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Fido Roam - Warning

I'm a participant level 1
I'm a participant level 1

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. 




I'm a participant level 1
I'm a participant level 1

Adding my story to the mix.  I sent a few text messages in Mexico on different days and came back to $90 in Fido Roaming charges.  After being extermely careful not to use my phone other than about 5 or 6 emergency text messages.


I find this extremely deceitful from Fido.  I assumed each text was $1 max.   Apparetnly you're supposed to call Fido to request to opt-out of Fido roam?  and request to use Pay per Use?  If this is the case, why doesn't the text message say this when you enter Mexico?  Ridiculous!  It should not opt me into a $15 / day.  At least it should tell me that there is a pay-per-use option that I need to opt-in to.  Otherwise if I use my phone I am automatically charged $15.  Sneaky behaviour that in my mind is close to theft.


Then when I phone customer service, they are super rude and act like I'm supposed to know this.  They have me read them the text in a manipulative way.  Going to be looking for a new provider because of this, for sure!



I'm a participant level 1
I'm a participant level 1

Just adding a similar story into the mix... I went home to the UK for a month and immediately got a UK SIM when I landed (it was a bargain, phone plans are so much more price inclusive elsewhere). I had to turn my Canadian phone on 6 times during my stay, each for a few seconds to receive banking verification codes as I was logging into friends computers and so it always prompted security measures.


I thought receiving a text message was outside of roaming fees, as it has been in the past. I was shocked to come back to Canada to $90 of roaming charges ($15 for each verification SMS!!!). More shocking still, when I called Fido expecting an outpouring of goodwill as this is the first time this has happened on my account... they could reverse one $15 charge. My boyfriend and I have our phones linked to the same account, he also has $30 of charges. They would only deduct one total, not one each.


Honestly, I was gobsmacked. Surely it would take so little effort and resources to acknowlegde that this should be reversed in the name of good customer service.... It seems not. I am a student and make $15 an hour at my weekend job, these fees are a full days work to me. That is a big deal.


In the end I asked to be put through to cancellations. After paying off 5 devices through Fido in 5 years I thought we would be treated better. I'm moving on to another provider and will be cancelling as soon as the phone numbers have been moved to a new plan. 


This was just so unnecessary. It could have been fixed so easily.

Hello Katieagnew,


  Welcome to the community!


  Sorry to hear you've incurred unexpected roaming charges. You are correct in thinkng that receiving SMS does not incur roaming charges. However, you should note that any data contained within a MMS would be considered roaming data and therefore would incur roaming charges.


  Have you had a chance to view the details of your bill to see what usage incurred the roaming charges? You should be able to view those details via your My Account -- Billing & Payments --> View Bill. From there, you should be able to Save or Print a PDF copy of your bill. Alternatively, you should also be able to view the details online under Usage summary.


  It's possible your phone actually used data to update itself everytime you turned it on. If that is the case, you would have been charged for data rather than receiving text messages.


  I understand this is a difficult time and your situation makes receiving such a bill even more distressing. If you're unable to make full payment on the bill, you might consider trying to arrange a payment schedule. To make an arrangement, you'll need to contact the credit operations department. It should also be mentioned that any arrangement would be at the discretion of the credit operations team.


  Hope this helps 😀



I'm a participant level 1
I'm a participant level 1

same thing happened to me.


left for cuba and turn off my VoLTE, data roaming and cellular data think fido roam worked as it always did. (you used to just turn roaming off and it wouldn't apply the fido roam rate but the pay as you go. That is not the case anymore. It was changed to automatically having fido roam whenevr you send anything from your phone abroad and you need to call their toll-free number to otp out. The problem isnt having to call the number, its that in the message sent by fido, they say fido roam will apply to your account with every text, call and data byte you use. If there are questions, you need to call their toll-free number. FIDO, THE PROBLEM IS NEVER IN THIS TEXT DO YOU MENTION THERE IS AN OPTION TO OPT OUT. IT IS VERY DECEIVING TO YOUR CLIENT TO DO THIS. YES IT SAYS IF WE HAVE QUESTIONS, BUT NEVER DOES IT MENTION THE OPTION TO OPT OUT OF THIS FEATURE. It is unfair to me as a client of more than 12 years, who has never had a charge like this on their bill, when your vague wording is all you can hide behind. I will refuse to pay this sum and file a complaint higher up. This is completely unacceptable. And yes, i will be switching company, because your customer service has really become bad in the last few years. Shame on you.

Hello @tommydido 


We would need to go over your account to see what happened.


We definitely don't want to lose you as a customer.

I'm sending you a PM to go over this. Talk to you soon.

I'm experienced level 1
I'm experienced level 1

depends where you go internationally,

if you have access to google services, use google talk to dial into voicemail,

if you do not have google access, use other app that can dial canadian numbers via data/wifi.


Former Moderator
Former Moderator

Thank you for the detailed explanation @Cawtau


If you need more details @RJCC or have other questions, we'd be happy to review this situation with you. 


Just let us know and we'll send you a private message! 

Senior MVP Senior MVP
Senior MVP

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 😀



I'm a participant level 3
I'm a participant level 3

This is all nice and beautiful.


Now the real solution... would be: to opt-in and opt-out at will.


The first part works. Here are the steps to opt-in to Fido Roam from your device via SMS :
*From a wireless device, open the text messaging inbox.
*Compose a new message.
*In the To field, enter the number 222.
*Press enter, next or return.
*In the message field, type the word ROAM.
*Press Send

*You'll get a confirmation message.

The second part? You'd think there is an elegant solution using the word UNROAM. Right?

Wrong!!! You actually must chat or call FIDO to opt-out of FIDO Roam.


(Before you rush away and try various obvious alternative keywords, send HELP to 222.)


woof-woof... Happy

Hello Cheebase,


@Cheebase wrote:...Here are the steps to opt-in to Fido Roam from your device via SMS...

  Just to clarify, all Fido postpaid customers with a mobile plan are automatically covered by Fido Roam. There is no need to opt-in to the program. Texting ROAM to 222 merely confirms the status of enrollment (see here).

  Yes, if you do wish to opt-out of Fido Roam, you would have to contact customer service. If you did opt-out of the program, travelling outside of Canada would roam using pay-per-use rates (see here).


Hope this helps Smiley





I'm experienced level 1
I'm experienced level 1

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 ...





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 😀







I'm experienced level 1
I'm experienced level 1

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.










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.



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!



I'm a participant level 1
I'm a participant level 1

Fido roam is such a SCAM.


I have been fido customer for 11 years. Usually when I travel I migh sent 2-5 messages that used to cost 0.50$.


This year when I saw my bill I was shoked. I sent out one SMS I January and was charged 12$.   I have nevewr sigh for Fido roam and I do not undersnand what right fido has automaticly sigh me in to Fido roam. 





Hey @Taniam! Thank you for your many years of loyalty. Smiley


We're sad to read your experience with Fido Roam.


As stated above, you do have the option to opt-out of the Fido Roam, if you wish. To do that, you can contact us here for that or we can send you a PM.

I'm a participant level 3
I'm a participant level 3

There should be NO NEED to contact anyone at Fido to turn OFF Fido roam. Unless of course if you want to deliberately skim the unsuspecting...


Do provide such an ON/OFF solution!

Hey there Cheebase.


I get your feeling and this is clearly not what we want you to think of us. Currently there is no option for an On/Off switch for FidoROAM, and I do get that contacting us to turn it off might be a bit convoluted.


We will definitely pass your feedback along. 





I'm a participant level 2
I'm a participant level 2

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!