June 27, 2008 15:06 | Technology

Rogers, iPhone, Canada. Lame.

Rogers is continuing it's strategy of gouging Canadian customers and making us the laughing stock of the wireless world.

Today, Rogers announced their price plans for the iPhone, which they and their wholly-ownded subsidiary (once upon a time their only competitor), Fido, will be carrying come July 11th.

 Www.Tuaw.Com Media 2008 06 Rogerspricingsbm06272008

Their plans are the most expensive and carry the longest mandatory contract length of any of the 70 countries Apple is so proud to be launching in... not to mention do not offer unlimited data, which (and this is the part Canadians still don't seem to get, or so Rogers has us believe) is what makes the iPhone useable beyond phone calls.

Canada is the single most backwards wireless market in world. It is a shame considering the role Canada has played in the development and furthering of telecommunications technology and culture.

Shame. On. You.

and more importantly: SHAME ON US. Wake up Canada.

P.S.: I am venting my frustrations over on Get Satisfaction:
for Rogers
for Fido

I wish I wish I had the time and energy to mount a real campaign of sorts. Sigh. Anyone? Help?

What I yelled into the Competition Bureau of Canada's webform:

After the acquisition of their *only* competitor in the Canadian GSM wireless service provider market, Fido, Rogers Wireless has been allowed to become a de facto monoply, controling the price of products and services in this GSM mobile market.

While it may be argued that the details of which wireless technology is being used to provide mobile network connectivity does not isolate Rogers from other wireless carriers such as Telus and Bell Mobility, the simple introduction of the Apple iPhone demonstrates that Rogers is alone in this market (as the iPhone requires a GSM-capable carrier)

As such, Rogers is asserting it's monopolistic status and has announced price plans which clearly show it.

The announced packages and rates for offering this industry-changing device in Canada are:
- the HIGHEST of all the 70 countries worldwide that Apple will be launching the device in come July 11th (price gouging)
- requires the LONGEST mandatory service contract (lock-in)
- withholding of that which is most valuable in the product and services' offering: unlimited data (hoarding and protectionism) DESPITE unreasonably high rates and restrictive conditions.

I demand that the Canadian Government investigate Rogers' standing in the mobile carrier space, and that it is done with full knowledge and understanding of that space.

I further demand that more help be given to any new up-and-coming carriers, be it by tax breaks or spectrum price reductions or something. Fer chrissakes put some competition back into the system!


Well, this winter, the Canadian government was auctioning off airspace to smaller wireless carriers in order to keep the monopolies more under control. Waiting for those new wireless carriers to offer better prices. I agree, it's totally ridiculous, the current rate plans by any of the major carriers.

Psst, I think you mean "gouging" customers, not "gauging" them. If they could correctly gauge customers, maybe they wouldn't gouge them. :-)

3- Boris Anthony

argh! Canadian spelling eh? ;)
kidding. drat. thanks for catching that Andrew. :)

might as well digg this too:

and while you;re at it, send rogers a note to tell them what you think:

I think the key is competition, and competition is hard in the wireless space, especially in a country as large and as relatively un-populated as Canada. Ideally, you'd have 3-4 providers who'd compete for your business but...

6- Boris Anthony

hi Gen
Definitely the key is competition. But also education of the government and the people who regulate the industry.

There are other mobile carriers, in fact the two largest telcos in th ecountry, Bell and Telus, both operate huge mobile businesses. But the rub is this: they compete with each other only. Bell and Telus run CDMA, Rogers is alone in running GSM now, as they bought up their only competitor without any intervention.

When a game-changing device like the iPhone, which requires GSM, walks in... there is no competition.

And worse: Apple picks and chooses it's carriers. I imagine in most cases Apple picked reasonable (heh) carriers, but in our case it was Rogers (and it's wholly owned subsidiary/former only competition) or no one...


7- Phillip Fourie

The problem with Rogers stems from the greed personified by the family who runs the company. Forget competition - Rogers has penetrated every sector of the media and we are the suckers being sucked dry.

I hate Rogers.

Gazette is reporting today that the Rog is lowering prices on data for people who sign up in the next month or so. The report doesn't seem to synch with the pricing graph you showed (the same one I saw when I researched it) but instead says they 'lowered' the price of 6gb data from 100$/month to 30$/month. No mention in the article of whether Fido users would also feel the benefit (grrr)

Also, Fido's new iPhone look? fido.ca

oops, a bit more looking solves it. the 30$ thing is as an addon to an existing plan rather than a whole new package, and will apparently be available to Fido customers as well: Fido iPhone press release.

10- Boris Anthony

Hi Jer
Yeah the press releases from both Rogers and Fido hit the wire yesterday at exactly the same time (9:10am). They are worded differently but have the exact same offers.


6Gb of transfer per month for $30 is totally reasonable in context of mobile data rates worldwide. The only part I find repugnant is the ridiculous graph they deemed it necessary to attach showing how many Kb the homepages of "top properties" are. Meaningless. Better to show how many 2MP camphone pics you can upload and download... but anyways.

new Fido site == retarded. and they have the courage to demonstrate their own cluelessness by trumpeting how "easy on the eyes and easier to use" it is, when in fact it is extremely the opposite. People should get fired for that. ;)

Great post - I couldn't agree more! I am an Australian who has moved to Canada after a year in Europe (so i've had phones in a lot of places, and worked for O2 in Ireland) and I still can't believe that Rogers can do what they do.. it's absolutely the worst market in the developed world. I thought it was expensive in Ireland (in euros too) but it's a dream compared to this backwards, red-tape ridden, scam-filled screwover that is Rogers/Fido.

F**k you Rogers to the max