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Rogers Computer Glitch During $60/10GB Promo Resulted in Fewer Q4 Subscribers

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Rogers announced their Q4 earnings today, reporting $419 million in profits on revenue of $3.63 billion, with the latter seeing a three per cent increase compared to the year ago quarter, led by growth in their wireless division.

Despite Rogers adding 72,000 postpaid wireless customers in the final quarter of 2017, the numbers fell short of analyst expectations of about 100,000.

According to Rogers CEO Joe Natale, the company lost out on 35,000 additional wireless subscribers in the quarter, because of a computer glitch during the five-day $60/10GB promo over the holidays (via The Globe and Mail).

Natale said there was an issue with the Rogers “price plan change system”, which resulted in some customers jumping ship to rivals Telus and Bell. This computer problem also pushed churn rates—or customer turnover—up by 15 basis points to 1.48 per cent.

Rogers profits were up this year compared to being down $9 million from the year ago quarter, when the company had a $484 million write down due to ditching its in-house IPTV platform.

Natale told investors on a conference call, “Our growth was largely delivered by wireless,” noting service revenue saw full-year 2017 growth of 7 per cent, adding “These are the best wireless financial results we have seen since 2009.”

Rogers added a total of 354,000 wireless subscribers for 2017, while churn was 1.2 per cent, which the company called their “best results since 2010”. Compared to 2016, blended average revenue per user (ARPU) increased by $1.89 to $63.46 per month. The company now has 10.48 million wireless subscribers.

How is Shaw’s Freedom Mobile impacting Rogers? Natale said “The impact [Freedom is] having on us is very small at the margin. It is not material and not of consequence overall.”

When it comes to the Toronto Blue Jays, CFO Tony Staffieri commented on rumours of the teaming being put up for sale, adding “there are no plans to sell the Jays.”

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  • It’s Me

    The gltch was policy. They had a bunch of promo plans at the same time, before the 10GB plan, but they only allowed Chatr and Fido prepaid customers to get them. Since they didn’t have the 10GB until substantially afterwards and after Koodo launched, I know of a handful of Rogers and Fido customers that walked down the mall and ported to kodoo. And then there were others that just wanted 10GB and Rogers wouldn’t allow anyone outside of BC and Alberta to get it, so again, lots of people moving to koodo. Then they rolled it out in ON but only as a bait and switch 5GB plan with temporary 5GB bonus. Yet more fled.

    As always, Rogers desire to screw over customers cost them. They have an unfortunate habit of always ensuring they add something unattractive to all promos. They always have to claw back something instead of just trying to delight customers.

  • Manpreet Singh

    We might see another price war, again will be initiated by Rogers, to make up for the lost customers

  • FragilityG4

    The Ontario plan was changed to 10GB permanent the second day of availability. All plans were changed.

  • FragilityG4

    That would be great for consumers!

  • It’s Me

    Only after first not being available on Ontario at all while Koodo was. And after it was first launched as a 5GB base plan. And after dismissing existing customers that wanted any of the other promos.

    It was pretty clear during the drama of those few days that Rogers was caught with their pants down and were scrambling to catch up. Clearly their blatantly and repeatedly giving the finger to customers cost them.

  • FragilityG4

    I find that Rogers has improved a lot over the last five years. My opinion is that Bell is by far the worst.

  • It’s Me

    To each their own. I was with them for over 15 years. Happy with Koodo for now.

  • RickysCV

    That’s Roger’s spin for the investors. They lost many customer’s to other companies, especially Freedom. Competition makes things fair.

  • raslucas

    If you’ve ever joked about asking Rogers if their system would crash if they offered a decent data plan… you have the answer don’t you?

  • MleB1

    Beyond their computer system crashing, they were understaffed and their phone / online / social media systems weren’t prepared to handle the volume for about 3 weeks over the holidays. Even if you needed to contact them about a non-wireless issue, you were hooped.

  • hawki

    Rogers will never be the implementer of a price way

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