How To Avoid Rogers Incoming SMS Charges

If you are going to read any post today, make it this one.

Many of the changes that Rogers Wireless implements to its service affect only new customers that begin service with Rogers on the policy change date. Usually existing customers are unaffected. However, that is not always the case.

iphone_rogers1

This week on July 7, 2009, Rogers began charging all of their post-paid (in contract or not in contract; pre-paid not affected) customers for incoming text messages if you did not have a text message package on your plan. While most of you have a text message package and have little to worry about, there are a number of people that do not have a text message package and may see charges for incoming text messages.

In my post this week, I detailed two methods to avoid incoming text message charges; get a text message package or block incoming text messages entirely. Well today, there is a possible THIRD method.

Call Rogers and Say You Do Not Agree

Do me a favor right now. Go grab your Rogers Wireless monthly bill. Flip to page 2 and read number 15 under the Rogers Terms of Service:

“15. Rogers may change these terms, and any aspects of the services, upon notice to you. If you do not accept a change to these terms, your sole remedy is to retain the existing terms unchanged for the duration of your commitment period. If you do not accept any other change to aspects of the services, your sole remedy is to terminate.”

In other words, if you do not accept the recent change to charge for incoming text messages, you do not need to pay for them and your service can continue unchanged.

Every single post-paid (in contract or not in contract) customer of Rogers meets the requirement under Condition 15 which is “upon notice to you“. Each post-paid Rogers customer was informed of the incoming text message charge changes via their bill a few months ago.

So call Rogers at 1-888-ROGERS1 or *611 from your mobile phone and quote Condition 15. If they give you push back, ask for a Manager. Make sure the (usually uninformed) representative realizes this a legally binding document and they cannot simply say “no”. At this point, get them to put a text message plan on your account for free for the remaining time of your term. You can choose from the packages below (however Rogers will most likely award the $5 bundle):

$5 Messaging Bundle

250 sent Text or Picture/Video Messages

Unlimited received Text or Picture/Video Messages

$0.15 per additional outgoing text message after 250; $0.50 per additional outgoing picture/video message after 250

—

$10 Messaging Bundle

– 2,500 sent Text Messages

Unlimited received Text Messages

$0.15 per additional outgoing message after 2,500

—

$15 Messaging Bundle

Unlimited sent/received Text Messages

—

BUT WAIT, There Is One More Thing…

There are two small issues with this.

First, pull up your original contract. If along the fine print there is a heading “Text Messaging Pay-Per-Use Service“, then you cannot use Condition 15. That heading states that received (incoming) texts will be chargeable. These conditions on your original contract only changed within the last few months, so only Rogers customers that just started service (and signed the updated contract) with Rogers in the last few months will not be able to use Condition 15. For everyone else, you can still use Condition 15. However, double check your original signed contract to be sure.

Second, if you re-read the final sentence of Condition 15, “If you do not accept any other change to aspects of the services, your sole remedy is to terminate”, this could mean that you can only disagree to a change in services one time. However, the last sentence is very much open to interpretation.

In other words, it could mean that if you disagree now to the incoming text message policy change, then you automatically agree to any future changes to the service and if you try to disagree with those future changes, your only remedy will be to end your service and pay any possible fees.

So Condition 15 seems to be a One-Time Get Out of Jail Free Card. Use it wisely.

Remember, Condition 15 only applies to customers that did not sign the updated Rogers contract. Check your original contract for the “Text Messaging Pay-Per-Use Service” heading to be sure.

Also, please note that Condition 15 also only applies to Rogers service changes that have occurred after the signing of your Rogers contract. So any service changes that have been modified to something different from what you originally signed for on your Rogers contract can be disputed under Condition 15.

If you are going to attempt this, post your experience below.

———

A huge Epic Win goes out to iPhoneInCanada Forum member ‘Grumbler’ for the keen observation.

Reports on iPhone news, reviews apps and accessories. Also an armed ninja with an iPhone 4S.

