Quebec City mayor racks up $20,000 in roaming charges, says “I do not understand how cellphone companies allow this to happen”

This kind of news never gets old. We usually hear from everyday Canadians and their fight to reduce unexpected roaming charges. This week, it’s a politician on the receiving end of a huge roaming bill.

Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume doesn’t know how to effectively use his smartphone while travelling abroad. While on vacation in Rome last February, the Mayor racked up cellphone charges of $19,860 ($11,800 for using his iPad and $8,060 on his smartphone). Then continued to defy logic and travelled to the United States in July and received a bill for $2,106 (for using his iPad).

Labeaume, who expressed anger towards his carrier, said he didn’t know how roaming works. “If you ask me why, I do not know. I’m very angry. I do not understand how cellphone companies allow this to happen… They told me I was using the 3G instead of the Wi-Fi. I’m not sure I understand everything,” said Labeaume.

While the specific carrier was not mentioned in CBC’s report, Labeaume did manage to get his carrier to significantly reduce the charges. The $19,860 trip to Rome was cut by about $13,000 to $6,881. Labeaume confirmed that his party, Équipe Labeaume, will pay for the charges as he wants to avoid taxpayers footing the bill. In addition, the trip to the States will be funded by taxpayers because: “I work when I’m in the United States. They send me stuff. I’m never on vacation.”

[source] CBC [/source]