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iPhone 5 Launch Day Report Card: Rogers, Telus, Bell, Apple [POLL]

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The iPhone 5 officially launched yesterday in Canada. You either waited patiently for your factory unlocked iPhone from Apple at the door like a dog, or you dealt with Rogers, Telus, Bell and their dealers to get access to the new phone. With the huge influx of activations, systems were overwhelmed but some carriers fared better than others. Here’s our hands on unboxing video if you missed it.

Here’s an informal report card, where you can grade the carriers on their performance on launch day, along with Apple. Vote below and give them a letter grade of either an A, B, C, D or F (based on your overall impressions of how they handled your iPhone 5 experience on launch day).

Rogers/Fido


Bell/Virgin


Telus/Koodo


Apple


We’ll post the poll results a few days later (you’ll need to visit the site to participate in the polls).

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  • alamarco

    Rogers was absolutely terrible. Only reason I gave them a D instead of an F is the manager went to Tim Hortons and brought out a bag of coffee for everyone to grab. The reps were great, but I still don’t understand how after so many iPhone launches the Rogers system STILL can’t handle the stress.

    I was only 15 in line, which I thought meant I wouldn’t be there for long. Turns out I was there for 5+ hours. It took each customer a minimum of an hour to get connected and switched. Even after all that, you still didn’t have service. It took another 5 hours at home for my iPhone 5 to get service.

    Just boggles my mind. They nickel and dime and still can’t afford to spend a tiny fraction of that on upgrading their network?

  • rpret103

    neither, went to best buy

  • 5 hours?! Whoa…that’s a long time to wait to get a phone.

  • RaphaelNinjaTurtle

    Waited 4 hours to get my phone ACTIVATED by Rogers

  • mattjames4

    Pre-ordered with rogers at 7am on the 14th and was number 300 in line of about 10,000 preorders for the 16gb black and i have yet to receive my phone. i am extremely unhappy with rogers as i walked into the store at 2.15 and they had only sold out of my model 2 hours earlier! I have yet to even recieve an email that my phone has shipped, it still says in progress pre fulfillment meaning at the earlier i will recieve the phone in 1 week.

  • MikeDodge

    I used the Rogers reservation system. Phone was delivered to a location in St. Catharines the day before launch, they called me to tell me they had it. I went to the store launch day at 5:00pm to get it but was told i was looking at an hour and half to get through activation etc. Couldn’t stay so i came back today (Saturday) at 10:00am and had no problems. For me, for once, the whole process was nearly painless. A first for my experience with Rogers.

    I know people get angry when they have trouble getting their device on launch day but honestly what do they expect? These companies can’t hire thousands of people for just one day and it does seem like everyone who is there is working their asses off on launch day. There are only so many hands on deck ya know?

  • JM

    Fido: C. I had a pre-negotiated retention offer on hold and I was told the Apple Store rep just had to call to get it activated. It took 25 minutes for the call to get answered. The contract that printed out didn’t include all package components and the Fido rep present at the Apple Store had to call again to confirm my package which also took 25 minutes to complete. The rep was very apologetic and was doing a really good job trying to help answer the most questions.

    Apple: B. No 30-pin to Lightning converter or cases available at the Apple Store. I understand for the cases which comes from 3rd party suppliers but the adapters are made by apple an should be available on launch day. If you change the connector you should know that people will want to be able to use their accessories with their new devices. The service was excellent and all the specialists were more than happy to welcome us in the store and help us. Coffee and muffins were provided for those waiting as well as umbrellas in case it would rain.

    Overall, the service was excellent it was just the organization that was lacking on Rogers/Fido and also on a smaller scale on Apple side

  • Magrat22

    Same here, I was first in line at my local Rogers store. Got there a at 6:30 and didn’t leave until 11:30 with an unactivated phone!

    Staff were great they did their best but as per the alamarco I don’t understand how at this stage they still don’t have their act together. Seemingly Customer Service got pulled in to help with upgrading as whatever number the Rogers Reps ring into was jammed with calls and no one could get through.

