't like purple.










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Message 18 of 22
I'm Helpful Level 3
I'm Helpful Level 3

Re: Fido Roam - Warning

So I tried again with my phone, from a different place - the Poodle Cave (like a man cave but with poodles)

Networks found






FYI, TELUS has no owned equipment so they piggyback on BELL equipment around here. Which maybe explains the duplicate EXT.

FIDO connects, HSPA+ -63dBm which is great 4G signal, and then flipped to LTE -92dBm which is pretty decent too

FIDO-EXT the first connects, HSPA -101 dBm so that is the BELL tower with 3G service

FIDO-EXT the second which is probably TELUS flags a warning "network with limited service found", and prompts to connect elsewhere

WIND won't connect


So now I have to fiddle with my wife's Apple and see if her BELL phone will connect to the FIDO tower here at home.


I feel like this thread is being hijacked, and is getting off the original topic. What's a pirates favourite letter? ahRRR


Connecting manually is fun .. but not practical in the long run. So how do I set the phone to automatically search and connect to an available EXT network when the primary network is unavailable, weak or intermittent. That is the long term fix. No way will I get her to manually change networks - I couldn't get her to put it on airplane mode.

Apple and Android instructions would be helpful. We are multi-lingual multi-generational household - macs and windows, apples and androids, XP to High Sierra.



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Message 19 of 22

Re: Fido Roam - Warning

Hey @thePoodleFarmer!


I just wanted to jump in and add that if network selection is set to automatic and the Fido network is available, it will always prioritise the Fido network.


This is because Extended Coverage is intended for occasional use, in areas where the Fido network is not available at all. At this time, there's no way to change the way this works.

Hope this helps shed some light on things!



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