Thursday, February 16, 2006

Rogers Wireless is great!

I figured today, having officially given my 30 days notice of cancellation, would be a good day to review my time with Rogers Wireless.

I love them. Adore them. If Rogers was a donkey... ummm... lets leave that one.

I love them doubly, because they're not Bell Mobility. I hate Bell Mobility. They made things difficult at every turn. Every phone I ever got from them had serious design defects that made them so bad as to be unusuable. They kept locking me into contracts. Even when I *wasn't* locked into a contract, they tried to penalize me as if I was, and made me jump through hoops to revert the charges. Their billing system was entirely broken for six full months - bills being delayed up to 3 months from issue date (and wasn't all that great even when it did work). When I tried to quit, I got hassled. When I called for questions, I always had to wait ages on hold. My refund took months. Finally, their coverage and prices.... you'd think they'd be cheaper for sucking, but no, they're pricey and have only average coverage.

Conclusion 1: Bell Mobility BAD.

Now Rogers Wireless, totally different. From the get-go, the experience was totally different. Got a phone which was decent for a good price, and they gave plenty of contract length options vs. phone price. Phone isn't perfect, but it works pretty well (and wow has it survived a lot of abuse!). I called up about my first bill, rather confused that I had paid less than my friend Jae. "Oh, there was a special promotion on, so we gave you a discount. Didn't your friend get it? Oh, put him on!" Bing! Jae's got the same deal. Marginal time on hold. Changing address, equally painless. I never had a billing problem with them. When I most recently quit, they helped me find the cheapest option, and they have a $20/mo contract breaking option, which while not as cheap as a Bell suspension option, was very convenient and fair. The lady understood and did not give me any attitude. And, after all this, their plans were cheaper and better than Bell's. I've never had a serious coverage issue with my phone, but as a quad-mode phone, I wouldn't expect to.

Conclusion 2: Rogers Wireless GOOD!

Now, those who know Rogers would expect different. After all, anyone who's ever dealt with Rogers Cable or Rogers High Speed knows just how terribly Rogers can treat their customers. But hey, I guess that's what happens when your corporate branches are sufficiently isolated. And to be fair, all branches of Bell equally shaft their customers. What a crappy corporation Bell is.

Of course, there's another key difference: Bell is CDMA, and Rogers is moving to exclusively GSM. This makes a difference - CDMA WILL DIE in the long run, and only survives since major US companies have a stake in CDMA technology. GSM works worldwide. Plus, GSM SIM cards are great -pop in a new one, and you're on a new network! This had me up and running with Cingular in theUS in about 5 minutes, and I can make my phone a Rogers phone again simply by switching the old SIM card back in. Note, you'll have to bypass the SIM lock on your phone, see my previous post on this subject.

If you're in Canada, Get Rogers. Or at least don't get Bell. That is all.


Anonymous said...

I'm on the basic Fido plan. If you plan to use the phone inside the GVRD *only*, and aren't into bells and whistles (and I mean NO options at all) it's dirt cheap. It costs me less than 20$ a month, I have tons and tons of minutes and free air time, and the phone itself was free.

That said, the phone is less sophisticated than ones you could get in the 1980's. If you plan on travelling somewhere, or spend time inside buildings or on mountains (or other hard to reach areas) their cel phones and networks just aren't good enough. They're the Honda Civic/Ford Escort of phones - ye cheap econobox.

Just thought I'd share my cel experience. Thanks for sharing yours Lownewulf - gives me something to consider if I ever want a 'real' phone :)

- The Irishman

Michael Jarrett said...

Actually, Fido is GSM. You can use any unlocked GSM phone, including any of the phones you would normally get from Rogers (of course, you'd have to pay retail price though, which would suck).

Fido is well-known for their city-centric plans. It's the exact same in Toronto - the best phone deal period, wired or otherwise, is a City Fido in Toronto. Perfect coverage and cheapness.

Anywhere else in Ontario, you're pretty much boned.

Anonymous said...

Fido = Rogers :) They merged a while ago giving both better coverage. Rogers GSM reception used to suck in Waterloo, while Fido was flawless.

I find that you can actually shop around quite a bit for discounts through their customer service. When I called to renew a contract, I told them that I wouldn't need a new phone (my 1st generation GSM works fine), so they threw in free call display and voice mail service for another 2 years.

Anonymous said...

aye, good points, thankee. If I had the cash, and really thought I'd use the functions, I would get a better phone. Seeing as how I have other expenses, and regard my phone as just that - a device to call people with - I've not much need for anything better.

And yes - if you're city-centric, Fido is indeed the best deal in terms of service/fees/etc. bar none. Just dont travel. :D

- The Irishman