Archive for Rogers

The Canadian Government Put Strings On The Rogers/Shaw Merger….. Not That It Makes A Difference….

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on April 1, 2023 by itnerd

Yesterday the Rogers/Shaw merger got approved by the Canadian government. That means less competition and higher prices for Canadians. But if you believe the Canadian government (Spoiler alert: I don’t) there are guardrails in place to make sure that this is a good deal for Canadians. Here’s the TL:DR for your perusal:

“As part of these agreements and conditions, Videotron:

  • Will offer plans that are comparable to those currently available in Quebec, and offer options at least 20% cheaper than those made available by the major players;
  • Cannot transfer the Freedom Mobile licences for a period of ten years;
  • Will have to expand its 5G wireless network in Freedom Mobile’s pre-existing operating territory within two years;
  • Will expand mobile service into Manitoba via the use of a signed Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) agreement or other means and offer plans comparable to what it offers in Quebec; and,
  • Will increase data allotments of existing Freedom Mobile customers by 10% as a near-term bonus while it invests to bring down prices overall.

“Separately, Rogers will also be subject to strict and legally binding commitments requiring them to make major investments to improve connectivity within the next 5 years, including:

  • Creating 3,000 new jobs in Western Canada and maintaining them for a minimum of 10 years after the closing date;
  • Establishing a Western headquarters in Calgary and maintaining it for a minimum of 10 years after the closing date;
  • Investing $1 billion to expand broadband Internet access, at speeds of at least 50/10 megabits per second, and 5G mobile service in areas where it is not currently available;
  • Investing at least $2.5 billion to enhance its 5G network in Western Canada, and $3 billion in additional network service expansion projects; and,
  • Expanding access to low-cost broadband Internet plans and launching a new low-cost mobile offering for low-income Canadians.

“These agreements are subject to significant financial damages for non-compliance: up to $200 million in the case of Videotron and up to $1 billion in the case of Rogers. These agreements will be released publicly and are subject to annual reporting requirements.

“Should the parties fail to live up to any of their commitments, our government will use every means in our power to enforce the terms on behalf of Canadians.

Now that all sounds good and the potential fines sound big. Not to mention the potential fines are meant to encourage Videotron and Rogers to do everything on this list. But call me a skeptic, I really don’t see any of this bringing about more competition and lower prices. The problem with the Canadian telco space is that it’s an oligopoly. And this deal does nothing to address that. Until the folks in Ottawa figure out that there has to be a big foreign player that is allowed to enter the Canadian market, Canadians will continue to pay among the highest prices for their telco services.

Rogers/Shaw Takeover Approved By Federal Government… And This Will Cost Canadians

Posted in Commentary with tags , on March 31, 2023 by itnerd

Bad news. The news is out that the merger of Rogers and Shaw has been approved by the Canadian government:

Federal Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne is set to make an announcement this morning about Rogers Communications Inc.’s proposed $26-billion purchase of Shaw Communications Inc.

A senior government official, speaking on the condition they not be named in order to discuss matters not yet made public, says the minister will discuss the transfer of wireless licences at a news conference before the stock market opens.

The deal was first announced more than two years ago and has been awaiting regulatory approval since then.

A full-scale purchase of Shaw by Rogers raised competition concerns, and the original deal has been revised to include the sale of Shaw’s Freedom Mobile to Quebec-based Videotron.

The CRTC and Competition Bureau have each given the agreement the green light.

So, if Canadians were hoping that this deal would not be approved and that competition, as little as it is in the Canadian telco space, wouldn’t shrink any further will be disappointed in this news. All this is going to do for Canadians is reduce choice and increase prices because there are less players in the market. I was going to say that I don’t understand why nobody in Ottawa sees that. But instead I will say that I don’t understand why nobody in Ottawa cares because Canada pays some of the highest prices in the world for telco services and this issue gets lip service at best from the Canadian government. And to be honest, I don’t know what it will take to change that.

Today is a very sad day in Canada.