  • Andre

    I disagree about the last point. I think when they say “any other change to aspects of the services” they mean the non-contracted parts, like say, the speed of data services, or their 3G coverage areas. Things they might change that you just don't like – services that were not part of the terms.

    Once you have a contract with them for say 3 years, they have to stick to it too. Like they admit, “retain the existing terms” – with an 's'. You can retain ALL your terms until the end of your contract.

  • Cyril

    Wait a minute. I visited a Roger's store a few weeks ago to scout out info about the iPhone. They handed me an iPhone pamphlet with the standard 60 and 75 dollar plans, and in these plans were 75/100 sent and unlimited received. Are you saying they modified that in the last two weeks? Bastards…

  • Andre

    No, any plan that includes text messaging is not involved in this. This news is for people without any kind of text plan, that were a customer before on a contract, when Rogers decided to start charging 15¢ per incoming message.

    In other words, if you have a contract, and no text-message plan, you were getting unlimited received messages for free. After July 7th they changed that. If this applies to you, you can use their own terms and conditions to fight them on it.

  • Cyril

    So a new subscriber who signed up tomorrow say for a standard $60/$75 iPhone plan would still get unlimited incoming texts without needing to add any other packages?

  • Andre

    Yes, this is only affecting people that had no texting arrangement (and who were on a contract prior to the announcement). For those people sending was always 15¢, but they could receive an unlimited amount for free.

    Now those people will have to pay 15¢ just to receive texts. Unless of course they fight it as this article suggests.

    The whole idea sucks anyway. If I send you a text message, I have no way of knowing if you're on a plan or not. Why should you be stuck paying 15¢? You didn't have a choice as to whether to receive it or not.

    Remember, Rogers now collects 30¢ for each message (when no text plan is involved) – 15¢ from the sender, and 15¢ from the recipient. That's 30¢ for 160 bytes of data! More than a one minute voice call. It's just crazy that people accept this.

  • Andre

    Suggestion: Don't call 1-888-ROGERS1, call *611 on your mobile. Make Rogers pay for the call. LOL 🙂

  • Haha, good idea! 😉

  • hahaha, thats pretty clever.

    I'll add that above.

  • I just called in and got a retention plan. First try, spent about 30min.

    Though it's not as good as a Fido retention plan (no SAF) it's better than nothing and I now have 2500outgoing/ultd incoming for free (monthly $10 credit).

    I don't see how I can go over 2500 a month, let alone 1000 txt messages!

  • Yeah I have 10K texts in my plan and use about 10% of them monthly. With push notifications on the iPhone and apps like IM+, it's sometimes faster to bypass SMS!

  • hmm clever but text messages were always pay per use so technically, it's still a possibility that they can get away with it.

  • I called, except their center was closed for the evening (2AM EST – 8AM EST Apparently)

    However, the reps i did inquire about weren't particularly helpful…will see if things improve once their center reopens 🙂

  • Yea, they close for maintenance each night.

    The morning crew will be much better.

  • Dusty

    Goo idea. But since I already have unlimited incoming/outgoing SMS, im not worried 🙂

  • Dusty

    Goo idea. But since I already have unlimited incoming/outgoing SMS, im not worried 🙂

  • boombass

    Sorry to ask this, but how does all this relate to Fido customers? Are we going to be charged for incoming messages, and can we do as above to prevent it?

  • max23

    I just called them on the guy didn't know what a was talking about, i filed a complaint on will call by monday within 48 hrs by a supervisor because they're not there on the week end. Let's you know as soon I receive the call.

  • This is a Rogers policy. Not Fido.
    Most, if not all of Fido plans include text messaging anyway.

  • These terms and conditions are also listed on their website. The rep has access to the Terms of Service.

  • DaSandman

    Called Robbers today, said I signed a 3year contract with them that included unlimited incoming text messages, and if they want to change that part-way thru my contract in accordance with the Terms I dont agree to it.

    They forwarded me to Customer Relations, who discussed it with me, put me on hold for a minute or 2, then came back on and said they had put an exception on my account so no incoming text messages will be charged, they wont show up on my bill at all.

