Rogers Deliberately Disables Notifications Of Roaming Charges

from the how-customer-unfriendly-of-them dept

With the news coming out this week that mobile operator Rogers was finally bringing the iPhone to Canada, almost every Canadian comment on it had something to do with just how badly everyone expected Rogers to rip people off with the iPhone. Apparently, Rogers has quite a reputation -- and it appears to be well deserved. Rob Hyndman points us to a story about the ridiculous roaming charges for those who use a Rogers device outside of Canada. Ridiculously high roaming charges are nothing new, of course. They happen to everyone, unfortunately. What's stunning, though, is that the reporter gets a guy at Rogers to admit that the company demands that all of the mobile devices it offers disable any feature that lets you see how much you've racked up in roaming charges. In other words, they know they're ripping you off -- and they want to make sure you don't realize by how much until it's too late.

If ever there were a short-term strategy, this would be it. This decision most likely "gets" some travelers the first time around (as it got the reporter in the article). However, it then pisses off those users such that they'll never use Rogers mobile phones out of the country ever again. In fact, I'd bet that many start looking at other options entirely. It seems like a plan designed to drive away customers, just for a short one-time ridiculously high charge. There are certainly companies out there that believe an informed customer is a bad customer, but those companies will often find that's not a particularly good plan to stay in business over the long term.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Doug, May 2nd, 2008 @ 2:56pm

    "We're not happy until you're not happy"

    > If ever there were a short-term strategy, this would be it. ...

    This isn't quite the case, but only in the singling out of Rogers- as we have only three national providers: Telus almost entirely in the west (a former government-owned monopoly), Bell almost entirely in the east and Rogers spread around the major cities (and Rogers is only a big player now because they bought up the Sprint and Fido networks). All find new ways to do just as poorly by the customers as Rogers strives to do.

    So yes, short-term for the one act of disliking Rogers for the roaming trick, near-permanent-term for the fact that no other national provider does much better. $6/Mb for data, by-the-minute billing, and more are just the basics of what we have to deal with here; the larger problem is that the lack of any legitimate competition combined with a government which views "3 national providers" as more than enough free choice in the marketplace frees the three companies to more or less do as they please.

     

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    Hellsvilla, May 2nd, 2008 @ 3:03pm

    eh

    he meant "short term strategy" as in, this is Roger's short term strategy to achieve max profit, regardless of the future impact.

     

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    Ron (profile), May 2nd, 2008 @ 3:52pm

    The Name Tells You

    I believe the British term for "being taken roughly from behind" is "to be rogered". Sounds like the Canadians are getting exactly that treatment. At least the company is aptly named as regards truth in advertising.

     

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    Colin, May 2nd, 2008 @ 5:22pm

    The option we look to is unlocking...

    Rogers is the only provder of GSM service in Canada so those of us who travel to Europe and Asia don't have much choice for service providers. Fortunately it is pretty simple to get your phone unlocked and buy SIM cards wherever you go. I currently have phone numbers in China, England, Italy and Mexico.

     

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      Cielle11, Jun 23rd, 2009 @ 11:57am

      Re: The option we look to is unlocking...

      I have unlocked my rogers bb pearl and intend to buy a sim card in England when I am there next week. Can Rogers still use my PIN # and other unique identifiers to bill me for roaming charges in the UK. If so, do I need to ask the UK carrier to block my data? I called Rogers and they told me that the carrier I use in another country may bill them directly based on my PIN and IMEI. And they, in turn, would bill me.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2008 @ 6:26pm

    Who really cares? I don't but then again I don't use a computer or own a cell phone, or any phone for that matter.

     

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      Xanthir, FCD, May 2nd, 2008 @ 7:25pm

      Re:

      Who really cares? I don't but then again I don't use a computer or own a cell phone, or any phone for that matter.

      They put poison in Jimmy Dean breakfast sausages because they hate fat people? Who really cares? I don't but then again I'm skinny and don't eat breakfast sausage, or any sausage for that matter.

       

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      Dan, May 3rd, 2008 @ 8:29am

      Re:

      sooooo..... how do you post your ridiculous comments here?

