iPhone 3G in Canada: Rogers Spinning in PR Panic?

Sarumon Consults the Eye of Rogers on Canadian iPhone 3G Data Rates

Given the massive, and increasingly -- embarrassingly -- international outcry over Canadian GSM monopoly and thus de facto iPhone 3G exclusive carrier, Rogers' expensive and decidedly limited pricing plans, is it any wonder they've gone into full blown PR panic mode?

(If the below is legitimate, of course).

Thanks to sister site'r Crackberry Kevin for sending this our way!

Hello. My name is [redacted] and I'm writing on behalf of Rogers to give you some additional information about the Rogers rate plans available for the iPhone. The iPhone 3G bundles released June 27 are not the only price plans available to customers, they are the high value plans that allow Rogers customers to use the device to its fullest and offer considerable savings over separate voice and data plans that exist in market today.

Keep reading for the rest!

That said, Rogers customers have more choices available to them and can use their existing voice and smartphone data plans if they wish. For example, they can select from the new data pricing (ranging from $30 for 300MB to $100 for 6GB or $50 Flex Rate plan) and add a voice plan, or they can choose a combined voice and data plan to best suit their individual needs. Customers are not required to take the value packs, and can order most other features a la carte, such as $7 for Caller ID. Existing customers can keep their existing voice service plan and pick a separate data plan (not in the iPhone 3G bundle) to meet their needs. They will need to check their upgrade eligibility, but any customer with a monthly service fee that is over $30 can upgrade to an iPhone 3G at $199 (for the 8GB model). Other options outside the iPhone bundle may be available depending on the customer’s individual information.

My take? Even if legit, please keep the heat on. Where there are cracks, there will be breaks!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iPhone 3G in Canada: Rogers Spinning in PR Panic?

35 Comments

I wrote to Fido customer service and the response I received today (June 30) was that I could not use my existing voice and/or data plans with the iPhone and the ONLY plans available are those that were announced.

WTF ?????
Rogers has now denied access to "ruinediphone.com" because the protest was becoming so huge. What gives them the right to deny access to sites???????
Who do they think they are????????
Now I am really pissed!
I was going to wait and get the ipone from the new carrier, but now i am going to cancel my existing Rogers phone too - let the jerks sue me for the "contract pemalty" If enough people do this, they will have to back off - they cant sue everyone!
When i signed the petition there were 19,000 petitioners - when i left the screen, there was over 21,000 gaining at a rate of 13 to 15 per minute!

unknown the devise in canada hahaha you have fun the companys are going to make so much money off you and there data charges the devise runs on higher data then they offer i can say i know this for a fact so you spend like 135 a month plus over useage in the data which can add $1000 +++++ there have been people in the states wil unlimeted which means 2gb so u have fun or sign the petitions to get a better data packeg and if rogers goes unlimted it will only bee about a GB more so BECAREFULLY ALL U IPHONE WANA B'S
and it was rogers and they were generating 50+ a minute and it was up to 22548 when i checked last befor it crashed

Holly crap. What an uproar. The reality is they always planned to let existing customers keep their plans and just add data.
In anticipation, the just moved the $60.00 for 30MB to $30.00 for 300MB.
Ironically, it is the Blackberry customers on the Blackberry Enterprise Service that should be protesting. They are still stuck on old pricing while individual users can take the new, much cheaper data pricing.
I am a Rogers dealer who just spent the day clearing out his store after 14 years after Rogers not renewing my contact. I hate them more than anyone but these are the facts.

Rogers has done it again! No UNLIMITED Data plan for iPhone
Well Rogers has done it again, showing it's yellow monopolistic teeth! 2GB of Data per month with the $115 Package? This is highway robbery! Are these corporate bloodsuckers for real?
All this is stemming from he fact that there are no competition for Rogers in Canada! No other GSM Service Provider! I was planning to at least buy 3 iPhone 3Gs, but I changed my mind! No iPhone till Rogers stops this draconian pricing for their data plan! What is hard to understand is this: Why Rogers has such a problem with DATA? Why? At least can they stop issuing decrees and actually explain to their clients why they are so stingy with their data bandwidth? May be also explain to us why the majority of Service Providers selling iPhone can sell their phones with an unlimited data plan?
Only 2GB a Month? This is a disgrace and it shows what Rogers really thinks about their Canadian Customers! They truly think that we are stupid & ignorant and that we neither know - nor are we capable of learning anything! Well I have news for you, Rogers: WE ARE NOT! I am canceling my plans for purchasing 3 iPhone 3G, until they offer UNLIMITED Data Plan! I am sure that most people, after finding out what Rogers is really doing, will cancel their plans as well. So I guess it was all for nothing to wait a full year for the arrival of iPhone to Canada! :(
Knowing about Rogers underhanded decision not to offer UNLIMITED data plan, Apple should have NEVER given iPhone sells rights to Rogers in the first place! Unlimited Data has been the cornerstone of Apple's agreement for allowing a Service Provider to sell iPhone. Rogers held out for a full year, knowing that they have the monopoly on GSM market, and Apple gave up, which is very uncharacteristic of Apple. I guess Apple doesn't care about their it's Canadian Clients either!