    I'm happy 🙂

  • DaSandman

    Called Robbers today, said I signed a 3year contract with them that included unlimited incoming text messages, and if they want to change that part-way thru my contract in accordance with the Terms I dont agree to it.

    They forwarded me to Customer Relations, who discussed it with me, put me on hold for a minute or 2, then came back on and said they had put an exception on my account so no incoming text messages will be charged, they wont show up on my bill at all.

    I'm happy 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Worked here. First they said since text messaging wasn’t included in my plan clause 15 wasn’t covering it. But then I offered a 5 dollar Texting plan. Instead I got an iPhone value pack for $15/month (so a $5 dollar reduction), becuase all these calls from Unknown started to get on my nerves. Still outrageously expensive if my phone plan is only $17.50. If these add-ons are so essential why aren’t they included in the first place. The AT&T iPhone deal includes unlimited calls, unlinited data, unlimited long distance, visual voicemail, caller ID etc. for 60 USD. Okay, no text messages, but still much better deal than Rogers’ offerings.

    http://cleanmyscreen.ca

  • Took me 3 calls, 1st being closed, 2nd they hung up (damn agent!!), 3rd time took me 35 ish minutes, had to elevate to the executive branch of the call center. Finally the agent gave me 30 free texts until the end of my contract (i rarely text)

    Totally satisfied :D. Thanks Robbers

  • arjoon

    What u said is very true. I did exactly this about a month ago ( ofcourse, not knowing this clause 15 then but was just irate with this change).I don't have any text plan and since i/c text was free when I took serice 2 years ago, I subscribe to a lot of websites that provide SMS updates like my bank, credit cards, sports websites etc. I called Rogers and told them there is no way I will be stopping those text messages as I subscribe to those cause they were free and I am not paying for it now…call it my luck but the representative didn't even argue and offered me the free $5 text plan for 3 years( now he may have done it since I told him that I didn't and will never do outgoing text messages). Worked for me…you can try…will never know until you object.

  • boombass

    I'm on the $17.50 EPP with no messaging I can determine. I also have the $10 iPhone value pack for call display and visual voicemail. I'm going to call Fido to see what I can find out, but if you can save me that pain I'd appreciate it!

    BTW, since Fido is owned by Rogers, can I switch from Fido to Rogers? I like some of Rogers plans better.

    And I'd like to thank you, X1Zero, for all you've done for this community. I really like the way you keep us informed about new plans, bundles, and so on. Much easier than trying to find this information on the companies' web pages!

  • boombass

    OK, just got off the phone with a nice Fido rep. She told me that Fido is not charging for any incoming text messages at this point. I asked about MMS and she said they are not charging for incoming 'picture messages' at this point either. (I'm assuming that's the same as MMS.)

    I asked about prices for outgoing messages without a plan: $0.15 for SMS, $0.25 for MMS.

    This is more than acceptable for me. I've sent about 5 text messages in the last 6 months. For the price of their lowest messaging plan, I could send 33 SMS or 20 MMS (or just send a damn email!) without having a plan. It's all about the number of messages you send, I guess. Being an old fart, I'm good where I stand!

    (Still curious about switching to Rogers, though…)

  • edge777

    You're satisfied with 30 free texts. How many do you RECEIVE each month. It's not about the sending, which you have control over, it's the receiving. I think you got robbed like crazy!

  • So does this apply to the change in HUP policy?

  • the 30 texts includes unlimited received because normally the 30 texts will cost me 3 bucks

  • Yes you can switch to Rogers from Fido and bring your number. Also, if you have had an active Fido contract for 1 year or more, you can switch without a cancellation fee (assuming you are still in contract now). However, make sure to call Fido and note your account in case something goes wrong, at least this way you have something to fall back on.

  • What change in the HUP policy?

  • Can you switch from Rogers to Fido and not have a cancellation fee if you 1+yrs?

  • boombass

    Thank you for the information. Lots of questions popped up now!

