Archive for Rogers

#PSA Rogers Offering Up A Deal To Existing Customers: 4GB For $50 A Month

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 20, 2016 by itnerd

Let’s face it. Canadians pay the highest rates in the world for their cell phones. Something that keeps getting highlighted over and over again. Take this example where Canadians are using comparatively little data – about one gigabyte – compared to people in other countries, but Canadian carriers are making far more money than their counterparts anywhere else.

Craptastic.

That’s why when I heard about this retention plan from Rogers via Red Flag Deals that gives you all of this for $50 a month, my wife jumped on it:

  • 4GB Data
  • Unlimited Canada-wide Calling
  • Unlimited Sent & Received Text, Picture & Video Messages
  • Call Display and Voicemail
  • 2500 Call Forwarding Minutes
  • Conference Calling
  • Call Waiting

Here’s the catch. You have to be out of contract or you are a Rogers customer who brings their own device. You can NOT activate a new line with this plan. Also, the reps might say that the plan is not eligible for Rogers Roam Like Home feature, but that is likely not true. It is also further confirmed by this text that my wife got:

We’re confirming you’ve been opted-out of Roam Like Home. So this means the next time you travel to the U.S. any other included destination around the world, standard roaming rates will apply. You can still decide to re-enroll in Roam Like Home at any time by visiting www.rogers.com/m/roam or by texting “travel” to 222 from your device.

So this implies that my wife can re-enroll in Roam Like Home. But she likely won’t as I have said many times, you get way better deals using an unlocked phone and a local SIM card when you travel versus roaming with any Canadian carrier. In her case, she has a iPhone that is locked to Rogers, but I will be upgrading it to an unlocked iPhone 7 shortly. Making the lack of Roam Like Home irrelevant. One other thing, you have to go to Rogers retention department to get this deal. The reps on the front line claim to know nothing about it.

So why is Rogers offering up this deal? Apparently they are bleeding customers to Public Mobile and Koodo (Both owned by Telus) and Virgin (Owned by Bell) who are aggressively going after Rogers customers. Clearly Rogers had to do something to stop that from happening. It’s amazing what happens when Canadian telcos actually have to compete against each other.

To give you an idea how much you can save, my wife took advantage of this deal. Before this deal she was paying $80 a month for 1 GB of data plus $5 a month for visual voice mail for her iPhone 6. Now she is paying $50 a month for 4 GB of data plus $5 a month for visual voice mail for her iPhone 6. A savings of $30 a month or $360 a year. Plus she gets four times the data.

#EpicWin

And to top it all off it was very painless to do which is extremely unusual for Rogers as dealing with them is often painful by default. I encourage anyone who fits this use case to take advantage of this deal which expires December 31st.

Bell, Rogers & Vidéotron Targeting Android TV Box Sellers…. Why This Is A #Fail

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on December 20, 2016 by itnerd

The CBC reported yesterday that Bell, Rogers and Vidéotron are using the court system to go after those in Canada who sell Android TV boxes which give you “free TV”. All you need to do is to supply high speed Internet and you’re good to go. Now you can completely understand why those three companies want to take out people who sell boxes like these. They see it as copyright infringement and they feel that they have to go after them. There’s a second reason though. They’re also afraid that people who have these boxes will cut the cord which will cut off some lucrative revenue from those customers. The cynic in me says that it’s more the second reason than the first. Regardless, there’s a problem with what they’re doing. It’s not going to work.

The fact that Canadians are gravitating towards these boxes is a sign as obvious as the Bat Signal that Bell, Rogers & Vidéotron are not meeting the needs of Canadians with what they offer for TV services. I’ve always said that if you offer consumers a decent product for a fair price, they will have zero incentive to pirate anything. Unfortunately none of these companies do that. As a result you have this situation. If Bell, Rogers & Vidéotron really wanted to address this, they could simply provide more choice at lower prices. If they did, the Android box market would be dead tomorrow.

But clearly these three companies don’t see things that way and it’s going to cost them in the end because as fast as they try to take one of these sellers out, two more will pop in their place. Plus there’s also the option of customers building their own Android TV boxes which frankly isn’t that hard. So what are they going to do then? Hunt down every subscriber and sue them? That wouldn’t be really productive or cost effective. Not to mention that the optics of that would really suck.

