Rogers iPhone Data Plans = Epic FAIL

This morning I woke up to discover that Rogers (and Fido) had released their pricing for the iPhone data/voice plans.

                                              Sent      Incoming
                                              Text      Text       Visual
    Price   Voice                    Data     Messages  messages   Voicemail
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    $60 /   150 minutes + unlimited  400 MB   75        Unlimited  Unlimited
    month   Evening and Weekend
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    $75 /   300 minutes + unlimited  750 MB   100       Unlimited  Unlimited
    month   Evening and Weekend
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    $100 /  600 minutes + unlimited  1 GB     200       Unlimited  Unlimited
    month   Evening and Weekend
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    $115 /  800 minutes + unlimited  2 GB     300       Unlimited  Unlimited
    month   Evening and Weekend

I guess my previous optimism was blinded by the thought of a new device and that Apple was going to be able to influence change in Canada.

I’m going to have to think this over a bit before I decide if I’m going to upgrade or stick with my 1st generation iPhone. In the scheme of things, these aren’t horrible rates….they’re just not good ones…kinda like that sandwich in the vending machine – you don’t want to eat it but it’s the only option you have.

These plans don’t even include caller id or a reasonable amount of text messages. Of course, they’ve created additional ‘value packs’ for those things. It’s unknown if these plans automatically roll over to the next tier if you go over your minutes/data/txts in a given month or if you’re subject to high per minute/kb overages.

Get the whole sad picture here or directly for Rogers or Fido.

Update: They have finally updated the website with the plan details.

35 Comments

  1. Dan says:

    Are they fucking kidding??

    How can they not do an unlimited plan at a reasonable rate?
    What the hell is 400MB!?!?

    I hate this company so much. This is ridiculous!

  2. Raul says:

    I never thought Rogers could fail so much. Tanya (NetChick) had an epic fail with them as well. So did I. Un-!@#$-believable.

    The number of text messages is ridiculous as well, and the 400 MB? Just completely dumb I agree, John – this is the sandwich you may not want to buy because it’s rotten :(

  3. jaywest says:

    It’s not so much the pricing levels that annoys me as much as the lack of unlimited data. The iPhone seems to have been engineered with the assumption of unlimited data access. Out of the box it assumes to download hefty email attachment and stream endless YouTube videos without any consideration for consumption. As consumers we must now consciously weigh every data request as being worthy of our monthly allotment. That results in a horrible user experience. This month Rogers has also started capping our home broadband usage which makes me now hesitate each time I think of clicking a “download” link as I wonder if this transaction will cost me in overage charges.

  4. John says:

    Jay – I completely agree. The forthcoming App store from Apple combined with the ‘always on’ nature of the iPhone needs to have a very high/unlimited data plan – ESPECIALLY when we’re flying at 3G speeds which is approaching wifi or what you’d see surfing on your home computer.

    It’s going to make it a tough go when deciding on Apps to purchase – will those apps/games ‘phone home’ to a server to update your poker score on some leaderboard while you play?

  5. Warren Frey says:

    Totally unimpressed. I’ll just stick with my first-gen iPhone and go wifi. I may have to dig out my old hardware SIM dealy so I can get on the App Store (and put up with “hey, you’re not on Edge right now OMG” messages), but I’m perfectly happy to do so.

  6. Ianiv says:

    I’m just not going to get one. %!#$ Rogers

  7. Colin Clarke says:

    Re-evaluating iPhone purchase now that they’ve published these disappointing rate plans.WTF! Is it that much more expensive to do business norht of 49? Do I take it from the chart that I can’t get a standalone voice plan and rely on wifi for surfing?

  8. It’s especially tragic when you consider that every AT&T plan kicks Rogers’ plan’s ass. Even the cheapest AT&T plan ($59.99) includes an unlimited data plan, and 200 SMS messages.

  9. How do we raise enough hell to change this? Must we become the owners of our own cell network with unlimited data plans? If you think about it, an entrepreneur with the guts to do it would stand to make a lot of money if you tossed up a GSM network in the lower mainland of Vancouver alone.

  10. It sucks. However, I just found this in my Google Reader:

    Competition Bureau – Enquiry / Complaint Form

    http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/epic/site/cb-bc.nsf/en/01260e.html

    Put it to good use!

