Archive for June 12, 2019

TELUS Matches Rogers In Offering An $75 Data Plan…. With A Twist

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 12, 2019 by itnerd

Earlier today Rogers served up a 10GB for $75 “unlimited” plan that made news because of the fact that Canadian wireless consumers had never seen a plan like that before. In the article that I wrote, I said this:

Now the Rogers announcement should trigger similar announcements from Bell and Telus as the so called “big 3” tend to be in lockstep with each other rather than truly competing against each other. Thus any customer who is with the “big 3” will likely benefit from this. I expect to see that response come quickly. As in the next day or two.

Well, according to iPhone In Canada, TELUS is going to be offering a plan that is better than what Rogers offers:

A Telus spokesperson said in a statement, “We’re always making enhancements to our customer experience. Launching tomorrow, we have a promotional offer for new, renewing and existing BYOD customers who can get 10GB plus 5GB bonus data starting at $75 for BYOD on Canada’s largest and fastest network with the best customer service.”

Beyond your 15GB of LTE data, Telus says customers “will be charged our usual pay-per-use overage rate of $10/100MB.”

So this is a promotional offer. And this offer is serving up more data than Rogers is offering for the same price. And it’s aimed at BYOD customers. In my mind, this may be the better deal as it doesn’t appear to be throttled like Rogers offering is, and you get more data. Seeing as I am a TELUS customer, and I am in the range of paying that kind of money for my data, this is totally worth looking into for me. I suspect that many other TELUS customers may feel the same way. I’ll let you know what happens when I try to sign up for this plan.

That leaves Bell as the the only one of the “big 3” that doesn’t have a plan like this. One suspects that this will change tomorrow.

UPDATE: Just a quick clarification. The TELUS plan is a promotional plan that expires on July 2nd. The Rogers plan is part of their standard offering going forward. So in effect, TELUS is on matching or beating Rogers for a limited time. Another point is that TELUS is only offering the 5GB bonus for two years. Then presumably you drop back to the 10GB of data a month.

UPDATE #2: TELUS has updated their website with this time limited promotion. Interestingly there’s pricing for BYOD customers and customers on contract.

Hitachi Solutions Philippines Recognized As A finalist For 2019 Microsoft Dynamics 365 For Customer Service

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 12, 2019 by itnerd

Hitachi Solutions Philippines Corporation, a leading provider of global industry solutions powered by the Microsoft Cloud, today announced it has been named a finalist in the 2019 Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service Award. The company was honored among a global field of top Microsoft partners for demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft technology.

Awards were presented in several categories, with winners chosen from a set of more than 2,900 entrants from 115 countries worldwide. Hitachi Solutions Philippines was recognized for providing outstanding solutions and services in Dynamics 365 for Customer Service.

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service Partner of the Year Award recognizes partners that have helped customers solve a business problem, win more customers, deliver better customer service, or achieve another business goal with Dynamics 365 for Customer Service

The Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards recognize Microsoft partners that have developed and delivered exceptional Microsoft-based solutions during the past year.


Huawei Scrapping Laptop Launch Because Of Trump Executive Order

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 12, 2019 by itnerd

We now have the first sign of trouble at Huawei because of the executive order that has effectively banned the company. Huawei has scrapped a product launch for the first time since the executive order was signed:

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer division, told CNBC that the firm had formally planned to launch a new product in its Matebook series without giving a date, but it had been indefinitely put on hold. He said that being on the U.S. Entity List, which restricts American companies from selling products to Huawei, had caused the cancellation. “We cannot supply the PC,” Yu said, adding that the situation is “unfortunate.” When asked if the laptop could be launched at a later date, Yu said it “depends on how long the Entity List will be there.” He acknowledged that, if Huawei is on the blacklist for a long time, the laptop will not be able to be launched.

You now have to wonder how many more products will face a similar fate. And how long Huawei can take hits like this before they finally tap out. I would suggest that you stay tuned as things are about to get interesting.

Uh Oh! There Might Be Big Trouble For Facebook!

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 12, 2019 by itnerd

The Wall Street Journal (via Reuters as the Wall Street Journal story is paywalled) is reporting that Facebook uncovered emails that appear to show Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s connection to potentially problematic privacy practices at the company:

The newspaper said reporters had not seen the emails and relied on unnamed people. The report said the communications “appear to show Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s connection to potentially problematic privacy practices at the company”. Shares of the Menlo Park, California-based company were down 1.8% at $174.9 in early afternoon trading.

The emails have raised concerns within the company that they could be a public relations problem, at least, for Facebook, the WSJ reported, citing one of the people familiar with the matter.


The company’s move to reach a speedy settlement of the FTC investigation is in part because of the emails, according to the WSJ report. The Journal said it could not determine what emails the FTC has requested and how many of them relate to Zuckerberg.

