Today’s word is Disingenuous. Today’s sponsor is a large Canadian telecommunications company, which makes up one third of what is known as “Robellus” in some online forums. Robellus is a made-up name that stands for ROgers, BELL, and telUS.
Without naming it specifically, the company that irked me is the one whose company softball team would most likely be known as the Dodgers. (Or Dogers?)
My family recently returned from a wonderful vacation in Brazil. I had heard horror stories about roaming charges, so I decided to get out in front of that potential problem, bite the bullet, and buy one of their packages.
My mistake was in assuming that their offer was somehow grounded in today’s reality of what constitutes fair business practices. I had purchased their Mobile Hotspot to use at our cottage, so I decided that it should become the tool we used for online data access during our trip to Brazil.
I am positive that I am not alone in being confounded by data plans for any service. Kilobytes, Megabytes, Gigabytes, Terabytes? I just wanted to check my email and my Twitter timeline.

Because data usage is difficult to understand, I had to assume that my provider’s offering had some degree of reasonableness. I was wrong, and I got a surprising phone call to inform me of my outstanding balance. Unfortunately, the call came AFTER we got back home.

Here are the numbers: I paid $225 upfront for their international data package. At home, it costs $40 a month for 5 GB. So I paid 5.625 times my monthly home rate for the international version. This was the largest option available. Hefty, yes, but better than coming home to a huge bill, right? If only…

You see the $225 only covered 100 MB of data. How much is that? I have no idea, as I stated above, very few people understand this technical stuff. But if they charged me over 5 times more than the high end of my home package, as long as I don’t start overusing it like crazy, I should be OK, right? Wrong.

Of course when you do the math, it is quite simple to see that 100 MB is only 1/50, yes, One Fiftieth, or 2%, of 5 GB. So that comes to 5.625 times the price for only 2% of the service. That’s 288 times the price, for the same 100 MB.

In my book, any company that charges 288 times the price for a product in this way is disingenuous at best, and, well, I will spare you the other adjectives I said under my breath.

As it turned out, we blew through the allotted 100 MB on the second day. The final bill, including the $225 and all the taxes, came to over 2 G’s, as in, “2 grand”. As in, enough to cover about 4 years of service at home, while using 50 times more data per month.

To top it off, the $225 “special data package” comes to $2.25 per MB, but their charge when you go over that is only $2.50. So by paying it upfront, you get a whopping 10% discount. What is their price for 100 MB at home? Five bucks. So even by that calculation it is 45 times the price!

To me this is disingenuous, plain and simple. I hope everyone enjoyed the R****s Cup tennis tournaments, I feel like I provided a good chunk of the prize money.


Steve Legler “gets” business families.
He understands the issues that families face, as well as how each family member sees things from their own viewpoint.
He specializes in helping business families navigate the difficult areas where the family and the business overlap, by listening to each person’s concerns and ideas.  He then helps the family work together to bridge gaps by building common goals, based on their shared values and vision.
His background in family business, his experience running his own family office, along with his education and training in coaching, facilitation, and mediation, make him uniquely suited to the role of advising business families and families of wealth.
He is the author of Shift your Family Business (2014), he received his MBA from the Richard  Ivey School of Business (UWO, 1991), is a CFA Charterholder (CFA Institute, 2002), a Family Enterprise Advisor (IFEA 2014), and has received the ACFBA and CFWA accreditations (Family Firm Institute 2014-2015).
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