  11. Peter says:

    OK so Fido can do unlimited surfing on a dumb phone for $7/month but they charge 9 times that for an iPhone and limit it to 400mb? That’s insane. I’m with you John, thinking of cancelling my phone order. Hell, thinking of cancelling my Rogers and parking my iPhone, frankly, but I want to use it. Once again, very frustrated to live in a backwater country that allows individual corporations to continually violate us in all orifices and act freely with no competition. It’s absolute robbery. The only thing that surprises me is that the head of the CRTC doesn’t have Rogers for a last name – he might as well have. Typing up an e-mail to Rogers now, fwiw. Should probably also send one to Apple to tell them their Soldier drug dealers are ripping everyone off and will likely cripple iPhone sales and its rep in Canada.

  12. Peter says:

    OK so on reflection, voice & data being combined does help to offset the cost but the real issue is the continuing limit set on data plans. For $75/month I would think that unlimited data is a given – not a piddly 750mb. Again, no need to be competitive so they can do whatever they want and set limits when no limits should be set. I’ll just continue to rant quietly to myself now…

  13. I think anyone who is posting these plans on their sites needs to put quotes around “evening”, as only in the loosest sense of the word can 9:00pm and “evening” be used together without the additional words, “middle of the”.

    If the $60 plan was 200 minutes anytime, and evenings after 7:00pm, I think many Canadians would be a lot less critical of Rogers, but it appears that greed has once again been the driving force between the execs at Rogers.

  14. As you know, John, I’ve been really, really angry with Rogers for a few weeks now. This crap has thrown me over the deep end. I’m about ready to pay the ECF, and move back to Telus or even Bell. At least with Telus, they’ve got CSRs that know what they are talking about, and aren’t afraid to elevate the call.

    Rogers has done absolutely nothing good for the Canadian GSM market. Fido had all the “ear”marks of being a reasonable alternative until they were snagged up by Rogers.

    How does this monopoly get away with this? Is it because we Canadians are too bloody pacifist to raise some serious hell?

    Let’s face it — the iPhone really can’t be used properly without extreme amounts of data. These plans will hurt a lot of people’s pocketbook when the overages start kicking in. With all the apps that are out, the data use will be enormous. Add in the mobile me features, and we’ve got problems.

    I seriously wanted to scream this morning. Of course, I’ve also blogged about my displeasure.

  15. bz says:

    @netchick FUCK .. i totally forgot about MobileMe. that’s the one “killer app” i keep hearing everyone talk about that makes the iphone so great… you get everything, everywhere.

  16. John says:

    Here’s the kicker for me – I’m posting this comment from my iPhone at the Seattle Outlet Mall via my $20/month unlimited data plan on my pay as you go AT&T sim card. I just added it for my weeklong trip down here…why can’t Robbers get it? Simple – greed.

  17. “Fido had all the “ear”marks of being a reasonable alternative until they were snagged up by Rogers.”

    Or they nearly went out of business and now only exist because they were bought out by Rogers.

    This isn’t the USA, there are completely different market forces at work here than there are down south. The ratio of geography to population for example skews pricing a great deal more than anyone seems to consider.

    “How does this monopoly get away with this?”

    Well it’s not a monopoly, there are two other major carriers. That they have not decided to go with a GSM network is their own decision and not controlled by Rogers.

    Don’t forget that every other startup that’s tried to enter the market has gone out of business. I know that if you look at rates in the US it’s easy to come to the conclusion that we’re being screwed but the fact is if it was that easy to do the market would not be littered with the failed companies that it is.

    The other point made about why they offer a $7 unlimited plan on some phones is easily addressed. It’s because those phones and those plans work in a Rogers WAP walled garden. These phones are not going to be using much more then 30 MB at most. It’s basically the equivalent of kids under 12 eating free at a buffet.

    And let’s face it, this is such a first world problem. I mean it’s wireless internet, it’s still very much a luxury item and so we’ll be paying a premium for a few years until it really makes it through to a mass market level.

  18. I should clarify, I noted that previous attempts at building new carriers in Canada had ended with them going out of business. For the most part they actually were bought out by one of the larger carriers.

  19. David says:

    I had a look at my last bill from Rogers, and with conservative, always-thinking-in-the-background-‘do-I-wait-till-a-hotspot-to-see-this?’ kind of thinking, my data usage for the month was just over 9,000 Kb. That means that I could loosen up a little and stay on the plan, and my current plan (which caps out at 500MB for $80) really does suck by comparison.

    Nevertheless, until I get a feel for how much don’t-even-bother-thinking-about-it data use actually works out to be, I’m never going to have a good experience using this phone the way I did at WWDC, where a ubiquitous wi-fi network meant you were always on all the time with no limits ever (the way it should be). Of course, that time on WWDC wi-fi was obviously not included on the bill.