Well, if these emails do exist, and prove who knew what and when, then Facebook as a whole, and Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sanders are basically screwed. It would be a free for all by any agency in the US that has the ability to jail or fine a company or an individual. Not to mention the lawsuits that would instantly filed over this. Plus I would not be shocked if some government agency raided Facebook with a search warrant in hand in the coming days or weeks.

Perhaps this is the beginning of the end for Facebook?


There’s One Other Thing To Note From Rogers Announcement Today….

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 12, 2019 by itnerd

Earlier today, Rogers announced their Infinite wireless plans which have understandably gotten a lot of attention. But there was one other detail that might have flown under the radar. From their press release:

Later this summer, Rogers Infinite plans will also include new device financing options so customers can purchase any device they want at $0, any day of the year. Once their device is paid off, customers will only pay for their monthly service plan.

Why is this important? Well, the “big 3” telcos got caught charging what are known as device subsidies long after a phone that is purchased from a “big 3” telco for “$0” or for a low price is paid for. I wrote about this gouging phenomenon here and I am guessing that this is meant to make that public relations nightmare go away. I also think this further adds credence to the fact that they’re trying to get in front of what the New Democratic Party and the The Liberal party have signaled. Though I do have one question. Does this apply to people who are currently paying off a device subsidy? There were no details in the press release so we’ll have to see.

Expect this to also be copied by Bell and Telus shortly.

McAfee Survey Shows Cybercriminals Target Canadians Planning Summer Vacations To Beach Cities and Other Destinations

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 12, 2019 by itnerd

McAfee today revealed how cybercriminals are capitalizing on Canadian consumers’ risky travel booking habits. The findings show popular beach destinations around the world and cities in the U.S. generate the riskiest search results when people are hunting for vacation deals online.

Highlights of the survey include:

  • Approximately one in eight Canadians (13%) have been scammed or nearly scammed when booking a vacation online
  • 30% of travel-related scam victims reported that they lost between $1,000 and $3,000 as a result of the fraudulent activity
  • Nearly one third (33%) of vacation scam victims were defrauded after spotting a deal that was too good to be true.
  • A third (30%) of Canadians put their companies at risk of cyber-attacks by using their work devices while traveling and connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi networks

Top summer destinations hackers are targeting via potentially malicious sites:

  1.    Palm Springs, California
  2.    Male, Maldives
  3.    Belize City, Belize
  4.    Chicago, Illinois
  5.    Cancun, Mexico

Canmore among most malicious destinations for U.S. travel searches

Canmore, AB is a popular travel destination for American tourists because of its proximity to scenic Banff National Park. It’s so popular in fact that Canmore made the U.S. top-5 list of most dangerous summer vacations for U.S. travellers searching for vacation deals online.

McAfee’s survey confirms that cybercriminals’ tactic of targeting vacation goers is paying off, with one in eight (13%) people reporting that they have been scammed or came very close to being scammed, when booking a vacation online. Bargain-hunting Canadians are most at risk, with nearly a third of vacation scam victims (33%) being defrauded after spotting a deal that was too good to be true.

McAfee’s tips for identifying authentic booking sites and safe surfing on holiday include:

Only access verified websites. Only click on websites that your security software has identified as being safe. For example McAfee WebAdvisorwill identify safe websites with a green check and will block malware and phishing sites if you accidentally click on a malicious link from your search results.

Use trusted platforms and verified payment methods when finalizing your bookings. Fraudsters may try to lure you away from a trusted platform with the promise of discounted rates. Remember to keep all your communications and bookings to trusted platforms, such as; and verify the site before entering payment information. This will help protect you from phishing and other cyber fraud.

Utilize an identity theft solution. With all this personal data floating around online, it’s important that you protect your identity. Use an identity theft solution, such as McAfee Identity Theft Protection, to help protect personally identifiable information from identity theft and fraud.

Always connect with caution. If you have to conduct transactions on a public Wi-Fi connection use a virtual private network (VPN) like McAfee Safe Connectto help keep your connection secure.



PayPal Rolls Out New shipping solution For Small Business

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 12, 2019 by itnerd

In a significant move that will help boost cross-border trade, PayPal Canada launched a new solution that offers small businesses up to 75 per cent in shipping discounts. Additional features include a one-day shipping service to the U.S., tracking links on every parcel and an integrated platform where online sellers can import their orders from popular marketplaces to arrange shipment.

High shipping costs and a lack of efficient shipping options have long held back Canadian business owners from selling internationally. Despite the fact that Canada currently has 14 trade agreements with countries around the world, only 12 per cent of small and medium businesses take advantage of these opportunities. Some of the greatest international growth opportunities are in the U.S., Canada’s largest export market, where businesses can send goods valued up to $800 free of tax, duties and brokerage fees.

