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Toll-free numbers and airtime

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

Dear all,


I was online with the Fido Customer Service to resolve the error in my bill. I have been charged for calling the toll free number ( The reason being given is that anything over 500 minutes will be charged at commercial rates even if it is a toll free number).


Customer Service ladies were very nice and helpful but the accounts deptt didn't budge. The bill for a personal phone is over 193 Dollars above the normal monthly bill.


Now, I will have to shift a different service provider and port the number and raise the dispute to higher officers in FIDO as this is incorrect invoice. 


Wondering who won in this - Process or Purpose... 


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

Dear Moderator,


Process Vs Purpose - A loyal customer wants resolution.


Absolutely Sir / Madam - regular channels cant do much as Process takes over purpose. It would be great if you can look into the issue and resolve. Billing for Toll Free numbers need more education and information and communication if the bill process is what has been diced to me. I am a simple subscriber who has contacted Customer Service first time in the last 6 years. 


Look forward - Process Vs Purpose.



Senior MVP Senior MVP
Senior MVP

Hello TK68,


  Welcome to the community!


  Sorry to hear you've received some unexpected charges on your bill. It's unfortunate that you did not understand how calling toll-free phone numbers using mobile devices works. Toll-free numbers simply means that there are no long distance charges associated with the calls. Airtime will always apply when calling any phone number, including toll-free numbers. It's the same with any of the mobile providers. The only way to not incur airtime charges is to call them from landlines. If you exceeded your allotment of minutes, any excess minutes used would be charged extra.


 You should also be aware that some toll free numbers may include long distance charges when you are roaming outside of Canada.


Hope this helps 😀





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

Thank you Cawtau,


Appreciate that you took out the time to respond. 


Yes, I think that most subscrobers don't understand that calling toll-free phone numbers using mobile devices can cost them dearly. That defeats the purpose of Toll-free numbers & it is not communicated widely. 


BTW, would you know how do I approach for a legal resolution? I want to do it right so I have sent a letter to the FIDO legal team - Anything else which I need to do in order to seperate nicely from a 6 year old relationship with FIDO. 

Hello again,


@TK68 wrote:...That defeats the purpose of Toll-free numbers ..

  Not really. As mentioned previously, toll-free refers to long-distance (LD) charges. With some exceptions (see below), the mobile providers are not charging you LD for those calls. The charges are for airtime.


~taken from Terms of Service; section 3g.


  With toll-free phone numbers, long-distance is not applicable (in most cases). However, the airtime charges would still apply.


  There are some important things to note regarding toll-free phone numbers. While North American toll-free numbers can generally be called free of LD charges from Canada or the US, it depends on the designated area as determined by the business owning the phone number. In addition to restricting those numbers to either Canada or US, some businesses may also place additional limits on their free usage (ie only from certain states or provinces etc)(see here). It would be a similar situation with toll-free phone numbers from other Countries. It all depends from where they wish to accept the long-distance charges. Many toll-free phone numbers are not free from long-distance charges when called from a different Country.


   Since the designated call area is determined by the businesses, it's not possible to know the availability of a particular toll-free number in specific regions just by the phone number itself.


  Unfortunately, I'm not sure there is any legal recourse. I understand you might not have been aware. However, the notion of having to pay airtime has been general knowledge for some time:


Toll-free 1.jpg

~taken from here.


Toll-free 2.jpg

~taken from here.


 Hope this helps 😀




Hi there @TK68


Like it was mentionned to you, once you've depleted your monthly allotment of minutes, you are charged the pay per use rates. The toll free number is still free in this instance as you are only charged for going over your minutes included in your plan.


If you want us to review your situation, know that you can reach us out through our regular servincing channels found here. Alternately, we can send you a PM here if you wish so. Just let us know!