Friday, July 27, 2012

Rogers – Another rant … and this time I mean it :-)

Warning: bad language in a few spots. I’m serious. If you are going to whine about that, I’d rather you just skipped this post.

I pay Rogers for 3 wireless phones, one home phone, Ultimate internet service, and their highest digital TV level of service. There are plenty of people who pay less for their share of rent and food than I pay Rogers for the right to be insulted three or four times a year. They profoundly disappoint me too often. Today, I am more disgusted than disappointed.

But first, some back story.

Sometime in the last 6 months, I stepped up to an empty Rogers counter (rare enough that you should always talk to them, even if it is about nothing) and asked casually how much it would cost me to upgrade to an iPhone 4? He told me $159 or thereabouts. I said “cool!” and asked him to check my eligibility. He asked if I had data and I said “yes”, to which he replied “you are eligible.”

So I said “let’s do it” …

After quite some time he said “hmmmm … you don’t have the right data plan.” I left very angry because Rogers sold me a $15/month data plan for a lousy 150MB a month (of which I use about 10% per month) and it does not qualify as a “data plan” … so one wonders what I am paying for then?

Fast forward to a month or so ago. I noticed that Rogers had a very good deal on a PVR that you could get for free just by committing to a 3 year plan. No “cannot be a subscriber” restriction, just “cannot be under contract.” Since I am quite satisfied with Rogers’ technology, and since I had not renewed my TV for a long time, I called.

And guess what? They disqualified me because by giving me a few retention deals, I had been technically put back under contract. I think I blogged that one because I was really pissed off.

And then there is today. I have been considering a hardware upgrade for a year. My phone has been repaired several times and it is so old (original 3G iPhone) that it cannot run iOS 5, nor can it run many new applications that interest me. It is also getting slower with time, which pretty much has to be some sort of conspiracy to force people off their older phones lol.

The new Galaxy IIIs really appeals to me. And breaking the Apple hegemony is a good thing in this marketplace. Good for competition and good for those of us who think iTunes is pure concentrated evil.

So I have gone into Rogers three times in the last week, trying to get this done. First time, the computers were down. They could talk about it, but not do it. (That’s what she said, goes the joke.)

Second time, there was a lineup a mile long and I was not about to dedicate 2 hours to this task.

Today, free and clear and I stepped right up. Note that I had forgotten about my pariah data plan, so to make a long story short, we ended up right back there. With any other data plan, I get the $159 phone price and Rogers locks me in for 3 years. And I am a good customer!

But no … I need to add another $15 to my bill, either by upping my data plan, or lumping it all in to the new $60 super data plan, which is not that super since I still need to add $12 for caller ID and voice mail. So the $72 super plan would take care of that. Since I pay about $50 right now, Rogers are telling me that I need to increase my monthly commitment by almost 50% in order to be allowed to get a new phone at the price everyone else pays. They wanted $599 otherwise.

So in conclusion, fuck!

Here’s the real conclusion. I am in the process yet one more time of reevaluating our services. I am not getting nearly enough from them for the privilege of being treated like the ugly stepchild. And I am very tired of it.

Our watching habits have changed over the years … quite profoundly, actually. Bell has better Internet plans. They are choosing to service new condos with Fibe TV before my neighborhood, so I would have to temporarily use their mediocre satellite service. Home phone I can just dump. Who cares. Ours was switched off for 6 months and no one noticed. 

Note that reducing our Rogers TV bill is not much of an option, because they only offer Rogers Sportsnet One at the $72 level or above. It is not available a la carte. That should be illegal!

So just maybe … I can say goodbye to Rogers this time? Let’s see how I do …

Update: It gets better. There are actually three popular and high-value channels that are mandatory for us – Sportsnet One, HBO and TSN2HD. As mentioned above, you need to be at the VIP level for $72 per month to get Sportsnet One because it is not available a la carte on any of the lesser plans. HBO, it turns out, has been lumped in with the TMN movie packages for an additional $21+ .. WTF? And TSN2 is available only in the $10 “HD Specialty Pack” … or you can get the HD VIP level at $82 for that channel … same thing.

Smile -- Has there ever been a more blatant example of forcing people to upgrade to get one good channel? If I could order these three channels a la carte, my TV bill could be at the second tier plus10 or 20 bucks total … perhaps $60. Instead I am forced to pay 72 + 10 + 21 = $103 … wow. It is no accident at all that these three high value channels are positioned that way. It should be illegal, but the CRTC must be washing their telephones again while this goes on.

By way of example, some of you might remember when Capitol One made fun of Banks and their outrageous and blatant money grubbing with fees using the following commercial. Of course, the Canadian cell and data networks make the banks look thrifty with customers’ money :-)