Rogers Hires PR Agency to Manage iPhone 3G Nightmare?

**Pre-order your iPhone 3G invisibleSHIELD and get 20% off your order! Limited time offer, order today!**

As you’ve been sleeping under a bridge like a troll for the past week or so, I have a small news update for you. Rogers recently released their iPhone 3G voice/data plans, and to tread lightly they have not fared well with Canadians. There has been an internet revolt, worldwide media attention, plus a petition with over 22,000 signatures located at RuinediPhone.com (the website was down at random moments last night–some people predicted a Rogers shut down. I think it is just purely bandwidth issues.). Oh, and some pretty cool iPhone 3G comics from The Joy of Tech to boot. It’s been a busy week!

Did Rogers Outsource a PR Company to Help Rebuild those Bridges?

Last night I received a very strange email that took me off guard. It came from a representative from the firm MS&L, a PR firm with headquarters in New York, but with an office located in Toronto as well. This is what the email said…read it for yourself and tell me what you think of it:

Hello,

My name is [omitted] and I’m writing on behalf of Rogers to give you some additional information about the Rogers rate plans available for the iPhone.

The iPhone 3G bundles released June 27 are not the only price plans available to customers, they are the high value plans that allow Rogers customers to use the device to its fullest and offer considerable savings over separate voice and data plans that exist in market today.

That said, Rogers customers have more choices available to them and can use their existing voice and smartphone data plans if they wish. For example, they can select from the new data pricing (ranging from $30 for 300MB to $100 for 6GB or $50 Flex Rate plan) and add a voice plan, or they can choose a combined voice and data plan to best suit their individual needs.

Customers are not required to take the value packs, and can order most other features a la carte, such as $7 for Caller ID.

Existing customers can keep their existing voice service plan and pick a separate data plan (not in the iPhone 3G bundle) to meet their needs. They will need to check their upgrade eligibility, but any customer with a monthly service fee that is over $30 can upgrade to an iPhone 3G at $199 (for the 8GB model). Other options outside the iPhone bundle may be available depending on the customer’s individual information.

If you have any questions, please let me know and I will do my best to help you.

Sincerely,

[omitted]

Hmm…first of all, I find it strange that a representative for this company is emailing me on behalf of Rogers. Why not just make this info public on the Rogers website? Last time I checked, Rogers has their own PR agency. I ended up calling the rep’s number and left a number to be called back. It would be very interesting if Rogers has outsourced this agency to calm down the online blowback from their outrageous iPhone 3G voice/data plans.

The weirdness doesn’t stop there. It seems that a few website admins have also received this very email, such as our friends from The iPhone Blog. Very interesting huh? What’s your take on this strange email?

Rogers Responds to RuinediPhone.com Online Petition

Rogers has reponded to the massive online petition but they don’t say much. Miss Hamilton states below that there is misunderstanding regarding their iPhone 3G plans, and get this–there are other plan options soon to come. We’re going to have to wait and see. Maybe this confirms the email I received above? Read on for more…

Liz Hamilton, a spokeswoman for Rogers said the company had no comment on the petition but said it was apparent there is “confusion in the marketplace” about Rogers pricing plans for the phone.

She said iPhone 3G bundles are high value and offer customers savings over voice and data plans that exist today though they are not the only plans being offered.

“These are the best value for customers who wish to use the iPhone 3G as it was meant to be used, but as always our customers have choices,” Hamilton said in an e-mail.

Source: Canada.com

Possibility to Buy iPhone 3G from Rogers Without Contract

I’ve received word from my sources that some Rogers dealers got their iPhone 3G shipments today. So keep an eye out at your local Rogers Wireless store for “sneak peaks” if they are still unloading boxes etc. Also, there is a price for an iPhone 3G without contract–it’s going to be $730CAD for an 8GB iPhone 3G! I hope that price is a joke, because that is just pure highway robbery!

Winner of the Case-Mate Clear Armor Contest!

A big thanks to all the people who commented on my review of the Case-Mate Clear Armor contest! I put the names in a hat and picked one…the lucky winner is none other than…

JAN RANDALL! Congrats Jan! You will be expecting an email from me shortly. Thanks to our friends from Case-Mate, the makers of some of the nicest leather iPhone cases available!

