iPhones and Rogers

There’s quite a bit of talk passing around the interwebs of Canada lately regarding the coming release of the iPhone on the good ole’ Rogers network… and little of if it is positive.

What has been, essentially, a great play by Rogers (the iPhone makes a perfect flagship product) is starting to turn ugly; and Rogers has no one to blame but themselves.

Before I continue, I’ll say that I’m not anti-Rogers, in fact, most of my technological life is powered by Rogers currently. Yes they’re expensive, yes their customer service is spotty, yes they lock you into crappy contracts, but I’m happy enough with the service and the competition really isn’t any better.

Rogers has never had a shining history of customer friendliness, but then they didn’t have to. They only had to be a little better than Bell, and that wasn’t hard (as a past Bell customer I’m talking from experience here).

So Rogers kind of sucks, but so does their competition… where does that leave us?

On familiar terrain.

Canadians should be used to being dictated to, and over-paying for things… oh, and for taking it all sitting down. There’s a lot of talk online right now, but I hold no delusions that it will actually change anything. Even worse, Rogers knows the same thing and is so confident in their power to do whatever they feel like that they’ve been brazen enough to throw it back to the Canadian public:

Rogers… has sharpened its pencil. It is watching this very closely. If this starts to truly negatively affect significant opinion — and you have to be careful about 5,000 on a blog versus what’s really meaningful — we will be on top of this thing to ensure that we manage that tension between responsible pricing and not [upsetting] customers.

- Luke Sklar, of Sklar Wilton & Associates – from the Globe and Mail.

In other words, Rogers has decided to gouge the Canadian public in order to try and drive their share prices back over $50 (they’re sitting around $40 right now), and have no intention of changing their behaviour unless it looks like they may come out losing in some way.

Or, in OTHER other words, Rogers really doesn’t care about their paying customers as long as their stock prices aren’t suffering as a result.

Excuse me a moment while I try to shake off my disgust.

I want an iPhone. Really. But I won’t buy one.

Firstly, I’m not big on text messages or mobile data consumption. Not for lack of interest or savvy, but because I’m in front of a computer far more than the average person (12 hours in a day wouldn’t be unusual), so I just don’t need a mobile phone to duplicate what my desktop/laptop can do.

Secondly, and by far more importantly, I believe that in today’s ever more transparent commercial world, companies should be open and honest with their consumers, that they should listen to what their customers have to say and that they should tailor their products to the NEEDS of their market. And I don’t believe that Rogers is doing any of that with the launch of the iPhone.

Despite the fact that I am only one person, I have to make a stand somewhere and I cannot justify forking out any more of my money to support a company like Rogers, in an endeavor like this.

Rogers, if you are listening (no, don’t laugh), and want to win me over, how about offering a package for people like me.

I want to use the iPhone like I use my current phone.

  • I don’t make a lot of calls
  • I don’t send many texts
  • I don’t use much data
  • I want to use the iphone as it was intended, as a gadget (ipod, camera, tv, etc) that happens to also be a phone and mobile internet connection
  • I would be happy to use wi-fi – there are plenty of hotspots around

To sum up the above, my usage would be, over your network, no different than it is now. But, to do exactly what I currently do, you want to more than double my monthly rates!

Why? I really don’t understand!

The Good (if you can call it good)

  • The iPhone is coming to Canada
  • You can switch your pricing plan without penalty
  • You can switch your pricing plan without resetting your 3 year contract
  • You can switch your pricing plan up and down the scale
  • Rogers will notify you when you are approaching, and have reached the data limits for your package

The Bad

  • The iPhone is coming to Rogers
  • Most of ‘The Good’ revolves around switching your pricing plan to another crappy pricing plan
  • You will probably have to switch your pricing plan a few times
  • You will pay through the nose for this fun gadget
  • Rogers considers this ‘Responsible Pricing’
  • You will be supporting another gouging of the Canadian Consumer