Looks like www.ruinediphone.com is no longer accessible. Seems Rogers, along with RAPING it's customers, has decided that it won't tolerate voices of dissension or criticism either.
I know "Robbers" operates like a communist monopoly but limiting our right to "free speech" is over the top!
What can done about this?

I also sent in a verbal tirade re the data plans and here is the response I received:
Dear (...),
Thank you for taking the time to write to us, we appreciate your use of online customer service.
In your recent email, you have informed us that you are unhappy with the Price Plans available for the iPhone.
We would like to address your concerns with our rate plans. We think that for the service we offer, our rates are comparable to that of other service providers.
Each carrier has a different pricing strategy. Rogers has designed a pricing structure that offers high-value, flexible voice and data packages so that Canadians can make the most of their iPhone 3G experience.
The majority of carriers offering iPhone 3G worldwide offer similar pricing and some carriers have even implemented a "soft cap" so their plan isn't truly "unlimited". For example, in France the soft cap is
500MB where we have a plan that includes 4 times that amount in your bucket. Unlimited plans could end up costing you more for what you don't use. Also, you can upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time without
penalty.
Our iPhone 3G plans will more than accommodate the vast majority of customers. Rogers customers get 4 times the data on our $60 entry level plan (400 MB) and 20 times the data on our most comprehensive plan. The price plans for iPhone 3G have been specifically created to deliver the best value to customers and an optimal voice and data experience. However, if requested, you may use iPhone 3G on your existing voice plan provided that you add a data plan. The device may not be used on voice-only plans.
We hope you will reconsider and please do not hesitate to contact us again if you have any further questions or comments, or you can call us at our Customer Care Department at 1-888-ROGERS1 (1-888-764-3771) any
time.
We do appreciate your feedback.
For future correspondence with respect to this e-mail, please quote reference number 38980255.
Regards,
Jennifer W.
Rogers Online Customer Service
http:/www.rogers.com

Not only am I not getting the iPhone now, but I have cancelled a rarely used addition to my plan. Now instead of them signing me up to a bigger plan, they're losing money.
Everyone should look at their plan and cut the fat!

Rogers is blocking access to ruinediphone.com. Anyone using their Internet service should call in and ask them WHO gave them permission to filter our content? This is not right. I use a lot of Rogers services for my home and business, including 4 types of high speed Internet. I'm canceling all my contracts immediately.

http://www.ruinediphone.com seems to be back up, kicking Rogers and taking names, with a new host, and hopefully an even greater impact. (I'm in Quebec, and not on Rogers, so I don't know if it's being blocked for anyone else, but it's coming through fine for me.)
@iPhone in Canada: It looks like Rogers is doing a full PR press. I've now seen almost identical letters from 4 or 5 staffers, including the VP of Rogers.
What a PR nightmare, made all the more sickening by the simple fact that all Rogers ever had to do was be fair to Canadians and not try to lock us in for a longer term (3 as opposed to 1.5 to 2 years in other countries) at worse rates (expensive data with caps, compared to reasonable data without caps -- or at least just reasonable data -- in many other countries).

Apparently they are going to offer the iPhone for less than a 2 year contract but only if you pony up 800 bucks.... at that amount the cancellation fee is actually cheaper anyway.
Thing that irks me the most is the non-unlimited data plans.
I was planning on getting the iphone and moving to rogers; but now I've decided to just stick to my telus blackberry where i'm paying a total of 60/mo (voice+unlimited data). Moving to the iphone at these prices would mean paying double and limiting myself to only 2GB.
BTW a telus insider has mentioned that they are in "full retention mode" and will drop their prices to just about anything to keep you - bottom line stick with telus if you want value.
I also find it hilarious that the rogers rep said "there is confusion in the marketplace". Truth is she is right; there is confusion because us canadians have been so bewildered by all the hidden fees, network access fees, and aggressive nickle and diming techniques from all these companies, that when rogers finally puts a bottom line price out there for voice+data, we can finally compare apples to apples with other countries and realize how much we've really been ripped off all these years.