  • Normand Rivard

    I also ordered my telephone with Rogers over the internet last Friday morning at 8:45am and
    a week later it still said pre-order fulfillment. A little note stating 1 week or 2 weeks would be nice. They are really lacking in customer service. I think the next time I will switch with Bell.
    Maybe I should try it now.

  • Rogers staff at Angrignon Mall in LaSalle, Quebec were amazing! I really had a great service. The staff were running around doing their possible best to get things done. Since I had reserved my phone it took about 30 minutes due to their system crashing. It did take 5 hours to activate the sim but that is not the staffs’ fault. They can only do so much with the tools they are provided.

    Every carrier in Canada had the same issue…hell Telus their systems went down and no one was able to get a phone at certain stores. You hope that one day they will all get it right.

  • crosseyed_mofo

    3 rogers stores flat out REFUSED to sell nano sims

    even though @RogersNicolas from their twitter help team said, and I quote, “nano SIMS will be available to all customers. No exceptions”

    I dont fault him but its clear stores were not getting the memo

    Girlfriend picked up 2 for us at a future shop

    About 2 hours downtime till we got voice

    Didnt get lte till today

  • Kacey

    I was 12th in line at the Apple store and did an upgrade .. I was out of the store by 9am including the setup of my phone with an apple genius . It’s funny that the system at the actual Rogers store was slower

  • Telus / Apple. I ordered mine on the day of pre-order via telus website. Got it on the 21st at 10am with Purolator, and I activated online via telus (upgrading my account from 3GS to 5) in 10min …
    Backed up my 3GS on itunes, restored it on the 5.

    As flawless as can be.

    I did not talk to any “human” during the all process πŸ™‚

  • John

    Its not so much of hands on deck.. I thinks its more of better IT infrastructure to withstand the load. That’s what I think, if their severs could withstand the load, I think everything would be smoother.

  • Garret

    Neither did I. I live north of Vancouver so I didn’t receive mine until 3ish but activated the sim without a problem on the website and I had service in around 10 minutes. Backed up from my 4S and everything went very smoothly πŸ™‚

  • I’m in Ottawa

  • alamarco

    The store I was at had 10+ lines going at once trying to get in. Most of the lines wouldn’t get an answer minimum 1 hour into the call and a few even went to 2 hours. Some of the reps even had their cellphones going in hopes they could get through.

    The worst part is we seen multiple people walk by us and head to Bell and they were back walking by us with iPhone 5’s within 30m.

  • sully54

    People need to understand, the carriers’ systems being down isn’t about the carriers not having their act together, it’s more about the sheer number of phones getting activated.

    If apple sold 2 million preorders in 24 hours, imagine that same amount taxing Rogers’ or any other carrier’s systems. There’s simply just too many phone getting activated all at the same time.

  • I don’t see that as a valid excuse. Considering the carriers make millions of dollars in profits off the monthly fees we pay, they could allocate some towards their systems.

  • sully54

    Do you even know what is involved in the backen of the carriers’ systems?

    You make it sound like these carriers are somehow conspiring to not spend millions upgrading their systems to handle iPhone launch. Do you realise how ridiculous that assertion is? The carriers are public companies that answer to shareholders. If they don’t invest in their systems the shareholders hold them accountable.

  • Flavorss

    I pre ordored at future shop granby (quebec) took 10 min i was out ! Guest where i will pick all my next iphone ? 5 stars service

  • FunkyMan

    Bought mine unlocked and got it from UPS at around 1pm. Not a Fido store in the city had LTE Nano SIM cards available. They wanted to charge me $10 to have it shipped in 3-5 business days. I walked into the Bayshore Apple store and got one without paying. Then I tried activating it on the Fido website – it took >4 hours to activate. After waiting on hold for 36 minutes with Fido, the customer service rep had no idea what was wrong. It wasn’t until they got a technical person on the phone that someone could tell me their system was insanely slow. Fido Epic Fail!

  • Ryenstein

    Virgin A+

  • No, I don’t know the technical details. But I do know Future Shop and Best Buy were able to get through faster than the Rogers system itself. And their setup is just access to Rogers’ side of things. How does that work out?