The cable TV companies have to simply admit that this horse has already left the barn. Thus they should address the real issue which is their pricing and the lack of choice. If they did that, I believe that they would find it to be more effective in encouraging consumers not to cut the cord.

So how about it Bell, Rogers and Vidéotron?

Rogers Rolling Out New Modem/Routers For Ignite Internet…. Why You Should Care

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 19, 2016 by itnerd

A few days ago, I got an e-mail from Rogers saying that I had to swap my cable modem/router for my Rogers Ignite Gigabit Internet for a new one within the next 30 days or so. That got my attention, so I unplugged my existing modem/router and took it to my local Rogers store for whatever new one that they were offering. I got this in exchange for my old modem/router: IMG_0049.JPG

Meet the Hitron CODA-4582 modem. It looks like a copy of an Apple AirPort Extreme router. A cheap copy. Enough on the looks front. If you at the back, nothing much has changed: 

img_0050.jpg

You get four gigabit Ethernet ports and a USB port for hooking up a USB disk. If you want to use it as your router and leverage the built in WiFi, there will be no worries there. It supports 802.11ac WiFi. I disabled that functionality along with the routing capabilities as I only run cable and DSL modems in bridge mode so that I can use my own router. A couple of notes on that:

  • To set up the modem/router, you connect to a WiFi SSID that ends in the word “EasyConnect” and walk through the setup of the WiFi portion of the modem/router. The modem/router then reboots and it’s live at that point. You should make a note of whatever password that you use to set up the WiFi as you’ll need it shortly.
  • You then have to log in to disable the WiFi and routing functions. The username is still “cusadmin” (without the quotes). But what Rogers has done is made the login password for the modem/router the same as whatever password you used to set up the WiFi above. That makes the modem/router more secure.
  • You can then click “Basic” and under “Gateway Function” click disable.

The modem/router will then reboot and you’re in bridge mode. Just a thought, you should just be able to put it into bridge mode from the get go. That would save me a whole lot of time. Another note, you can still log into the modem/router if you have to by going to 192.168.100.1.

But the big deal is found under the hood:

  • It has the Intel Puma 7 chipset which should make this modem perform much better than Rogers previous modems which tended to have Puma 6 chipsets. That means faster Internet for you because there’s less latency in this chipset and it will support up to 10Gbps speeds downstream. The former was a major problem for Rogers users who played online games on Rogers Internet. Those users often complained about lag and latency while trying to pwn their opponents. With this modem/router, this shouldn’t be an issue anymore.
  • It is DOCSIS 3.1 compliant which means that this modem will support 10Gbps downstream and 1Gbps upstream speeds. Rogers is in the process of rolling this out to facilitate faster speeds on its network.
  • It supports IPv6 which Rogers along with a lot of other ISPs are moving towards to support the insane amount of devices and “things” that are now on the Intenet.

And judging from the fact that they e-mailed me and gave me a deadline to swap my modem, Rogers clearly wants to get their older modem/routers out of circulation quickly so that they can move forward with their network upgrades.

Now I was able to plug in the modem/router, get it online, and put it brige mode, all without having to call Rogers. I was impressed by that as my experience with making any sort of change with any of my Rogers services has tended to be a negative experience as it would go sideways in some way. Case in point, my attempt to get Rogers Ignite Gigabit which to be fair, eventually did get sorted out. Another thing that I was impressed with was the speed. This is the speed that I got with my old modem/router via Ethernet at the router:

screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-9-54-17-am

 

That’s pretty good. Here’s what I am getting now from the new modem/router:Screen Shot 2016-12-16 at 6.00.44 PM.png

Now that’s a huge increase in my downstream speed. One other thing that was interesting to see is that I am also seeing these speeds from my router. The previous Rogers router/modem would give up about 50 Mbps to my router. This one is giving up nothing. Proof positive that this is a better performing router/modem. I hope to get better results when DOCSIS 3.1 gets rolled out. The word on the streets is that it will happen sometime in February 2017.

