Everyday Living Tips

How Rogers long-distance charges bumped our monthly wireless bill



Most people assume they know everything they need to know about their wireless account until the bill arrives in the mail.

If you don’t know the details of your wireless plan it’s imperative that you review the information so you don’t get a shocking bill like we received last week.

Considering that we call Rogers customer relations every year our billing cycle is up to see what new promotions are available and to negotiate a new deal for the year even the best promos can sting you if you don’t know the provisions.

When the bill came in we found out that we went over our long distance usage on the cell phone while I was on the road training for work.

Our initial thoughts were  that calling the cell phone from our home phone was long distance when in fact it wasn’t it was local since we were calling a local number on the cell.

I am the first to agree that we don’t have the best long distance plans with our cell and home phone but we didn’t think that going over was as costly as it is.

Typically when I call home to the UK I use a $5-$10 phone card and it lasts me hours of talking to my family.

Since we ran out of long-distance on the cell phone we thought we were using our home phone long distance plan, wrong. A big oops that’s for sure but we live and learn.

We thought we were using home phone long-distance minutes when it was actually the cell phone that was using the long-distance.


The cost of error


Since we only had 100 long-distance minutes free for North America apparently we went over by 300 minutes which came to the grand total of ….. (are you sitting down) an extra  almost $73 on our monthly Rogers bill with incoming long distance charges. 

I was a bit upset to say the least so I called up the customer relations department at Rogers to get some feedback on the bill. The customer service representative explained to me what had happened and there wasn’t too much I could say except that we simply made a mistake.

Even though we messed up I was disheartened with the charges for simple North American long distance and I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks that Rogers needs to take the prices down a notch.

I know, I know suck it up and you are right that’s the price we have to pay for not knowing the wireless plan details. We won’t be making that mistake, EVER again.

For those parents who have children with cell phones or anyone else it’s very important to talk about how much it costs to use long-distance or even going over in data usage.


The outcome


The kind rep at Rogers did a one time reversal and took half the charge away when I decided to cancel her cell phone as I was fed up with 2 months in a row having to pay extra.

Last month it happened with our home phone that we went over using long-distance and the bill was much higher because there is no where on Rogers website that I can track my home phone long-distance usage.That’s right we got stung not once, but twice the past 2 months.

When I called Rogers customer service told me they couldn’t tell me what I had used for long-distance minutes and that I should track my own minutes manually.

Lots of good that does a customer when you have 500 minutes to use but have no idea what you’ve used.

I don’t know many people who set a timer when they talk long-distance and with technology today that should be an easy fix for Rogers. Providing customers with ease of service should be priority along with excellent service, excellent prices and the list goes on and on.

Hey, we don’t live in a perfect world so when we get screwed we must live an learn and never let it happen again. I’m hoping Rogers works on making changes to the home phone long-distance so it’s easier to track long-distance usage up to the minute like we can easily do with our cell phone long-distance usage.

Then my Rogers cancellation department rep proceeds to tell me that for an extra $4 or so a month I can get unlimited North American long- distance minutes and texting including photos.

Oh, nice, thanks for telling us that ages ago… but if you don’t ask they won’t tell you I guess.

They would rather you pay the overage because that makes them more money but if they have to risk you leaving they pull out all the stops to keep you as a customer. I’m glad they did because I have been generally happy with Rogers since I’ve moved here and the wife for over 12 years of her having service.


Cancelling wireless plan


I had to tell them I was cancelling in order to be told about the different plan only because we figured we might as well find a better plan somewhere else since we were only month to month and not on a contract.

It seems everyone we know has an awesome plan with their provider so the options are endless when it comes to wireless deals.

Why should Rogers offer such a lucrative package to someone if they really didn’t need it in the first place which clearly they didn’t think we did according to our past bills. So, we are paying a few dollars more for the cell phone starting now but we won’t have to worry about our long-distance charges any longer.

It pays to ask questions and speak up because you never know what deals are lurking behind the scenes but most of all don’t be afraid to wave good-bye if you don’t get the price and services you want because competition is fierce.

If Rogers or any other wireless service wants to keep up they must keep the customers happy, including the one’s who have been long-time patrons.


UK cell phones


I don’t ever remember having this much trouble with phones in the UK and BT (British Telecom) were at one point renowned for being completely useless. The main difference with phones in the UK is that every call you make you pay for even if it’s to the house across the street.

However, you do not get charged for receiving calls as you do here, which is beyond me. I used to have a package called the Low User Scheme where they actually paid you money back if you didn’t use all of your allocated minutes. My average quarterly phone bill was roughly £28 ($47) or £9 ($15) a month.

Not what you’d call expensive and yet I still used the phone normally, just watched how much I used it. I have yet to find anything similar in price or structure on the Canadian market.

There was that cheap land-line at my old house in England and then I had a mobile phone on top which was “Pay as you go” and once every few months I would put £20 ($34) on it and it would stay there until I used it.

The pay as you go scheme here works differently and just removes any credit you have at the end of the month if you don’t use it. Surely that’s missing the entire point of “pay as you go”?

Now we get on to the price difference, we as residents of Canada pay enormous costs for mobile phone charges. Hopefully the ever ridiculous prices we pay for mobile phones will be brought under control because phone companies are just lining their pockets.