My Official Advice For People Stuck In The Rogers Email Fiasco Is As Follows: Abandon Rogers Email

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 30, 2023 by itnerd

What started as a general outage with Rogers Internet offering that happened almost a month ago has evolved into a situation where users of Rogers email service (in other words they have a address) can’t get their email on any device or application that they choose. And that has dragged on for weeks. This is in part due to the fact that Rogers requires users to create  App Specific Passwords via Rogers Member Center on each program or device that an email address is used on. The creation of new app specific passwords doesn’t work and existing app specific passwords appear to have been deleted in many cases. That pretty much breaks your applications that rely on them. There is a workaround, but that workaround is sub-optimal because viewing mail through a web browser is not the best experience. Especially on a smart phone. And they’re the fact that you might have to call Rogers to get someone to reset your email password if you don’t know what it is. The problem with that is that since this fiasco began, Rogers wait times to speak to someone have gone through the roof. Making that a sub-optimal experience as well for Rogers customers.

Now Rogers knows that this is an issue, but at this point it is crystal clear that if an issue that has affected their users for almost a month hasn’t been fixed, it likely means that Rogers can’t fix it, or isn’t going to fix it. I don’t know which it is but either is on the table. And honestly, which it is doesn’t really matter at this point because it hasn’t been fixed in any timely manner.

Based on the fact that I get daily emails or calls from existing clients of mine asking “is it fixed yet?”, along with referrals who got my name in hopes that I could fix their Rogers email because Rogers can’t, I have come to the conclusion that Rogers customers need to simply find another provider that isn’t Rogers for their email. I say that because there has been zero communication from Rogers on this issue, which means that there is zero insight about if or when this might be fixed.

The workflow that I have been using with clients of mine to get them off Rogers email is as follows:

  1. Create a new email address either with a “free” provider or by hosting your own domain: I have a high level overview of these two options in this article that I wrote about not using your ISP’s email. I personally recommend the latter option, but I know that not everyone is going to go through the time and effort, not to mention money to take that option. Which is why I offer up the former option. Once you have that account set up on all your applications and devices, you can start using it. In case you’re wondering why I have the word “free” in quotes, “free” email services are known to troll your email to show you advertisements that are relevant to you, not to mention use that data for who knows what. Thus “free” in this case mean that you the product.
  2. Broadcast the fact that you have a new email account: You should do a couple of things to make sure that as many people as quickly as possible know that you’re changing email accounts:
    • Send out an email blast saying that your changing email addresses and the old one will not be used past a certain date. That way it incentivizes people to use your new email address as quickly as possible.
    • Set up a vacation alert on Rogers email with the same information. That way every email that hits your Rogers inbox gets the same information. Rogers has info on how to do that here.
  3. Change the emails related to any online service that you use to your new email address: You’ll have to change the email addresses that are used by anything like online shopping, newsletters, Facebook, Instagram, etc. to your new email address. And this is a good time to look at the various mailing lists that you belong to and ask yourself if you really need to be getting that one extra piece of email.

Now you’ll have to check your Rogers email with a web browser periodically to make sure that you don’t miss any emails that you didn’t account for when you went through the above steps. But if the stars align, you should see the emails coming to your Rogers account decrease over time, and increase in your new email inbox. Making this a win. And then whenever Rogers fixes their email issues, you can export all your email so that you have a record of it. I actually have documented how to export not only your email, but your contacts as well here. But that will only work when Rogers sorts out their issues as it requires an App Specific Password, which of course isn’t working at the moment. But once you do that, you then have the freedom to dump Rogers as your ISP if you so choose as you have no practical need to stay with them as your email is no longer locked in with them. And I can tell you that I have a number of customers just waiting to do that the second that Rogers addresses their email issues and they can get their mail exported.

UPDATE: For those who really want to go into the weeds on these ongoing email issues with Rogers, you can feel free to read this.

Here’s Some More Information About Rogers Ongoing Email Fiasco

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 27, 2023 by itnerd

As I type this, it is March 27th and there’s still no resolution to the issues that Rogers has with their email offering. For those of you who are new to this, let me recap the sequence of events that has ben ongoing for almost the last month:

It started as a general outage, but what has dragged on for weeks is an issue with email. Anyone who uses Rogers email service (in other words they have a address) cannot get their email. This is in part due to the fact that Rogers requires users to create  App Specific Passwords via Rogers Member Center on each program or device that an email address is used on. The creation of new app specific passwords doesn’t work and existing app specific passwords appear to have been deleted in many cases. That pretty much breaks your applications that rely on them. There is a workaround, but that workaround is sub-optimal because viewing mail through a web browser is not the best experience. Especially on a smart phone. And they’re the fact that you might have to call Rogers to get someone to reset your email password if you don’t know what it is. The problem with that is that since this fiasco began, Rogers wait times to speak to someone have gone through the roof. Making that a sub-optimal experience as well for Rogers customers.