If you have Rogers Ignite 100, 250, or Gigabit, Rogers should reaching out to you via e-mail to get you to swap your modem/router. Thus if you get one of these e-mails, you should run with your old modem/router to your nearest Rogers store to swap it out. If you don’t get an e-mail from Rogers, try taking your Rogers modem/router into one of their stores to see if you can get it swapped. You will thank me for doing so.

UPDATE: For some reason, the wrong version of this story was posted from my content management system. The proper version is now online.

 

Rogers One Number Is Dead As Of January

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 7, 2016 by itnerd

Remember Rogers One Number? That was Rogers VoIP service that allowed you to have one number on WiFi and cellular so that you could be reachable anywhere on your mobile phone or your PC. Plus it offered free VOIP calling from anywhere in the world, and you can send and receive calls and texts on your laptop, listen to and manage your voice mails and so on. It first popped up in 2011 and became infamous when an attempt by Rogers to promote the service on Twitter went horrifically sideways. Rogers has now decided to kill the service outright as of January 31st, 2017. A customer of mine tipped me off as she got a communication from Rogers. Here’s a snippet:

Since launching Rogers One Number, we’ve introduced new, innovative wireless solutions that help Canadians stay connected – like Share Everything plans with unlimited Canada-wide calling and Wi-Fi Calling that allows you to call and text in more places (with a compatible device)

So what that means is that the service has become redundant. Thus it needed to be deep sixed. That makes sense. I do have one customer who did use this service, but I wonder how popular it truly was?

Rogers Deep Sixes Shomi

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 26, 2016 by itnerd

Remember Shomi? The streaming service created by Rogers and Shaw to grab a share of the streaming market back in 2014? It looks like that this venture is over. Rogers this afternoon said it is pulling the plug on the streaming service. November 30, 2016 is the last day that the service will exist. I guess they couldn’t crack the market that is pretty much owned by Netflix.To top it off, it’s going to cost Rogers approximately $100 million to $140 million in its third-quarter earnings ending on September 30th, 2016. Though, you could kind of see that this was coming as Rogers recently started bundling Netflix with some of their offerings

One has to wonder if Crave TV is next. We’ll see.

I Now Have Rogers Ignite Gigabit Internet…. And It Works

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 25, 2016 by itnerd

You might recall that my wife and I got Rogers Ignite Gigabit Internet and it came out of the box not working. That led to this story on the subject, which detailed how horribly sideways this experience went from multiple angles. That led to people e-mailing me with their issues with getting Rogers Ignite Gigabit Internet to work as advertised. Plus Some of them dumping Rogers for Bell out of frustration. The Rogers Social Media Team to their credit responded to my issue and got the ball rolling to make sure that the issue would get addressed. The issue was escalated to the Office Of The President, which in Rogers speak means that they took the issue very seriously and a senior technician was going to dispatched to look at the my setup. I have to admit that I was dubious that this was going to get addressed, but I decided to go with it.

The technician was scheduled to arrived at 8AM to 10AM on Sunday. He arrived just before 9AM. He started out working at the Rogers box that was outside our building. He made a number of changes in the box that ultimately addressed not only this issue, but gave us better quality HDTV. Now, it was good before, but it is way better now as the picture detail is now much better, and the color contrast was also much better. That implied that we had a problem for a while and never clued in on it because or picked up on it because everything seemed to be fine until we tried to get Gigabit Internet.

But the main reason why this tech was out here was to make the Internet work as advertised. Here’s what the speed was before from the Rogers modem:

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-9-19-58-am

Here’s what I am getting now:

Screen Shot 2016-09-25 at 9.54.17 AM.jpg

As you can see, this is significantly better. You are never going to get 1 Gbps from a consumer Internet provider. But this result is in line with what you should get. Thus I declare this to be acceptable. The tech then came into our unit to do additional testing and to verify that everything was working. He was very professional and thorough which is something that I appreciate.

