Roaming fees go up this week for many Canadian wireless customers
Canadians travelling anywhere south of Windsor for March break would be wise to check in with their wireless carriers this week, just to get an idea of how much it'll actually cost to use their phones abroad once roaming rates go up.
Two of Canada's big 3 telecoms — Bell and Telus — are jacking up the daily fees they charge to customers who use their devices while out of town.
Telus will make the first move, raising its U.S. roaming rates from $12 a day to $14 a day this Wednesday, March 8, 2023.
Customers who roam internationally will pay $16 per day with Telus after that point, instead of the current $15, with similar hikes in store for the Telus-owned discount brand Koodoo.
This Thursday, March 9, Bell Canada will similarly raise its roaming rates from $12 a day to $13 a day in the U.S.
International roaming rates will go from $15 to $16 per day for customers of both Bell and Bell-owned subsidiaries like Virgin Mobile.
Not sure if I should be pleased to receive a “gift” that I can only redeem by traveling & paying exorbitant roaming fees after day 1. ESP after a price increase from $5 -$12 / day in about 4 years time? Or maybe you’re just pointing out that Bell is gouging even more? pic.twitter.com/5EF8ecJ4OC— Scott Affleck (@scott_affleck) March 4, 2023
We've known about the impending Bell and Telus roaming rate hikes for weeks now, but Rogers had been keeping mum on whether or not it would follow suit... until this week when it announced a promotion that seems to have been inspired by its competitors.
"Heading away for March Break? As a special thank you, Rogers wireless customers enjoy 1 Roam Like Home day on us between March 6 and 31, 2023," reads the telecom's website as of Monday.
As it stands currently, Rogers customers can use their data "normally" when out of the country for $12 per day in the U.S. and $15 per day internationally.
For those unaware, most major wireless providers have "roam like home"-style plans in place where Canadians can pay a flat rate to use their phones on vacation in the same way they would at home — without incurring thousands of dollars in overage fees.
Both Bell and Telus allow customers to access data from their regular plans as usual, with unlimited talk and text options, for a set daily fee (lower for the U.S., more internationally).
Roaming programs are typically seen as critical for Canadian travellers who want to use their devices abroad, as paying for individual "long distance" calls, texts and data packages abroad can get exorbitantly expensive.
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