Bell, Virgin to charge $10 fee when changing rate plans during billing cycle

Users who call in to change rate plans or data packages for their current billing cycle will receive a $10 charge starting May 2

Bell and its flanker brand Virgin Mobile may be the lastest carriers to add a $10 fee, following in the steps of Rogers sub-brand Fido and Telus’ Koodo.

Unlike Fido’s recently added, and Koodo’s long-running $10 service fees, which charge customers for select transactions when they call in to the carrier, Bell and Virgin Mobile will only charge their $10 service adjustment fee to customers if they change a rate plan during their billing period. It’s worth noting that Fido doesn’t charge for rate plan changes, while Koodo does. Koodo also caps plan changes at once per billing cycle.

According to a document received by MobileSyrup, the $10 service adjustment fee will come into effect on May 2nd for both carriers. It will apply to postpaid consumer customers if they change a rate plan for the current billing process using a customer service rep. Additionally, Bell and Virgin will charge the fee if the customer changes a domestic data feature.

In other words, the fee doesn’t apply to customers using Bell and Virgin’s self-serve options.

Both carriers offer customers the ability to change rate plans and data packages on the fly. Users can opt to have changes take effect immediately in their current billing cycle or come into force on the next billing cycle.

The former was a useful way to bump up your data cap for the month and avoid overage fees if you thought you were going to go over.

Unfortunately, the addition of this new fee makes that a less savoury option.

The document also notes that rate plan and data package changes effective on the next bill, activations, hardware upgrades, adding or changing roaming features and small business transactions won’t incur the fee.

Finally, Bell and Virgin will update their websites on April 2nd to advise customers of the new fee, according to the tip. At the time of writing, it’s not clear if the sites were updated or where to find the advisory.

MobileSyrup has reached out to Bell for more details regarding the impending changes and will update this article accordingly.

Update 04/03/2019: Updated the second paragraph to more clearly explain the differences between the $10 fees charged by each carrier.