Now this should be the part where I should celebrate and enjoy my new super fast Internet service. But I’d like to point out something. I have to wonder if the reason why I got this attention was because I have a blog that has 3000 to 5000 people visiting said blog every day. Would the average Rogers customer get this level of attention? Given that I continue to get e-mails on this subject from frustrated Rogers customers, and ex Rogers customers, and this thread on Red Flag Deals continues to grow, it implies that maybe that’s not the case. In an ideal world, a customer should be able get a modem, plug it in, and get the Internet speeds that they pay for. If they can’t get it to work, the customer should be able to find someone who can help resolve the issue in a timely manner with minimal fuss. None of this happened to me. On top of that, promises were made by Rogers Tech Support that had the Social Media Team not intervened, would not have been kept. Rogers needs to address all of that right away as Bell Canada is hyper aggressive in terms of trying to take customers from them based on how often they are in our condo offering us some very attractive deals on a frequent basis. Also none of this helps Rogers pubic perception, which is something that they’ve had problems with in the past. Finally, it doesn’t encourage us to remain customers of Rogers. Seeing as this is a 12 month deal, you can guarantee that we will revisit our relationship with Rogers at that time.

Over to you Rogers.

Rogers Ignite Gigabit Internet: Not Living Up To The Hype [UPDATED x5]

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 22, 2016 by itnerd

As you recall from my story on doing jury duty yesterday was that my wife and I tweaked what we were getting from Rogers to save a few bucks. Part of that included moving to Rogers Ignite Gigabit Internet which promises “up to” 1GB downstream and “up to” 50 Mbps downstream. To get these speeds, we had to swap out the Rogers modem that we have had for the last two years. That wasn’t a big deal as my wife was able to do so when she got home. However when I plugged it in and tested my speed from the modem directly using an Ethernet cable (which by the way is something you should always do to see if everything is working), this is the speed that I got using Rogers own speed test:

Screen Shot 2016-09-22 at 9.19.58 AM.jpg

This isn’t even close to Gigabit speed. Now I get the fact that you will never get Gigabit speed and ISPs like Rogers will always use the words “up to” to cover themselves on that front. But to only be able to serve up 37% of the maximum speed is pretty sad. So I decided to contact Rogers Tech Support via the chat window that happened to pop up while I was looking at this. The first person that I spoke verified some information to make sure that he was speaking to the right person, and then he did some troubleshooting and found problems with my line. To try and fix it, he had to do some things on his end and reboot them modem. Since I was chatting to him on the line that was about to be disconnected, he gave me a case number and told me to give it to the next person that I spoke to. I watched the modem reboot and when it came back I re-ran the speed test and got a similar result. So it was back to chat window and I connected with a second person who I gave the case number to. The only problem was that the case number, which I had copied and pasted out of the chat window was “referring to some other case.”

#Fail

As a result, I had to start over again with verifying my information and explaining my issue. Then the person I was speaking to accused me of having a third party router connected to the Rogers modem despite the fact that I told him right up front that I was troubleshooting this directly from the modem. I was seriously unimpressed by that as it implies that this is a way for them to get people “off the line” so to speak as opposed to actually troubleshooting the issue. So after some very pointed but civil words to point out what my problem statement was and how I was troubleshooting the issue, he did some troubleshooting of his own and concluded that he had to send out a tech as there was a problem with the line. He gave me a case number(after I asked for it twice by the way), made an appointment for Sunday morning to have the tech show up at our condo and sent me on my way.

Total time invested: Two hours.

Ignoring that this interaction was less than stellar, and by that I mean the second half of this interaction with the second person that I spoke to, I found this to be very odd. So I used my friend Google to do some research. As a result I found a 40 page thread on Red Flag Deals that detailed exactly the sort of problems that I was having. Let me give you a few examples:

Signed up yesterday. I am still getting speeds close to my 250u (wired directly to the 3552 modem). I verified I am on gigabit ( CTS MAC, on my rogers, latest 0.21 firmware etc etc). Anything else I should be looking at before giving a call to tech support?

 

And:

I just called and checked if my area is already on Gigabit since I’m already on Casa since early July but not yet available in my specific address. They switched it to Gigabit but I’m getting only 400mbps max down and 32mbps up. latest firmware .22 also.

They will send someone to check my router and the area tomorrow

And:

I have no idea if Rogers is even activity doing anything about it. The troubleshot over the phone the last time I called it and they couldn’t explain why I was getting only 300Mbps down.

