Bell roaming rates changing May 1st to flat rate of $1.45/min

John Connors

March 25, 2010 1:01 pm

A few weeks ago we heard that Rogers was going to increase the 911 Emergency Access Fee to $0.75 per month starting April 1st. And it seems they’re not the only ones that feel the need to increase rates. With all the great promos going on over at Bell, I’m sure their customers will be happy to know that increases are on the way when it comes to roaming rates.

If you’re traveling or make/receive calls to the United States the you should mark May 1st, 2010 on your calendar. Bell states that “Please be advised that Bell Canada’s Unregulated Terms of Service will be changing effective May 1, 2010″… and those unregulated increases are the following:

- All incoming and outgoing calls from the United States will be charged at a rate of $1.45 per minute (Currently $0.99 per minute, depending what plan you’re on)
- Sent text messages while roaming will be charged at $0.75 per message (Currently $0.60 per message, depending what plan you’re on)

UPDATE: Bell sent us an e-mail stating the following:
“The change to voice roaming rates in the U.S. is in an effort to simplify how we bill our customers on pay-per-use rate going forward. Today, we charge $0.99/min + a long distance rate that varies by the type of call you’re making (e.g. back to Canada, local call, international etc.). As of May 1, no matter the type of call they’re making, we’re moving to a flat-rate fee of $1.45/min. This is very much a price change and simplification of the charges. For instance, many of our customers call back to Canada when they travel – today this costs $0.99/min + $0.75/min for a total of $1.74/min. As of May 1st, this will cost them $1.45/min. Bell offers clients who travel to the United States many excellent roaming packages that offer discounted rates, and some plans offer rates for occasional travelers as low as 37 cents per minute, and for frequent travelers, as low as 18 cents per minute.”

More here at Bell

  • Jim R

    Interesting – $1.45 for US roaming is exactly what Fido charges IIRC. Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

  • theninjasquad

    wow, that is outrageous. I thought the current prices were bad, but that is just getting worse.

    The sad part is, after Bell does this, Rogers and Telus won’t be far behind to align their prices with this.

  • Z24george

    Wind mobile has us roaming for 0.25 a min shows all theses other company has huge markup on roaming

  • Julia

    Typical Bell. No surprise that I recently got an email from Virgin mobile stating their web browsing and international text prices increased as well…

  • GeekEye

    So these changes to the ToS.. Will it allow people to leave their contracts without the ECF (Early Cancellation Fee)??

    I’m curious

  • mike

    Temporary promos but indefinite rate increases. Quarter step forward, 3 steps back?

  • pascal

    competitive alignement… again…

  • Bellicose

    The voice stuff is wrong here from what I can tell. It’s not $0.99 a minute for me when I go down to the U.S.(just got back). It’s 99cents plus another charge – like a roaming charge. This looks like it’s less than what I pay today.

    The text is definitely higher though.

    Is this info confirmed?

  • Frank N

    Good question, I wonder if someone knows…

  • Randy

    I guess this is another example of the increased “competition” we’ve been hearing about lately.

    What a curious number to come up with for roaming, $1.45 per minute. Not a straight $1.50 or some other arbitrary amount. Oh wait a minute, why that’s the exact same amount, to the penny, that TELUS charges for US roaming! What a “coincidence”!?

    What are the odds that Bell & TELUS would come up with the same US roaming rate… the same per minute overage rate, the same LD rate, the same activation fee, the same CID cost, the same data costs… Yup, competition is alive and well in Canada… NOT.

  • Bellicose

    @Randy – it’s not that surprising that they charge the same … for roaming anyway ;)

    Remember, this isn’t only what Bell and Telus are charging, it’s made up of a cost that is passed on by the carrier you use when your down in the States. I was on T-Mobile … surely they charge Bell something for the pleasure!

    Plus, don’t Bell and Telus share their network …!!??

  • Brendan Mcmillen

    We also have to look at how much their roaming partners charge them. We can’t just say its a mark up ( Although it probably is a little bit ) but what ever company they roam with might be charging them more

  • Dereck

    I work for Bell and it is true. Rates are going up. @Bellicose if you are already paying more than that, you can expect that you will be paying even more now. You might want to consider calling them and asking why it’s so high already and to make sure it won’t go up again.

    I agree… These companies are RIDICULOUS! I mean c’monnn!! Wind is charging 25 cents per min! That’s less than Rogers Bell Telus charge for roaming (aka long distance) IN COUNTRY! They can be up to 70 cents per min!!! BAHHH!!! I’m so glad I left Rogers and Bell! I’m so happy with wind! =)

  • bb147

    Roaming rate for US is actually cheaper in SOME cases like someone’s already mentioned.

    Before it is $0.99 + LD (varies depending on if its incoming or outgoing back to canada)

    Now it is just $1.45 no LD

  • J. Eng

    How about 25 cents? There’s no reason a if small company like WIND can do it, why can’t Bell?

  • RogersGuy

    BB147 is correct. The old rate of $0.99 was NOT including long distance charges. So depending which way the call comes, it can be cheaper/more expensive.

    The point is that any customer heading to the US would be an i***t not to call their carrier first and pick up a much cheaper roaming package for their trip.

  • Randy

    I’d go one further @RogersGuy, we’re all i****s for putting up with these charges in the first place.

    Roaming is a massive money maker for our Telcos, to say any different is disingenuous. As mentioned, Wind offers US roaming cheaper than Rogers et al offer domestic LD. That’s insanity at its best (or worst).

    Can’t wait for my, also insane, ETF with TELUS to get to a reasonable level so I can get clear of the “big 3″.

  • FIlip P.

    BELL LOGO :
    “Roaming rates just got better”

  • TNSF

    75 cents to send a text message!?!?!

  • theninjasquad

    Can anyone confirm if this is a material change of contract that will let Bell customers get out of their contract if they do not agree to it? My work is with Bell and we’ve been looking for a chance to get rid of them as soon as possible.

  • Bob

    This is not a material change or material item.
    A material change or item is your monthly access fee (ie $25 plan), includes minutes in that plan, and your additional per-minute rate.

  • john

    material changes in contract trigger no escape clauses in Canada. That is an American thing. Go whine to the CRTC – they’re the one’s who “regulate” the industry. And by regulate I mean make it easy for established telcos to continue to hold the consumer to ransom.

  • Andrew

    In the US, there is virtually no roaming fees or long distance. My family in the US is on the Verizon network and calls between Verizon phones is all local.

  • Scott Semple

    The BIG have not and will not change their mentality until they become threatened by the new competition. I have doubted WIND’s reliability because of the fact that they are a new company HOWEVER with garbage like this from the incumbents I’ll be giving them a try.

  • JasonE

    THey are raising prices now so that when they have to “lower” them to compete they will look good, but thier rates won’t be any better then they are today…..

  • raman

    Why the hell canada dont have North american roaming plans?
    freaking At&t and sprint have unlimited N.merican roaming plans starting from $ 60