Bafflegabble from Rogers on iPhone pricing

1 Jul ’08

Tris posts a disappointingly empty response from Rogers on the growing controversy over iPhone plan pricing. This one’s a gem: “The iPhone bundles were created to provide the best value to our customers. With respect to Rogers iPhone 3G pricing, we believe that the customer that wants this device wants to fully appreciate all that iPhone 3G has to offer so there’s a wide selection of high value price packages to meet the needs of Canadians. We believe that unlimited plans could end up costing customers more for what they don’t use.”

So, to summarize – we, the customers, are simply too stupid to make our own decisions about whether an unlimited plan is right for us, and Rogers is generously protecting us from our own inability to make an informed decision. That’s right, we’re smart enough to plow through the byzantine assortment of plans already available, but not quite clever enough to know whether an unlimited plan is right for us. And, apparently, not intelligent enough, once we’ve chosen an unlimited plan and learned that it’s ‘costing us more for what we don’t use’, to change our plan to the “high value” plan they think we should have chosen at the outset.

Here’s the reader’s digest version: providing an unlimited plan will, by comparison to the iPhone unlimited plans in other countries, show Rogers in such a greedy and unflattering light, that it simply can’t be done, and the company has chosen instead to put out this particular fire by resorting to a mind-numbing stream of meaningless corporate-speak. We’ve known since the iPhone was announced that it would be this way. And here we are.

I’ve made the point elsewhere and often – I like Rogers. But I’m growing weary of being fleeced by a (GSM) monopolist that day by day seems – well – greedy. And I’m growing very concerned that our wireless providers are simply getting in the way – fast, ubiquitous and affordable wireless will, I’m convinced, have a profound impact on national productivity. Could the lack of competition in our wireless markets be a growing danger? Between this and the lack of competition and innovation in wired broadband, I’m beginning to think that the structure of these markets is holding us back.

In any event, I’m now officially out of the iPhone market.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Pema Hegan July 2, 2008 at 08:57

I was chatting about this over lunch with the GigPark team last week. Someone suggested the high mobile rates are the equivalent of another business tax in Canada. Most business need to outfit their employees with cell phones (increasingly cell phones that use data) and in Canada we pay something like a 50% premium over the US to do this. If the CRTC can’t take a look at this situation and figure out that something is wrong… then something really is wrong ;)

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David Canton July 2, 2008 at 07:20

I agree about “getting in the way”. I’ve had a Windows mobile smartphone for quite a while, and never go to the web or download attachments when on the cell network because it simply costs too much. So I buy a plan that has enough megs for email – and hope I can find a wifi connection if I want to do anyhting else.

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Tris Hussey July 1, 2008 at 14:26

Thanks for the link Rob. I’m glad you also see the connection between our productivity and competitiveness and mobile rates.

The question is then, will the upstart providers who bought spectrum recently be able to change things?

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