I asked if there was any compensation given I am “paying for” gigabit speeds but getting 250u speeds. CSR said there shouldn’t be an issue with that…but I would need to call it once the issue is resolved.

Those quotes were from the last month, but if you read through this Red Flag Deals thread, it’s pretty clear that Rogers has issues with the Ignite Gigabit Internet service as lots and lots of people are having issues getting anywhere near the speeds that they are promised by Rogers. Quite frankly, Rogers Ignite Gigabit Internet doesn’t appear to ready for prime time from the looks of it. This is shocking seeing as it is 2016 and Rogers has spent a lot of time and effort on their Internet service to try and be the top of the heap in Canada when it comes to Internet access. Now I will see how the tech visit goes and if I get anywhere close to Gigabit speeds as a result of the visit. But my sense is that we may have made a bit of mistake by agreeing to switch to Rogers Ignite Gigabit Internet. But we will see if that is the case or not.

To be continued.

UPDATE: I’ve had several readers contact me via e-mail with similar issues with Rogers Ignite Gigabit Internet. Here’s a few examples:

I complained to Rogers about getting slow speeds with Gigabit Internet. Rogers had a ticket open for two months and nothing happened. So I switched to Bell and got the speed I paid for. When I called Rogers to cancel, it was only then that they cared about my issue. I suggest that you look at Bell for Gigabit Internet if it’s available wherever you live. 

And:

I’ve never gotten anywhere near Gigabit speeds. Rogers really needs to take responsibility for this and fix this. 

And:

I had a really bad experience trying to get this service to work from Rogers. Then Bell Fibe came to my area and I couldn’t switch fast enough. 

It really sounds like my wife and I made a big mistake by upgrading our Internet service. We’ll be considering our options if the tech visit on Sunday doesn’t resolve this issue. Frankly, based on the feedback I am getting, I am not hopeful.

UPDATE #2: Surprise. Rogers reached out to me on Twitter minutes after I posted this update.

Direct message sent. Update to come.

UPDATE #3: After a conversation via Twitter, I am even less happy than I was before. The agent that I spoke to on the RogersHelps Twitter feed via direct message informed me that the tech appointment that we thought we had on Sunday doesn’t exist on their system. And the case number that the second tech gave me pulled up an interaction from 2012 and not related to my account. You can imagine that I was less than impressed. But the agent that I traded direct messages with understood my frustration and booked the appointment for me and gave me a reference number…. Though in the back of my mind I have to wonder it that means anything as I asked for case numbers from from the people that I spoke to last night. The agent also promised to forward my concerns to the Office Of The President as well as promising me that they will call me within 48 business hours.

Clearly the second agent that I spoke to was really someone who shouldn’t be working for a company like Rogers. The Rogers rep on Twitter ask me some very specific info about him and I am guessing that some sort of disciplinary action is coming towards the agent in question. One of the things that I do is set up call centers, do consulting on how call centers should operate, and train call center agents. This is the sort of thing that I advise my clients to take a very hard line on as it negatively affects the public image of the company that they work for. In fact, I advise a “one strike rule.” Meaning you give them one chance to never repeat this sort of behavior, and if they do, fire them. The logic is, your reputation matters and your employees have to be on board with that. If they’re not, then bad things can happen. This blog post is an example of a bad thing that can happen if you’re Rogers. Three to five thousand a people a day visit this blog. And they have seen me write negative things about Rogers. On top of that, readers shared with me their own negative stories about Rogers. This is not good if you’re Rogers. And it perhaps highlights that they have some serious issues that they need to address. 

Frankly, this whole interaction has left a really negative taste in the mouths of my wife and I, and we are reconsidering our relationship with Rogers seeing as Bell is aggressively trying to win our business and has put Fibe into our condo not too long ago. While I will post an update, I am dubious that this will change given what has gone on so far. But I am open to Rogers surprising me.

To be continued.

UPDATE #4: I just got off the phone with the Office Of The President. The person that I spoke to is going to take full ownership of this issue and it will be escalated to someone who will resolve it quickly. We’ll see what happens next.

UPDATE #5: I have a detailed update on this story that you can read here.