Paying more for data: Canadian mobile companies raise overage fees

Jul 10 2017, 2:30 pm

Get ready to fork over more money for your data plan.

Rogers, the largest cell phone carrier in Canada, has increased its data overage fees as of July 5.

The company recently raised prices when customers go over data. Now, customers will have to pay $7 per 100 megabytes used, which is up from the previous rate of $5. This equates to a 40% increase in data overage fees.

When customers go over their plan by a full GB, they will be paying $70.

“We’ve updated our plans with larger data buckets that match how customers are using their phones and help them avoid overage. The vast majority of our customers don’t get charged data overage,” Sarah Schmidt, spokesperson for Rogers, told Daily Hive.  “We’ve also worked hard to take the worry out of data usage with our data manager tool. This tool gives families the ability to control their data in real-time, letting them top-up their data for the month, change their plan’s data bucket, or turn data on or off themselves at any time for each line on their plan.”

Schmidt says this increase only applies to the updated plans.

And this week, the telecom company announced that Rogers customers from areas affected by the BC wildfires would not be charged for domestic voice, text, and data overages until July 21.

Canadians paying up for overage fees

Rogers is not the only telco that has increased its data overage fees. Bell also raised its data overage fees from $5 to $7 per 100 megabytes in April.

According to Schmidt, the majority of Rogers customers (90%) do not get charged on data overage.

However, in the CRTC’s Wireless Code Public Opinion Research survey conducted in Fall 2016, over a quarter (28%) of Canadians said that they had paid data overage fees one or two times in the past year. Another 17% said they had paid overage fees three or more times in the past 12 months.

The survey concluded that data overage fees occur equally over all types of wireless plans.

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