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Rogers Responds to $20 iPad Shared Data–500+ Comments Later

by on May 16th, 2010

The date for Canadian iPad preorders started on May 10th. On the Apple order page at the time, Rogers iPad data plans were revealed plus an extra line about a $20/month shared iPhone data option. Many customers decided to purchase their iPad 3G models based on this option, but Rogers soon declared that it was all a “mistake”.

Rightly so, people were miffed at how this could happen and voiced their concerns on iPadinCanada.ca and on the Rogers Redboard. The Redboard post that announced the Rogers iPad data plans never did include an explanation why the $20 option was removed. Even though customers angrily demanded answers from Rogers–they got nothing in return.

It wasn’t until four comment pages deep into the 500+ vehemently worded comments did Rogers Keith respond. I don’t know why they didn’t link to this apology on the front page so everybody could read it. Maybe they’re trying to keep the noise about this issue to a minimum since Canadians have short term memories when it comes to getting gouged by our wireless carriers.

Even if this whole thing was a grave “error”, to even assume that Canadians would consider forking out $20/month for a data plan we are already paying for is pure robbery, plain and simple. It should be free to share the data plans with another device. Or maybe even something reasonable like an extra $5/month. But $20?! That is ridiculous. This is why people were so angry–this extra charge would in essence make the cost of your 6GB data plan $50/month.

Here’s what Rogers Keith finally had to say, 3 days later:

We’re getting lots of questions about why the Apple website listed a data-sharing option for Rogers plans earlier this week. Here are some answers.

Internationally, data sharing plans are not widely available for the iPad. However, we have been examining this option for our customers and were preparing to be among the first carriers in the world to introduce data sharing.

Unfortunately, that notion ended up on Apple’s website before we were ready to talk about it. We weren’t ready to announce it for a bunch of reasons. First, it’s something that takes time to build into our systems. Second, we’ve been looking at options of how to structure it. For example, should it only be available to customers with larger data buckets who could best take advantage of sharing? Finally, we need to ensure that we protect the network quality you have come to expect from Rogers.

We’ve always been big believers in sharing plans at Rogers. We offer sharing plans for family members, for co-workers and even allow customers on data plans of 1GB and above to share data with another device through tethering at no extra charge. We’ve heard loud and clear that many of you are interested in the data sharing options Rogers has been considering. Sharing data between plans requires an investment in our systems and draws on our network in different ways. If Rogers were to introduce a sharing plan for some customers – one that allowed them to use data purchased for a smartphone on their iPad – there would be an additional monthly fee of approximately $20.

We regret that this discussion of sharing plans has taken away from what some of you have noticed: That Rogers iPad data plans stack up quite favourably with those announced by carriers around the world. We’ve tried to structure the plans in a customer friendly way, with no term commitment, no overage fees and the ability for customers to only pay for the months they need data.

On behalf of Rogers, I want to apologize for the confusion that was caused when the proposed shared data plans were published on another website.

Many customers were also asking about why iPad pricing was better value than iPhone/smartphone data plans. Keith responded with this:

Hey all – I wanted to weigh in on one of the questions that has surfaced in this discussion. Some of you are asking why we’re offering iPad plans with better value than for other wireless devices. The answer is that we’re experimenting with lower data pricing for iPad because the economic model is different from the traditional carrier arrangement in North America, where the carrier sells the device at a subsidized price and provides technical support for the device. We’re excited about the tablet category and wanted to introduce some great pricing at launch.

…and Rogers Redboard reader John responded with the following:

Keith….

I think I speak for the vast majority regarding your entry about “why we’re offering iPad plans with better value than for other wireless devices”……Keith …..WE DON’T CARE. Please have someone with real authority at Rogers tell us why we can’t have a shared data plan. That’s all we’re asking….period.

Did you recently preorder an iPad? What do you think about the Rogers’ explanation above regarding their iPad SNAFU?

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Posted under: iPad News, Rogers

  • budcolby

    My money, my data bucket to use. I should be able to use it on any device I have. Once used, they have set rates to get more out of me. Sounds simple to me. Ok, I would accept an initial set up fee, that would be reasoable.

  • SHINOBI_THE_DARK_KNIGHT

    To ipadincanada.ca , THANK YOU! Thank you for the daily inputs and constant vigial, and dedication, to getting us the news that conserns us. I am apauled at ROGERS! You had a survey on which ipad we would purchase. Something that simple, will reveal, the disgust at ROGERS and their money loyalty rather than thier customer loyalty! I am thrilled I am not alone in my zest for the ipad. If a customer is already on a higher tier of data from ROGERS, they should be able to use the ipad, at NO extra costs!

  • wuju

    I'm ok with an initial setup fee to share but to think one has to pay an extra 20/month to share already paid data, it's money grabbing, period. Hence, Mywi is my iPad best friend.

    Frankly, I've had my iPad for over a month now and even with 2 hours commuting to work on a train daily, I have not used as much of iPad for simply surfing which requires data download as I thought I would. I use my iPad for gaming, reading as well. In general, as a typical consumer, I couldn't even break the 1Gig usage sharing between my iPhone and iPad, so why would a TYPICAL consumer pay more to share – let alone 20 dollars MORE!