    What happens to your phone, then? My iPhone 3G is locked to Fido. Would Rogers switch it over to them? Or would they require me to buy a Rogers-locked handset? And suppose I was only one month into my current 3 year iPhone contract – what price would the new phone cost?

    Would you like to write an article on switching between Fido and Rogers? 🙂

  • @Ronald,

    Not that I am aware of.

  • Alan

    Why would you switch from Fido? Fido has no monthly network access fee nor the 911 charge, so right away you're saving about $9/month after taxes.

  • Alan

    Why would you switch from Fido? Fido has no monthly network access fee nor the 911 charge, so right away you're saving about $9/month after taxes.

  • If you plan to use data services and voice a lot, Rogers is a good choice.By comparison, Rogers is approx $2-$5 more per month (after fees/taxes) but you have unlimited MMS, and flexibility in choosing My5, double daytime or 1000 messages, the former which can save you a lot on overage minutes.Also, Fido charges $2/mth for paper billing, and I like receiving a paper bill!

    My rule is if you plan to primarily text and not use a smartphone (iPhone), go with Fido. Otherwise, go with Rogers.

  • boombass

    My plan is the nice 200 minute/free evenings and weekends EPP plan that came up last year. I still have to pay the NAF and 911 fee – I believe those are only waived for the new voice plans. My plan is $24.95 per month before taxes, and I like it better than Fido's other $25 plan (on their website).

    Rogers also has that nice $35 iPhone bundle that Fido doesn't have.

    And everything else X1Zero mentioned. Plus they had a better (my opinion) upgrade to the 3GS than Fido.

    All that said, I'll probably stick with Fido for the time being. I like the per second billing, and my evenings start at 5 PM which is just great. I've also talked myself out of upgrading to a 3GS for now – I'll wait and see what happens in the next few months, or wait for the next iPhone next summer.

  • DaSandman

    I think he means when they changed the HUP from 12 months to 24

  • boombass

    My plan is the nice 200 minute/free evenings and weekends EPP plan that came up last year. I still have to pay the NAF and 911 fee – I believe those are only waived for the new voice plans. My plan is $24.95 per month before taxes, and I like it better than Fido's other $25 plan (on their website).

    Rogers also has that nice $35 iPhone bundle that Fido doesn't have.

    And everything else X1Zero mentioned. Plus they had a better (my opinion) upgrade to the 3GS than Fido.

    All that said, I'll probably stick with Fido for the time being. I like the per second billing, and my evenings start at 5 PM which is just great. I've also talked myself out of upgrading to a 3GS for now – I'll wait and see what happens in the next few months, or wait for the next iPhone next summer.

  • DaSandman

    I think he means when they changed the HUP from 12 months to 24

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  • evan_phi

    I did the same, but they quoted Term 15 as not applying to price changes.

  • evan_phi

    I called today, and I think I got the short end… but at the same time I don't think I did.

    The last sentences “If you do not accept a change to these terms, your sole remedy is to retain the existing terms unchanged for the duration of your commitment period. If you do not accept any other change to aspects of the services, your sole remedy is to terminate.” indicate that it is the TERMS, not services that can remain the same for the commitment period if you do not agree to them. The last sentence is the one talking about services…

    HOWEVER…

    I don't see it anywhere in the short version of the ToS, or the FULL version, (which I did read) that they can raise the price of anything… I signed on at a certain price and damnit, thats what I'm going to pay.

  • The word “other” there sorta works to our advantage, though. It implies that “a change to these terms” and “change to aspects of the services” are being used interchangeably. Otherwise, why would the word “other” need to be there?

  • evan_phi

    The other only applies to the services, though. And that is only in the termination bit.

  • evan_phi

    I did the same, but they quoted Term 15 as not applying to price changes.

  • evan_phi

    I called today, and I think I got the short end… but at the same time I don't think I did.