I wanted to make one other point: Rogers really has one of two options at this point.
1)They can hire PR firms, spend a ton of money and effort trying to convince the canadian public that their current plans "provide value". It doesn't even matter if what they are saying is the truth or not; they aren't going to change the perception of Canadians no matter how much money they throw at a PR firm. July 11th will come and go like any other day, and iPhone sales will essentially be a dud.
2) They can smarten up and revise their pricing, and give customers "real" value. If they do this right, July 11th could be the day they took the Canadian mobile industry by storm; people will line up/camp out for the iphone, it will sell out quickly and the demand will continue as it did for the wii. Rogers will poach many customers from their competitors and will have a stranglehold on the next generation of phones.
Rogers really has an opportunity to trounce their competition with this revolutionary phone and they are sincerely botching it.

A group of us here in Vancouver have rented out 4 Mobile Billboards that will display comparative information regarding these new Rogers/Fido iPhone plans.
How these plans compare to those in the USA
-the fine print details on what the plans involve.
-sample data from a 2 month period iPhone user in the USA and compare that with the new plans.
-Rogers claims that its top data plan — 2 GB per month for $115 — is enough to download 16,000 webpages. But users point out that a single Facebook page can account for 1.2 MB, which reduces browsing from 16,000 pages per month to 1,600.
etc.
We will drive these mobile billboards around University Campuses and Skytrain Stations, Robson Street (major shopping district) places with high traffic areas.
We will also park these billboards in key locations around the city.

An email I got from Elizabeth Hamilton.
I apologize as I don't have your full name, but thank you for your email and your interest in iPhone 3G. As an existing customer you nmay well be able to carry over your voice and data plan that you have today. If you are interested in other plans, aside from those announced on Friday, you can in fact select from other voice and data smartphone plans in market. Please check your eligibility with our customer service. There are a variety of options for you. Thank you, L
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network
Envoyé de mon BlackBerry par le biais du réseau de Rogers Sans-fi

I wrote an email to Fido politely showing my disappointment with the announced iPhone Plans. Here is the reply;
.......................
We would like to thank you for visiting our website and allowing us the opportunity to assist you. My name is Irven.
We are sorry to learn of your disappointment with the iPhone offering.
However, with unlimited and free WiFi access, included Visual Voicemail, 3G speed and generous data buckets, we believe that the iPhone packages and prices will be affordable and accessible to the Canadian market.
Should you wish to discuss this issue further, you may contact Customer Service at 1 888 481-3436 (FIDO) weekdays from 8 AM to 9 PM and weekends from 9 AM to 5 PM. Our representatives will be pleased to assist you.
Thank you for choosing Fido.
Sincerely,
..............................

ok the fact is the iphone 3G is going to be going to alot of teenagers. they are the ones who would be buying it. im a teenager and me and all myfriends were going to get one. i dont have a job and my paents pay for my cell but i cant get it because my parents wont pay. they should lower the prices by like 15 dollars or something. its rediculous and i sined that petition too. and rogers blocked all of their internet subscribers from signing it. thats deniing us freedom of speech. someone should sue THEM!

Rogers did not block any website from the public... The website went down due to too much traffic, and they had to get a new host.
DNS replication issues are causing some to not get the site at the moment.
Try www.opendns.com if you prefer to have a custom DNS service rather than the one your ISP provides... It's free, and updates much more regularly.

Update - July 2 - I got a further update re: Fido using existing plans:
"We received information today that if requested, a customer may use the iPhone 3G on their existing voice plan and should be strongly advised to add a data option. If the customer should choose not to add a data option, ensure they are made aware of pay per use charges.
Thank you.
Sincerely,
Irven | Consultant on fido.ca | Solutions Inc. "
This is good news at least for those grandfathered with cityfido and unlimited data plans...

Sorry, I just want to confirm one thing...
I am using Rogers for my cellphone(not a pda or ppc), and my plan is just $30 per month. The last time I talked to a Rogers representative, she said that I can do upgrades.
My question is that can I upgrade to an iPhone 3G? Do I need to sign a new 3-year contract? Will I still be able to use my old $30 plan, and then add a data plan to it?

My story:
I have been a rogers wireless customer for over 14 years and I have 3 family cell phones with them also. During this 14 year period I have paid between $30K-$40K for all wireless services. This does not include my HD box, HD PVR, Cable+, cable Internet etc.
I am shocked that after waiting well over a year for the iphone release to find out that after spending this much money in the past , Rogers wants me to "sign" a contract for 3 years. I will never sign a new contract for any reason, hell customers like myself should be rewarded for all the money we have spent in the past. After all this I get the same plan and rate any newbie right of the street will get. WOW gee thanks Rogers...er NO THANKS!
Anything less than an option to outright buy the phone without a contract will lose myself as a customer as well as others like me. Its the point and I am now willing to wait for another provider (sure to come next year with the competition rules changing in Canada) and spend my money elsewhere.
Wake up Ted, at present you are a monopoly seller of subscription based services and before long you to will become like Bell Canada. Remember these words...How the mighty have fallin.

