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Bad News: Rogers Extends HUP From 12 to 24 Months!

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Are you on a contract with Rogers? If you are, after 12 months you are eligible for a Hardware Upgrade Plan (HUP), which means you can upgrade to a new phone. The amount of your discount towards a new handset is based on the annual amount of your cellphone bill (I was unable to use my HUP for the iPhone 3G last July because I was only 10 months into my contract!).

Yesterday, the Boy Genius Report reported that Rogers is quietly extending their HUP for smartphones from 12 months to 24 months for smartphones. I wasn’t sure if this was just a rumor so I contacted one of my sources within Rogers. My contact confirmed that he has seen these exact documents with his very own eyes! Here are details of the document:

**IMPORTANT UPDATE** Change to Hardware Upgrade Eligibility

The Hardware Upgrade Program (HUP) allows eligible customers to upgrade to leading edge data devices. Beginning March 17, the minimum eligibility tenure rule is changing from 12 months to 24 months for customers who wish to upgrade their smartphone and are currently on a data plan or Voice & Data Package.

This follows the March 13 price increase for BlackBerry® devices and reinforces the importance of explaining to customers that HUP eligibility and quoted hardware/plan pricing are subject to change and cannot be guaranteed beyond the time of quotation.

Update to HUP eligibility:

The updated HUP eligibility rule of 24 months minimum tenure since customer’s last upgrade or activation date will be system enforced and no exceptions will be allowed.

12 months eligibility tenure rule remains unchanged for voice-only customers upgrading to a data device.

12 months eligibility tenure rule remains unchanged for customers upgrading from a non-smartphone to a smartphone or data device.

All other standard HUP eligibility rules still apply.

Reasons for the update to the HUP program:

Rogers Wireless heavily invests in providing the latest data devices at affordable prices to our data customers. This update to the Hardware Upgrade Program is designed to achieve cost efficiency in order to continue offering our customers an outstanding selection of the most advanced data devices for the best value.

Along with the growth in popularity of data devices there has also been an improved level of quality and technology that has gone into the line-up over the past years allowing a longer hardware lifespan.

Customer impacts:

Please always check the customer’s account in Vision21 for HUP eligibility to ensure the customer is provided with correct eligibility information.

Customers may have been eligible and now eligibility has been pushed out as a result of the update.

Customers may have been aware of their eligibility prior to the update, but did not take advantage of the program at the time and are currently not eligible as a result of the update.

Positioning:

Rogers Wireless sells devices at a significantly lower price than that which we pay the manufacturer. This update to our Hardware Upgrade Program is necessary in order to allow us to continue offering the best devices at the best value in a fair timeframe for our customers.
The Hardware Upgrade Program eligibility and hardware prices are subject to change without notice.

Please note that the information in this bulletin applies to the standard HUP program, and does not take into consideration any existing promotions that may require different eligibility. Always remember to consult the Sales Central bulletins to read the latest in HUP offers.

Thank you for your continued support.

Here is a picture of the document:

rogers-hup

What Does This Mean For You on Rogers/Fido?

What it means is that if you’re on contract (I’m on a 3 year contract, *sniff*), you will have to wait two years until you will be eligible for the HUP. So let’s say, for example that Apple releases a NEW iPhone this summer and Rogers decides to carry it. We will not be able to upgrade to the new iPhone if Rogers has its way with us.

This is NOT good news for any of us, existing or new customers. I just had my contact check my HUP eligibility date, and it shows I’m eligible as of July 12, 2009. So maybe this new 24 month HUP policy only applies to new customers that have signed on after March 17th. Maybe you guys could check your HUP dates and report back? What worries me is this line:

Customers may have been eligible and now eligibility has been pushed out as a result of the update.

How can we stop this? Well, for starters you can tell everyone you know about this change, or just avoid Rogers altogether. I think we just need to get some more media attention about this issue and try to let everybody get informed. Will you be affected by this new change in HUP policy?

[BGR]

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