There is a ton of media attention on the petition at, which has collected nearly 20,000 signatures since its launch several days ago.  The Rogers pricing and data caps for the iPhone make it very difficult to use the device as a true networked device with full video and web browsing capabilities.  That said, the high pricing strikes me as the least surprising story in recent memory.

Canada is in a wireless crisis and Rogers will naturally leverage its position as the sole GSM provider to mandate the longest contracts of any provider anywhere in the world and offer less for more.  This is a product of a Canadian market that is among the least competitive in the world.  The providers, who must answer to their shareholders, are not about to change.  Sadly, petitions won't change this dynamic either.  It requires policies that foster greater competition  – more providers, open access mandates, and foreign competition as a start – and we've only seen baby steps in this direction thus far.


  1. Rogers is in the business of making mone
    If I were Rogers I’d likely do exactly the same thing. Lock in iPhone customers for the longest term contract that they can get away with prior to there actually being competition in the GSM space in Canada. This has the effect of increasing shareholder value by potentially increasing the revenue per customer. Unless it backfires and drives current customers away.

  2. Competition?
    What we need is a Competition Bureau that isn’t in love with duopolies – especially telco and ISP duopolies – and can recognize abuse of dominance or a monopoly when it sees it (i.e. “the sole GSM provider”).

    But, this is Canada. So we just pay more for less, as in cars and most other things…

    That’s the Canadian way, eh?

  3. Darwin Oleander says:

    Consumer Power Worthless?
    Mr. Geist, you have a valid point regarding Rogers’ obligation to their shareholders to maximize profits, but I think you may be underestimating the power of a consumer revolt, even towards a monopoly. Let me illustrate my point. Microsoft’s most recent OS offering (Vista) has been widely panned by consumers and critics alike. This has forced Microsoft to re-adjust their “game plan” by extending support for the current OS (XP) and fast tracking the release of their next major OS offering (Windows 7). I believe that consumers have the power to affect change, even against a monopoloy, like Microsoft and Rogers.

    Thanks for letting me share this opinion on your web-site. I have a true admiration for you and the work you have done (particularly bill C-61). You are a strong, intelligent voice for so many Canadians. Keep up the good work.

  4. We deserve what we have
    I agree with you completely Mr. Geist, and I would go as far to say that we deserve the current wireless crisis in Canada. We can’t make demands upon publicly traded companies and expect them to follow if it doesn’t make sense in the current market climate. The fact is Rogers has us by the short and curlies, it would be irresponsible to their share holders not to maximize profits in this market. The onus is on us as citizens, we set the mandate for our government, which in turn has the power to change the climate of the market.

    Our energy would be better spent lobbying the CRTC and our local MP’s than placing this at the feet of supposed philosopher kings of silicon valley. It’s just not their job, nor should it ever be.

  5. This is so simple to fix…
    What do you do when a company has little to no regard for the customer and only their own bottom line? Stop being a customer. It’s simple, if the iPhone comes to Canada and we as a country don’t buy into the terrible plans, Rogers will get the message loud and clear. Will Canadians do that? Hell no, they’ll line up by the hundreds to purchase the iphone and pledge their cellular souls to Rogers for 3 years…

    If you want change, you have to be willing to bring it about on your own. Stop buying from companies that have zero respect for you as a customer, and almost like magic you’ll see their rates become more reasonable and their plans less restrictive.

  6. Darwin Oleander says:

    The iphone is like tube-socks.
    Yes, Rogers is a publicly traded company. And, yes, this does mean they have an obligation to their shareholders to maximize profits. But who ever said they couldn’t maximize profits by offering more reasonable voice/data plans. I think it can be safely assumed that Rogers will lose business as a result of their just announced iphone rates. How is this being fair to their shareholders? It’s not. Rogers can still make a considerable profit on the iphone by offering better plans. That profit will come in the form of all the more phones they’ll be able to sell because their plans are so much better and more people will be interested. Think about how Wal-mart does business. They don’t make a profit when one guy (or gal) buys a dozen tube-socks for five bucks, they make a profit when 1000s of guys (and gals) buy a dozen tube-socks for five bucks. Rogers could do the same by offering cheaper prices.

  7. I’ve heard that a lot of people are voicing their complaints through various Apple channels. While I think everyone realizes that Apple has no official control over the price set, I doubt this situation is making them very happy. After all, the success and public perception of the iPhone directly affects their profits. I doubt that having Rogers turn the iPhone into the Canadian poster child for corporate greed and disregard for consumers will impress Apple very much.

    I mean, let’s be serious here. Rogers is selling an internet phone where the basic plan includes only 7 minutes of talk time and 12 individual web pages a day. Caller ID and all the other features are not included. It is difficult to see this as anything other than an insult to the people wanting to buy their product.

  8. North of 49 says:

    Bad targeting
    Darwin has a great point on pricing. Why is Rogers attempting such an obvious gouge?

    For a lot of consumers, Rogers already has a poor reputation; I personally know several people who will never deal with them again, thanks to really shoddy — almost rapacious — customer service.