    The last sentences “If you do not accept a change to these terms, your sole remedy is to retain the existing terms unchanged for the duration of your commitment period. If you do not accept any other change to aspects of the services, your sole remedy is to terminate.” indicate that it is the TERMS, not services that can remain the same for the commitment period if you do not agree to them. The last sentence is the one talking about services…

    HOWEVER…

    I don't see it anywhere in the short version of the ToS, or the FULL version, (which I did read) that they can raise the price of anything… I signed on at a certain price and damnit, thats what I'm going to pay.

    Wait… it kinda says it all right there… ” Rogers may change these terms, and any aspects of the services, upon notice to you.” and then the nail in the coffin… “If you do not accept any other change to aspects of the services, your sole remedy is to terminate.”

    They are changing their services. Not the Terms. 🙁 🙁 🙁

  • The word “other” there sorta works to our advantage, though. It implies that “a change to these terms” and “change to aspects of the services” are being used interchangeably. Otherwise, why would the word “other” need to be there?

  • evan_phi

    The other only applies to the services, though. And that is only in the termination bit.

  • If it only applied to changes to services, as distinct from changes to terms, why would the word “other” be necessary? It could be left out and the meaning would be clearer.

    “Other” may only be referring to “changes”, but it's ambiguous as written.

  • evan_phi

    So the system works, and the squeaky wheel got the grease 😀

    On the advice of my mother, of all people… I asked to speak with a Customer Retention Manager today. They are the people responsible for keeping you as a customer.

    I first spoke with a regular phone-monkey, and when I quoted article 15 she blah blah blah'd, so I said “could I speak with a CRM, please?” “I'm sorry sir, CRMs are only for people who are considering canceling their contract.” “Well guess what…” “I'll forward you right away, sir.”

    After 2 mins on hold I explained my plight to the CRM, and she offered me the 5$ package, 250 Outgoing and Unlimited Incoming. I accepted, and told her she made my day. I think I could hear her smile. 😀

    Huzzah.

  • evan_phi

    So the system works, and the squeaky wheel got the grease 😀

    On the advice of my mother, of all people… I asked to speak with a Customer Retention Manager today. They are the people responsible for keeping you as a customer.

    I first spoke with a regular phone-monkey, and when I quoted article 15 she blah blah blah'd, so I said “could I speak with a CRM, please?” “I'm sorry sir, CRMs are only for people who are considering canceling their contract.” “Well guess what…” “I'll forward you right away, sir.”

    After 2 mins on hold I explained my plight to the CRM, and she offered me the 5$ package, 250 Outgoing and Unlimited Incoming. I accepted, and told her she made my day. I think I could hear her smile. 😀

    So, for anyone else who decides to do this: make sure you ask for a CRM and say that you are considering dropping your contract. They want your business, whether or not their phone-monkeys make it obvious, 😉

    Huzzah.

  • if the 1st CSR does not give you anything, ask for a supervisor. If the executive line picks up, then you are most likely in luck.

    When i argued for my incoming free, I made it clear that I should not be expected to pay for incoming text messages because I signed on not expecting to have these charges. If your contract, when you signed on states that incoming is free then you have a even better argument.

    If they try to offer you 30 text for 3 dollars, decline politely and ask if there is anything else they could do. Don't accept ANY offers unless you think its a good deal/satisfies your needs

  • um..isnt that package one of the default packages you can just get without arguing…?

    listed up there ^ 5 dollars for 250 messages…

  • evan_phi

    You still often have to make a stink to get anywhere with any of this.

  • DaSandman

    BTW first bill arrived since I called and complained.

    Looks like they added the $5 plan “Messaging Bundle 250” and gave me a permanent refund on it : “Savings: Monthly Plan Credit 3 Yr” 😀

    Works for me!

  • That's awesome news!

  • armyboy

    Hey guys,

    I did exactly what the article said and thought you guys would like to know my experience. First try, i got a stupid boy who couldn't do anything or understand what I was saying. The KEY is to get a hold of a Manager. They know the specifics of the Rogers Terms of Service and they have the power. No Managers were in that day so he set up a Case for me. Didn't contact me back till I had to 3 days after : ( but spoke to a Manager and she didn't even question me. They really shouldn't give you any hassle because the Rogers Terms of Service 15. says it all. So they offered me Caller ID, VM + 2500 txt msgs for FREEEEE! Now I have become a texter. Good luck to you guys.

