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Dear Steve and Ted: Canadians are Outraged

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The Rogers iPhone 3G data/voice plan announcement internet blowback is still going strong. If you thought Canadians were indignant yesterday, well that anger is still chugging along. Internet forums are amuck with endless tirades and rants from large numbers of Canadians now strongly considering a boycott of the iPhone 3G.

Enter Stage Left: www.RuinediPhone.com

One particular website that caught my attention immediately was www.f***yourogers.com. The site has been changed to a more appropriate name for media coverage, www.ruinediphone.com. James Hallen is the creator of the website and his goal is to collect 10,000 signatures (8700 at the time of this writing this post–almost there!), which along with 1000’s of comments will be printed and delivered to Rogers HQ on July 11th.

It is astonishing that in roughly 48 hours the www.ruinediphone.com has made it onto the front page of Digg (multiple times actually), plus it’s been peppered into almost every single internet forum that’s iPhone related (including the iPhoneinCanada.ca Forums – stop lurking, and click here to register! Voice your opinion today!). Here is a snipped of James’ open letter to Steve Jobs:

To our great disappointment, Rogers Communications Inc. has announced VERY unfair rates in comparison to AT&T in the United States and to other authorized wireless service providers around the world. As a result, a consumer movement was born yesterday (June 27th) in protest against these rates.

Nearly 6,000 people have signed an online petition to help make a difference and the list is growing rapidly. In the last 48 hours, the website has had 40,000 unique visitors from around the world supporting Canadian consumers. There are a vast number of Canadians that would take the opportunity to buy an iPhone at $199CAD but these new plans have put it out of reach for many.

Want to express your feelings? Sign the petition here!

The Major Media Outlet Snowball is Starting…

So far, only a handful of major media outlets are picking up on the iPhone 3G outrage. The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business has the following quote in this article that sums up our wireless industry in a nutshell:

Rogers has decided to charge iPhone users a premium to use the coveted devices, said Info-Tech Research Group senior analyst Michelle Warren.

“These rates are just another indicator that Canadian cellphone rates are really high and that essentially the carriers feel like they can charge whatever they like,” she said. “Rates should be going down, they shouldn’t be going up, and these are expensive rates.”

But the single largest US media coverage so far has come from CNET’s assessment of the current Rogers iPhone 3G PR nightmare:

In its press release, Rogers does provide a convenient chart to gauge your data usage–apparently, 2G amounts to 16,000 Web pages (who knew?)–but we don’t approve of such an arrangement at all. The iPhone’s Web browser is one of its top attractions, particularly on a 3G network, and asking users to limit their data certainly isn’t putting the “Internet in your pocket.” Rogers is offering unlimited Wi-Fi access at all Rogers and Fido hotspots, but that in itself is limiting if you have to be in one place.

What’s more, the data restrictions aren’t the half of it. While AT&T’s cheapest iPhone 3G service plan ($69 per month) includes 450 anytime minutes, the cheapest Rogers plan (the one with 400MB of data) only gets 150 anytime minutes. Ouch. Similarly Rogers’ most expensive plan includes only 800 anytime minutes while AT&T’s priciest plan ($129 per month) includes unlimited anytime minutes. Double ouch.

Come on, Rogers, you have to give your customers a little more. Especially when your contracts run three years.

I can only see the negative press to continue as the days go on. However, Rogers owns a majority of news outlets in this country, so it would be hard pressed to hear negative publicity coming from within. The Globe and Mail is owned by Bell so expect a few more jabs coming our way.

You can take a stand against these outrageous iPhone 3G voice/data prices by speaking with not your mind–but your wallet. At the end of the day, money talks and it will be interesting to see what the quarterly financial reports will be like the next quarter. Shareholders definitely have a stronger voice than we do, ya know! 😉

I’ve never really asked this on the blog yet, but were you intending on buying the iPhone 3G, but changed your mind after hearing about the voice/data plans? Anyone out there still going to take the plunge regardless of price? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments!

*note: first time comments will be held in moderation, so please be patient. Thanks!**

TalkCast Tonight: Expect Irate Canadians to Call In (that is if there isn’t another TalkCast SNAFU)

Be sure to listen in on tonight’s iPhoneinCanada.ca TalkCast to express your thoughts on the Rogers iPhone 3G voice/data plans. One lucky winner will receive a FREE invisibleSHIELD for their first generation iPhone, thanks to our sponsor Zagg.com!

If you haven’t heard of the invisibleSHIELD, read my review here. It’s a must for your iPhone, and comes with a lifetime warranty and free shipping. Pre-order for your iPhone 3G and you will save 20% off your order! It will only be valid for a limited time, so don’t delay!

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