    What I do know, are the facts. People weren’t able to activate their iPhones on Rogers on launch day–something that has occurred annually since 2008. For customers, is this something they must ‘accept’ because of the volume of activations? Nothing can be done by Rogers to fix this? I don’t believe that argument. It also wouldn’t harm to re-train customer service agents too. The service can be atrocious at times, ask anybody.

    I’m not singling out Rogers. I’m talking about Bell and Telus too.

  • frank

    do you have an lte data plan or did your normal data plan automatically switch over?

  • crosseyed_mofo

    i had my plan adjusted to the “lte ready” one a few months back

  • sorry, but I only have a “partial” understanding for all the anger here ? It seems many people went to carriers to get their phone, and all of them had a pre-order system. Why not using it ? no wait time, just patiently waiting for it at home. Then I’m sure all carriers have an online activation system, it is just 2 numbers to type in really. Do you guys dug up a little bit all the “pages” on your online account with your carrier.
    I know that some operations require a human contact (by phone or face to face), but really, we are living in a world with so much services offered online, more of us needs to know or learn how to use them.
    same goes with online banking for instance, it is so easy. Anyone knows about email money transfer ?? I’m sure many just don’t … But yet so easy to use.

    Then finally, what do you expect, it is an Apple launch πŸ™‚ ! There is going to be people and there is going to be wait time πŸ™‚ just like any big blockbuster movie on the first day, hard to get in, patience patience …

    My 2 euro cents …

  • Dave

    Is it just me or does it seem like a rip off that Rogers (carrier) customers that buy direct from Apple and aren’t near a Apple store have to pay $10 for a SIM, to then pay Rogers (carrier) for the service month after month…

  • sully54

    All I’m saying is that the experience people went through yesterday is just the reality of being an early adopter. If you don’t want to go through waiting hours to get an activation done on the first day, then come back tomorrow.

  • Baron funk

    Pre ordered my iPhone 5 on the 14th with telus on their website(switching from Rogers). A little after 5 pm on the 21st, my 64gb white iPhone 5 arrived at my doorstep. I was up and running including porting over my Rogers # and restoring from a b/u in less than an hour. Way to go telus!

    When the iPhone 4 was released I stood in line at the apple store pacific centre for 6 hours to buy an unlocked 32gb.

    This year my experience was far better.

  • greg

    How about a poll for UPS? (and in case you’re wondering, I’d give THEM a Fuckin’ F!)

  • I preordered my 32 GB phone at the Bell store in my small town in Nova Scotia on the 14th — they called me Friday morning to let me know it was in. Dropped by, they had it all set up and ready to go. Took about 10 minutes, tops. So easy and such great service from everyone involved.

  • Cristovao

    I get that it’s launch day and a certain level of patience must be employed but I do still believe that after five years of doing this, some investment in a better network infrastructure should have occurred.

    The problem is ach carrier is losing very little business over this and the shareholders could give a crap about your sucky service and experience. As long as you keep forking over your hard earned dollars, they’re completely satisfied.

  • johnnygoodface

    Telus was down the 21st the entire day. Almost no activation wathsoever in Canada. Came back online only Saturday morning. Bad Telus. But I wouldn’t have switched to any other provider (Telus=5stars for me) ! πŸ™‚

  • Preorder at fido costs godamn $40!!! Forget that!

  • ca264

    Unlocked phone delivered at 5pm, already had Telus sim in hand from visit to Apple store. Must have lucked out with Telus online because I had service switched in under a minute.

    An F to the Telus stores I called in the Greater Vancouver area…when someone calls to ask if you have the sim cards in stock, how about you tell them they are reserved for the phones that are pre-ordered and we won’t be selling a single one to anyone else.

  • Mathieu

    Bell: I did not preorder as I was missing 200$. On Thursday, I saw the tradein program on iphoneincanada web site. They would give me 160$ for my iphone 4. Too late for me all store were close. On friday morning, while biting the carpet because I did not have an iphone 5 (I just realized I am a bit of an apple fan boy), I took the chance to call the Bell store near my job. A suave feminine voice answer me after 2 ring. I ask her if they had any iphone 5. She ask color and capacity and upon my answer (black 16go) she told me yes, when do you want to came in. I was there 15 minutes later and everything went smoothly. I was all set-up 30 minutes later and the phone cost me 20$!! (plus the 35 activation fee). I was very surprised and excited and so far I am very with the iphone 5 but I have a question: Do you get many reception bar? I only get 2-3 outdoo and I am in the LTE zone of Montreal.

