Alec Saunders reports on his experience with a new Rogers service he tried out – in particular, the basic buying (and returning) experience: Rogers Portable Internet bait and switch. There’s something strange going on when a market leader makes even more elementary mistakes than it did when it built its leadership position. Rogers reminds me of the record companies more than anything else – scrambling frantically in all directions when the road ahead is difficult but clearly marked.
Ooof. Calling Rogers is painful,
especially when it’s to buy a data plan from them. Nadia got a new phone yesterday – a Treo like mine – and for a device like that, a data plan is pretty important. So I called them up – knowing already what the deal on the table was – and signed up for a 3MB plan… for $25. I feel like Rogers is intentionally laughing at me or something. They invented plans in the late 90s for WAP and have kept charging people through the nose ever since.
Thomas Purves has posted
a comparison of mobile data pricing in Canada and elsewhere in the world, and demonstrates that Canadian rates are by far the highest anywhere. The only *possible* light at the end of the tunnel is that if Rogers does bring in the Apple iPhone, then they’re going to have to do something to address the fact that the iPhone is designed for a pretty high level of network access, or so it seems. With any luck – but I’m not holding my breath – this will benefit Canadian customers across the board.
It didn’t even rate
a how-do-you-do during today’s Apple presentation, but the new AirPort Extreme Base Station is probably the thing that I’m most excited about. Put the thing in a closet with my DSL modem, a USB 2 hub, a couple big USB HDs and my printer and suddenly the promise of a truly unwired office is a reality. My desk has no wires except for power, and I don’t have to give up outboard storage or printing to get it. And I can do my daily backup from my couch – I don’t have to go upstairs, plug in to the hub and then start my backup script.
There’s trouble on the horizon
for traditionally inept telcom pirates like Rogers and the rest of them as more and more handset manufacturers start gleefully selling unlocked devices directly to consumers. The latest challenge (added to the speculation that any iPhone offering from Apple will be an unlocked DTC offering) comes from Palm, who are selling their new Treo 680, unlocked, for US$399.
Compare that with the best offer from Rogers: a two-year-old Palm Treo 650 model, which even with a three-year contract comes out at C$399 before the mail-in rebate.
So I can get a better, newer, slimmer phone and not be locked in to an over-long contract.
It’s even worse if you compare apples to apples – Rogers wants C$600 for their out-of-date Treo 650 product with no contract.