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Rogers iPhone 3G Voice/Data Plans Incur Internet Revolts

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Mention of Rogers iPhone 3G Voice/Data Plans Will Result in a Verbal Backlash

Yikes. That’s the first thing that comes to my mind after reading up on the endless frustrated rants of Canadians after Rogers iPhone 3G voice/data plans were revealed. There’s a saying that history repeats itself, and in this case it chimes true again and again.

Rogers over the years has had a notorious reputation as the “hated” mobile carrier in Canada. Why you ask? Well, for starters their pricing plans have never been “competitive” (why would they need to be when you have a monopology on GSM?!). On top of that, you have a team of poorly trained customer service reps that tell you one thing, then do another (I have first hand experience with this when I found out my 1 year contract was in fact THREE. I called in to Rogers to inquire, and they told me I had signed a 3 year contract. Umm…no, I don’t think I’ve ever done anything of the kind. They then have the nerve to tell me that in order to change my 3 year contract to a 1 year contract, I’d have to pay the $400 early cancellation charge! I DID NOT SIGN 3 YEARS, yet they would not listen to me. That is unacceptable customer service and bad business practice. Okay, rant ends here.)

Well, yesterday’s iPhone 3G voice/data plans did not impress ANYONE. I have yet to read a positive comment on the internet, including the iPhoneinCanada.ca Forums. People right now are just livid and incensed about the plans, even the people who have been patiently waiting over a year for the iPhone’s release in Canada. How can Rogers get away with this?

What Rogers Should’ve Done to Really Hook Canadian iPhone 3G Fans

Let’s imagine another scenario. Say the iPhone 3G voice/data plans were something similar to the following:
300 daytime minutes
6pm unlimited evenings/weekends
Caller ID/Voicemail
2GB data
$60

This plan, created out of thin air sounds much better than $60 for 150 daytime minutes and 400MB of data! The iPhone is the most hyped device around then entire world at the moment–and it’s clear that Rogers wants to take full advantage of this. If a decent voice/data plan was introduced, I guarantee Rogers would steal hundreds if not thousands of Bell and Telus customers making the switch. Yet, they have decided to the road WAY less traveled (I think it’s a chip trail) with expensive, price-gouging plans that offer no value. Don’t forget to add the “value packs” of either $15 or $20 to drive the price up even more.

Flaws in the Rogers iPhone 3G Voice/Data Plans (or, things that are making Canadians angry)

1. 150 daytime minutes for $60. I hope this isn’t an early April Fool’s joke. That equates to 7.5 minutes of talktime during the day in a month (subtracting free weekends). Do you talk more than 7.5 minutes in a day? If you go over these minutes, it’s $0.35 extra PER minute!

2. $15/$20 value packs. Gee, I remember when voicemail and caller ID could be bundled for like $5 or so…now we have to pay $15 or $20 EXTRA? Yeah, I understand that you get 2500 text messages–but who really sends 83 text messages per day?! Also, announcing that 2500 call forwarding minutes are included is not a bonus. Honestly, how many people still use call forwarding?

Without the $20 value pack, your evenings will start at 6PM. If you don’t get the $20 value pack, your free evenings start at 9PM. Yes, that’s right…9PM (Fido’s evenings start at 7pm)! Some people start getting ready for bed at 9PM, yet Rogers expects you to have free calling after that. Obviously customers will not be able to resist waiting until 9PM to call or answer their iPhones–that means $0.35/minute overage charges baby!

3. Fido customers have the upper hand. If you buy an iPhone 3G from Fido, and opt for the $20 value pack you are already one step up on your confused father, Rogers. Fido customers will get 5PM early evenings, versus 6PM for Rogers customers. On top of that, Fido users will have billing by the second (trust me, they will need this more than ever before!), which Rogers will not.

Also, the Fido website states that their users will be rewarded FidoDollars for wireless data usage. So does that mean the more wireless data you use, the more FidoDollars you will collect? Rogers customers have no such reward system in place. Not fair.

4. Useless added facts to confuse customers. The plans state that “unlimited WiFi at Rogers/Fido outlets will be included”. Whoop-dee-do. Free WiFi is pretty much available at any coffee shop, depending on where you live. Why would Rogers/Fido customers want to use WiFi outside a Fido/Rogers outlet? They shouldn’t have to, as a complete and reasonable data plan would be sufficient enough!

Did you notice the detailed explanation of “what you get” with the new data plans? Rogers decided to throw in some big numbers, hoping they’d confuse the average customer. This is what I’m talking about…400 MB, up to 200,000 text emails or 3,100 web pages or 1,360 photo attachments. Of course reading these stats will make it seem impressive, but every user is different.

5. Data plan overage charges. According to Rogers, if you go over your allotted data usage you will be charged the following: 50¢ per MB for the first 60 MB, 3¢ per MB thereafter. For iPhone 3G users not keeping close tabs on their data usage, going over will cost you an arm and a leg. More money for Rogers. Ka-ching! Hmm…maybe my first generation iPhone isn’t looking too shabby at the moment! 🙂

Evidence of Canadian Animosity Towards Rogers’ iPhone 3G Plans

Don’t believe me that people are just absolutely shocked and angry? Check out these sites for more info…

http://digg.com/apple/Rogers_you_ruined_my_iPhone_dream (I’ve never seen so much “colorful” language expressed towards a corporation)
http://digg.com/apple/Open_Letter_to_Steve_Jobs_about_the_iPhone_in_Canada
iPhoneinCanada.ca Forum Thread on Rogers iPhone 3G (about 50 pages of angry opinions in less than a day)
HowardForums Endless Rogers Rants
MacQuebec Says (en Francais): Call Rogers and Express your Opinion

How Do I Contact Rogers and Tell them How I Really Feel??

https://your.rogers.com/contact/contactus_main.asp

Ted Rogers trogers@rci.rogers.com
J Innes (VP) jinnes@rci.rogers.com
Jane Haitsma jhaitsma@rci.rogers.com

Apple (Thanks Stogats from HoFo)
Simon Atkins (Canada)
satkins@apple.com

The head corporate media guy in the USA
Steve Dowling
dowling@apple.com
(408) 974-1896

and the BIG honcho at Apple for communications is :
Katie Cotton
katiec@apple.com
Vice President of Worldwide Corporate Communications

Canadian Minister of Industry, Jim Prentice
Prentice.J@parl.gc.ca

I honestly believe Rogers underestimated that Apple buyers and iPhone 3G techies are very picky when it comes to their purchases. They can easily see past the fact that Rogers is trying to take full advantage of consumers with their iPhone 3G pricing plans. Could Rogers possibly adjust these plans by July 11th? It is possible. Maybe this announcement is just to “test the waters” to see what Canadians feel about these plans. If that’s the case, then it’s another case of what scientists call “EPIC FAIL”.

Read iPhone 3G data plans from: Fido and Rogers

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