I have a question for anyone out there with previous versions of the iphone that have been hacked/jailbroken etc...
Can you get an iphopne from another country and "Break" it to work on the Bell Network? And such use their better plans?

@Mountainjest: No, the iPhone runs on GSM networks, of which there is only Rogers (and their subsidiary, Fido) in Canada. Bell and Telus are CDMA networks and aren't compatible.
@Dave: You can buy the iPhone without a contract, its up to each individual store to decide if they'll sell it like that, however, and it will be expensive (~$700+)
@Steve: You will likely have to sign a new 3-year contract to get the $199 price, or eat the premium price like @Dave above if you find a rep willing to sell it (they make money on the contract, so some might be unwilling)

Hi. .. I already have an Iphone. Took it to Europe and could and have only been able to access the Internet/email' via Wi-fi. Expensive as each hotspot u have to ps
pay extra if u move to a other area or have access to ur own wireless Internet services and u have authorization or account. I was eagerly waiting for an unlimited data/surfacing package so I could get rid off 'unable to connect to EDGE' comments. Although glad Rogers has Iphone disspointed with costs and terms of their PLA NS. I WONT sign a contract or pay more for I e of their plans. Even though I love my Iphone I can go back to a regular cell phone AND wait it out until more reasonable plans r available. Yep phones and rate pla a are cheaper worldwide than Canada. Too bad for us

The following is a site designed to concisely communicate how badly the Rogers plans compare to those in the US and UK:
http://getthefactsonrogersiphone.com/
It also aims to raise public awareness of Bill C-555.
If you're unhappy with Rogers, please take a look, and if you think the site is worthwhile, please forward the link.

All Canadians please sign this petition for fair cell phone pricing:
http://www.davidmcguinty.com/english/TakeAction/PetitionTheHouse/PetitionC555Fraisdacces.html
Also...do not buy the iPhone (yet). Let Ted Rogers sit on his expensive supply of phones until he decided to provide fair and unlimited data usage the way the iPhone was meant to be used.
Supply and Demand. If demand goes down so does the price. Boycott the iPhone in Canada and Ted will have no choice to lower plan rates to sell his Apple wares. If he wants people to sign a three year contract which is already unfair...make the price reasonable and competitive to our U.S. counterparts (AT&T)!!!

All you have to remember is that with wi-fi there will be ways around certain issues.. such as messaging and whatnot.. crack the firmware of ur iphone.. download the apps you want.. and dont pay rogers or apple for it.. :)

Wi Fi is NOT free. I learnt this the hard way. Even with coffee shops u have to pay for THAT particular spot. If u go to another hotspot or u r time expired - u have to pay again or billed to u cell bill. I found out that Many hotspots that advertise Free WiFi are Down/not working a lot.
Most people who have WiFi (wireless Internet) have it locked and u need THEiR password to access. The only FREE WiFi I have is in My home or office where I pay for the wireless Internet anyway and I might as well use my wireless laptop computer. As I said I love my I phone but if I knew what I know now about lack of support services and extra services expenses I Would NOT have bought it.
WIFI IS NOT readily available and it is NOT FREE nor can u always have or allowed access to it.

U would need EDGE (same system as u cell phone) to acres the Internet where there is No WiFi, you don't or can't have access to wifi cause you don't subcribe-have account p
or pay for WiFi- which is most places outside ur home. ie to totally use the Iphone as its intended, anywhere u can use ur cell phone - then u need the phone company's EDGE. Then u can surf the net anywhere at anytime without paying extra if u have the Unlimited Data Plan. This is why most people r complaining that it would cost a lot if the cell phone plans are NOT unlimited - which is true. Wifi supplements Edge- NOT the other way around. Hope this info helps.

An an update, many Rogers stores are not going to sell the iPhone to existing customers (to start). New customers only. Are you kidding me?

I tried to get Cell Internet from Rogers for my Notebook in May 2008 and it ended costing me $261 just for the time to do my initial setup, not including the Cell Card and reg fees. After numerous discussions with Rogers personnel, I made a decision to totally disconnect my service from Rogers. I was not allowed to return the Cell Card because they said I used too much time on it. I had to buy the Cell Card that is totally useless to me at $500. Total bill? $950!! And Rogers wants me to get their service for the iPhone? Are they kidding. If Rogers was the last service provider in the world, I would pack up my internet junk and be done with it.
I use the internet for business in addition to keeping contact with friends and relatives all over the world. I do not need this kind of abuse. Nobody does.
iPhone be damned!!

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