It gets to the point where you have to be careful how much you’re using the phone these days. We always make sure that the land-line is used to local calls because they are free, which in turn keeps the mobile from racking up unnecessary used minutes.


Bill for November


Keep in mind our monthly cell phone bill is typically $31.12 a month including tax and as you can see Rogers long distance rates were off the charts and we paid the price. Although the plan below is an excellent plan for those that don’t use the cell phone too often but still want all the perks it’s very important to track usage along the way.

Regular charges
November Wireless usage $72.90
200 Wkday & Unlimited Eve/Wknd $17.50
Savings: 12% Off Better Choice Bundles $-2.10
100 Anytime Canadian LD Mins $5.00
Savings: 100 Canadian Anytime LD Mins $-5.00
Value Pack* $10.00
6pm Early Evening Calling $7.00
Savings: Early Evening Option $-7.00
Gov’t Regulatory Recovery Fee $2.13
Call Forwarding/Call Transfer $3.00
Savings: Call Forwarding/ Call Transfer $-3.00
Total before taxes: $101.43
 Total for Wireless: $114.62

New cell phone plan


Below are the details of our new Rogers cell phone plan.

  • Unlimited Canada-wide Talk & Text
  • $35.00/month
  • Unlimited Weekday Minutes
  • Unlimited Eve & Wknd Minutes
  • Unlimited Canadian LD
  • Call Display
  • Billed Usage-Invoice Details
  • Call Forwarding/Call Transfer
  • Unlimited Text/Pic/Video Messages

So, for a few more dollars a month we no longer have any stress worrying about long-distance charges, text, photo or video messages which makes owning a cell phone a bit more tolerable for us.

Have you had any crazy charges on your cell phone?



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  1. We have our landline, internet and cable with Rogers so we do pay a fair size bill every month. The land line is cheaper with them than what we were paying with Bell which now has Bell’s knickers in a twist. My sister-in-law has her land line with Bell and has a nice long distance package, I’m not sure what she pays a month for it, but every time we call her the first thing she says is to hang up and she will call us right back. This is so we don’t pay for the call but it goes on her bill. She has had it for a while now as almost everyone she calls is long distance so this works for her.
    We don’t have a cell phone ourselves but the younger boy has one that we use for going out of town. It’s with Bell and is a pay as you go cheapie. He keeps it topped up, usually buying the $50.00 card so he gets 3 months worth. Last time I asked him about the card for the cell he said there was about $80.00 on it. All of us regard this cell phone as an emergency use phone.
    Our daughter is with Bell for her cable, internet and cell as well as her land line for as long as she keeps that. Usually the only thing it gets used for is to buzz some one into the building as she lives in a controlled access building. She gets what ever deal they have going for as long as the deal runs. She was advised by a rep at Bell that she should just call in when the deal expires and see what the current deal is and to just keep doing that. So that is what she does. Mind you she reads her bill in full so if there is a deal hidden in the small print on it she will find it!!!!
    Do you still get a paper bill from Rogers?? I’m sure I’ve seen the long distance minutes we use for the land line on the bill so I would think they have it for the cell phones some where……We had to click to see the full bill and not just the summary online to find that information mind you…..Something for you to look for….

    1. Hi Christine,
      Ya, we can see the minutes for the cell phone online and no we don’t get a paper bill. It was the minutes used for the home phone so we can track the 500 free long-distance they give us that we can’t find. I hope they change that soon.

      1. The minutes for the landline should be on there some where as we don’t have a cell with Rogers and I could find the minutes used on the paper bill as well as online if I caught hubby in time. You need to look at the full bill, I think on the page where your land line bill is detailed………

        1. when we called they told me they weren’t available online and we had to track them on our own unless they changed it in the last month.

  2. That really bites Mr CBB… especially at this time of year when we are all working very hard to get our year-to-date figures on budget.

    Hubby and I very seldom use our cell phones so $100 US per year each on each of our AT&T Go Phones handles all our talk and text needs including long distance for the next year. Our phones actually retain the unused balance as long as you do the $100 account top up one day before the account expiry date to a maximum of $500 balance on each account. It’s easy peasy and since AT&T uses the Rogers network here in Canada… we are completely satisfied with what we get. Seldom are hubby and I in a long distance coverage situation from each other… but when we are, we text as it’s a lot cheaper than a call. 🙂

  3. I also was with Rogers for my all my services (cable, internet, land line and cell phone, or should I say 2 cell phones). I contacted Rogers back in September to see what deal I could get by switching to a new BlackBerry (not on contract) and ending up switching from Rogers to Telus for our cell phone and cancelled my land line. I went to take back my phone box and since then Rogers has been trying to double bill me and charge me an early cancellation fee. They have credited me the early cancellation fee but as of the other day, still no credits for the double billing. The store couldn’t go online to close the work order for returning the box and that caused a whole other pile of mess. When I called to complain about the entire bill and then again called back again for the outstanding issues, I told them that I will pay what I think is owed based on the prior month’s bill. I expect the rest to be credited and no late payment fees applied, let’s see if that will actually happen as there is still a balance of over $200.00 on the account.

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