  • Pre-orders cost nothing at Fido. The fee you mention is a deposit, and it is credited back to your next bill upon picking up the phone, or cancelling the reservation.

  • Tbdharma

    This will probably be the only time I actual praise Robbers, but my experience was perfect. Placed my order on per-order day at about 6:45am. Got an email saying my phone was shipped with tracking number. Rogers dealer ( Pembroke, ON) called me to say it was in Friday morning. Called back later in the day to say system was very slow, if I was coming in for sure Friday, they would start everything ahead of time. When I showed up, had to wait about 10 mins and I was on my way. Dare I say….great job Rogers!? Now helll can freeze over.

  • NB

    This website and twitter A+. UPS an F-, despite getting the phone at 9:00pm.

  • gerry

    I gave Bell an F because when I bought a nano sim off them, they gave me one that was already activated by someone else to whom returned it, who knows when. So after wasting about an hour total on the phone, I finally got mine working (replacement nano sim).

  • NoOneCares

    Rogers staff were great, but the system gets an F. Staff in my local store said the online billing system went down first thing in the morning and they had to call in every upgrade and wait on hold for a couple of hours at a time. They took my information and I went home and they called me when the upgrade was done so I could come back in to sign and pickup the phone. Glad I chose the closest location to my house when I did the reservation! Took hours to connect but I think I should have turned off the old phone first, ’cause when I finally did that and restarted the new phone, it connected right away.

  • Ryan

    Still no LTE w/ Bell in Edmonton. I have unlocked from Apple… Anything special I need to do to get LTE?

  • MJ

    I hear all these bad stories about Rogers taking so long, I have to say that I had a great experience, it took only ten minutes for them to upgrade me and this was right in the middle of the day!

  • πŸ™‚

  • trexuphigh

    I’m the same in Vancouver. I got LTE in certain places. But no joy at home. I called tech support numerous times only to be told to restore the phone or that the system is overloaded. No joy at work in Burnaby too. My neighbour has a Rogers iPhone, no issues. The worst part was I was convinced by some free services to leave Rogers. I may end up going back.

  • DKGirl

    Well my story is more about how horrible Telus was. I went to Telus last wednesday and ordered my iPhone 5. I am a new customer so the lady said It was first there, first serve on launch day for iPhone 5. She told me that since I wanted a 32Go I had more chances but thursday they called and said I should ne there early and they were opening at 8am. I was there at 7h30 and fourth. At 8am they told us they could not activate so we had to wait. Ended up leaving because of work but asked them to reserve my phone. They said maybe. I called 4 times Friday and the system was still down. After work, I went and still same old story. They said they would call when it was back on. They told me it was the same for Bell, Virgin, koodo, rogers, etc. I left without my iPhone but stopped at Fido. The guy was amazing. I was able to get my iPhone, activated it on the phone and left the store with it. It took a couple of hours for the activation to really get through but at least I left with the iPhone unlike Telus. Really happy with the Fido people yesterday! Cannot blame them for the activation delay as it is a big day!

  • Danada

    You should add Best Buy. They had a really short line Tim hortons coffee/donuts. All is good until the sales person gets on the phone with the provider. For my mom it was fido. On the phone for an hour to change a plan and set up a new phone. But I got to browse the store πŸ˜€

  • kyuusei

    Apple was great. It helped that they had coffee and 3 people in line @ Coquitlam Centre, lol. Asked ahead of time if I was doing an upgrade or new contract, what carrier, what model phone etc. I only waited 10 mins to get in.

    Inside the Apple Store, they warned me that going through Rogers might be a bit of a process, took up to 45 minutes for the last couple customers. I said sure, we had to phone them and do the pen and paper thing since online wasn’t going to happen, and two other Apple employees at the same table we were at were also doing Rogers activations. All three called Rogers and one of them was smart in just getting the Rogers rep to handle all of us. I think the whole thing took about half an hour in the end. Not bad considering I expected Apple to be too busy and I was just gonna play with the demo.