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to my RSS feed, so you won’t miss any updates! You can also subscribe via email and have daily updates sent to your Inbox! Want more? Find out what I’m doing right now! Follow me on Twitter!

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • What do they mean I can keep my existing Voice/data plan? The whole point is to get the new 3G iPhone because its got faster internet, and I dont want to be limited on how much time I can spend on the net. I mean this is 2008, and Rogers needs to wake up.

    Sadmir
    __________________________
    http://www.notrogers.com

  • What do they mean I can keep my existing Voice/data plan? The whole point is to get the new 3G iPhone because its got faster internet, and I dont want to be limited on how much time I can spend on the net. I mean this is 2008, and Rogers needs to wake up.

    Sadmir
    __________________________
    http://www.notrogers.com

  • firas

    Mission Accomplished!!!

    Check this out guys, there’s a new link on the website now that gives more detailed information

    Quote from rogers website:

    “Data Usage
    Your iPhone will be enabled for data usage. If you subscribe to a plan with no data included, data charges at a pay-per-use rate of 5¢/KB for data sent and/or received over the Rogers network will apply, unless you subscribe to a data plan, which we highly recommend.”

    And again:

    “Price Plan Downgrade Fee
    If you have subscribed to an iPhone Voice & Data Package or a Voice Price Plan with a Monthly Service Fee of more than $30, then a Price Plan Downgrade Fee of $50 will be applied to your invoice if, for any reason, you change to a Price Plan with a Monthly Service Fee of $30 or less at any time during the Service Agreement Term. A Price Plan Downgrade Fee will not be charged if your service is terminated prior to the end of the Service Agreement Term, although you will be subject to any applicable early cancellation fee.”

    Looks like they finally caved and will be offering the device with no required plans.

    GREAT NEWS!!!!!

    Firas

  • JC

    Apologies for a little rant….

    If this is true, then it’s a great example of how corporations and their PR firms act like weasels. In general it goes like this:

    1) Make an announcement that shows the corporation as inept, unbelievably greedy, or both.

    2) The public or their client base rises up and makes them realize how much they screwed up.

    3) The corporation backtracks on their first position, but to save face says that the public ‘didn’t understand’, or ‘was confused’.

    So, now we’re supposed to believe that Rogers web site omitted this new information by mistake? That this is what they really meant, and we’re just confused?

    They just don’t realize that this compounds their already poor image by adding ‘deceptive behaviors’ to the list of traits that the public dislikes about them.

    If these new flexibilities/plans are true, its great that they are being responsive, but why mire the good news by pretending that this is what was proposed in the first place?

  • JC

    Apologies for a little rant….

    If this is true, then it’s a great example of how corporations and their PR firms act like weasels. In general it goes like this:

    1) Make an announcement that shows the corporation as inept, unbelievably greedy, or both.

    2) The public or their client base rises up and makes them realize how much they screwed up.

    3) The corporation backtracks on their first position, but to save face says that the public ‘didn’t understand’, or ‘was confused’.

    So, now we’re supposed to believe that Rogers web site omitted this new information by mistake? That this is what they really meant, and we’re just confused?

    They just don’t realize that this compounds their already poor image by adding ‘deceptive behaviors’ to the list of traits that the public dislikes about them.

    If these new flexibilities/plans are true, its great that they are being responsive, but why mire the good news by pretending that this is what was proposed in the first place?

  • Alain Vezina

    Still really expensive. Even if rogers show more flexibility that doesnt mean the price is good. I really looking for a max bill of 100$/Month for unlimited data ( at least 20- 40 GIG), unlimited call at 18H and at least 800 minutes.

    Under that this still really expensive.

    Once again … nothing change… keep working hard we might win someday.

    Alain

  • Alain Vezina

    Still really expensive. Even if rogers show more flexibility that doesnt mean the price is good. I really looking for a max bill of 100$/Month for unlimited data ( at least 20- 40 GIG), unlimited call at 18H and at least 800 minutes.

