Bell admits ‘error’ after it charged customer $6,474.17 when he went over data limit

A bill that Bell sent to "Derek," an Orangeville, Ont. man who said he only used nine per cent more data than his plan allowed. Imgur/Courtesy of Derek

Bell has admitted a “billing error” after a customer was charged over $6,000 when he went about 11 gigabytes over a 100 GB data limit.

Derek, a communications professional from Orangeville, Ont., received a bill for November usage that showed he owed $6,474.17. Derek asked that Global News not publish his last name.

Coverage of phone bills on

Story continues below advertisement

Derek had spent November away from home, and at the time he was in a building that didn’t have internet.

So he secured an Internet plan with 100 GB of data, with a bill that would total about $145 for the month.

Derek went about 11 GB over his data allotment, and he expected to be charged about $50 extra.

Then Bell sent him a bill for $6,474.17, well above what he expected to pay.

READ MORE: No more fees to unlock cellphones among changes to Canada’s wireless code

On Nov. 20, Derek said he told a Bell product specialist that he was being charged for using about 100 GB over his allotment, when he only used about an extra 11.

That included an extra $500 in charges for the four days between Nov. 16 and 20, according to him.

“They assured me it was an error and that they would fix it,” Derek told Global News.

According to Derek, the specialist said the company had “already process[ed] a report to your account and it’s already investigated and please ignore the message and no need to worry.”

Derek said he asked for an email to reflect that, but the specialist said they had “no means” to send one.

Story continues below advertisement

He said he then had a follow-up conversation with a different product specialist in December.

This specialist also said his bill was in error — but added that he would have to refer the matter to Bell’s Client Care Department, according to Derek.

READ MORE: The best, cheapest cellphone plan in Canada in 2016

Derek said that subsequent calls with the Client Care Department had people informing him that the billing was in error, or that an investigation was happening.

“They never called me back after promising to do so, except for their collections department, who didn’t have access to my account information the techs were writing to it,” he told Global News.

Then, on June 14, Derek received a notice from a credit agency, saying he owed a total of $7,629.19.

He hired a paralegal on a $1,000 retainer to help him deal with Bell on July 5; he was still dealing with the telecom on Thursday.

‘Billing error’

In an email to Global News on Thursday, Bell spokesman Nathan Gibson said that a “billing error had occurred.”

“We will be contacting the customer to make things right immediately,” he wrote.

Story continues below advertisement

“An error of this type is rare, and we will investigate all aspects of this unfortunate situation.”

Sponsored content