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SaskTel customer goes over U.S. data roaming limit without leaving her yard

A Saskatchewan woman wants to know how she went over the U.S. data roaming limit on her cellphone without leaving her yard.
A Saskatchewan woman wants to know how she went over the U.S. data roaming limit on her cellphone without leaving her yard. (AP Photo)

REGINA – A consumer advocacy group says wireless customers living near the U.S. border are at risk of accidental roaming charges due to interference from U.S. carrier signals.

President of the Consumers’ Association of Canada Bruce Cran says it’s a national problem that affects every cellphone provider in the country.

A Saskatchewan woman says her mobile Internet hot spot incurred international roaming charges without leaving her property near Alameda, a community not far from the U.S. border with North Dakota.

Kimberley Dietze told a local radio station that she received an automatic voice message from SaskTel saying she surpassed her $100 data roaming limit.

SaskTel spokeswoman Darcee MacFarlane says it’s a long-standing issue in rural communities near the border.

She says cellular towers have a radius of up to 30 kilometres, so U.S. towers near the border can cause interference.

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MacFarlane adds customers are made aware of the problem when they buy cellphone plans and there is ‘very little’ SaskTel can do to help.

Dietze told the radio station that SaskTel agreed to waive the charges on a one-time basis.