    On the Rogers end, again less time than expected, and while at Apple I got them to tell me/explain my upgrade costs which ended up being what I’d anticipated. The SIM activation took a..few hours, but I also forgot to restart my phone for a while. Boo for the lack of LTE in my area though.. yet when I cross the street from my house to go to the bus stop, my phone goes from 3G to LTE. WTF Rogers?

  • Kjohn

    I pre-ordered with Bell at a mall kiosk. Walked up at noon on the 21st and was out with my new phone in 10 minutes flat. Completely painless – A++

    Why’d you all wait in line?!…

  • Shawn

    For me, my experience was much better than the last time I upgraded. I decide to skip the pre-order from Rogers and wait in line at the Apple Store on the morning of the launch.

    When I got to the store, there was about 20 people ahead of me – much better than last time when there was about 150. About half an hour before opening, Apple staffers came around and gave out cards with the model of phone you were purchasing.

    I got into the store right at opening, and wa informed that Rogers was likely down, which I knew from checking the Interwebs and Twitter. I gave the worker my information, he pulled up the account, but was unable to go any further, so he immediately called Rogers. While on hold, he filled out the paperwork for both phones, and by the time he reached an agent, he had all the info ready to go.

    After I was officially upgraded, I was given the option to leave the store with phones in wrapping, or activating them in store. Simply for the fact that I had to drop off a phone to my wife at work, I opted to activate them in the store. All in all, two manual upgrades, two activations, addition of two AppleCare+ plans and some small talk with one of the Apple guys – I spent all of 25 minutes in the store.

    Consdering Rogers was down, for me at least, my experience was very positive. That said, they really need to do something to make sure their systems can handle the stress of an iPhone launch. This is five now, and system issues have plague them all. This is only the second launch day that I’ve been a part of (bought my 3G about two months after initial launch), but both had issues. This time I didn’t suffer any delays, but their systems are still not up to par.

  • Kwan

    I had the worst experience with Fido. Called on Thursday night to see if it would be worth lining up. CSR assured that they would be open at 8 with limited supply and that I should line up as early as possible. Showed up at 7am and nobody from the store bothered to show up until 9:45am. And get this: THEY DIDN’T HAVE STOCK!!! Apparently they never even received and iPhone 5. Store manager assured me they would call me as soon as they get stock, but haven’t heard anything yet. Any advice as to who I can complain to about this? Extremely P.O’ed! Thinking of not re-upping my contact after all.

  • tcatcrb

    I have to say overall my experience with the Rogers reservation system and getting the iPhone 5 on launch day was good. I had reserved my phone on the Friday morning. Got the confirmation from them. On the 20th I got a call from the local Rogers store telling me that they had received my iPhone and I would be able to pick it up anytime on Friday. They did recommend coming in to get it later in the day due to the expected line up and initial activations that would be taking place. I happen to be driving by the store shortly after 9am and saw no lineups and hardly anyone in the store so I stopped and checked on getting the phone. I was told they were having trouble with the activation system and they were way behind. The store manager confirmed my phone was there again and told me she would call me when they got to my phone for activation. A couple of hours later I got the call and went down to get it. Filled out the paperwork and got the activation done in about 40 mins. So like some others, I have to give the store staff an A for service but the Rogers system is definitely a fail again.

  • Dar

    I preorder with Telus on Friday the 14th @ 3:00am — was one of the first to do so; but I never ever received any order confirmation, any tracking/shipping information — nada. Even after calling their Webstore several times to advise them that something was up with their notification system — they just were not listening. It was not till Friday morning when I called that they gave me a tracking number. Then during delivery I had to call Purolator because Weborders didnt even get my ship to address right — they just included the street number but forgot to add the unit number. Luckily I was able to pick it up at Purolator’s depot on the 21st — but really a close one there. Needless to say, their online system is NOT perfect.

  • James

    I walked into the Apple Store in downtown Montreal at 7:30 and picked one up without issue, no lines, no hassle, great service. Prior to that I’d went into a few futureshop locations, as well as the downtown fido store. I understand these guys are probably annoyed by Apple fan’s asking if they have the iphone six million times in one day, but they were completely rude in both cases. None of these locations were actually busy either.

