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Quebec Mayor Racks up $20,000 Phone Bill


We can’t all be cellular network experts, and I won’t claim to be anything near to an expert when it comes to the technical aspects of wireless phones. But I would think most people (and especially someone in a leadership position) probably have a basic understand of roaming and how it works. But, apparently, that’s not the case as far as the Mayor of Quebec is concerned.

Mobile Syrup recently wrote an article about Régis Labeaume, the mayor of Quebec who apparently went on vacation in Rome last February and then to the United states and racked up a $20,000 cell phone bill. When asked about the bill, he said:

“If you ask me why, I do not know. I’m very angry. I do not understand how cellphone companies allow this to happen… They told me I was using the 3G instead of the Wi-Fi. I’m not sure I understand everything.”

Apparently, his tech people didn’t really explain “the wifi” to him very well. From what Mobile Syrup and CBC reported, Labeaume racked up around $19,860 in Rome ($11,800 for his iPad and $8,060 on his smartphone) but managed to argue his carrier into reducing the bill to $6,881 and assured the public that his company would pay for the costs instead of taxpayers.

The United States trip that followed, however, is a different story. Labeaume was charged $2,106 on his iPad for roaming in the US and basically said that taxpayers were going to pay for that one, because, “I work when I’m in the United States. They send me stuff. I’m never on vacation.” Apparently, Labeaume missed the memo that your average email is 4 kb, and even with an attachment it still isn’t going to be that large. I’m not sure how much ‘stuff’ he was sent, but I hope it was REALLY important.

See? Now you have an extra reason to be glad you’re on prepaid. And even if you aren’t on prepaid yet, I bet you still feel better about your phone bill.