Canadian users blast Rogers on iPhone 3G pricing [updated]

In the wake of last week’s announcement by Rogers Communications of Canadian iPhone service plans, a grass roots petition campaign has been launched to protest both data limits on the plans and their associated pricing. User James Hallen initially created an anti-Rogers website with a profane URL, later re-directing traffic to an updated site called, claiming that the Canadian iPhone carrier’s rates on its iPhone service plans are unfair, especially when compared with those of U.S. carrier AT&T. Hallen notes that he “was going to buy an iPhone for me, my girlfriend and my family,” but now, “sadly, I cannot afford the plan.” To date, the website’s petition has received 16,874 signatures, and will continue to collect supporters’ signatures until July 11, at which point the founders of the website will send a printed copy of all the signatures and accompanying messages to Rogers’ headquarters in order to “demonstrate our indignation toward them,” and in hopes of forcing the carrier to rethink its iPhone plans and rates.

Update: Daring Fireball‘s John Gruber points out Rogers’ early cancellation policy: “An Early Cancellation Fee (EECF) applies if, for any reason, your service is terminated prior to the end of the service agreement. The ECF is the greater of (ii) $1100 or (iii) $220 per month remaining in the service agreement, to a maximum of 400 (plus applicable taxes), and applies on each line in the plan that is terminated.”


    I hope the iPhone launch in Canada is a COMPLETE FAILURE while being a huge success everywhere else!


  2. i wonder if any of the signers are current Rogers customers. if they are, leaving the service completely is probably a more biting protest than signing a name on a petition. cause all the company really cares about is money.

  3. Rodgers at it again…

    What do you expect its Rodgers they have been screwing us over for years and yet we bitch about it and then pay our bills. Rodgers has been a monopoly in this country for far to long. With that said our government hasn’t help matters either the CTRC hasn’t encouraged competition in the telecom sector. So until that changes we will continue to get gouged by these large companies

  4. The problem with leaving the service is that most companies well just shrug their shoulders, pocket their ETF and wait for the next sucker…. Though a coordinated max exodus, even with ETF may send a message… But would it be counteracted by the sheep who will just come over?

  5. The sad thing is that tons of people will be suckered into buying this phone and contract. I’m sure people will regret it later. It’s up to you but I would wait a while before buying this unless you have deep pockets and don’t really care about dropping large bills. This is a classic case of buyer beware as Rogers’ is banking on you making an impulse decision.

  6. why only blame rogers,blame the govt. as well for having monopolies in practically every area….telecommunications,cable,internet,airlines….its sad and if we dont open up canada is going to suffer in the long run. companies will be greedy always,profit is there aim but the govt. is suppose to be for the people, i guess rogers pays them well for making the canadian market obsolete and incompetent as ever

  7. To play devil’s advocate for a moment, however….

    While it’s obvious that Rogers is still pricing their data plans FAR higher than AT&T is in the U.S., consider how much of an improvement there *has* been in their data rates….

    Two months ago, you would pay $65/1GB per month on a PC card plan only (ie, a notebook card). The best plan for normal phones was $100/200MB per month, or $60/25MB per month. This was in addition to any voice plans or other features on your phone (ie, $100 JUST for 200MB of data — that didn’t include any minutes of talk time).

    That’s been pretty much the state of the entire landscape for the past two to three years. There have been incremental improvements (about a year ago, the $100 plan went from 100MB to 200MB), but all in all it’s been horrible.

    Now, Rogers comes along in mid-June and revamps ALL of their data plans to provide service well into the GB range for the same price. Sure, those prices are high, but this represents a price change totally unprecedented in Rogers’ history. Now, $30 buys you 300MB per month (ie, 100MB more for $70 less), and the same $100 monthly fee buys you 6GB of data.

    Sure, these are far from ideal, particularly when compared to the U.S., but they’re not THAT far out of line with other non-U.S. carriers (most of whom are also not providing unlimited data). More importantly, the represent a HUGE improvement over what Rogers was charging before.

    It should also be noted that the 3G network in the U.S. runs much slower than the comparable network in Canada, so AT&T really isn’t sticking their neck out that far based on the amount of data users will be able to consume (and the likelihood that they’ll still prefer to jump onto WiFi access points wherever possible to get better performance, much like current iPhone users).

    The fully bundled iPhone plans themselves are a bit of a marketing fiasco, since they chose to “bundle” them in a somewhat non-intuitive way (ie, charging extra for caller ID). If you do the math, however, on a data+voice plan they’re in line with Rogers’ other new data rates.

    Add the unlimited WiFi at Rogers/Fido hotspots, and the deal is even better for people in major cities (where hotspots abound). Rogers normally charges $0.15/minute or $30/month just for hotspot access.

    The rates are certainly far from ideal, and they’re certainly going to impact adoption of the iPhone by the average consumer, but that just means it’s abundantly clear that Rogers is still targeting their data services at businesses and not end-users.

    Ironically, however, these new rates mean that most users of existing data devices will be saving money. I’ll probably save about $100/month myself by switching to an iPhone plan, for instance.

    The bottom line, however, is that while Rogers may still be able to do more in terms of their data rates, there has been an EXTREME reduction…

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