Tag Archives: Rogers

Rogers HTC Dream and Magic to retail for $549.99; 6GB/$30 plan might return alongside nation-wide calling plan

When Rogers Wireless announced it would be carrying both the HTC Dream (G1) and Magic this coming June, the company held back on pricing. Thanks to one of our ninjas however, we found out that both devices are destined to have an off contract price of $549.99. Due to Rogers’ somewhat crazy subsidization system it’s hard to say exactly how much each device will be on contract, but we’re hearing a 3-year contract could be the standard $400 off — or $149.99. We shall see. Hit the jump for an inventory screenshot of the Magic and some more Rogers news.

In other Rogers news, we’re hearing Rogers is toying with the idea of a few plans that include nation-wide calling, although at this point it looks like there is only one plan on the table — 350 minutes, nation-wide evenings and weekends and 1,000 texts for $45. It’s nothing overly impressive and isn’t exactly going to offer much value to anyone (especially those in the eastern time zone) but it’s a start. Slightly more noteworthy however, Rogers is apparently planning to bring back the 6GB/$30 data promotion it introduced alongside the launch of the iPhone 3G last Summer. This will not only help move a lot of third-generation iPhones, but it will also help with every other smartphone including the Dream and Magic.

Thanks, G!

The LG Xenon arrives at Rogers for $79.99

A press release has yet to cross the wire, but a few of our eagle-eyed readers have sent us links to Rogers’ website which is now listing the LG Xenon. The Xenon becomes the latest addition to Rogers’ rapidly growing Quick Messaging line-up, which also includes the LG Neon, Samsung Gravity and Propel. The Xenon however, is arguably the pick of the pack as it features a 2.8-inch 240×400 resolution touchscreen display, sliding QWERTY keypad, 2 megapixel camera with video recording, Bluetooth 2.0, 80MB of internal memory, microSDHC support, an accelerometer and dual-band HSPA with quad-band EDGE connectivity. Not bad at all, especially given that the Xenon is going for $79.99 on contract and $279.99 contract-free.

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Rogers announces HTC Dream (G1) and Magic coming in June

It’s Android time, Canadians. Mark your calendars for June 2nd as Rogers Wireless has just announced the exclusive arrival of both the HTC Dream (aka G1) and HTC Magic (aka QWERTY-less G1) next month. Details are a bit scarce for the moment but Rogers’ release promises that clarification is forthcoming. For the time being, it’s safe to say that at least the HTC Dream will become available on June 2nd. The HTC Magic will arrive in June as well though it is unclear if the actual launch date will be June 2nd or some time later in the month. In any event, Canadians waiting to get their Android on most definitely have cause for celebration! Hit the jump for the brief press release and hit the read link to sign up for more info.

Canadians to Get Android-Powered Smartphones: Rogers Wireless prepares for the Mobile Revolution with the exclusive Canadian launch of the HTC Dream and HTC Magic

TORONTO, May 7 /CNW/ – Rogers Wireless today announced the exclusive Canadian launch in June 2009 of the HTC Dream(TM) and HTC Magic(TM) smartphones, the first cellphones in Canada powered by the Android platform, allowing for fast and easy access to a wide range of Google(TM) mobile services, including Google Search(TM), Google Maps(TM), Gmail(TM) and more.

“Who else but Rogers would be the first carrier to offer Canadians the first chance to join the mobile revolution with a choice of not one, but two, handsets powered by the Android platform?”, said John Boynton, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Rogers Wireless. “The HTC Magic offers a responsive touch screen and the HTC Dream delivers both a touch screen and a slide out QWERTY keyboard. Both devices offer outstanding wireless internet search capabilities and a full suite of applications that run two times faster on Canada’s fastest mobile network.”

Rogers will release details of the launch soon. In the meantime, customers can sign up for more information at rogers.com/revolution.

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Rogers to begin charging customers without text messaging plans for incoming SMS

More news on the messaging front is coming down from Rogers Wireless today as the company prepares to makes a few text-related changes to its service offerings. There has been a rumor going around for quite some time regarding the elimination of free incoming SMS for customers without text messaging plans and it looks like Rogers is finally getting ready to implement the new policy. Beginning July 7th, incoming SMS will run plan-less subscribers 15¢ per message — the same rate as outgoing texts. Customers with text messaging plans will continue to receive unlimited free incoming SMS. Rogers customers will find information to this effect circulated via bill inserts that will begin going out today.

