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!