I think the OP fiance should contact TELUS again and see if they will give her a partial credit.
TELUS is under no obligation to provide any credits as the OP fiance made ano assumption that the TELUS roaming packages coveed cruise ships at sea. The TELUS website list what countries are covered by their roaming packages, and a cruise ship in international waters is not listed. Also they specifically state that cruise ships are not covered and warn about the high cost of the service.
The CRTC mandated caps on roaming fees do not apply to voice calls so TELUS is under no obligation to reduce these charges.
Unfortunately Roam at Sea isn't something that exists. Mexico, has easy roam but cruise ships are a whole separate thing. Telus has a page outlining cruise specific costs. It specifically states that roaming plans do not apply when on a cruise ship or airplane. The rates listed are more or less similar to what US carriers charge when dealing with cruise ships. Cruise ships use satellite and it's never cheap.
Easy Roam and Travel passes are not available for use on cruise ships or other satellite locations. Pay-per-use rates for cruise ships, in-flight and satellite locations are as follows:
Different rates apply to the countries where you port, and depend on whether you have Easy Roam, a travel pass, or continue using pay-per-use rates. Click here to find more information on roaming rates in a specific country.
As someone who has traveled a lot. Cruise ships must use satellites for internet and cellular connectivity though a micro cell tower built into the cruise ship. This makes use of any of those services incredibly expensive! The last cruise I took, it was $300 US for the unlimited internet package for the 7 days. Thankfully, T-Mobile WiFi Calling works everywhere, including on airplanes, which saved me a massive extra expense to keep in contact with friends and family.
When traveling, it is always on the user to know and understand the charges of using their cell phone abroad.
Before you jump too far, have a look at these documents:
From Telus service terms:
Can I stay connected when I travel outside of Canada?
9. Roaming services are available on compatible network technology and are provided when you are outside of Canada in places where TELUS has roaming agreements with other telecommunications companies, within their coverage areas. There may also be times when you are charged for roaming while still within TELUS coverage areas. This will happen if your device’s radio signal is picked up by a cell tower located in the coverage area of another wireless service provider.
When you are roaming, you will be connected using the services of another wireless service provider. As a result, you will be responsible for all applicable charges, and are subject to the terms and conditions of the service as imposed by that other provider (these may include limitations of liability and possibly the provision of unwanted services and content). Please keep in mind that special numbers for emergency services and operator assistance may vary by country so dialling the numbers that you use in Canada may not work. It is your responsibility to look up and use country-specific numbers when roaming outside of Canada.
Telus Cruise ship rates are $7.00 per minute, and $0.60 per outgoing SMS. A bill of $4700 is about 10 hours of conversation.
About Cellular at Sea, which is not a carrier, nor a roaming partner in the usual sense, and, to my knowledge, not subject to carrier restrictions. For instance, wireless carriers may have no ability to prevent your connection to the ships wireless/ cellular network and out to the greater world, nor may they get timely reporting of your use the ship's wireless connectivity to effect a limiting of your continued use.
You may be able to negotiate a reduction in costs if you approach Telus calmly. I suggest carefully reviewing your bill in preparation, as it appears a considerable number of hours were spent in conversation. Data is unavailable through your cellular plan while on board - it is dealt with directly through the cruise line at similarly exorbitant prices. So, as @canucks4life indicates the data caps and notifications at $100 would not apply to voice calls.
I believe the roaming message would have been "Welcome to Mexico" and explain what the charges are in Mexico. A ship at sea is "not" Mexico. Telus' website explains quite clearly the charges on cruise ships. I can expect it would be upsetting to receive a $5000 bill, However, the rule is simple for mobile devices - if you do not know the costs for using it where you are, leave it off or in airplane mode.
The moment that the name of the carrier changes from the Mexican land based carrier to the maritime one is the moment that the boat is "not in Mexico".
so when a message arrives from Telus that states welcome to Mexico they are referring to land only?
And that little sliver of water along the coast covered by terrestrial cellular towers. Once you are beyond 12 miles from shore, you are in international waters, and likely beyond any terrestrial cellular signals.
One would think there would be a certain degree of consumer responsibility to have read the terms of service, and if in doubt for roaming, either called Telus to inquire, or at the least Google as the Telus page about cruises was really easy to find. Most of the cruise lines websites advise travelers to check with their cellular provider to confirm the rates.
The message about roaming in Mexico doesn't apply to cruise ships as the cruise ships usually don't turn on the satellite connection until they are in international waters / more than 12 nautical miles off shore. (Example: Carnival Cruises)
One ns would think if your average bill is being exceeded by ten times that Telus would send you a message or at least investigate and contact the customer to see what's happening with the account.
kind of like cc companies with ambiguous multiple charges on your card.
You're stupid if you think Telus has no fault in this.
What is it you expect from Telus to do on this matter? The forum members here are all more than likely customers and former customers. There is more than likely no one high enough up within Telus to acknowledge and potentially address your concerns. You honestly might have better luck contacting the cruise company because they ultimately bill Telus for your usage and then Telus inflates that cost as their convenience and service fees and passes it on to you.
Ignorance or a lack of knowledge, however you want to put it, isn't an excuse! Roaming can be expensive, as your bill proves. The account holder is responsible for the bill being paid. If you choose not to pay it, it will eventually end up in collections. Ultimately, the choice is yours. Reasonable expectation is that you do your research before using your device while roaming, which doesn't seem to be the case here. If you had any questions or concerns about your services while roaming, then you should have contacted Telus before your fiancee took her vacation and used the service while roaming.
When an average traveller receives a text message from Telus and says " welcome to Mexico " and welcoming to roaming the message clearly does not indicate whether it's roaming on land or roaming at sea and therefore the message in itself is ambiguous in nature and misinforming. A high volume of people who receive welcome to roaming have no idea that roaming on land and sea are different costs. Telus as a Company should have informed thier customer when sending the welcome message that different rates apply for land and for sea. But Telus would never want you to know that because guess why..they're making huge money with those who travel on sea and have been tricked to think they are simply roaming.
The courts will decide who's right or wrong and surely will post the results for all to see.
This discussion has turned into a waste of time. You fail to take the prudent advice offered.
It is your right to pursue this in court if you want - but be wary of the consequences.
Years ago, I was faced with a $2000 roaming bill from a company other than Telus. However, the issue was solved in an amicable fashion and this seems to not be the option you want to take.
Blaming others for your mistakes is not the path to a good resolution.
Since your "fiance works in law" she should understand why TELUS requires customers to opt in to the Easy Roaming service.
Customers when they add the service to their account via the telus app are provided the details of the service.
So your argument about a misleading welcome message to the service is irrelevant. All the message is as stated, a welcome message to a service that the customer has agreed to and was provided the details about the service.