Now I’ve been asking my sources inside Rogers about this whole fiasco, and they’ve told me on background that this is entirely a Rogers issue that they have yet to figure out. Specifically with the underpinnings of their App Specific Password system which is bolted onto their email service which is provided by Yahoo. I’ll have more on Yahoo in a moment. But you’re likely wondering why Rogers uses App Specific Passwords in their email offering. Here’s the answer: Security.

If a threat actor manages to get your password, and that same password is used on all the mail clients that you use, the threat actor in theory has access to your email on any device. That would be the case with the majority of email systems out there. But by using App Specific Passwords, where every email client and/or device has a unique password, any sort of pwnage that a threat actor does is limited to the one device or application. At least in theory.

Sidebar: One of the ways that you can best protect yourself online is to use completely different password for each and every service that you use as that follows the logic that Rogers is using here.

My problem with this App Specific Password scheme by Rogers is that it adds a layer of complexity that most users have problems dealing with as going to the Rogers Members Center and generating a password to use with your email client and/or of choice is easy for someone like me, but complex for many of Rogers customers. And I have to admit, I do make a fair amount of money from this because I often get phone calls for help when a customer gets a new laptop or smartphone, and they want to get their email on it. In short,Rogers implementation of App Specific Passwords isn’t something that some Rogers customers can easily understand. If Rogers wanted to improve the security of their email service, my suggestion would be to enforce the use of complex passwords. For example, “password” is less secure than “P@$$w0rd” because the latter has special characters, a number and a capitalized letter that make the password harder for a threat actor to brute force or guess. I also assume that this would be easier for Rogers to implement, less likely to run into the issues that we’ve been seeing for the last month, and most importantly it would be secure.

Now if that’s not bad enough, there’s also the fact that the underpinnings of Rogers mail service is Yahoo. A company who doesn’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to privacy and security. And I suspect the latter is the reason why Rogers decided to bolt on App Specific Passwords to what Yahoo offers. In terms of the former, Rogers themselves got caught up a change to Yahoo’s terms of service back in 2018 where Yahoo had tried to give themselves the right to do whatever they wanted with your email. While Yahoo did eventually walk that back for Canadians, it didn’t end well for Rogers as it left a bad taste in the mouths of a lot of their customers.

Now I am continuing to monitor this as I now have over three dozen clients who are affected by this… And counting. And I am continuing to publish updates on this because somebody needs to bring this issue and Rogers continued silence on this problem to light. Plus since you can’t forward your email to another provider, or export it entirely so that you have a local copy of it, Rogers email users are stuck with Rogers until they figure out how to fix this. Though I will admit to working on a way to export Rogers email so that my clients who want to dump Rogers for another ISP, but want a copy of their email have an option to accomplish that. If I get something that is workable on Mac and PC, I will publish it here. In the meantime, for the sake of Rogers customers, I hope that one of Canada’s largest telcos gets its act together and figures this out. Because as I type this, Rogers has handled this whole situation quite poorly. Which frankly isn’t a surprise given their recent track record with how they handle major outages.

The Issues With Rogers Continue To Drag On…. And The Silence From The Telco Is Deafening

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 10, 2023 by itnerd

I’ve been covering the various issues that Rogers has had over the last week or more, along with providing a tip on how to get your Rogers email via a browser until Rogers resolves their issues. But one thing that really has shocked me is the lack of communication from Rogers about this. Customers are having to call in and wait over two hours to get someone to tell them that Rogers email service is down, or they need to factory reset their Rogers modem to get back on line, or whatever. I really don’t understand (though I have my suspicions which I will get to in a moment) why Rogers isn’t trying to communicate more to their customers as their silence is only going to create a situation where their customers not only don’t trust the telco, but are more likely to leave for the competition.

