Rogers Computer Glitch During $60/10GB Promo Resulted in Fewer Q4 Subscribers

Rogers announced their Q4 earnings today, reporting $419 million in profits on revenue of $3.63 billion, with the latter seeing a three per cent increase compared to the year ago quarter, led by growth in their wireless division.

Despite Rogers adding 72,000 postpaid wireless customers in the final quarter of 2017, the numbers fell short of analyst expectations of about 100,000.

According to Rogers CEO Joe Natale, the company lost out on 35,000 additional wireless subscribers in the quarter, because of a computer glitch during the five-day $60/10GB promo over the holidays (via The Globe and Mail).

Natale said there was an issue with the Rogers “price plan change system”, which resulted in some customers jumping ship to rivals Telus and Bell. This computer problem also pushed churn rates—or customer turnover—up by 15 basis points to 1.48 per cent.

Rogers profits were up this year compared to being down $9 million from the year ago quarter, when the company had a $484 million write down due to ditching its in-house IPTV platform.

Natale told investors on a conference call, “Our growth was largely delivered by wireless,” noting service revenue saw full-year 2017 growth of 7 per cent, adding “These are the best wireless financial results we have seen since 2009.”

Rogers added a total of 354,000 wireless subscribers for 2017, while churn was 1.2 per cent, which the company called their “best results since 2010”. Compared to 2016, blended average revenue per user (ARPU) increased by $1.89 to $63.46 per month. The company now has 10.48 million wireless subscribers.

How is Shaw’s Freedom Mobile impacting Rogers? Natale said “The impact [Freedom is] having on us is very small at the margin. It is not material and not of consequence overall.”

When it comes to the Toronto Blue Jays, CFO Tony Staffieri commented on rumours of the teaming being put up for sale, adding “there are no plans to sell the Jays.”