Rogers Price Increases ‘Go Against’ Government Plans: Minister
With Rogers recently informing customers it was increasing prices for some wireless plans and select Ignite bundles, Canada’s Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne says Canadians are still overpaying for telecom services, with little competition available.
Earlier this week, iPhone in Canada first reported that Rogers was raising the prices of select wireless plans for customers not on terms. The news eventually trickled out to other outlets, as Rogers confirmed to everyone who asked it was definitely happening.
Now, after approving the $26 billion Rogers-Shaw deal and touting benefits would be lower pricing and increased competition, the federal government says this hasn’t happened across the board yet.
“Let’s be clear, while some progress has been made to lower prices, Canadians still pay too much and see too little competition,” said Champagne said in a statement to CBC News.
“That is why, last year, I issued a policy direction to the CRTC to make sure that competition, affordability and consumer rights would be at the core of CRTC decisions,” added Champagne.
When the Rogers-Shaw merger was approved, there were conditions that came with the deal, mainly the capital expenditure to expand 5G networks, adding thousands of jobs. As for limiting price increases? That only applied to Shaw Mobile customers that are now under the Rogers umbrella, formerly from Freedom Mobile (when the latter was owned by Shaw, before being sold to Quebecor as part of the Rogers-Shaw deal).
“While prices for some wireless plans have declined by more than 22 per cent over the past year, the planned price increases to certain month-to-month plans that have recently been announced go against the direction we set at a time when Canadians are struggling to make ends meet,” Champagne said to CBC News.
“I strongly urge companies and carriers to seriously consider customers over profits at this time,” remarked Champagne, without detailing any consequences or action if carriers aren’t willing to do so.
Yesterday, iPhone in Canada first told you that Rogers told Shaw customers prices would be going up for internet, home phone and TV plans that are not on guaranteed pricing terms. It’s unclear if Champagne will be doing anything about these new price increases for former Shaw customers, aside from shouting how for-profit businesses should be operating.