Rogers Caves to Nothing: iPhone Plans Still Disgusting

9 07 2008

 

In a wonderful bit of last second damage control Rogers Wireless announced today that it’s offering a 6gig data plan for $30/month plan with your new iPhone.

On first blush this all seems well and good – the petitions worked, Rogers caved, and now dancing and fornication can begin on top of a mountain of new Apple products. Except we’re still getting screwed, now it’s just going to be twice as hard to get people to believe you.

The main problem is this magical new pricing is available for a limited time only, until August 31st to be specific. After which point one assumes that the previously announced rate for 6gigs of data goes back into effect – namely $115 for your 2gigs of data and voice.

This is unfortunately not the only point of contention with this newest “deal” from Rogers, in fact it serves to highlight all the things that are still wrong with this company – and the telecommunications industry in Canada in general.

A look at why you should still be vehemently boycotting Rogers and their iPhone after the break

First off, I have to say that sadly the public outcry was probably not enough of a motivating factor in getting Rogers to move even this far. It’s more likely that there’s some truth to rumors surrounding Apple’s decision to divert shipments of iPhones from Canada to Europe in light of the huge customer backlash against Rogers. Whether accurate or not, Cupertino being labelled as “disgusted” with Rogers’ offerings doesn’t send a positive message to potential consumers in Canada or to Rogers itself.
Such a move simply demands some kind of response to avoid completely losing face – which is exactly what Rogers has chosen to do: offer the bare minimum for the least amount of time possible and hope everything blows over.

Except we shouldn’t be so blind as to let them wait this one out.

Beyond the limited time offering of the $30 data plan, there’s the issue of the regular voice plans (to which this data rate must be coupled) still being completely unacceptable.

Plans such as those found here mean that the cheapest possible voice plan to add to your data is $25/month for 250 minutes. Assuming of course that Rogers deems these Value Plans to be eligible for bundling with iPhone data. Which they most likely will not.

Of course, this is the 21st century, and you still need text messages, call display and call waiting so for a bundle, tack on another $11 (so long as you can live with only 125 sent texts a month) or realistically $20 dollars for 2,500 texts (which while excessive for most, is the only other option since there’s no middle ground).

For those not keeping score at home, including your $6.95 surcharge from Rogers and your $.95 911 service fee, you’re now paying $82.90 per month for the privilege of having 6gigs of data at that introductory rate.

Just to put that in perspective, on an iPhone plan with Rogers at $75 per month you’d be getting 300 any time minutes, unlimited evenings and weekends but only 125 texts and a paltry 750 megs of data.
Rogers has us paying more to get less, to get more… But only until August 31st!

For a truly eye opening, if disgusting, look at just how out of step Rogers plans are in general head over to this post where I break down exactly how much more one can get from AT&T for less in direct comparison of iPhone rates.

 

This is nothing more than damage control of the poorest variety at work. Rogers is attempting to quell public outcry by offering what, under normal circumstances (such as the presence of globally competitive voice packages and bundles not aimed at bilking customers) would be a competitive data package.
They hope quite simply to sucker in early adopters, thereby selling out their now-limited stock quickly and putting them in a postition to spin the Canadian launch of the iPhone as a success. On the back of such a run, they can justify re-raising the data prices at the end of August citing whatever network usage or customer satisfaction propaganda they choose. Meanwhile, they change nothing about how they do business and continue to take unfair advantage of customers nationwide.

Beyond the iPhone specifics of course, gross abuses of Rogers position remain with all of its products:

  • 3-year contracts on ANY device on a modern Western telecomm carrier is unheard of outside of this country. 2 year contracts are the international norm and its about time we caught up with them.
  • “Evenings and Weekends” still start at 9 p.m. It’ll cost you an additional $7/month to get that down to 7pm or $9/month to have your talk time start at 6. Only in Rogers insane little world can a time which defies the very definition of “evening” be used to mark when you can use your E&W minutes.
  • The $6.95 system access fee is still a hidden cost tacked onto every plan. It’s not mandated by the government and, as sure as I’m breathing, it isn’t being used in its entirety to ensure ongoing maintenance and upgrades to the wireless network as Rogers would have you believe. It’s merely a way to charge more for the same services and it has to stop.

 

In summary; this is not a deal, this is not a cave-in and this is not the time to purchase your iPhone.
Continue to boycott Rogers iPhone and its associated plans and services and Rogers in general until they move to put themselves closer in line with the rest of the Western world. Don’t be fooled by the free this Friday breakfast… you’ll be paying for those eggs for the next three years.

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2 responses

10 07 2008
Altavistagoogle

You make some good points. However, you are getting a $500 phone (at least) for $234 ($199 + $35 activation fee). In addition, high speed Internet on your phone is a new service. You can’t expect that for free.

In exchange for the new Internet service, I’ve decided to forgo text, call display and voice mail. I work weird hours so most people just email me anyway. Here in New Brunswick, that works out to $20 (250 minutes) + $6.95 (SAF) +$1.03 (911) + $30 = $57.98. By the way, call waiting is included with all voice plans (logical since you are using up your minutes twice as fast). Normally, activation is only $10 in NB, so hopefully I won’t have to pay the $35 activation fee.

I do think they should have reduced all their data rates instead of forcing people into the one shoe fits all 6GB for $30. But then at least $8.50 a month is going to recoup the subsidy costs…

10 07 2008
Andrew Snider

True the phone is expensive – although it certainly isn’t costing Rogers $500 for every phone they get from Apple, there is profit to be made on each phone (however small?).
Also, consider the fact that at your $57.98 you would have paid for your phone in full in 8 months. Rogers demands you sign a 3 year contract with them. You’re paying them back many times over the retail cost of the phone, let alone what Rogers actually pays for them.

3G has been available on a number of Rogers products for a while along with the infrastructure to support the high speed network – also, its not costing Rogers as much as say AT&T since they only support urbanized areas which require fewer towers.
Yes 3G warrants higher costs (ATT&T in the US has put their data rate up by $10 ) but not anything close to what Rogers proposes to charge

It’s good that you can forgo text call display and voice mail, it will save you a good chunk of change per month. That having been said you are unfortunately in the minority with that situation.

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