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How To Avoid Rogers Incoming SMS Charges

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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.

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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

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$10 Messaging Bundle

– 2,500 sent Text Messages

Unlimited received Text Messages

$0.15 per additional outgoing message after 2,500

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$15 Messaging Bundle

Unlimited sent/received Text Messages

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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.

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

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