    I wonder who they are actually think is their core demographic here. Are they expecting to woo away the Blackberry crowd, for whom price is apparently no object? I think they’re aiming at the wrong target. Of all the people I know who absolutely lust after an iPhone, the majority are 18-25 year old males, mostly Macintosh devotees already, mostly in college or university and because of that short of money. They simply won’t pay what Rogers is demanding, especially not when every news report I’ve seen mentions how much an equivalent package from AT&T costs in the USA. These kids aren’t stupid; they can spot a ripoff a mile away. They won’t play; instead they’ll write angry emails to Steve Jobs asking him why he’s teamed up with a gouge-and-screw outfit like Rogers.

  9. Monopoly
    Lawyers like Ted Rogers know very well the meaning of a monopoly, and it\’s not the first time he screwed his customers, as he had thousands of irate subscribers cancelling their service because he decided to give them no choice in cable programming options. The next day he was forced to make public apology. I could care less about Ted Rogers the lawyer … and his public company because I don\’t support vultures or monopolies.

  10. Petition
    Well ruinediphone now appears to be unavailable (403) guess that’s one way Rogers can “cap” signers to the petition

  11. Other ways to be heard
    Well, there are other ways to be heard. The link to make a complaint to the Competition Bureau is [ link ]

    Pass it along. Let’s make life as uncomfortable as possible.

  12. Open lie?
    I went and ask a Rogers salesperson about this situation and if he ever heard something about the price plan being revise and everything.. he told me that “the recently announce DATA plan are for the Windows Mobile and Blackberry. The real iPhone plans will be announe the 11 of July” with is a complete lie since this page, [ link ] , clearly state that the plan are for the iPhone. Have they been told to avoid the subject? I believe so.

    Oh! apparently there is 16, or 11, GSM provider in the country. I’ve never heard about them! And they don’t offer Data plan.

  13. Is Rogers blocking
    Is Rogers actually blocking access to

    Doesn’t this also raise issues of net neutrality?

  14. Is Rogers blocking
    Is Rogers actually blocking access to

    Doesn\’t this also raise issues of net neutrality?

  15. More Competition You Say?
    Hey lets petition the federal government to start implementing some of those anti-competitive recommendations of the Canadian Competition Review Panel and start letting US mobile carriers compete head to head with their Canadian counterparts.

    Once again Canadians see the negative effects of little or no true competition and abusive market practices while the Tory government does NOTHING but encourage the behavior.

  16. Rogers Reeks says:

    Blocked Site?
    You don’t have permission to access / on this server.

    Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
    Apache/1.3.41 Server at Port 80

  17. I doubt Rogers is blocking, Sean M.
    I’m on an Aliant (Bell) DSL connection, and getting the same error. If there were an ISP-implemented block in place, you’d most likely get errors about “host not found” after a long delay. Error 403 is usually caused by the website owner themself either accidentally or deliberately blocking access. Sometimes it’s caused by the web space hosting company stepping in once a site’s gone over its’ bandwidth limit, but that’s uncommon.

    Rogers can be legitimately blamed for many problems, but blocking access to that site isn’t one of them. 🙂

  18. Rogers Reeks says:

    Bell Better???
    Is the site down or Rogers blocking it? I’m a Rogers customer – and can’t get there.

    Are Sympatico people getting through at:


  19. fuckyourogers says: official statement
    Official Statement from

    “My host pulled the plug it seems…. Trying to figure out what’s happening :S


    [ link ]

  20. site error says:

    R G
    Maybe Roger’s bribed them to close the site… That would be right down their ally…

    Canadians are the people most ripped of in the world.. we have the resources and freedom to stick up for ourselves, but we let ourselves get ripped off on everything, be under monopolies, and over pay with tax revenue grabs etc.. Even our system access fee, the government spent millions of dollars to prove its a made up fee, and then they did nothing about it, and we just let ourselves forget about it…..

  21. re:
    I highly doubt that it’s anything to do with rogers as the hosting company is based out of houston tx. Most likely, either they or the site admin screwed something up. Even at their most basic level, the host provider seems to offer way more than enough bandwidth for the site, $5 per month = 350GB of disk space and 3000GB of traffic

  22. betcha
    Betcha 5$ Goldburd makes some snide/rude remark to your blog on this.

  23. Provider
    Apparently in a post on another forum, the provider shut off the site for using excessive bandwidth. This is pretty common amongst hosts that oversell to the ludicrous extent this one does – no host on the planet can supply that much space and bandwidth for $5/month and stay in business more than 10 minutes. Why people still get suckered in to using such hosts is beyond me (or rather I understand the \”something for nothing\” mentality just not someone being that naive)

  24. Here is a fact: Mobile phone costs, & plans in Accra Ghana, West Africa are 75% cheaper than here in Canada. All plans include voice mail, call display and other little things. Plus, you only pay for outgoing calls. All this is in a near 3rd world country, that has a better cell network system, and NO monopolies. Canada is getting screwed more than any of you know. And every time I see someone at a Rogers booth, I feel like smacking them in the head.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Block by rogers?
    When I click the link fo ruined iphone, the site is blocked/FORBIDDEN.
    Did they block it?(I’m using Rogers cable)
    Is this the future of Net Neutrality?