First to how the customers feel. Rogers when they had their massive outage last July promised to be “committed to Canadians”. But as it stands, it seems to be more of a marketing slogan rather than something that Rogers is actually serious about based on these Tweets:

And that last Tweet is what I would like to focus on. The cynic in me believes that Rogers isn’t communicating because they’re scared that this will scuttle their attempt to merge with Shaw as these latest problems would cast that merger in a bad light. I have no proof that this is the case. But I will say that Rogers in my experience has had decent customer service in the past. And from what I have seen in the last week or so, this has been a complete 180 from that. Which makes you wonder if trying to get the merger with Shaw over the finish line is the reason for their silence on this.

Whatever the reason is for Rogers simply deciding not to communicate about this outage with their customers, I can say this. Competitors such as Bell and Telus better be ready for an influx of Rogers customers. Because I think at this point it’s safe to say that Rogers silence to date is going to drive customers to them out of frustration. Because any good will that Rogers had left with their customer base after the July 2022 outage is now gone, and Rogers customers have had enough.

If You’re Having Issues With Rogers Email Right Now, Here’s The Workaround Until They Figure Out How To Fix It

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 9, 2023 by itnerd

If you’re a Rogers customer, you’re no doubt aware of the fact that they’ve had numerous issues in the last week. I’ve documented them here and here. The one that has been most upsetting to customers is the fact that anyone who uses Rogers email service (in other words they have a address) cannot get their email. And like I said earlier, this has been going on since at least Wednesday night as far as I can tell, and there seems to be no fix for this.

What the issue appears to be from as far as I can tell is that Rogers and Yahoo which is Rogers email provider have issues where email clients such as Microsoft Outlook or your smart phone can’t properly authenticate to Rogers and Yahoo. There also seems to be an issue where trying to create App Specific Passwords for Rogers email accounts in the Rogers Member Center does not work. This is leaving many users of Rogers email service dead in the water with no email.

The workaround for this is to open a web browser and go to and enter your Rogers email account details there. The password that you should use is the one for Rogers Member Center. This will at least allow you to view and reply to email on the web. And while this is a sub optimal workaround for many, it’s the only workaround that exists right now.

A secondary issue is that you might have tried to reset your email password under the belief that you were using the wrong password. If that’s you, I have some bad news for you. The only way to truly reset your email password is to dial into Rogers to do that. The good news is that once you hit a human, it doesn’t take long to do that. The bad news is that I am hearing wait times of three hours or more to actually get to a human. And I am also hearing that people are getting disconnected while waiting for a human to come onto the line. Which punts you to the back of the line.

Now I’ve spoken to my sources within Rogers and this is something akin to a 9-1-1 event for them and it is being actively being worked on. While they are trying to get everything working again as quickly as possible, they’ve told me that this is something that may not be resolved until sometime next week at the earliest. If that’s true, then that may be enough to push people over the edge and make them switch ISPs. And Rogers is very aware of that from what I have been told. I’ve also heard that Rogers CSRs have been given permission to work out deals with individual customers based on how mad the customer is. So if you’re in this boat, you might want to keep that in mind.

Now I’ve written about why you should never rely on your ISP’s email service as it’s a means to lock you into a using a your ISP. While I didn’t write about this scenario in that article, this scenario may encourage you to seek other options for your email. Thus I encourage you to read that article and take action as you see fit. In the meantime, I am keeping an eye on this as I have numerous clients who use Rogers email, and who are stuck in this scenario. Which means I will post a follow up the second that I hear this is resolved. Whenever that is as there seems to be no light at the end of this tunnel.