    By not offering an unlimited data, its as if you went to a breakfast buffet with lots of gourmet items, but every time you picked up a piece of bacon or pancake, you heard a little bell chime and saw a meter increment by your plate. You’d would probably not eat all that much less, but you’d be constantly reminded that the buffet is really just a cafeteria line that looks prettier. Such is use of wireless technology in Canada, thanks to Rogers.

  20. Warren Frey says:

    beautifully put, David That is a perfect description of the sorry state of affairs we find ourselves in.

  21. Candygurl112 says:

    understand where Rogers is coming from in order to cover the cost to subsidize the phone so that in turn it is “supposed to be” affordable for the average consumer. However, since they are locking customers in for 3 years, what should have been included in these plans should be MORE than what they have come up with. I mean if you look at the price they are making the “average” consumer pay, wouldn’t they include at least CALLER ID in the plan instead of paying an extra $15 for it. And also about the included weekday minutes 150? Which translates to only 5 mins each day throughout a typical month. Sure we can complain that we as Canadians (in ways of better data, voice plans) do not get the amazing plans our American counterparts get to receive. But we have to look in the reality of things and understand that Canada is only 1/10th the population of America. We do not have the consumer buying power nor the competition to bring those type of low costs here. Why do you think Canadians always go over the border to purchase items? Because of the fact that in the U.S they can afford to make their prices cheaper since there are so many more people buying. So to sum it all up, Canadians paying on average $3200/3 yr contract X 3,000,000 (who actually go on a contract IF THAT)
    Rogers stands to make over $9.6 Billion over 3 yrs. Now if you were to take in to account AT&T. Americans paying on average $1680/2 yr contract X 10,000,000. At&T will make $16.8 Billion in just 2 years. So you see, its purchasing power, population!! We just don’t have that in Canada, that’s why they can charge whatever they want and not give us more for our money. Which is just so unfortunate for the AVERAGE CANADIAN consumer.

  22. Population says:

    I’m sick and tired of the “it’s such a big country with a sparse population” argument. I call bullshit. Ever heard of Russia or Australia? These are also big countries and don’t pay nearly what we do.

    Besides, something like 75-90% of Canadians live in major cities. Why can’t I get a cheap “Vancouver-only” data plan?

    It’s time we start boycotting some of their other properties. Rogers Video, CITY-TV, Sportsnet and so on.

    Scumbags.

  23. Don says:

    @Jeffery Simpson: You wrote: “…previous attempts at building new carriers in Canada had ended with them going out of business. For the most part they actually were bought out by one of the larger carriers.”

    Bingo–the purposeful elimination of competition! Do the appropriate government bodies not give a damn about ordinary citizens?

  24. Don says:

    @Jeffery Simpson wrote: “This isn’t the USA, there are completely different market forces at work here than there are down south. The ratio of geography to population for example skews pricing a great deal more than anyone seems to consider”

    Nonsense.

    Virtually the entire population of Canada is concentrated within a strip 100 km wide along the US border. Further, there are just a handful of major cities that contain most of that population. If anything, Canada should be cheaper to provision cellular services! There is no legitimate excuse for the rapacious practices of the Canadian telecom players.

  25. Population:

    You didn’t actually address the issue of potential market based on population. Australia covers a far smaller portion of their nation, Russia has a much larger population.

    The reason you can’t get a “Vancouver only” plan is that nobody actually wants that. Fido went under, or got bought out, because people wanted coverage in more than just major cities. When personal safety on the road is an important feature of phones people want coverage on major roadways where there might not be a large population.

    Thus people in Vancouver help pay for coverage elsewhere. It’s the same, though on a for-profit model, as health care.

    As I said, compare Rogers to Telus and Bell, not to countries where we don’t live. Other Canadian data rate plans are significantly more than Rogers’, and they’ve not spent the money to upgrade their network to GSM. $40 on Bell gets you 4 MB of data a month versus $30 for 300 MB on Rogers.

  26. Total FAIL. I’ll wait until Yak comes out with an unlimited data plan next year. Then, everybody who got locked into the Rogers deal will be stuck. Wait a year and you’ll have more options. Do you really want to be locked into a 3 year deal?

  27. Aaron Jones says:

    This is disgusting, another example of canadian cell phone users being gouged at every turn! These plans render the most attractive features of the iPhone useless!

  28. jimmy says:

    Switched to Bell and got a blackberry as soon as I saw their absurdly high scam-level prices. Apple should not allow them to sell their products.

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