SaskTel sends customers $100,000 phone bills

Lindsay Jolivet
Daily Buzz

Cell phone customers in Saskatchewan could find a whopping $100,000 monthly bill in the mailbox this week.

Wireless service provider SaskTel accidentally over-billed suscribers after an upgrade caused a glitch in their system.

"SaskTel was installing new network hardware and a recent systems upgrade caused a billing error," the company posted on its website.

These customers were charged at U.S. rates for data used in Saskatchewan.

"The charges may range from a few cents to $100,000," the website says.

[ Related: French woman gets $15 quadrillion phone bill ]

It sent incorrect bills to about 9,000 of its customers, according to the statement, during the billing cycles ending on November 23rd and 29th.

But the company says customers won't need to jump through hoops to get the money refunded as it's planning to set up automatic credits for over-charged users and it will call or send a letter to everyone with an incorrect bill.

"If you don't receive a phone call or letter from SaskTel, you're not impacted by this error and your bill is correct," the notification says.

This isn't the first time SaskTel has had problems managing its service. Hundreds of customers complained about constant service interruptions last year, according to a report by CTV Regina.

Even the province's premiere, Brad Wall, has pointed out on Twitter that the company drops calls. He later told the media that SaskTel doesn't have the capacity to handle all the calls its customers make, which is probably why it's been upgrading.

[ Related: Disabled teen incurs $8,000 texting bill ]

SaskTel's inefficiencies might look serious now, but a report by Canada's telecom watchdog this fall said cell phone billing errors by Canadian providers happen so often they're practically routine.

Many of the customers who complained said they weren't even given credits or discounts.

Canadians might be checking their bills more closely from now on for signs of six-figure totals.