National carrier Bell has increased its data overage fees from $0.07 per 1MB to $0.10 per 1MB.
According to the carrier’s rate plans website, current as of February 18th, 2018, “additional data usage charges are $0.10/MB.”
The new overage fee roughly translates into $100/GB.
Bell also warns that the maximum data usage per user may be capped at 10GB per billing period, meaning that the carrier’s overage fees could translate into a $1,000 bill. Of course, the Wireless Code explicitly states that service providers must suspend data overage charges once they reach $50 within a single monthly billing cycle — unless the account holder consents to paying extra fees.
The carrier’s overage fee as of July 7th, 2017 was $0.07/MB.
A Bell spokesperson told MobileSyrup via email that the new overages only apply to new plans introduced today.
“The increase does not affect existing customers that remain on the previous plans,” said Bell, in an email to MobileSyrup.
Interestingly enough, Bell flanker brand Virgin Mobile has not increased its data overage fees.
Virgin Mobile currently charges $0.07/MB, as it did last year.
Additionally, it appears that Rogers has yet to raise their fees, though it’s important to note that Telus already has a similar model of pricing. While the first 1GB of overage is priced at $10/200MB ($50 per 1GB), further overages are charged at $0.10/MB and have been (with only subtle changes) since last year.
For what it’s worth, steadily increasing data overage fees could be one of the reasons why Canadians consume less mobile data than their American counterparts.
Update 05/07/2018 1:03pm ET: Story updated with additional reporting.