March 24, 2013 2:01 PM PT
The man who successfully fought his $22,000 cellphone roaming charge is back with a guide to help others do the same.
In a CBC Go Public exclusive earlier this month, Burnaby resident Matt Buie accused Rogers of price gouging after getting a $22,000 bill for data charges racked up on a family vacation in Mexico.
‘This has taken six weeks of my time. It’s not about the money. It’s the principle and fair play.’—Matt Buie, a financial planner from Burnaby
When he first complained, Fido, which is owned by Rogers, immediately offered to cut the charge to $2,200 but Buie kept negotiating.
He says the company was using the “shock factor” of the huge initial charge to get him to settle for a bill that was still too high.
“My cost could not have been anywhere near a dollar,” Buie said.
Buie argues Telus would have cut off data access when the bill reached $200, but Fido didn’t alert him until three days of charges had piled up.
Buie told Fido he would be willing to pay the equivalent of the Telus cutoff point, at which point Fido agreed to slash the bill to $500.
Fight to the top
But Buie still refused to pay, taking his complaint to the office of the president at Fido. The company eventually reduced Buie’s charge to $200.
Despite the cost in time and stress, Buie considers it a victory.
The Mexico data usage is calculated on Matt Buie’s bill, for the first two days of his son’s video streaming. February 1 data use will show on the next bill.
“This has taken six weeks of my time,” Buie said. “It’s not about the money. It’s the principle and fair play.”
During the fight, Buie learned about service provider responsibilities and what conduct is already set out by the CRTC.
Buie says he cited the outcome of a CRTC hearing last month, in which telecom executives alluded to $200 being a fair cap on unexpected data charges should a cap be in place.
Buie says the industry is largely unregulated.
He wants telecom companies to cap cellphone roaming fees at a manageable amount pending authorization from users for further charges, as providers do in Europe.
Buie said he also found evidence a large number of Canadians have gone through similar fights.
“I Googled ‘Canadian roaming charge complaints’ and I came up with 1.7 million entries,” he said.
Buie has helped publish a toolkit to help other Canadians negotiate excessive and unexpected cellphone charges down to reasonable amounts.
Buie’s step-by-step guide to negotiation with telecom customer service can be found on the website OpenMedia.ca.
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
how he obtains/loses his heart’s desire = ME = 45 = Regrets. Uh oh. That’s gotta hurt. Things went horribly wrong. Common sense. Investing time and effort. Revenge.
predictions for the year 2013 are at:
discover some of your own numerology for FREE at:
learn numerology from numerologist to the world, Ed Peterson: