Archive for Rogers

Rogers Announces A Move To A “100% Canadian-based Customer Service Team”

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 30, 2020 by itnerd

This is one of these press releases that make you say “hmmmmm”. Specifically this press release from Canadian telco Rogers which announces the following:

Rogers Communications today announced that all of its customer service team members across all brands are now based in Canada. This follows the company’s announcement earlier this month that it is hiring for 350 jobs at its new customer solutions centre in Kelowna, B.C.

This month, Rogers Communications completed the transition of 150 remaining customer service positions to Canada, with new jobs created with partners across Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. With its entire 7,000 strong customer service team now based in Canada, this milestone ensures that every phone call or online chat with Rogers, FIDO or chatr is answered by a customer solution specialist on Canadian soil.

Now I get why companies outsource their customer service to places like India, Egypt and the Philippines to name a few popular outsourcing destinations. But when things become, “sub-optimal” in the eyes of the customer, which is another way of saying that the customer experience isn’t that great, there’s often a rush to bring things back in house. That’s kind of how I read this section of this press release:

“We are a proud Canadian company and pride ourselves in quality contact centre jobs in the communities where we live and work,” said Eric Agius, Chief Customer Officer, Rogers Communications. “When our customers choose to call us for help with more complex issues, they’ll be served by our Canadian-based team members who are truly experts in our products and services – and as members of their communities, they can relate to the needs of our customers.”

I guess that their customers who were looking for help weren’t getting people who were experts in Rogers products and services, nor could they relate to the Rogers customers because they were not members of their communities. That supports my theory that things were “sub-optimal” with whomever Rogers was outsourcing to.

This is apparently part of a multi-year plan to improve the customer experience. Something that Rogers CEO Joe Natale is known for. We’ll have to see if this move truly does improve the customer experience for Rogers customers.

Rogers Admits To Throttling Internet Users….. Could This Be The Start Of Mass Defections To Bell?

Posted in Commentary with tags , on June 15, 2020 by itnerd

A thread on DSLReports.com was brought to my attention this morning in regards to Rogers allegedly throttling the upstream connections of Internet users. The claimed smoking gun was in the form of a text chat that was captured by a DSLReports.com user by the name of “squads”:

Now, you can pretty much predict what happened next. Users were outraged. After all you can see from their perspective why they’d be a wee bit ticked off. If everyone is working from home, on VPN connections, doing Zoom calls and the like, upstream bandwidth usage will skyrocket. So if an ISP cuts their upstream bandwidth, users are going to be mad.

The thing is, another user on this thread who goes by the name of “DocDrew” correctly points out that Rogers has policies that allows them to do this. And effectively, you agree to that by signing up to their service. While this is 100% accurate, it hasn’t stopped ticked off Rogers customers from dialing up Bell to switch over to their Internet offering. The original poster of this DSLReports.com thread did. And I have to admit that since this pandemic has started, I have assisted a growing number of my corporate clients to switch from Rogers to Bell so that they can work more effectively from home. And their experience with Bell has been very positive thus far.

I think some of this goes back to my look at Bell’s rollout of the fibre to the home service and coming to the conclusion that Bell had Rogers in a position where Bell would become the dominant Internet provider in Canada. Now while that article was written in 2018, and Bell has tweaked it’s speeds slightly so that it is not symmetrical Internet access, Bell’s offerings are still substantially faster than anything Rogers offers at the moment. And via asking Bell Fibe customers who I have worked with and research in DSLReports.com and in other places, Bell appears to currently has no protocol to throttle customers in a similar way that Rogers does (though I am willing to bet that they could if they wanted to and just like Rogers they have wording in their various agreements that say so). That combined with their recent infrastructure investments makes Bell look like they are far ahead of the curve.

I will be interested to see what Rogers Q2 numbers look like. To be specific, I want to see if Rogers is bleeding Internet customers. I would also like to see if Bell when they put out their Q2 numbers are on the receiving end of those customers. The reason being that it will confirm or deny if my anecdotal observations are accurate or not. My thinking is that this could be the start of mass defections to Bell. But hard numbers would confirm or deny this.

Rogers Announces 5G Support For The Samsung S20 Lineup Which Ships Today

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 6, 2020 by itnerd

Today is the day that you can get your hands on the new and uber expensive Samsung S20 lineup. And Rogers is out with a press release saying that you can do 5G on that phone today…. But as always, the devil is in the detail. So let’s look at that detail.

According to their press release, you can get 5G in downtown Vancouver, downtown Toronto, downtown Ottawa and Montreal today. Meaning if you live in the burbs or beyond the downtown core of those cities, or you live anywhere other than those cities, you’re still using 4G LTE. Having said that there are 20 more markets where 5G will make an appearance this year. And they will be using 2.5 GHz spectrum in downtown Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Future plans include using 600 MHz 5G spectrum, which is best suited to carry wireless data across long distances and through dense urban buildings. As well as 3.5 GHz spectrum and dynamic spectrum sharing, which will allow 4G spectrum to be used for 5G.

Now all of that is nice and all, but here’s the bottom line. Very few people will actually be running 5G on the S20 today in Canada. Instead, they’ll be running 4G LTE because they are outside of a 5G coverage area. Now Rogers would argue that at least they have 5G access ahead of the other guys. Namely Bell and Telus. But I think it would mean something if 5G coverage was somewhat broader. As in 5G was available in the entire city of Toronto for example. Which was the case when I tested Rogers LTE rollout many years ago. But it’s not. Thus I will simply say that I will give Rogers kudos for getting out there ahead of the other two members of the “big three”, but perhaps they should have had broader 5G coverage so that more people could experience 5G and as a result drive people to get their S20’s from Rogers as opposed to the other guys? Just a thought.

It’s 2020 And Adobe Flash Is About To Die…. So Why Does Rogers Ignite TV Still Support Flash?

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 2, 2020 by itnerd

Adobe Flash is horrifically insecure, so much so that Adobe is killing Flash this year as they can’t seem to fix the security issues that Flash has. That begs this question. Why is it that Rogers Ignite TV still supports Adobe Flash? Don’t believe me?  Check the screen shot below which came from this page on the Rogers website:

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While I will concede that this page was last updated in August of 2019, it doesn’t even remotely make sense why Rogers Ignite TV still supports a plug in that quite literally nobody on the planet should be running because it is not only insecure, but nobody has any practical need for it as most online properties have transitioned away from Adobe Flash ages ago. Example, Google Chrome which has a sandboxed version of Flash which makes it marginally safer to use as it is off by default and (hopefully) doesn’t have access to your PC or Mac as whole has been prompting for a while now that its support for Flash will die in 2020. Why does that matter? Because without a browser that has a copy of the Flash plug-in installed, Ignite TV’s watch anywhere functionality won’t work.

Since I cannot be the only one that thought this, I trolled Twitter to find out if this question has been asked of Rogers, this is the best that I could come up with:

You’ll note that the Rogers Helps Twitter account completely dodged the question about not using Flash in the first place as Ignite TV is a very new service. Though I suspect that it has something to do with the fact that Rogers Ignite was bought from Comcast and Rogers took it from Comcast as is. But they do say that they will have “a new feature to replace Flash that will support Ignite TV in online browsers” and they will share more details soon. But here’s the problem that they face:

  • Microsoft says it plans to disable Flash by default in Edge and Internet Explorer in mid to late 2019, with a full removal from all supported versions of Windows by 2020.
  • Google will remove flash “toward the end of 2020”
  • Mozilla says Firefox users need to choose which websites are able to run Flash (or not run Flash). Only users running the ESR version of Firefox will be able to run Flash up until the end of 2020. Those uses are usually corporate users and not consumers users.
  • Apple is also supportive of the 2020 end of life for Flash, and Safari currently requires explicit approval on each website even when Mac users opt to install Flash.

And in the case of everything that I linked to above, all of the above has been floating around since at least the latter half of 2017. Which means that this is something that Rogers should have been planning for ages ago.

The fact is that Rogers doesn’t have a whole lot of time to introduce their “new feature to replace Flash that will support Ignite TV in online browsers”. Meaning that as browsers stop supporting Adobe Flash this year, angry Ignite TV users who watch TV in a browser using Flash may bombard Rogers with questions about what they will to to fix that situation when their browser of choice no longer works with Ignite TV. And when they find out that there was a significant lead time for Rogers to transition to something else, Rogers may find those customer’s patience with Rogers may be very, very thin. Thus this will be a story to watch in 2020 as Rogers will have to navigate this situation in a way that doesn’t cause this to become a train wreck next to a dumpster fire.

If they can.

Rogers Now Throttles “Unlimited” Plans To 512 Kbps To Match Telus And Bell

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 25, 2019 by itnerd

Rogers in the “unlimited” plan wars was the last of the “big three” telcos to not offer throttling at 512 Kbps. Instead, they were stuck at 256 Kbps. But that changed today. If you look at the Infinite microsite, you now see this text. I have highlighted the relevant portion in bold:

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 rogers.com/roamlikehome). You will continue to have access to data services with no overage beyond the max speed allotment at a reduced speed of up to 512 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.

That’s an interesting change. The cynic in me says that it has to do with this Reddit thread that popped up earlier this week where posters were critical of Rogers. Thus my guess is the folks at 1 Mount Pleasant in Toronto got the message loud and clear and changed course.

 

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.

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 rogers.com/roamlikehome). 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.

Rogers Now Supports eSIM On iPhones

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 30, 2019 by itnerd

In the midst of looking for something related to an inquiry that one of my clients had, I tripped over this posting on the Rogers Community Forums which led me to this related post. In short, it now appears that Rogers has finally got support for eSIMs. But there is a catch. A forum member asked this question:

Rogers1

Here’s the answer that this person got:

Rogers 2

Judging from the reaction on the Rogers Community Forums, the reaction thus far is positive. Which is a good thing if you are Rogers. This seems to be iPhone only at the moment. Specifically the XS, XS Max, or the XR. Hopefully this expands to other eSIM capable devices soon. It also appears to only be available at Rogers flagship stores at present. Hopefully this broadens out. Regardless, this is good news for Rogers customers.

Rogers Services Are Not Working For Some In Toronto Due To A Fibre Cut

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 25, 2019 by itnerd

If you’re in the north-east part of Toronto and your Rogers TV, Home Phone, and/or Internet aren’t working, it’s not you that’s the issue. Rogers unfortunately has become the victim of a cut fibre optic cable thanks to a construction crew who didn’t have their eye on the ball. That in turn has cut service to roughly 4000 customers. Rogers has been keeping customers updated on social media.

But as I type this, Rogers crews are still working to restore service:

Fixing this sort of issue is not an easy task as it requires specialized equipment, the right people, and a lot of time as it can take hours or even a day or more to restore service when a fibre cable is cut. So the advice that I have been giving people who have reached out to me about this is to be patient for service to come back on line. You truly have no other option as phoning Rogers and unloading on the first contact center rep from Rogers that you get isn’t going to restore your Internet, Home Phone, and TV any faster.

I’ll update this story with any developments that I become aware of.

Rogers Launches eSIM For Business Customers On iPhone…. And Fido’s Stance On eSIM Is As Clear As Mud

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 27, 2019 by itnerd

So if you’ve been following the mess that is Rogers support for eSIM on the iPhone XS/XS Max/XR, you’ll recall that Apple appeared to announce that Rogers was supporting eSIM for Apple’s newest phones. But then appeared to back away from that by removing references to Rogers from its various web pages. And in the process leading to a lot of Rogers customers being confused.

Well, Rogers is back on this Apple webpage which lists carriers that support eSIM:

esiim

And after some poking around, I found this on Rogers Community Forums which is announcing eSIM support for business customers only. Meaning consumers need not apply. And its only for iPhone XS/XS Max/XR. Which means if you nave some other eSIM device like some of the flagship Android phones, you need not apply. Plus this is only available on BYOD and no-term plans. If you want to be on a contract with Rogers, then your only option is a physical SIM card rather than activating the eSIM on the phone.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that they won’t get a lot of interest from customers given the above. But I’m free to be proven wrong.

Now you’ll also notice that Rogers flanker brand Fido is listed as supporting eSIM. Except that if you ask Fido, they’ll say something like this:

So that’s weird seeing as Apple is saying that they do support eSIM. What’s up with that? Perhaps Rogers/Fido and Apple should collectively clarify this as it’s not exactly clear what the truth is.