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[Updated] Rogers Redirects Mobile Safari 404 Error Messages Over 3G to Ask.com

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Update: Rogers contacted us to say this forwarding has stopped. Let us know if you see these changes.

We just got a tip about a weird change to the way Rogers handles 404 errors over the 3G network. If you’re in Mobile Safari and visit a webpage that is down, you’ll get the following message:

Cannot Open Page – Safari cannot open the page because the server cannot be found.

We used to see the above 404, but that has changed. Rogers has quietly redirected all 404 Error Messages over 3G to Ask.com. Why? When users search on Ask.com, Rogers gets a share of ad revenue. Yes, Rogers appears to have found another revenue stream, through the mistakes of iPhone users when they type in the incorrect URL within Mobile Safari:

Connections over WiFi don’t change when hit with a 404 error page. The Rogers redirect only happens when you’re connected to 3G.

I don’t know of any other iPhone carrier that does this–please share with us if other worldwide carriers are also redirecting 404 errors to ad-filled search sites like Ask.com.

What do you think of this new change? Yay or nay?

Thanks to Greg for the heads up!

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  • I’m not getting any redirection with Fido on my iPhone 4 running with iOS 4.3.

  • Ran11sum

    Anything to help poor Rogers cover their costs. Of course we know that they will forward any savings to their customers.

  • @chriswtburke

    Seems like something they’d do.. Money greedy bastards

  • Rogers already does this with their cable Internet, and I find it insanely annoying. The best thing to do is to use alternative DNS servers, like the ones Google provides. (Though, I’m not sure if it’s possible to do that on the iPhone for the 3G connection.)

  • Ovcrash

    I’m on rogers and i’m not getting redirected. Maybe it’s not active for everyone.

  • Eigtball

    OMG a for profit company trying to make money!

  • They could forward me to some pokemon site for all I cared. I would just reenter my address or search again ^_~ not a big deal, this is just water under the bridge in my eyes

  • Joyce

    This has been happening to me for a while. The part I find annoying is that it happens because I don’t put in .com, which Safari should be doing on it’s own.

  • Chrome262

    It’s what they do with home Internet as well. So even if you are not with Rogers for cell phone service you could still see this on wifi if you are in there service or using free wifi on Rogers.

  • AnonymousGuy

    Pretty soon we’ll be seeing google ads as well.

  • Steve

    Take away our Ubb will you. Well Rogers will show you!

  • Ron

    They are making money from both ends now!

    They make money from Ask.com for the redirection, and then they go and charge you for the extra bandwidth you use from visiting the larger Ask.com webpage!

    Geesh! Next thing you know, they charge us for the pipe inbetween… wait… nevermind…

  • Anonymous

    I seem to remember reading somewhere that doing this was a big security risk, but I’m not sure if it on an iPhone. Either way, it is annoying.

  • Slyrobber

    Ah the perennial vampires. Of course!! Followers of the church of the golden calf need not respond we care not for your telegraphed drivel.

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