Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yea, I am Cheap Bastard

A few weeks ago we went to Niagara Falls.  Ya know that is mostly in Canada.  My cell phone went kinda nuts over there.  Sometimes it worked fine and sometimes it had a little blue triangle on top and still worked fine.  Sometimes it did not work at all. It also experienced the same symptoms when we crossed back into New York. Whatever, I was on vacation, when it worked, I used it.  My wife's phone worked better than mine so we used it more.

When we had dinner with friends in Buffalo I asked them what the deals was with the little blue triangles and "roaming".  My friend said that when he sits at his desk in Buffalo, NY, USA his phone will sometimes click into roaming mode.  He has to call his carrier all the time because they bill him for roaming when he is in the United States. The Canadian towers are stronger and that phones just grab the strongest signal.

So I just got my cell bill and it was $38 more than usual.  Of course I call my carrier and ask them to explain the increase.  She told me that I used 8 roaming minutes and my wife used 35.  I told her that I wanted to avoid any extra charges so I made all my calls when I was on the US side of the falls. She said that I was roaming because I made the calls using Canadian towers.  However she was "willing to" take 25% off the roaming charges.

No, I don't want to pay any roaming charges because I saved up all mu phone calling for when I was on Goat Island.  (So, I said) which is entirely in the United States, but really, really close to Canada.   She told me that if I was in the US, a US tower would have picked up my calls.  But no, I told her.  "There are no towers on Goat Island, but there sure is a big one just across that little piece of the Niagara River in Canada".

She put me on hold for 9 minutes and came back and told me I must have been in Canada because my calls connected to the Toronto Tower.

Now I need a supervisor.

"So $38 either way is not a really big deal when my family's bill is 4 times that every month and my bill is only gonna go up when my kids get phones.  But I don't like being called a liar.  I did not want to get involved in roaming charges so I made all my calls when I was still in the United States."  I added, "This is something I am going to remember when it is time to renew my contract."

She gave me a $60 credit on my next bill.


  1. My home town is in southwestern British Columbia, very close to the US border. The same thing happens to me when I am "home" visiting my family, but am close to the ocean. The tower across the water in Blaine, Washington, picks up the signal, so I get charged for roaming. My carrier never disputed the problem, however, just credited the amounts back to me.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  2. I got charged for roaming in the Olympic Mountains in Washington State (Verizon). I was at least 20 miles away from the international boarder in the strait, and 30 miles from Canada land. It's a newish phone with GPS enabled, so I told them to look up the phone's location for when I was charged. They were astonished but subtracted the charges on the bill.

  3. My phone has GPS. I did not want to bring it up, because I was really in Canada


You do not have to be nice!

This is not me

This is not me
Not me.

Blog Archive