  26. New location for site
    The new (temporary) site is [ link ]
    It should soon be up and running at its old URL.

  27. BLOCKED is now a forbidden web site that can not be accesed. Is this how Rogers deals with consumer backlash. I sincerely hope not as we are researching this for a story. BTW I’m the news director at one of the major local TV stations NOT owned by Ted Rogers. If finding ways to block consumer protest is how they wish to handle the situation, we’ll see how they handle a constant stream of bad press that they can’t do anything about.

  28. works for me. on shaw cable.

  29. Edward de Grey says:

    Rogers iPhone
    “roGougers” says it all in a single word

  30. Maynard G. Krebs says: was blocked by their own web hosting company because they were TOO successful in reaching out to potential iPhone users in Canada.

    Since the site has NO sponsoring advertising, whomever established the site is paying for it out of their own pocket and made a financial decision that they were only going to acquire a certain amount of bandwidth from their hosting provider. When that limit was hit, the site went off the air.

    In this instance, it is not a case of Rogers or Bell censoring or actively blocking access to (although if Rogers were to do so it would not surprise me in the slightest).

    That some people on Telus or Shaw or other ISP networks can access the site at is probably more due to caching of the popular sites by proxy servers than anything else. Each ISP has their own policies about proxy servers and cache and that’s just the way it is in the wild west of the internet, so get over it and move on.

    Use this link to access the site (it’s been moved to another host) [ link ]

  31. Power to the people
    People can make a difference. So far more then 23000 people are pissed at Rogers. If these 23000 boycot Rogers, that’s a lost of more then 80 millions for 3 years. And if more people like me switch to another company to protest then the damages will be worst.

    temp site available at:

    [ link ]

  33. Rogers Cable China Office
    Why not,,,If 1.2 Billion
    chinese can be censored,,,
    Ted is thinking out of the box.Go Ted Go,,,,

  34. Rogers Cable China Office
    Why not,,,If 1.2 Billion
    chinese can be censored,,,
    Ted is thinking out of the box.Go Ted Go,,,,

  35. Rogers blocking?
    I’m on Cogeco in Oakville. If I try to access in my web browser, I get “You don’t have permission to access / on this server.” If I try through [ link ] the site comes up. Is the proxy server caching the site, or is Rogers somehow blocking it? If it is, it’s outrageous! Where are we, China?

  36. archipod says:

    more blocking?
    Odd.. I posted a link to this forum in the Apple iPhone discussion forum and it was up.. and then it was gone!

  37. A Simple solution?
    For me, all this is very simple. At current rates I won’t buy a cell phone or an iPhone. I don’t need one THAT badly. As well, given the exceptionally shoddy, incompetent customer service I received from Rogers back when I did deal with them, I would NEVER purchase another product from them, EVER. I’d rather do without.

  38. Rogers/Fido merger to GSM monopoly
    At this time it is probably worth reposting the link to the Competition Bureau’s decision to allow a merger between what were then Canada’s two GSM provides, Microcell and Rogers:

    Press release:
    [ link ]

    [ link ]

    Unfortunately, nothing more than a summary is available. Unlike the CRTC, which publicly posts both evidence and its full decisions, the Competition Bureau keeps everything locked down. The most you’ll ever see is a summary of their decision, and even those are written up only when the Bureau feels like it — there are no rules saying they have to, and they usually don’t.

  39. Rogers Monopoly
    Rogers-Microcell Merger Clears Bureau Scrutiny

    DATE : November 3, 2004 ….

  40. Telus and GSM
    Hmm, I wonder what ramifications this will have for the rumours of Telus getting into GSM service.

  41. Existing customers also getting screwed
    There’s another aspect to all of this that doesn’t seem to be getting much press–Rogers is screwing existing customers and charging different rates based on what device is being used:

    In March of this year, I subscribed to Rogers $7 per month called ‘Unlimited WAP Browsing’. The agent explained that it may not work with my iPhone, and I told her that I’d give it a try and if it didn’t work, I’d cancel.

    It turned out that it was pretty easy to get it working, and voila, I was browsing the ‘net on my iPhone for $7 per month. This worked well for several months until July 4, ’08, when I received a bill for $177.77 for ‘On-device browsing’.

    I called to find out the reason for the sudden fee increase and was told that it is because I’m using a non-Rogers device on the network and that if I used my Sony Ericson phone procured via Rogers, I wouldn’t be charged the fees. I was also told that this is probably being done to beef up the network in preparation for the official launch of the iPhone on the Rogers network. This strikes me as immoral, if not illegal–what device I use should have no impact on what Rogers charges for transferring bits, notwithstanding the fact that any dramatic changes in fees/plans should be discussed with customers before billing them $177.77 out of nowhere.

    I for one will start looking elsewhere…

  42. Terry - Vancouver says:

    Rogers has been price gouging Canadians for years. I’m not surprised at all on this issue. They also want to charge you for text messaging. Oh the glory days of “Fido & Clearnet.