My 2 cents:
1. If Mobi said incoming SMS is free, including during roaming, and didn't specify if there is a limit (not the one included in ToS, but in the area about roaming usage), then they should have allowed it. If they didn't want people to take advantage of any free stuff during roaming, then they shouldn't have allowed it to be free in the first place. Since in Canada, most SMS receive is free among most providers (even Speakout Wireless has changed from billable to free later on), customers would expect that to be the case.
2. Since this is nation wide roaming, not international wide roaming, the line is blurred. For example, one could be under roaming even within Mobi home zone. What do you do about that? (Remember, roaming used to be inclusive during first 6 months of Mobi's launch, for everything, but not later. Already many people have complained about billed within zone). So they should be more relaxed about enforcing nation wide roaming, as it is not international roaming. I don't care about the cost, as that's between Rogers and Dave Wireless. It could be $1. or $1 million, but that's their cost of business. What is the concern is the contract between customer and provider here.
3. If this is not strictly on the offer page info, instead coming out of the more murky, legalese language ToS, which does not state exactly how many SMS, or how much data etc, then if they really want to enforce it, they should also at the same time, have a little buffer, and a little courtesy to at least warn the customer first. Why would a customer be able to interpret the ToS into an exact number in real life as far as "abuse" goes? How would you not know if the provider itself is "abusing" the ToS, and can arbitrary remove a cutomer's account for any other reasons. (For example, a customer called and complained about something, provider removed cutomer citing ToS abuse clause, customer has no position to argue as no one knows that is considered "abuse". Example? See Telus and Bell removing many customers for their supposedly unlimited PC Card data plans, at $80. to $100. / month. Customers were removed for as low as less than 2GB / month. Quite a few cases at the time).
4. Since Mobi didn't warn the customer first, they should have known that the customer would not have the knowledge in the first place about "abuse", and they should give the customer a break as no warning was given. And indeed Mobi did it right, but only because a top exec was able to intercepting this. This is still not ok because the front end rep didn't offer to do anything. What if the top exec is unavailable or hiding behind his office? Then the customer would have no recourse. Worse, he would have lost his mobile number too.
5. If they knew SMS would have cost them a lot, then they shouldn't have allowed all SMS to be free. Some providers do bill for premium SMS, and that would include Facebook, Twitter etc. I remember when I had FidoPro on Fido, which included all incoming and outgoing SMS to Canada and US, when ICQ was first to launch ICQ to SMS gateway, Fido charged for it, despite they didn't mention it. Ironically, those with bucket options, instead of the grandfathered FidoPro, didn't get bill extra, causing a discrimination of the FidoPro customers (i.e. old loyal customers getting screwed). According to Fido, it was because the option was created before ICQ gateway was born, and thus they couldn't allow it to be free. (kinda the typical BS you hear from Fido all the time). Later on, similar fiasco concerning other SMS gateways, not just ICQ. Same thing, some were charged, some were not charged. Later on, ICQ gateway was no longer charged, but by then, I had no need anymore. They can't just be consistent about it. Worse, the US portion was taken away from FidoPro (just like they took away the US portion of the unlimited data, the infamous episode), quietly, when they were changing other SMS plans. If they can do this for in home zone usage, I can't be surprise when providers would go crazy for roaming users!
When inter carrier SMS first started, the 4 major carriers in Canada, established the inter-carrier SMS clearing centre (they all pitched in to build that data centre). One of the agreements at the time, among these providers, is that the sender pays for the SMS, and the recipient will receive it for free. Since there is no way to know if one can get "spammed" or have a way to control incoming, this is thought to be a good and fair policy. All is good for a while (except that things weren't working in the early times), but providers starting to turn away from that agreement and starting to charge for incoming SMS. Rogers did it, Telus did it, etc. Speakout Wireless, even as a low cost provider, also did it for a while. Not fair because it is under the premise that the sender already paid for it.
Subscription based SMS is different. I agree that there should either be a limit for it, or bill separately. May be no PPU, but at least a bucket similar to what you do with sending bucket. Let's say $5. will buy you 1000 or something like that. Roaming should be extra, of course.
Instead of saying it's free, and then cutting the customer off without a warning. Mobi dropped the ball big time this time, won't get a sympathy from me (but who cares about what I think of course).
According to the dealer (That I have given many business to, including myself, activating 5 lines so far) I talked to , he frankly told me that the data roaming billing while within zone still hasn't be completely resolved. This is not good. That's why I won't continue on with them when my credit runs out.
No longer on a leash by Fido