At one point or another we have all experienced some pains with our cell phone bill and many of us have even experienced a very high bill from roaming charges. That’s right, good old roaming charges that seem to penalize us for traveling and wanting to stay in touch with our friends, family, and co-workers.

In recent cell phone news the mayor of Quebec City, Régis Labeaume, has received 2 very high cell phone bills resulting from some roaming charges that have left him stunned by the fact that cell phone companies are able to charge these ridiculously high prices for roaming with your cell phone.

Apparently the charges are mostly from data usage while on a trip to Rome and a recent trip to the USA. The mayor was told that he didn’t have his wi-fi on and that he was incurring charges for roaming because he was using the 3G network instead of the free wi-fi connection he had available during his trips.

The first set of charges from a trip the mayor took in February resulted in a total of $19,860 ($11,800 for using his iPad and $8,060 on his smartphone) charges on his cellphone bill. This was followed by another high cell phone bill in July during a visit to the USA with a total bill of $2,106 (for using his iPad) for roaming usage.

While the specific carrier was not disclosed, the mayor has successfully negotiated a dramatic reduction in his cell phone bills to less than $10K and is having his political party pay for the cell phone charges so that tax payers won’t have to foot the bill for his hefty usage on his trip to Rome however tax payers will unfortunately have to pay the USA bill. This is because as the mayor claims, “I work when I’m in the United States. They send me stuff. I’m never on vacation.”. While this may be the case in terms of working internationally, however tax payers shouldn’t be penalized because the mayor doesn’t know how to work his smart phone and turn on his wi-fi.