Rogers and Fido Moving to Smartphone Financing Only, as Subsidies to End

Rogers and Fido are shaking up how customers will buy or upgrade smartphones, as the financing options will take over and end existing subsidy plans.

According to internal documents seen by MobileSyrup, Rogers will end its Edge Tab subsidies on January 28, 2020, and instead only offer Edge Financing.

Also, Upfront Edge will also move over to Edge Financing. With Upfront Edge, users are able to save upfront on a smartphone on a two-year contract. After 24 months, they either repay the upfront savings or give back the phone (similar to leasing).

What if you’re an existing customer on an Edge Tab? Rogers says you can stay on your subsidized plan until you decide to upgrade.

Why the change? Rogers says the financing model will bring a more transparent buying experience to customers.

“Consumers from around the world have enjoyed the benefits of device financing for some time and we’re really pleased to offer our customers this affordable and transparent option. Financing is a clear, simple and fair way for our customers to get the latest smartphones for as low as $0 down and no interest on Canada’s most trusted network,” said a Rogers spokesperson to the publication.

As for Fido, it will similarly move to financing only of smartphones starting February 5, 2020. This marks the first time financing of smartphones will become available for Fido customers.

Rogers brass discussed ending subsidies during its recent Q3 2019 earnings call, noting subsidizing phones is an expensive cost for the company, especially with handsets increasing in price. Rogers had a cost close to $1 billion in phone subsidies for 2018, according to CEO Joe Natale.

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