  • Cassy

    Fido system was down for most of the day, staff tried to reduce the line by telling those who pre-ordered phones that they had no arrived yet (which was a lie, they had received them the day before, the UPS tracking was signed by one of their employees.) Staff member I dealt with was so rude that his boss took him aside to warn him. At the end of the transaction both of them came to thank me for my patience, as i had not lost my cool at all during the four hours I was in the store.

  • Cassy

    The carriers didn’t deliver to the customer’s home but the a store.

  • Momo77

    Fido deserved a big hard F !!!!! Sunday and still no iphone!!!!!! I send mine to a zone mobile and thyre system is down until monday they say!!!!!! Calll customer service and they can even give me a discount on anything !!!!!! Been with them for 10 yeras or so!!!!!!!

  • I don’t know where you live but plenty of physical retailers have them in stock. I told the Rogers Reservation system to go fuck itself after it was clearly going nowhere. Headed down to Future Shop and they had every model (in black) in stock for every carrier. Went back the next day to set up my brothers phone and they still had some of each black model in stock.

  • > But I do know Future Shop and Best Buy were able to get through faster than the Rogers system itself. And their setup is just access to Rogers’ side of things. How does that work out?

    Exactly, giving Rogers reps access to the 3rd party dealer system would have at least mitigated some of the problem. There is genuine system overload and then there is just poor resource management. This is the latter.

  • I received mine at my door step at 10am on the 21st …

  • No I’m not a store πŸ™‚

  • Joshua Kern

    Well, it took 2 hours to activate my SIM using Rogers’ online tool, a tool that – according to Rogers – is supposed to be “instant.” But that’s not as bad as others so that’s a D from me.

    Apple also gets a D for their nonsensical decision not to ship SIM cards with the phones. This really makes no sense to me. The SIM card is a required component for the phone to operate. That’s like shipping a Mac without a motherboard. WTF Apple?

    Wireless Wave at Sherway Gardens gets an A for selling me a nano SIM on Tuesday, even though I never should have had to go there in the first place. UPS gets an A for showing up on time and for being nice and friendly. And this iphoneincanada.ca gets an A+ for their usual excellent coverage.

  • Guest

    Bell gets an F minus – Pre-ordered iPhone 5 with intention of passing my iPhone 4 to my Autistic son, who just started grade 9 (and who has been crossing off the days on his calendar since the release announcement). In the attempt to transfer my number to the iPhone 5 thre

  • Bell gets an F minus – Pre-ordered iPhone 5 with intention of passing my iPhone 4 to my Autistic son, who just started grade 9 (and who has been crossing off the days on his calendar since the release announcement). I picked up my new phone on Friday at 3pm and in the attempt to transfer my number to the iPhone 5 there was an error. Now my original number is “not in service” and each phone is showing the wrong number attached to it. Have been on the phone with Bell multiple times and been into the store, each time I have been told “it should resolve itself within 2-4 hours”. Things remain unresolved (Sunday at 8pm). I have yet to receive an apology, have a very disappointed kid and getting the new iPhone went from being fun to a major chore. Not happy and I would switch providers if it would’t cost me a months salary in penalties.

  • I gave Fido an F because they were actually able to loose me as a customer despite my best efforts. I give Telus a B for picking up where they left off- and delevering the iPhone 5 on the 21st as promised, right at noon. They did not get an A however, because I could not actually ativate the phone until the day after.

  • I waited at a Rogers Store in Winnipeg early Friday morning. The doors were scheduled to open at 9 a.m. CT, but it was more like 9:50 a.m. because Purolator hadn’t delivered the phones yet. Once inside the store, I was told I would have to come back in the afternoon because they still needed to unpack the phones and activate SIM cards, etc. My activation was delayed a few more hours because Rogers’ systems were overloaded. It was about 4 p.m. by the time I actually got to hold the new iPhone in my hand. This exact same situation happened in 2010 when I got the iPhone 4.

  • Was at the Apple Store in Bayshore. Telus was the only system that did not go down. hands down, i respect that and give them an A+ no complaints. and I am a fan of their LTE coverage too.

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