Rogers Screws High Speed Internet Customers By Charging For Flickr Pro…. WTF? [UPDATED x2]

If you’re on Rogers High Speed Internet and you like to use the free Flickr Pro service that they provide, you can expect an e-mail like this one in your inbox shortly:

Dear Rogers Yahoo! customer,

We are writing to inform you that on July 1, 2009, your Flickr Pro account included with your Rogers Hi-Speed Internet service will change to a free Flickr account. The free Flickr service has many of the same features as Pro, but is subject to some limits.

Your existing photos or videos will not be deleted as a result of this change. If you have more than 200 photos in the free Flickr account, only the most recent 200 are displayed. Other changes include:

• 100MB monthly upload limit (10MB per photo)
• 2 video uploads each month (max. 90 seconds and 150MB per video)
• Only smaller (resized) images accessible (though the originals are saved in case you upgrade later)

If you enjoy the full flexibility and storage capacity of your current Flickr Pro account, you can maintain your Pro account by subscribing directly to the service for $24.95 (USD) a year. Subscribe before September 1, 2009 and get two months free. Click the link below to subscribe:

For additional information or questions, please visit:

We want to thank you for being a Rogers Yahoo! customer. It is our pleasure to provide you with an enjoyable online photo experience.


Rogers Yahoo! Hi-Speed Internet Customer Service

So to make sure that everyone is one the same page here, let me recap:

  • Rogers used to give their subscribers a Flickr pro account free of charge to replace the Yahoo Photos service that was killed when Yahoo bought Flickr.
  • As of July 1st, what used to be free will be $24.95 a year.
  • If you don’t want to pay up, you get to use a half assed light version of Flickr

The issue has flared up on the Digital Home Canada message boards and the DSL Reports message boards where ticked off users are venting. Surprisingly, a Rogers sock puppet employee made an appearance in both places to try and defuse the issue. Keith McArthur, Senior Director of Social Media and Digital Communications at Rogers Communications posted this statement:

A very small number of our customers (less than 2 per cent) took advantage of the Flickr Pro service. For the vast majority of our customers, the bigger priority is faster speeds and more reliable service.

Last week, we doubled download speeds for hundreds of thousands of customers. We continue to invest in our network and look forward to bringing increasingly faster speeds to all our customers.

Keep in mind that these are the same guys who do DNS redirects when you type in a incorrect address to show you ads, and they are the same guys who do traffic shaping because they claim that they want to have high levels of customer satisfaction.

Oh yeah, as someone points out on the Digital Home Canada message boards, 2% of customers is 30,000 people. Not a small number to be sure.

If I were a Rogers High Speed Internet customer, I’d be ticked and looking for another ISP right about now. In fact, I’ll do you a favor and recommend that if you’re a Rogers High Speed Internet customer who’s not happy about this, and you can get DSL, take a look at Teksavvy and Acanac.

After all, if you’re going to pay somebody for Internet service, at least pay somebody who knows the meaning of the words “customer satisfaction.”

UPDATE: I should also mention that Rogers has been caught altering web page content in the past. That doesn’t exactly give me the warm fuzzies about them.

UPDATE #2: You’ll notice in the comments section that Keith McArthur of Rogers posted a comment. Thanks for posting! I try to be balanced when I post stories to my blog. Perhaps you’ll tell the decision makers within Rogers how unpopular this is and see what you can do to make this situation better. I can tell you right now you have a lot of unhappy campers out there right now, and that won’t be good for your business long term. BTW, does the fact that Keith McArthur has been posting on discussion boards and blogs like mine remind you of “Frank” of Comcast and his attempts to reach out to customers using social media to improve the image of Comcast? For me it does.

8 Responses to “Rogers Screws High Speed Internet Customers By Charging For Flickr Pro…. WTF? [UPDATED x2]”

  1. It’s for reasons like this that I *knew* that actually using flickr through Rogers would burn me, if I adopted it. I didn’t (expected them to cut the services eventually), but what is really terrible about the Rogers contract is that you actually sign a few discrete contracts to receive their promised services. First, you agree to one for general Internet use, and then if you want to get your ‘free rogers email accounts’ need to agree to several Yahoo! agreements. Yahoo! and Rogers are totally in bed with one another, and it’s just embarrassing that Rogers is continuing to screw their customers by discontinuing one of the few real perks that accompanied their products.

  2. Keith McArthur Says:

    Thanks for including Rogers side of the story in your post. We’re trying to do a better job of listening and explaining ourselves to customers – even with respect to business decisions that might be unpopular in some quarters.

    • Ya right Keith… Rogers discontinued newsgroups, webhosting, photo gallery and now flickr… I can’t even use your protection service with my 64-bit Windows or Linux workstations. Do I get any credit for any less service? No. You jacked my monthly costs a little while ago…

      I keep paying more and receiving less from Rogers. Now I am forced to outlay even more for a photo hosting provider. Maybe I should be shopping for another provider while I am at it.


  3. Robert Carey Says:

    This infuriates me! The inclusion of the Flickr Pro account was a huge incentive to me as a hobby photographer. Secure unlimited storeage online – great selling feature. And the fact that it was sold a – and I QUOTE – “you get a free Flickr Pro account for as long as you keep your Rogers Internet service”

    You have lied to me and screwed me over as a customer Rogers and I am mad! I can’t count how many other folks I told about the bonus of a Flickr pro account with Rogers and now you have screwed them over too. You can spout all you want about how your EULA allows you to alter the terms of service at your leisure – this is blatant bait-and-switch! There is no mistaking the meaning of “for as long as you keep your Rogers Internet service”

    Rest assured I will no longer be keeping it. Hope those pennies you saved with this profit maximization measure were worth it.

  4. Firstly, I didn’t buy into their photo webpages they offered, as a matter of principle. Second, after they started inserting ads in the my paid email, I purposedly ignore the ads, or even better, boycott the announcments. Now, they can forget about my buying their Flickr Pro. I rather buy somewhere else.

    What options do I have if I want to go to other ISP? Does anyone know?

    I am in Toronto.


  5. Nelu Pop Says:

    I was just wondering these past weeks why am I paying so much for internet and then remembered my flickr pro account….but now

    well to be honest, today I am calling TekSavvy and switching because there is nothing holding me back….anymore

  6. I’m with the same boat as you guys. It’s only because of my flickr account that I’m still with Frogers..

  7. Aliant is a good ISP if you’re Atlantic, or Bell if Central, no throttling, DNS hijiacks, Linux friendly, etc.

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