In addition to deep discounts, there are a number of beneficial features of this new service:

  • Sellers conducting business on different platforms now only have to go to one web page to meet all their shipping needs. After importing their sales from Shopify, Etsy, eBay or WooCommerce into the platform, sellers can easily pick and choose the quickest and most affordable way to send their parcels.
  • Tracking links are available for every parcel, making it easy for packages to be traced until they reach their destination.
  • One-day delivery to the United States, Canada’s leading export market.
  • While most shipping solutions are subscription based, this shipping tool is available to use at no extra charge.

This new shipping solution gives Canadian business owners a strong incentive to reach beyond the nation’s borders.  In an effort to save small business owners’ money, PayPal has partnered with netParcel, a Toronto-based technology company that provides access to discounted shipping rates. As a result, more than 250,000 businesses that use PayPal can now take advantage of aggressive shipping discounts—whether they are shipping parcels within Canada, to the U.S., or anywhere overseas.

Shipping through PayPal is available now to all Canadian customers. For more information, visit

Rogers Announces “Unlimited” Data Plan…. Expect Telus And Bell To Respond Quickly

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 12, 2019 by itnerd

Mark June 13th in your calendars because Rogers has put out a press release that announces new plans that are different by Canadian standards:

Rogers Communications announced today it will introduce unlimited data plans with no overage charges on Canada’s most trusted, national network. The new plans will be available on the Rogers brand starting tomorrow. Later this summer, Rogers will also launch new financing options giving customers more affordable smartphone and device opportunities.

Rogers Infinite plans with unlimited wireless data will start at $75 for 10GB of high speed data for every line on our fastest LTE network. Beyond this, customers can use unlimited data at reduced speeds which still allows simple browsing, engaging in social media, streaming video, and sending email and text messages. If customers want more high speed data, they can purchase a Speed Pass for $15 for 3GB. Customers can pool their data with family and friends, eliminating the need to monitor data use.

The word “unlimited” sounds good. But in reality this isn’t really a truly unlimited data plan. You’re basically getting a 10GB cap for $75 a month and if you go over that you get throttled unless you pay Rogers more money. US telcos have had similar schemes for some time now. Still this is way different than what Canadian consumers have been getting up until now.

Now the Rogers announcement should trigger similar announcements from Bell and Telus as the so called “big 3” tend to be in lockstep with each other rather than truly competing against each other. Thus any customer who is with the “big 3” will likely benefit from this. I expect to see that response come quickly. As in the next day or two.

The question is why is this sudden shift from Rogers happening? The press release may offer up a hint on that front:

“Canadians want worry-free wireless and these new plans will give our customers peace of mind so they can use as much data as they want,” said Joe Natale, President and Chief Executive Officer. “This is about putting our customers first, and helping them get the most out of their wireless services. These plans represent another critical step forward in our commitment to creating the best experience for our customers.”

It suggests that Rogers has heard loud and clear that the way they currently do business sucks. And seeing as Rogers CEO Joe Natale has a reputation for having a high focus on customer service and the customer experience, that makes sense. But I think that there’s more to it than that. There’s a federal election coming in October and the New Democratic Party has put out a policy statement saying if they form the next government, they would lower the prices of wireless and Internet service for Canadians. The Liberal party has signaled something similar but not as far reaching. So could this simply be a preemptive strike to ward that off? Perhaps. We’ll have to watch and see as I am sure that the truth will eventually come to light.

In any event, I would say that once these plans become available, and if you are not under a contract of some sort with whichever of the “big 3” telcos that you do business with, and you are paying something in the area $75 a month, you should switch to these sorts of plans. Because these are closer to the sorts of data plans that Canadians should have had a long time ago. But the “big 3” can and should do better than this. Thus they still need to have their feet held to the fire to ensure that Canadians get the data plans that have been available in the rest of the world for many, many years now. Which means that Canadian wireless consumers still need to keep the pressure up.

UPDATE: Rogers has updated their website with Infinite plan pricing:

  • $75 for 10GB
  • $95 for 20GB
  • $125 for 50GB

New and existing customers are eligible for this pricing.

As for the throttling part of this, here’s what Rogers says on that front:

Rogers Infinite data plans include 10GB, 20GB or 50GB of data at max speed on the Rogers network, extended coverage areas within Canada, and Roam Like Home destinations (see You will continue to have access to data services with no overage beyond the max speed allotment at a reduced speed of up to 256 kilobits per second (for both upload and download) until the end of your current billing cycle. Applications such as email, web browsing, apps, and audio/video streaming will continue to function at a reduced speed which will likely impact your experience. We will send you a text message notifying you when you have used 90% and 100% of the max speed allotment included in your plan with the option to purchase a Speed Pass to add more max speed data to your plan. In all cases, usage is subject to the Rogers Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policy

So you’ll get your email, but Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter will suck.