    Under that this still really expensive.

    Once again … nothing change… keep working hard we might win someday.

    Alain

  • Justin

    I just read the new content on the rogers.com site regarding the new pricing stuff and really, it’s more confusing then ever, so what is the minimal price to get a 3G iPhone under Roger with the 3 years term assuming I simply want to check emails and access the weather.

    Say I want voice plan with voice mail & caller ID and only 15MB per month, how much would that cost?

  • Justin

    I just read the new content on the rogers.com site regarding the new pricing stuff and really, it’s more confusing then ever, so what is the minimal price to get a 3G iPhone under Roger with the 3 years term assuming I simply want to check emails and access the weather.

    Say I want voice plan with voice mail & caller ID and only 15MB per month, how much would that cost?

  • Ben

    The PR firm stated that those plans released first were the ‘high-value’ plans, that would offer significant savings … how much is what’s coming out going to rip us off if those ones are offering ‘significant savings’. Yikes!!

  • Ben

    The PR firm stated that those plans released first were the ‘high-value’ plans, that would offer significant savings … how much is what’s coming out going to rip us off if those ones are offering ‘significant savings’. Yikes!!

  • Jason

    http://www.ruinediphone.com/ is down.

    I wonder if it’s just gone over it’s cap, or did Rogers offer free iPhones for life to the admins?

    Last it was up over 21,000 people had signed the petition. That’s about $70,000,0000 worth of lost iPhone service revenue.

    If 100,000 people got together they’d have enough to build their own national GSM network over 3 years.

  • Jason

    http://www.ruinediphone.com/ is down.

    I wonder if it’s just gone over it’s cap, or did Rogers offer free iPhones for life to the admins?

    Last it was up over 21,000 people had signed the petition. That’s about $70,000,0000 worth of lost iPhone service revenue.

    If 100,000 people got together they’d have enough to build their own national GSM network over 3 years.

  • We here at GeekCulture.com also received the same rather confusing email… and it’s from a USA PR firm to boot.

    Weird response indeed. 😛

  • We here at GeekCulture.com also received the same rather confusing email… and it’s from a USA PR firm to boot.

    Weird response indeed. 😛

  • Jeff C

    “High Value” – gosh, I love that term. What does it mean and who is getting the value?

    From my perspective, it’s not the consumer getting the “value”, but there certainly is alot of value (revenue) for Rogers if the Canadian public were to buy in to these plans.

    I would not characterize what I’m reading in this letter as “caving”. When they ofer reasonable data rates (unlimited), reasonable voice minutes, no add-ons (nickel and diming – monthly charges) and eliminate the 36 month contract requirement – then they will have caved.

  • Jeff C

    “High Value” – gosh, I love that term. What does it mean and who is getting the value?

    From my perspective, it’s not the consumer getting the “value”, but there certainly is alot of value (revenue) for Rogers if the Canadian public were to buy in to these plans.

    I would not characterize what I’m reading in this letter as “caving”. When they ofer reasonable data rates (unlimited), reasonable voice minutes, no add-ons (nickel and diming – monthly charges) and eliminate the 36 month contract requirement – then they will have caved.

  • Hum… it does seem to be a PR response tactic to consumers pressure. Hear, hear for us!

    Now I still don’t have an answer to my high hopes : I’m willing to commit to Fido for 3 years, but I want full flexibility to move around their plans to adjust to my consumption patterns. I would go ballistic having to spill my bills to switch data packages en cour de route!

    HEY FIDO! –not Rogers as long as they don’t have per second billing :
    – first, win me as a new client;
    – then, keep me happy. I’ll be loyal! I have been to Bell for 14 year (until they stopped making me happy and actually made me very unhappy).

  • Dave

    I’m way to jaded to believe that this could even possibly go uphill. As an American student living in Canada, I can honestly say that I was not expecting such low value when it came to high technology in this country. This entire hoopla with Robbers is completely absurd.

  • Hum… it does seem to be a PR response tactic to consumers pressure. Hear, hear for us!