Now before you start to get all crazy, we’ll repeat that this change only applies to those of you without a monthly messaging bundle; leaving the overwhelming majority of you unaffected. In fact, 94 percent of messages sent and received on Rogers’ network will not be affected by this news. Those of you currently without a messaging plan might want to consider catching up with the times; if you send and receive a combined 34 messages or more each month, it would now behoove you to snag the $5 bundle. Two related notes: Rogers is running a promo that provides unlimited free incoming tweets via SMS — whether or not you’re on a text messaging plan — for the remainder of 2009. Also, this policy change does not apply to Fido customers.

Twitter SMS fever returns to Canada courtesy of Rogers and Fido

Big news today for our friends up north who have been plagued with cold sweats and night tremors ever since November when SMS service was disabled in Canada. When the service was initially killed, Twitter cited billing issues as the reason. It may have taken a while to resolve those issues, but Rogers has just announced a partnership with Twitter that will revive SMS and allow users to both send and receive tweets via text. What’s more, the new deal applies to both Rogers and Fido customers. Canadians, rejoice! Shortcode 21212 has officially been revived and any and all texts exchange will be covered by your SMS plan. In other words, feature phone users no longer have to worry about how to tell all their friends about the string of minutia that combines to make up each day. Woo!

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Rogers launches Wireless Box Office to satiate the need for live concert tickets

Are you a Rogers subscriber who is really into live music? If so, you are definitely going to want to give their new Wireless Box Office a try. In brief, it not only allows you to purchase tickets to some of the hottest concerts going from the convenience of your Rogers device, but your ticket is delivered to your phone which not only saves paper but gets you into the concert through a special door meaning you don’t have to wait in line like everybody else. Interested in giving it a try? Just fire up your Rogers WAP browser, click on Ringtones & More and then select Wireless Box Office. Conversely, if you are on a desktop computer you can visit wirelesstix.com and purchase your tickets from there. Happy concert going!

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Rogers changes minimum HUP length from 12 to 24 months for smartphone users

It looks like Canada’s Rogers Wireless wasn’t content with merely jacking up its BlackBerry prices as it has just gone and made and a decision that is sure to aggravate plenty of smartphone customers. Normally, a Rogers customer is eligible for a Hardware Upgrade Program (HUP) discount every 12 months, allowing them to get a brand new phone with three-year contract pricing (with as much as an extra $100 plus a $35 administration fee added on top or as little as $25 taken off depending on how much a customer spent since his/her last HUP). Now however, the minimum term has been bumped up to 24 months. Some would argue this is what you get when you’re playing with branded and subsidized phones, but to others this is a pretty massive slap in the face. From the looks of these Rogers scoops we’ve been getting over the past few days, it seems like we have a whole bunch of ‘adjustments’ to look forward to thanks to that little $30 million blunder. Hit the jump for the full internal bulletin posted to Sales Central along with a screen shot. Not cool, Rogers.

**IMPORTANT UPDATE** Change to Hardware Upgrade Eligibility

The Hardware Upgrade Program (HUP) allows eligible customers to upgrade to leading edge data devices. Beginning March 17, the minimum eligibility tenure rule is changing from 12 months to 24 months for customers who wish to upgrade their smartphone and are currently on a data plan or Voice & Data Package.

This follows the March 13 price increase for BlackBerry® devices and reinforces the importance of explaining to customers that HUP eligibility and quoted hardware/plan pricing are subject to change and cannot be guaranteed beyond the time of quotation.

Update to HUP eligibility:

The updated HUP eligibility rule of 24 months minimum tenure since customer’s last upgrade or activation date will be system enforced and no exceptions will be allowed.

12 months eligibility tenure rule remains unchanged for voice-only customers upgrading to a data device.

12 months eligibility tenure rule remains unchanged for customers upgrading from a non-smartphone to a smartphone or data device.

All other standard HUP eligibility rules still apply.

Reasons for the update to the HUP program:

Rogers Wireless heavily invests in providing the latest data devices at affordable prices to our data customers. This update to the Hardware Upgrade Program is designed to achieve cost efficiency in order to continue offering our customers an outstanding selection of the most advanced data devices for the best value.