       

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    Vincent Clement, May 2nd, 2008 @ 8:36pm

    In fact, I'd bet that many start looking at other options entirely.

    Some of us that live across from Detroit, will cross the border and get a North American plan with an American cellular carrier. We then travel back across the border and enjoy much lower rates.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2008 @ 9:15pm

    Bullshit corporate theft! Plain and simple!

     

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    inc, May 3rd, 2008 @ 9:11am

    I wonder if these Canadians can use pre-paid phones while traveling in the US. Maybe an alternative to paying through the nose for roaming.

     

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    niftyswell, May 3rd, 2008 @ 8:58pm

    I wont forget

    I had a provider that charged me roaming when it was supposed to be free..I had to constantly call up and get it corrected and if I waited too long then it was too bad. I decided to cancel and they said I would pay an early fee...so I waited and tried to cancel when my contract was up only to find they auto-renew my contract and have my signature authorizing this from all the forms I signed when I took out the original phone..so the next year I call them ahead of time and tell them to cancel...they say I have to go to the store and cancel in person, I go to the store and they tell me I have to use the website to cancel...I go to the website and they tell me it is no longer the way to cancel that I have to write them and elect to cancel...so I write them and get a response telling me I have to do it within 30 days of the end of contract...so I wait a couple of weeks and write again and get a phone call offering me perks not to cancel...new phone, more minutes, etc. I tell them to drop my plan...they finally do. Suncom/ATT will never ever ever get my business again...I am told they dont do that anymore- I dont care. I will always remember that and will never give them another dime if I can help it. It was intentional and short sighted and very indicative of a company that didnt realize people had a choice.

     

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    bob, May 3rd, 2008 @ 10:29pm

    short term

    Rogers also requires a 3year contract, and although they annoy everyone that is a customer, they assume that you'll forget about cancelling, and automatically renew you for another 3 years.

    I had a cell phone with an extended warranty that broke, and rogers wouldn't repair or replace it under the warranty, unless I signed up for an additional 3 years.

    They don't care who they piss of, or how badly... I'm no longer a customer!

     

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    Lucretious, May 4th, 2008 @ 5:42pm

    Here's a radical idea...unless you have a critical need for a cell phone AT ALL just drop it into your drawer, cancel your plan and be done with it. People got by fine for many, many years with a landline only. I know, I grew up during the era.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 6:44am

      Re:

      When the world progesses, it isn't helpful to hang on to what used to work. You right, it did, but now it doesn't. Things move faster today, and if you're the kink in the communication pipeline, you'll be removed.

       

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    Rogersisaripoff, May 5th, 2008 @ 11:16am

    Roaming in Europe...

    Oh that is nothing... $1430 roaming in Europe for 3 days.. ok I made a lot of calls... but they were all incoming and I was under the wrong impression that Europe was a decent roaming rate, its not Africa or the Artic so Rogers are creaming a major profit, I worked out the roaming agreement from T-Mobile must be 30 euros a minute and they charge me $4.00 wow thats a nice profit... well done Ted.. RipOffCanada

     

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    Rogersisaripoff, May 5th, 2008 @ 11:19am

    Roaming in Europe

    forgot the point.... that is 0.30 Euros... Like Rogers maybe I need a math class....

     

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    BILLY RUBIN, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 2:28pm

    Roaming charges

    I just got off the phone with Roger's support requesting a quote for roaming charges, if any, in Italy on data such as e-mail or text message. She said she did not know and one can only find out after one receives the bill. I guess I will be buying an Italian Sim card.

     

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    Michelle, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 9:30pm

    Canadian cell towers intercepting other provider's calls

    I just a bill for about $400 in roaming charges. Turns out my sister who lives about an hour from the Canadian border in Idaho apparently has her calls being picked up by a Canadian cell phone tower and they are assessing roaming charges. She's had this phone for almost a year and this has never happened, but now I have 3 month's worth of charges as they have 3 months to get these on other carrier's bills. Anyone else have this problem, or a possible solution?

     

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