As I tweeted yesterday, I had a surprising experience with Rogers customer service yesterday. I was calling to add a text plan to my wife’s cellphone account (the fact that her current plan – which includes hundreds of voice minutes, 1 GB of data, and an assortment of additional services – still charges 15 cents (soon 20 cents) per text is fodder for different post). After I agreed to pay a few more dollars each month to cover texts, the agent asked if used my laptop to access public wifi networks. When I said that I did, he asked if I knew the dangers of using public wifi, which I was told included the possibility of hackers accessing my data or inserting viruses onto my computer. Given the risks, the agent continued, might I be interested in the Rogers’ Rocket Stick?
In my view, these scare tactics are shameful. Mobile internet services are good products that can and should be sold on the basis of the convenience they provide, not by scaring consumers into thinking that alternative access services are unsafe. Yet the Rogers agent went for the FUD approach despite the facts that: