Posts Tagged ‘Rogers’

I signed us up for Netflix shortly after it was available in Canada, mostly due to a well played advertising campaign that allowed me to try it for a month free.  (you can check it out here) It was nearing Christmas time and I knew the kids would be around looking for things to amuse them, and typically they have a lot of time off to do absolutely nothing. Personally i’m all for making the kids go to school right up to the day before Christmas if for no other reason than to give them something to do other than drive parents nuts, but i digress.

We used Netflix a lot that first month.  I mean, TONS.  It was on all the time, whether it was on iPod/ iPhones/ Apple TV/ laptops/Xbox360 or the Wii, it seemed somebody somewhere in the house was watching something on it – if not more than one. Being able to start watching a show on one device and then switch to another and pick up right where you left off is genius.  The programs available may be a little behind the networks, but the list seems to be getting better and more current all the time.  Its not as good as what they offer in the USA but give it time, it is still in its infancy up here in the frozen north.

One of the things I love is the personal experience you seem to get.  I’ve had numerous emails asking about quality of programs we’ve watched and most recently an apology for the bad service one day.  In all fairness,  the picture didn’t seem overly bad that day compared to others, but many times that is due to our lousy internet out here, but i’m not going to get into that since I think i’ve beaten that topic to death over the past few years.

They offered a refund for 3% which basically amounts to a day free since the service wasn’t up to their standards.  I’m all for free.  The fact they offered it up without having to contact them to complain goes a long way in my books.  Its nice to deal with a company that is proactive instead of reactive when it comes to the service they are providing.  The little things like alerting you there is a problem with the billing for instance (I had changed credit cards associated with my paypal account), and then sending you an email informing you it is fixed, makes you feel like they actually care about you and are listening and responding.   Some of the bigwigs in the telecom world could learn a few things from them I say.

Speaking of which, Bell our current TV provider, may be in for a ‘So long and thanks for all the fish’ letter from me soon.  Quite frankly i’m tired of paying a ridiculous amount of money for “packages” that really don’t work for us.  Being forced to get 4 or 5 packages just to get the 20 or so channels we actually ever watch is just annoying.  If you could pick “a la carte” as the saying goes and create a custom package of channels I would be happier than being stuck with about 100 or more we never watch just to have the few we do want.

a welcome breath of fresh air

As for their lack of caring, when you have to call up and complain about the costs before they offer you any kind of deal, if at all, just goes to show they really don’t care about the customers.  Sometimes they will offer you ‘great’ deals if you sign a contract for a few years, but even at that, you have to basically tell them you are leaving before they offer anything remotely close to a reasonable price.  Probably because they know you only have one other place to go and there are as many unhappy customers over there switching back, so the overall numbers stay more or less the same.  That’s the great thing for them about having a duopoly, Especially one that likes to price fix rather than compete.  They really don’t even have to pretend to care.

As a matter of fact, my daughter and I were watching Jeremy Wade’s “River Monsters” on Netflix as I was writing this.   I love learning about places I could never afford or have the opportunity to go to, and seeing my kids watching them too instead of the repetitive drivel that is so prevalent on satellite or cable TV, or watching crap because “there is nothing good on” at the moment makes it all that much better.  The ability to see what you want when you want is the way all media should be.  Sure, you could pay for On Demand programming, but when you are already shelling out a ton of money each month for so many channels, should you really have to pay more?  Why not just offer more customizable programming packages and include the On Demand part of the service in the basic cable/satellite package?

The writing is on the wall Bell.  And for you too Rogers.  You need to start to act like we are your customers and that you rely on us, instead of treating us like we need you and will put up with whatever crap you are dishing out.  We need more competition in the Canadian market place and hopefully Netflix is just the type of thing to shake it up a little, and inspire others to follow suit.

tcg

I’m outraged.

When a friend sent me the link to the CBC News story from earlier this week about the Canadian wireless prices and the Big 3 profits I was appalled.  Here’s the link to the article that made me just sit and shake my head in disgust… http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2010/07/19/canada-wireless-profit.html

I’m all for companies making a profit, that’s capitalism and its the basis of a free market society, but don’t screw us over completely and expect us to say thank you.  Where’s the supposed competition between the companies?  Seems to me they just agree amongst themselves how much they are gonna demand and then we have to pay that or go without. Which may be why only 69% of the population has cell phones, the other 31% just can’t afford it.

We are paying more per month, but not in per minute charges, its mostly the add-ons such as caller display, voicemail, and data, that drive up the overall cost per month that we as Canadians are forking out every month.  With the Big 3 controlling the market with nearly 95% is there any hope for the newer startups to create competition?  Also, with the price fixing that seems to be occurring switching amongst any of the big 3 to another one will do you little good.  Check the blogs & sites, they are all as bad as one another.  But they all like to complain how little money they are making.  Maybe they should stop comparing their profits to that of the Banks and the LCBO and look at what most companies – even the well run ones – get in the way of profits.  According to Stats Canada, the average small to medium business is 9% profit.

I may not be up with the new math, but i’m pretty sure 46% is still a lot better than 9%.

tcg

Rogers released an app for the iphone a while ago and I recently downloaded it for the purpose of keeping better track of my data and phone usage.  I have often wondered how much airtime i’ve been using in a month and more to the point how much data i’m using since its the one that will cost you a small fortune if you go over your plan limit.

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The app displays quite a bit of useful info about your iPhone usage once you get into it, but one of the annoying things is the fact you don’t input your account info.  Instead it grabs the info from your iPhone.  Sounds like a good thing right? Well, the trouble is, you have to be disconnected from your WiFi network to use it.  What they should have done is build the ability within the app to turn off your WiFi.  Rather than closing the app, going into settings, turning off WiFi and then reopening the app.  Not sure if it’s possible having never developed an iPhone app myself, but it seems to me if you know it’s a problem then instead of just telling us about it (see screen capture above), do something to fix the problem as well.

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As i mentioned, the app pulls the info from your Rogers wireless account and presents it to you in a format that is easy to understand.  You can easily see whats owing on your account, your voice or data or text messaging usage including what your plan allows for.  It doesn’t show roaming usage that i could see, which i think would be a nice thing to be able to check while on the road.

Another little annoying thing is the fact that you can’t go back to a previous billing cycle.   You get to see the current one and thats it.  So if you happen to check your account on the first day of a billing cycle (see screen captures above) you will have very little info available to you.  I’m not sure why they didn’t give you the option to go back a month of two, but i’m assuming it was in an effort to keep it simple.  They can tell you when you last made a payment and the amount, but not the actual usage information.

It’s a free app, which is expected since when you think of it you are already forking over enough money to them every month, the least they can do is give you an app to see in a nice pretty little GUI exactly how much you are going to have to shell out for the pleasure of being so connected.

tcg

So you probably have already heard the latest about Bell announcing they will be selling the iPhones as early as this November. The news originally came out they COULD support the iphones once their network is upgraded to the HSPA network which is underway, but now it seems they are saying they WILL be selling iPhones (see engadget article here) . Good news, right?

Well, at this point, its anyones guess. This could mean that Rogers now has some competition for the iPhone market and that might mean cheaper plans for Rogers customers to keep them and to entice new customers otherwise they may lose them to Bell, but (call me a pesimist if you like) i think we will just hear a lot of belly-aching from both sides claiming how much money the new networks cost to implement and how they have to recoup those costs, blah, blah, blah.

I hope it does mean lower data plan rates and deals for the end-user.  I know many people who are stuck with Bell for one reason and another and wanted an iPhone but wouldn’t or couldn’t switch to Rogers, so for them, this is probably good news.  Possibly bad news for their wallets if as i suspect the costs don’t end up getting any better, because say what you will about convenience and usability, having a smart phone such as an iPhone or a BlackBerry sure does smart everytime the bill comes.

tcg

iPhone in Canada eh

Posted: June 30, 2008 in Apple, technology
Tags: , ,

I’ve been following this story pretty closely and watching it unfold with respect to the July 11th release date of the much sought after “mini-computer” from Apple up here in Canada.  We completely got bypassed by the first generation iPhones but will be getting the 3G version up here – maybe the first gen. didn’t do well in the cold?

The biggest part of this new story isn’t turning out to be about the iPhone and its features, of which there are many and it really is a marvel of technology, but what seems to be generating the most talk and hype is the Rogers connection.  Rogers and Fido will be the providers in Canada for the iPhone, and their pricing plans look okay on the surface when compared with say, a blackberry plan, but when you actually crunch the usage numbers – its seems they are coming up short and that is upsetting the masses…

Looks not too bad, until you think about the potential usage a customer may need to browse the web a few minutes or hours a day.  Its all a function of the type of use you are expecting to do.  If you are going to be surfing through your Myspace or Facebook pages and staying connected to all your friends you are going to run out of data fast.  Some of those pages can be huge with all the images and customizations etc they allow.  Not to mention some of the best features of the iPhone – GPS, Itunes and UTube integration!  Can you guess how quickly you will go through your 2gig cap if you start watching videos?!?!

Its not really Apple’s fault that Rogers is only offering such limited data usage plans, and all the petitions and complaints to Apple will do no good.  How is Apple going to tell Rogers how to conduct their business and what to charge? – they can’t.  And if we don’t buy an iPhone from Rogers then we can’t get a legal one up here so for those who want one, you are stuck between a rock and a hard place.  The cel phone system as it stands now up here in Canada means the only network that can offer the iPhones IS Rogers/Fido.  All we can do is complain to Rogers, or not buy the iPhone.  What we need is for one of the big telcom providers in the U.S. to come up here and provide a little healthy competition, until that happens good ol’ Ted has us where he wants us.

– TCG