Telus Charged $5,000 for roaming at sea WITHOUT NOTIFICATION

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TelusOnFence
Helpful Neighbour
So, my fiance when she was on a cruise called me a few times and much to her surprise when the bill came it was approx $4700 . She was shocked and when contacted Telus she was told there was nothing they could do. She did receive a msg saying welcome to Mexico and Roam At Home but did not receive a message saying welcome to Roam at Sea. Apparently the charge is $5 minute for calls and even more for data.

The text msg recieved was ambiguous and not clear and am prepared to post to Twitter (of which I have 30k real followers) Instagram and Facebook unless Telus steps up and provides a satisfactory resolution to this outrageous bill.

On the fence waiting patiently for now.
canucks4life
Ambassador

As per wireless code of conduct it should be $100 max for data roaming not sure about Voice charges however.

 

https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/phone/mobile/codesimpl.htm

2. Cap on data roaming charges

  1. A service provider must suspend national and international data roaming charges once they reach $100 within a single monthly billing cycle, unless the account holder or authorized user expressly consents to pay additional charges.
  2. A service provider must provide this cap at no charge.
  3. In all instances, this cap applies on a per-account basis, regardless of the number of devices associated with the account.
  4. Any amount that the customer pays in data roaming fees, whether via a roaming add-on (before use) or via overage fees (after use), counts toward this cap.
Community Power User
Community Power User

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.

 

NFtoBC
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Community Power User
Community Power User

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. 

 

Rates

 

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:

  • $7.00/min
  • $0.60/SMS (incoming SMS messages are free)

Notes:

  • Data connections are no longer available while on a cruise ship that is at sea
  • Your phone will still be able to connect to Wi-Fi if it is available. Cruise lines may or may not offer on-board Wi-Fi, and TELUS is in no way responsible for or associated with the Wi-Fi offerings
  • The data pay-per-use rate while on an in-flight airplane or in another satellite location is $15/MB

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.

Syaoran
Ambassador

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.  

TelusOnFence
Helpful Neighbour
Unfortunately your welcome to roaming text msg is ambiguous and does not specify different terms for roaming on land or roaming at sea. Simply, an automated message is sent not disclosing true roaming charges or indifference. Small claims court will hear the matter since customer service would not hold responsibility.
Community Power User
Community Power User

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)

TelusOnFence
Helpful Neighbour
Telus should be sending a msg that states roaming rates at sea not a generic message when arriving in a foreign country.

Will be taking this public.
Community Power User
Community Power User

Again, roaming at sea is not a thing. The boat is in international waters before activating their cell service, using a private company's satellite connection, so the carriers have no easy way to locate where you are. Since the satellite cellular provider doesn't have roaming agreements with cell companies, you're not eligible for roaming plans while on the private satellite cell servce. The costs are publicly posted by the carriers and the cruise lines refer you to contact your carrier regarding rates if in doubt.

 

Be sure to name and shame the cruise line since they didn't warn your fiancee individually when she boarded the boat that she should have contacted her cell provider to confirm the rates before leaving port, even though they recommend it on their websites.

BillTelusCust
Ambassador

Maybe people should not use their mobile phone with reckless abandon while on a ship at sea.

 

This is not Telus' fault.  At all.

BillTelusCust
Ambassador

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.  

TelusOnFence
Helpful Neighbour

Really?

 

so when a message arrives from Telus that states welcome to Mexico they are referring to land only?

 

TelusOnFence
Helpful Neighbour

Telus gets a cut from all calls regardless sea or land. 

 

Youve come accross somebody that actually knows knows what they're talking about.

TelusOnFence
Helpful Neighbour

Whatever.

 

Telus should not be sending messages when arriving in Mexus that state welcome to roaming.

They should have clearly stated in thier message that roaming at sea is different than roaming on land.

 

Give me a break. You really don't believe what you are typing do you.

TelusOnFence
Helpful Neighbour

So the ship in Mexico in Mexican water is now not part of Mexico?

 

wow! The stupidity amazes me.

TelusOnFence
Helpful Neighbour

Really.Really? 

 

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.

BillTelusCust
Ambassador

There's no sense calling other people stupid to point out a mistake made by your fiancee.  If you were the one being called,  you might have taken note of the issue yourself.  The name of the carrier on the mobile phone would have changed between being on the Mexican land carrier and on the maritime satellite one.  

 

There are hundreds of thousands of people who take cruises every year, including likely tens of thousands of Telus customers - and out of those hundreds of thousands of people, how many complaints do you see of people getting a $5000 phone bill?  

 

Perhaps you should think about that before you start calling other people stupid.  

 

You're right, Telus does get a cut in this, so if you talk to them nicely and take ownership of the problem, you might get them to forego some of their "cut" and reduce your bill.  Although I sympathize with your plight, that sympathy is getting to be less and less.

BillTelusCust
Ambassador

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".  

Community Power User
Community Power User

@TelusOnFence wrote:

Really?

 

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.

 

NFtoBC
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rc
Ambassador

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.