Rogers Continues To Have Issues That Are Making Customers Irate

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 9, 2023 by itnerd

When my phone started to ring an hour ago, I knew I was going to have a busy day. I say that because I woke up this morning to Rogers continuing to have issues with various parts of their network. I have clients who have no email. I also have clients with no Internet. And Down Detector seems to confirm this:

I suspect that as the day goes on, user reports of problems will increase seeing as it’s 8AM as I type this. So, given that I documented that Rogers was having issues earlier this week, I think it’s safe to say that they haven’t fully recovered from those issues. In fact it may be getting worse. And it’s testing the patience of their customers:

Rogers really has some serious explaining to do as on the surface, they have the reliability of Twitter at the moment. And that’s not good company to be in. If Rogers were smart, they would communicate with their customers about what is going on, what steps they are taking to restore service, and when that is going to happen. But from what I see on Twitter and what my clients are reporting to me, that’s not happening. And that really reflects poorly on Rogers. And it’s now to the point where my clients are asking me what they should do, and I have no choice but to respond that they should consider moving to Bell if they can. That won’t help my clients with email issues, but it will help the ones with Internet issues.

Rogers needs to do better. And they need to do better now.

UPDATE: I’ve posted a workaround for those who have issues with sending or receiving Rogers email here.

Rogers Appears To Have Issues…. Serious Issues

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 7, 2023 by itnerd

Canadian telco Rogers isn’t having a good day based on this from Down Detector:

From a combination of my clients calling me and trolling the Internet, I can say that the problems that Rogers seems to be having cover the following areas:

  • Email if you are using a email account. More on that in a second.
  • Rogers Ignite Internet
  • Cell Phone connectivity

In terms of Rogers email issues, this seems to have been going on for days as evidenced by this thread on Rogers own support forums. Which is confirmed by numerous clients of mine pleading me to help them. The good news, if you want to call it that is that if you go to and enter your Rogers email account details there, you can still get your email. But to be frank, this is a workaround and not a solution. Also trying to create App Specific Passwords for Rogers email accounts does not work.

Clearly, Rogers has serious issues at the moment, and customers are not happy based on these examples from Twitter:

With this latest outage combined with what happened last July, any remaining goodwill that Rogers might have had is gone. And Rogers may not only find itself losing customers, but being forced to explain itself to Parliament, again. I’ll be watching this story as this is another situation where Rogers has absolutely crippled the daily existence of Canadians and I will provide updates when the situation warrants.

UPDATE: In terms of the Internet issues that Rogers is having. What seems to be working for some people (including a client of mine) is this:

You can try this and see if it works for you.

UPDATE 3/9: Rogers continues to have issues. I’ve documented them here.

BREAKING: Federal Court Dismisses Rogers/Shaw Appeal

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on January 24, 2023 by itnerd

In a blow to consumers, the Federal Court of Appeal has shot down the Competition Bureau’s request to blog the merger of Rogers and Shaw. That leaves this whole thing up to federal Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne. And he Tweeted this:

At this point, the Federal Government hasn’t shown any interest in shooting what is clearly a merger that harms consumers out of the sky. Thus I do not have high hopes that Champagne will do anything but allow this merger to go through. And consumers will literally pay the price at the end of the day.

It’s truly too bad that Canada doesn’t have a federal government who recognizes that Canada pays far too much money for their telco services and is prepared to address the issue. While I am free to be surprised on that front, I don’t think I will be.

Good News! Canada’s Competition Bureau Will Appeal Today’s Rogers – Shaw Decision

Posted in Commentary with tags , on December 30, 2022 by itnerd

This morning I was not hopeful about the chances of Canadians getting a positive outcome in terms of the Rogers – Shaw merger decision from last night. But there’s hope as news is out that the Competition Bureau is appealing the decision:

The Competition Bureau is appealing the Competition Tribunal’s dismissal of its case against Rogers Communications Inc.’s $26-billion takeover of Shaw Communications Inc., the companies said as they expressed their disappointment in the move.

The telecommunications companies said Friday that they were informed of the bureau’s intent to appeal the tribunal’s decision, released late Thursday. They said they were alsot told that the bureau will apply for an injunction to block the deal from closing until an appeal is heard.

“We are deeply disappointed that the Commissioner continues to attempt to deny Canada and Canadians the advantages that will come from these proposed transactions,” the companies said in a joint statement.

The Competition Bureau did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Commissioner of Competition Matthew Boswell said in a statement late Thursday that he was very disappointed by the tribunal’s dismissal and was carefully considering next steps.

It’s bad news for Rogers and Shaw. But it’s good news for Canadians as this is a bad deal for Canada and must be stopped. Thus I am hopeful that this deal will be stopped so that Canadians don’t end up getting shafted as a result.