  • http://www.willrobertson.ca/ Will Robertson

    You mention how outrageous it is to have to pay $20 to share your 6Gb plan. I'll point out that most people don't have the special 5Gb plan, so it would be even crazier for Rogers to expect me to pay an extra $20 for my 2Gb plan!

    Rogers needs to add a data bonus in that monthly fee to make it worth while..

  • James

    $20 PER MONTH?? Are Rogers NUTS??? When I first read the plan rates listed on the Apple site when I ordered, I read the sharing plan to be a one time setup fee of $20, which I would be totally ok with. To expect me to pay an extra $20 per month is absolute nonsense. If that is what they plan to offer, I'll pass.

    If they allow free tethering to other devices on the larger data bucket plans (mine's the 6 gig plan so I'm ok) then allow me to tether the iPad to my phone.

    It's not like Rogers service here in New Brunswick is that great anyway. Once you get outside the major centers, you can't get a 3G signal and if you are lucky you can get edge. If they don't offer something like I've outlined above, I'll be moving both my new iPad and my iPhone to Bell or Telus and their new high speed network. Rogers can nickel and dime all they want, but at some point it is going to drive everyone away.

  • Steve

    Now let's just hope… Bell or Telus will offer something for the iPad 3G soon enough….
    But my feeling is Rogers is waiting for the last minutes to announced something for the iPad… or could be even when the new iPhone will be launch….

  • LoWd0Wn

    Only one word for it…Bullshit!!
    Their bottom line is how to make more money!

  • http://twitter.com/CoolAccent Martin Chamberlain

    What about Fido customers?

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  • http://www.ededition.com Ed Lau

    C'mon people, you know EXACTLY why Rogers/Fido doesn't want to share a data plan between two devices: because the vast majority of people don't use all 6GB of their $30 plan. If every single person used all 6GB, the bandwidth would probably end up costing Rogers money, which is why there's a $20 charge. They sell people a 6GB/$30 plan fully expecting that people will only use about 1GB of data per month.

    Therefore, I've been downloading random torrents via tether to get myself to exactly 5.8GB of down each month.

    Rogers can talk all they want about how they think their plans are competitive but the fact of the matter is, here in Canada, we pay simply obscene amounts compared to all other first world countries…

  • dan

    I was considering the ipad 3g but after paying about 70 a month for my iphone bill that only includes 500mb of data plus the 35 more id have to pay rogers for the monthly ipad plus the extra it cost..Will i really use the ipad outside of my house? Maybe, but in coffee shops or wifi areas…they are everywhere…if i REALLY need internet ill just tether it with my iphone!

  • http://twitter.com/jonmilani Jon

    The thing that gripes me, and the thing that Rogers doesn't seem to acknowledge, is that it doesn't matter if I have a 1 megabyte plan, I ought to be able to leverage the data I pay for in whatever way I see fit. Obviously that is an extreme case, but in most cases we're talking about people who have paid (and continue to pay for) 6GB data plans. How can Rogers justify forcing those customers to spend for another data plan, when the 6GB data in a shared-plan situation would be more than sufficient.

    Simply put, I shouldn't have to be forced to buy more data simply to connect a new device to a data plan that I've already paid for. Rather, I should be able to effectively use all of the data I've paid for. The fact that Rogers has created these artificial barriers indicates the following: Rogers has oversold itself.

    Simply put, it appears that Rogers does not allow its customers to effectively use their data because Rogers cannot actually meet the demand. It is more economical for Rogers to force customers to buy another plan in order to share data than to allow them to fully exploit the data they've already paid for. Doing this will foremost discourage customers from using more of their data (due to the initial barrier of entry – paying for a secondary data plan), and likewise allow Rogers to recoup costs due to the network being more heavily leveraged by those customers who do buy two plans (i.e. the iPad specific plan and their pre-existing data plan, iPhone or otherwise).

    At the least it seems to be a fairly undesirable business practice in terms of generating customer satisfaction; at the most I wonder if there is a potential for any class action litigation. It seems to me that Rogers is purposely inhibiting its customers from exercising their use of their own data plans. Class action litigation aside, things are unlikely to change in Canada's overtly anti-competitive telecom environment; sadly, as is usually the case, the customer is the only one who will lose.

  • Glenys Cameron

    Yes, I did pre-order the iPad WiFi + 3G on May 10th, and one of the things that prompted me to do so was that $20 data plan addition to my current iPhone data plan which was on the Apple site (or linked to from there) that day. So I was somewhat miffed when Rogers said that option is not available. Not miffed enough to cancel my iPad order, because I'm still hoping that Rogers will bow to public opinion and make it possible. In any case, I won't activate the 3G function until I really need it, which will probably only be when I travel. I see my main use of the iPad likely being at home or in a local WiFi hotspot.

  • Jeff

    How come the Canadian carriers are so anti-competitive? It's so lame.

  • karen clarke

    so true!

  • Marye Anne

    Isn't the US plan $29 for unlimited downloads? How is that even close to the plans that Rogers wants you to pay for. Sure they let you tether your Iphone now but the month they did that they increased my system access fee. I bet if they let you share you phone data and Ipad data more people would add data to their phones or increase their data amounts anyway.

  • PJ

    I would like to know why Rogers is restricting iPad for FIDO users for launch date?
    Have they signed a contract with Apple just as AT&T has done?
    I am not hearing a great deal of outrage from FIDO users.