Along with the growth in popularity of data devices there has also been an improved level of quality and technology that has gone into the line-up over the past years allowing a longer hardware lifespan.

Customer impacts:

Please always check the customer’s account in Vision21 for HUP eligibility to ensure the customer is provided with correct eligibility information.

Customers may have been eligible and now eligibility has been pushed out as a result of the update.

Customers may have been aware of their eligibility prior to the update, but did not take advantage of the program at the time and are currently not eligible as a result of the update.

Positioning:

Rogers Wireless sells devices at a significantly lower price than that which we pay the manufacturer. This update to our Hardware Upgrade Program is necessary in order to allow us to continue offering the best devices at the best value in a fair timeframe for our customers.
The Hardware Upgrade Program eligibility and hardware prices are subject to change without notice.

Please note that the information in this bulletin applies to the standard HUP program, and does not take into consideration any existing promotions that may require different eligibility. Always remember to consult the Sales Central bulletins to read the latest in HUP offers.

Thank you for your continued support.

Rogers raises prices of BlackBerry devices to make up for $30mm in acquistion expenses

Some Canadians in the market for a new BlackBerry might have noticed that Rogers recently enacted a price hike on the three-year contract prices for some of its most popular BlackBerry devices. The price increases saw the Curve 83xx go to $149.99 (up $50), Curve 8900 to $224.99 (up $25) and the Bold go to $299.99 (up $50). While most handset price increases are done after an evaluation of a supply and demand model, it seems that Rogers decided to throw caution to the wind after some senior executives noticed the budget for acquisitions was currently $30 million in the red. One of our ninjas passed along the following email, allegedly sent out by a Rogers VP:

On Wednesday, the senior executive team realized that they were over budget $30 million dollars on their cost of acquisition. How I don’t know why it took so long. [sic] They then did their knee jerk response. Your DBM’s and other local managers know nothing more than this and are in the dark as much as we are on this other than we were told VERBALLY that in market quotes would be honored for 30 days from today. The exception lists are due Monday and only for non named accounts. I have requested in every region for a positioning statement and to this moment have not heard a response. If it makes you feel any better the retail has even more uncertainty.

Our only question is other than advertising, marketing and promotions, what the hell could Rogers have been spending so much money on to make them go so far over budget in acquisitions? It’s not like they were buying new subcribers steak dinners for signing up…

Not impressed.

Next time when you post a photoshopped image of a BlackBerry, make sure you don’t leave the mic hole from a BlackBerry 8800 on the bottom. It’s a dead giveaway. So is it 100% photoshopped? No. But we’d go as far as 99.99% since we made this in about 8 minutes and the original picture just doesn’t feel right. Who knows.

Rogers to implement EIR theft deterrent system beginning today

As sad as it is, it should be no surprise to anyone that theft is a pretty regular occurrence in the electronics industry. Though most mobile retailers take plenty of measures to prevent losses, it’s not possible to keep it from happening 100% of the time. When you’re dealing with third-party retailers and authorized dealers it really becomes difficult to keep all inventory safe as the carrier. So, Rogers is allegedly going to begin taking advantage of an EIR, or Equipment Identity Register, which logs reports of stolen mobile devices and keeps them from being used. According to an internal Rogers document courtesy of one of our ninjas, if a phone is stolen and the IMEI is identified, Rogers will input it into the international registry which prevents it from being used on over 40 GSM networks worldwide. Unless you’re in some obscure country that uses a tiny GSM network, consider yourself out of luck if you have a stolen Rogers device in your hands. For Rogers, the days of the five-finger-discount are over. Hit the link for a copy of the internal document detailing the deterrence plan.

EQUIPMENT IDENTITY REGISTER (EIR )PROGRAM

Over the last several months, there have been thefts at Rogers and Fido stores across the country. These incidents have taken place at our corporate stores, our Dealer stores/ 3rd party stores as well as at various shipping and logistics points.

As part of our ongoing loss prevention program, Rogers Wireless and Fido have joined an international equipment registry to block the usage of stolen handset inventory.

On March 6th, 2009, Rogers Communications Inc will introduce the Equipment Identity Register (EIR) as a continuation of our commitment to safety in the workplace and loss prevention.