  • bob231321

    Well, called today and explained to a CRM about the Condition 15. The lady said that you have 3 months after a change to dispute but then she didn't question me any further and after a few minutes hold she offered me a 500 text messages and unlimited incoming text messages plan for free for the rest of my contract which is around a year. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this thread!!!!! GOOD LUCK TO ANYONE ELSE PURSING ROBBERS ON THIS ISSUE!

  • Victim

    I just had a 47 minutes long argument with Rogers rep + a special services department Rep/incharge (whoever it was), using the same point 15 argument along with making my point clear to them that Incoming messages are not in my or anyone's control and it's a rip off

    However, he outright refused it, I mean DENIED it that Point 15 in Terms of Service have even anything to do with this Incoming SMS charges. He said it's an open ended statement for multiple different services Rogers is offering and does not apply on SMS incoming charges, which is definite charge and WILL NOT change and apply on everybody. When I pushed the argument further, he started twisting things around and said my commitment with rogers is only until End of the month, he will take that charge off, but then from next month, I will have to choose between Pay the (unfair) charges or cancel the service (he was blunt).

    Moreover, when I asked if he can give me anything in writing that whatever he said will apply on my account, he refused to give me anything in writing about the change and said Rogers don't do that, it can change the terms anytime it wants and the customer have to abide by it, and if they don't like it, they can cancel the service. (Whatever happened to retaining customers?)

    So I wasted about 47 minutes of argument by shooting my blood pressure up and availing no success.

    That Number 15. under Terms of Service does not work, and even if it does under some circumstances, you got lucky.

    I think the government is too greedy to step in to stop the trio from abusing Canadians with their unfair charges that are unheard of in the rest of the world. System Access Fee to Incoming SMS charges, they are all rip-offs and unfair, and an end-user (a poor Canadian) is nothing more than a victim of the greed.

  • You should said you will cancel and get sent to Retentions. Then make
    your claims again there.

    It is retentions who will try to keep you as a customer. Most service
    level reps could not care less if people want to leave Rogers. They
    get their paycheck by answering calls for sales.

  • Victim

    I just had a 47 minutes long argument with Rogers rep + a special services department Rep/incharge (whoever it was), using the same point 15 argument along with making my point clear to them that Incoming messages are not in my or anyone's control and it's a rip off

    However, he outright refused it, I mean DENIED it that Point 15 in Terms of Service have even anything to do with this Incoming SMS charges. He said it's an open ended statement for multiple different services Rogers is offering and does not apply on SMS incoming charges, which is definite charge and WILL NOT change and apply on everybody. When I pushed the argument further, he started twisting things around and said my commitment with rogers is only until End of the month, he will take that charge off, but then from next month, I will have to choose between Pay the (unfair) charges or cancel the service (he was blunt).

    Moreover, when I asked if he can give me anything in writing that whatever he said will apply on my account, he refused to give me anything in writing about the change and said Rogers don't do that, it can change the terms anytime it wants and the customer have to abide by it, and if they don't like it, they can cancel the service. (Whatever happened to retaining customers?)

    So I wasted about 47 minutes of argument by shooting my blood pressure up and availing no success.

    That Number 15. under Terms of Service does not work, and even if it does under some circumstances, you got lucky.

    I think the government is too greedy to step in to stop the trio from abusing Canadians with their unfair charges that are unheard of in the rest of the world. System Access Fee to Incoming SMS charges, they are all rip-offs and unfair, and an end-user (a poor Canadian) is nothing more than a victim of the greed.

  • Ex

    You should said you will cancel and get sent to Retentions. Then make
    your claims again there.

    It is retentions who will try to keep you as a customer. Most service
    level reps could not care less if people want to leave Rogers. They
    get their paycheck by answering calls for sales.

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