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.