When a device is stolen from an authorized retailer, its unique non-transferable IMEI will be blocked in the new Rogers database and inputted into the international registry, effectively preventing the usage of the handset on nearly 40 GSM networks worldwide. This will help deter theft and fraud of Rogers/Fido devices from authorized retailers and support our continued efforts to ensure working environments are safe for employees.

A new step in the “Incident Report” process will allow stores and shipping companies to report stolen inventory along with their police reports to the EIR team as part of standard procedure.

As many of these stolen handsets do end up in the hands of unsuspecting customers who may have purchased them from unauthorized venues such as eBay, Craigslist, HowardForums, etc. it is especially important that you become familiar with the processes, positioning, and FAQ’s related to the EIR project. For your convenience, FAQ’s have been included in this communication.

EIR FAQ’s

What is the EIR?
The EIR (Equipment Identity Register) is a network-level response to store, logistic, and 3rd Party handset theft. The EIR is operated by a dedicated team within Rogers Communications in Toronto.

How is the customer impacted by the EIR?
If a customer is in possession of a handset that was reported stolen, regardless of whether or not they are aware, that handset will not work on the Rogers or Fido network, or on the network of over 40 participating carriers world-wide. It is virtually impossible for the EIR to be circumvented.

How does the customer know their handset has been blocked by the EIR?
The customer’s handset will be unable to connect to the network. Depending on the type of handset, it may display “SOS” or “Emergency Calls Only” onscreen.

How does an in-store representative know that a customer’s handset has been blocked by the EIR?
If a customer enters the store with their own hardware and wishes to activate a line, the representative must use a demo SIM in the customer’s hardware prior to starting the activation process. If the handset is unable to connect to the network or displays an “SOS” or “Emergency Calls Only” error message, the handset may have been placed on the EIR.

What happens if a handset fails this test, and is suspected of having been placed on the EIR?
Diplomatic efforts should be made to inquire where the customer purchased their handset, especially if the device appears brand new. Regardless of whether or not the customer is aware, if they purchased it from an unauthorized source such as eBay, Craigslist, HowardForums, etc. and it fails the above test, the device has most likely been reported stolen.

Is there a way to remove a handset from the EIR?
The only circumstance in which a handset’s IMEI would be removed from the EIR is if the customer has legitimate proof of purchase from an authorized seller of Rogers/Fido products listing the handset’s IMEI and date of purchase.

How would the handset be removed from the EIR?
Please refer to the Library, Retail Web, or Sales Central for detailed instruction on removal procedures during business hours by the EIR team.
How does a store handle EIR-related escalations?
EIR related escalations can be fielded by the EIR team between the hours of operation: Monday – Friday 9am – 10pm EST, Weekend and Holidays 10am – 8pm EST
at Rogers: [redacted], Fido : [redacted] FAX: [redacted]
Email: [redacted]
Escalations should only be initiated if the customer has a valid proof of purchase and all processes have been followed.

What does the customer do now that they have an inoperable handset?
All efforts should be made to reduce the impact on unsuspecting customers. Customers are free to keep the handset, though it would be inoperable in Canada. They can donate their handsets to Phones for Food, or recycle them. Existing customers should be directed to the Hardware Upgrade Process. Customers who have entered the store to activate their own hardware, but do not have a wireless account with Rogers or Fido, should be treated as new customers and offered applicable in-market promotions.

What happens if I do not have a demo SIM / I have already activated the customer’s account and find out the handset is inoperable?
Customers who have not left the store and no longer wish to remain customers when informed of the EIR can have their accounts cancelled through DIG as “Activation in Error”. If a customer still wishes to pursue activation, a second line on the BAN should be created, and the customer should purchase new hardware. The rep may then call into ACC/DIG and perform a “Buyer’s Remorse – EIR” cancellation on the original activation, leaving only the new CTN and new hardware active.

What do I tell a customer if their handset was stolen, and they want it on the EIR list?

Customers who have their phones stolen should contact Rogers to have their SIM card blocked immediately. At this point, the EIR is not able to track and block the IMEI of customers’ handsets but it is an important first step in solving the many issues of theft. Customer inclusion is something we are looking at for a phase two development. We have no further details to announce at this time.