what happens when you don't pay a cell bill?

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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Sara Landry

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Posted 3 years ago

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Clifford Lewis, Champion

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After the billing dept contacts you a few times to ask when they can expect your payment to arrive and nothing happens,  you will be sent a final notice and if nothing happens from that  MTS  will cut off your service and after contacting the credit bureaus  to report non payment you will be sent to a collection agency.

Your in a better situation if you call them first if there is some reason that you can't pay the full amount and make arrangements to pay them.

Now if your asking because you forgot it was due,  and are only going to be a few days late (i.e. due last week and you pay Monday), there should only be a late payment charge on the next bill. Looking at my last bill it is 2.5% a month.
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Nathan, Official Rep

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Clifford's pretty bang on with this answer, but I'll add a more long winded explanation just to make sure we cover all the bases.

If an account is falling behind the Billing system's automated call service kicks in, sending out a reminder call message that advises you that we've noticed you haven't paid your bill and would like to speak with you about this. After payments made after the due date do incur a late payment charge on the next invoice though.

After this a notice is mailed out to you advising that we really need to speak with you about this matter by a certain date, or we will be forced to suspend the service and a reconnection charge would apply.

If the account falls behind after this and we have still not heard from the subscriber and the date on the disconnection notice comes to, the service is suspended. After some time if we have still not heard from the subscriber then the service is disconnected. After a time then the account will go to a collection agency who will seek to contact the now former subscriber about paying the owed balance.

The MTS Billing office is happy to speak with anyone about their billing and to make payment arrangements so folks can get caught up on their bills. We understand that accidents happen, jobs are lost or changed, moves happen, unexpected expenses pop up, Christmas happens, etc. As long as we can come to an agreeable arrangement that allows you to get caught up, then we are happy to arrange this.

The MTS Billing office is available by phone (which is the best way to arrange this), by webchat, and by email (please note emails have a 2 business day response time frame, and I don't recommend it if you have received a letter.) You can also make a request via your MTS My Account as well, which also tracks your online billing for up to 24 months and can go over the charges and explain them to you as well in case you have any questions.

I hope this adds a bit more clarity for you.
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CoryB, Champion

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The piece I feel is important but has not been covered if you received a device for less than the full cost (ie signed a contract) termination of service will lead to activation of the "early termination fee" clause. This would mean in addition to any previously occurred but unpaid services you would also be responsible for the device cost which could be several hundreds of dollars. It would not be surprising then for the total due when an account is sent to collection over an unpaid cell bill be be over $1000.

Best method to avoid this is to pick a plan and phone you can afford when you sign a contract. Then work to adjust your usage to avoid overage charges. Splitting the expected monthly service cost over the number of monthly pay cheques you are expecting and paying it down each time you are paid can also help avoid late payments.

If these suggestions are still not enough to help you have a basic cell phone for personal safety you can try talking with MTS about what special plans are available. I know in the past there was an "emergency only" plan that kept a cell working but with no minutes, text (SMS/MMS) or data. If you made a call it billed for usage as "overage" but you could at least call for help when your car broke down at 3:00 am.
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Nathan, Official Rep

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Good points CoryB, and I completely agree. IF the account is closed and sent to a collection agency then any hardware subsidiary that is remaining on a contracted phone would be applied which can make the final bill much higher.

So I think we can all agree, it's best to keep the service active and to contact the Billing department to keep the account in good standing. 

I reflect on this as well and another option that you have if you can't make payments or keep up with the account is to place the service on a temporary disconnection. This suspends the service for up to 6 months (for cell phones, and can be done twice in a 12 month period), and this lowers the monthly charge to $6.00 per month, allowing you to catch up on your bill. If you are on contract though this will extend your contract's duration by time equal to the hold time. (So on hold for 2 months, your contract is extended 2 months)

CoryB is right as well, you can change your plan as well (there are limitations depending upon your contract, however) to suit a changing lifestyle for more minutes, data, long distance, traveling, and more (incase overage charges are an issue which can inflate a bill)