    Now I still don’t have an answer to my high hopes : I’m willing to commit to Fido for 3 years, but I want full flexibility to move around their plans to adjust to my consumption patterns. I would go ballistic having to spill my bills to switch data packages en cour de route!

    HEY FIDO! –not Rogers as long as they don’t have per second billing :
    – first, win me as a new client;
    – then, keep me happy. I’ll be loyal! I have been to Bell for 14 year (until they stopped making me happy and actually made me very unhappy).

  • Dave

    I’m way to jaded to believe that this could even possibly go uphill. As an American student living in Canada, I can honestly say that I was not expecting such low value when it came to high technology in this country. This entire hoopla with Robbers is completely absurd.

  • Pingback: Le iPhone et Rogers… un lancement drôlement planifié — Blogue Vectis()

  • Guest

    I say just include the value pack in all of the packages and it would be a fair deal.

  • alex

    I say just include the value pack in all of the packages and it would be a fair deal.

  • Ops

    It’s still crap no matter what spin you put on it. If you’re on a grandfather plans then add a data plan you might get more value for the same price as the iPhone value plans. The data plans you can add to your existing voice plan are still as expensive as they were before the iPhone was announced to be coming to Canada. Same old story, trying to spin it a new.

  • Ops

    It’s still crap no matter what spin you put on it. If you’re on a grandfather plans then add a data plan you might get more value for the same price as the iPhone value plans. The data plans you can add to your existing voice plan are still as expensive as they were before the iPhone was announced to be coming to Canada. Same old story, trying to spin it a new.

  • I wish they would address this as a pricing problem rather than a PR problem. It’s not that people don’t understand the plans, it’s that the plans aren’t any good.

    Unbundling data and voice would be a start. I might need 300 minutes, but be totally cool with 400 MB. I might also need 2GB but be able to live with 150 mins. There’s no reason to think that voice usage and data usage should correlate. (In fact, I suspect that they’re inversely related; I would believe that high data users might be less likely to spend time making voice calls).

    Bumping the data points up would also help. Between modern webpages, HTML emails with attachments, MobileMe, etc., a very basic user could worry about hitting the 400MB cap of the low end data plan. Making the lowest plan 750 MB and adjusting the other plans upward would help to ease the concerns of overage fees.

    And finally, family plans are needed. I have no idea how many Rogers customers are on mate/family type plans with shared minutes, but I suspect it’s a substantial number. These plans ignore the needs of users with more than one line on their account.

  • I wish they would address this as a pricing problem rather than a PR problem. It’s not that people don’t understand the plans, it’s that the plans aren’t any good.

    Unbundling data and voice would be a start. I might need 300 minutes, but be totally cool with 400 MB. I might also need 2GB but be able to live with 150 mins. There’s no reason to think that voice usage and data usage should correlate. (In fact, I suspect that they’re inversely related; I would believe that high data users might be less likely to spend time making voice calls).

    Bumping the data points up would also help. Between modern webpages, HTML emails with attachments, MobileMe, etc., a very basic user could worry about hitting the 400MB cap of the low end data plan. Making the lowest plan 750 MB and adjusting the other plans upward would help to ease the concerns of overage fees.

    And finally, family plans are needed. I have no idea how many Rogers customers are on mate/family type plans with shared minutes, but I suspect it’s a substantial number. These plans ignore the needs of users with more than one line on their account.

  • To answer Justin.

    “Say I want voice plan with voice mail & caller ID and only 15MB per month, how much would that cost?”

    15000kb at $0.05 per kb is $750. Sudently, 300mb for $30 sounds cheap.

    When you think about it, shoudn’t all MB be priced the same? The high value plan will give you 400mb for $30 (say the 150 minutes, voice mail and unlimited weekends is worth $30). From 400 to 460, it will cost you an outrageous $30 more (50 cents per MB)! Then it irrationnally drops to 3 cents per MB.

    Immagine if gas was sold like that.

  • To answer Justin.

    “Say I want voice plan with voice mail & caller ID and only 15MB per month, how much would that cost?”

    15000kb at $0.05 per kb is $750. Sudently, 300mb for $30 sounds cheap.

