Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadians Not as Smart as They Think When It Comes to Roaming and Data Usage

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadians Not as Smart as They Think When It Comes to Roaming and Data Usage

Article excerpt

Roaming charges on cellphones misunderstood


MONTREAL - Think you're tech savvy about roaming charges, data usage or online security? Maybe not.

Canadians are among the highest adopters of technology in the world, but 57 per cent of those surveyed failed a test for tech savviness, says wireless provider Rogers Communications Inc.

The Rogers' survey found that 60 per cent of Canadians gave themselves a "B" or higher for tech savviness before they took the test. But only four per cent actually scored a "B" grade.

"So, what we've learned is there's definitely a clear role for education," said Amir Dewji, a performance coach at Rogers (TSX:RCI.B).

Despite the bad grades, the survey found that 87 per cent of Canadians wanted to improve their tech knowledge.

As for roaming, Canadians know that it means using another carrier's mobile network, but almost half of those surveyed didn't understand how it works.

"They understand the basics of roaming, i.e., if you travel," Dewji said from Vancouver.

However, some consumers believe if they're not talking on their cellphones, there shouldn't be any roaming charges, which isn't necessarily true, he said.

Roaming applies to voice calls, sending or receiving text messages, and using wireless Internet to go online, including browsing the web, or sending and receiving email, says Rogers' Tech Essentials website, part of the company's new program including the tech quiz to increase digital knowledge.

Wireless carriers notify customers, via text message, of international roaming rates on their cellphones and send notifications when consumers have hit certain megabyte limits for data usage.

But the Public Interest Advocacy Centre says trying to calculate megabytes of data used while outside Canada can leave consumers confused and with cellphone bill shock.

Wireless carriers have different practices to notify consumers, said Janet Lo, counsel for the Ottawa-based advocacy group. …

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