    When you think about it, shoudn’t all MB be priced the same? The high value plan will give you 400mb for $30 (say the 150 minutes, voice mail and unlimited weekends is worth $30). From 400 to 460, it will cost you an outrageous $30 more (50 cents per MB)! Then it irrationnally drops to 3 cents per MB.

    Immagine if gas was sold like that.

  • eason

    No matter what, Rogers’ every plan is still sucks compare to the world, it’s almost 2010!!! Mobile phone is not something just for 2 min communication. Even though it sounds better now, but still…9pm starts the night?!?!?! Maybe this is more fit Hong Kong people (they mostly off work after 8pm).

  • eason

    No matter what, Rogers’ every plan is still sucks compare to the world, it’s almost 2010!!! Mobile phone is not something just for 2 min communication. Even though it sounds better now, but still…9pm starts the night?!?!?! Maybe this is more fit Hong Kong people (they mostly off work after 8pm).

  • Bob

    If those are the high value plans, I dont want to see the other plans.

  • Bob

    If those are the high value plans, I dont want to see the other plans.

  • George

    Keep up the pressure, email Rogers and Apple Executives

    Rogers

    nadir.mohammed@rci.rogers.com, (President)
    john.boynton@rci.rogers.com (SVP and Marketing)
    upinder.saini@rci.rogers.com,
    raj.doshi@rci.rogers.com

    elizabeth.hamilton@rci.rogers.com (PR)
    dpeterson@casselsbrock.com (Member of their Board)

    Apple people

    satkins@apple.com

    ccdowling@apple.com,
    katiec@apple.com

  • George

    Keep up the pressure, email Rogers and Apple Executives

    Rogers

    nadir.mohammed@rci.rogers.com, (President)
    john.boynton@rci.rogers.com (SVP and Marketing)
    upinder.saini@rci.rogers.com,
    raj.doshi@rci.rogers.com

    elizabeth.hamilton@rci.rogers.com (PR)
    dpeterson@casselsbrock.com (Member of their Board)

    Apple people

    satkins@apple.com

    ccdowling@apple.com,
    katiec@apple.com

  • George

    This statement by Liz Hamilton of Rogers is particularly infuriating

    How is someone supposed to use the iPhone as it was meant to be used with 400MB of data? Coming from people who dont pay their own cellphone bill

    “She said iPhone 3G bundles are high value and offer customers savings over voice and data plans that exist today though they are not the only plans being offered.

    “These are the best value for customers who wish to use the iPhone 3G as it was meant to be used, but as always our customers have choices,” Hamilton said in an e-mail.”

  • Fake Name

    What is signing a petition (online, no less) going to do exactly? Why not hold your breath and stamp your feet like the spoiled children you are acting like? Apple markets the iPhone like the Mercedes of cell phones. Do you petition Mercedes if you can’t afford the new ninth-gen S-Class sedan? No, you suck it up and get a Mazda. Same thing here. Like Mercedes does not have a monopoly on the automobile market, Rogers does not have a monopoly on cell phone service (as much as you are trying to convince yourselves that they do). If you want to take effective action, don’t sign a petition… just put your $ away. That’s the only “petition” corporations will pay attention to. By the way, how does it feel to know that your outrage over the pricing plans might just be making things worse by providing lots of free advertising for the Rogers iPhone?

  • Fake Name

    What is signing a petition (online, no less) going to do exactly? Why not hold your breath and stamp your feet like the spoiled children you are acting like? Apple markets the iPhone like the Mercedes of cell phones. Do you petition Mercedes if you can’t afford the new ninth-gen S-Class sedan? No, you suck it up and get a Mazda. Same thing here. Like Mercedes does not have a monopoly on the automobile market, Rogers does not have a monopoly on cell phone service (as much as you are trying to convince yourselves that they do). If you want to take effective action, don’t sign a petition… just put your $ away. That’s the only “petition” corporations will pay attention to. By the way, how does it feel to know that your outrage over the pricing plans might just be making things worse by providing lots of free advertising for the Rogers iPhone?

  • Pingback: Le iPhone et Rogers… un bien drôle de lancement 2 — Blogue Vectis()