Some iPhone Details From Rogers

Update: Thanks Boone for the digg!

So I finally got off the phone with Rogers and have a bit of information that might help my fellow Canadians with navigating the tricky waters that is figuring out WTF Rogers is doing with their plans. I have a feeling that they might not be so much evil as just too big and complex to appear anything but that.

First of all huge thanks to Pat in the customer service office for dealing with me and my stupid questions.

What I learned about the plans

  • You don’t have to put a iPhone plan on an iPhone, you can put any voice and/or data package onto the iPhone when you purchase it. The only stipulation is that the plan is current, so if you’re grandfathered in with a plan that’s no longer around, sucks to be you.
  • While your voice plan may not be current and therefor not transferable to an iPhone, your addons (ie: the $11 bundle for voicemail/callerID/etc) may be. So if you have a bundle for addons now you may not need to get a new one.
  • If you don’t get one of the iPhone plans and want voicemail, you can get either normal voicemail or the visual voicemail, you don’t need both. If you go for the visual voice mail as an a la carte item it’s $8.
  • The extras on a voice / data / extras a la carte plan are:
    • $6.95 “access fee” (*cough* money grab)
    • $0.50 911 fee
  • If you’re looking for other discounts, you can pull the “I’ve been a loyal Rogers customer since the ’90s, what can you do for me, look, I’m committing to a 3 year plan with you!” card, they do have flexibility in the plan costs, but not the phone costs (unsurprising as Apple traditionally has given no flexibility in pricing of their hardware). It sounded like it was up to the discretion of the person you were dealing with, and your own payment history, etc. My thanks to Pat who was able to do something for me here without me committing to anything or having anything being contingent on getting a phone.
  • Your eligibility for getting an iphone at the $199 or $299 price is if you haven’t bought a new phone in the last year.
  • The 60GB Data plan can be added on to any “vision” phone, ie: any iPhone or smartphone, but not some random POS normal phone.

Here are some “gotchas”

  • If your voice plan is $30 or less they charge an extra $50 for the phone. So if you’re going for the 250 minute voice plan for $30 you pay $249 for the 8G iPhone instead of $199. This I call horse-shit.
  • If your voice plan is $30 or less they charge an extra $50 for the phone. So if you’re going for the 250 minute voice plan for $30 you pay $249 for the 8G iPhone instead of $199. This I call horse-shit also.
  • Visual voice mail is something that is a double edged sword, and not the kind where one edge is good and one is bad, in this case both are bad….
    • It’s a separate charge from the data ($8)
    • It uses data transfer
    • It uses minutes
    • … so a triple edged sword if you think about it!
  • If you go with a higher plan than you need for voice or data you can change it after the fact (and still within your contract), but if you downgrade you may (she wasn’t sure of this) pay a $50 downgrade fee. So if you get the 6G data package and find out after a few months you’re only using 100mb a month, you can move to a lower data plan, but you pay. Oh, and if you drop a data plan altogether you pay as well. This is unsurprising of course.

What I learned to keep an eye on for the in store activations

  • Make sure your new iPhone is working before you leave the store
  • Make sure your new iPhone is working before you leave the store
  • Pat reiterated several times (to make sure I got it through my thick skull) that if you buy your phone (at a rogers store of course) and the salesguy screws up somehow while activating it and bricks it, and you leave the store, it’s now your responsibility and you get to take it to apple to send it away to fix it, or whatever. However it’s bricked and you’re still in the store and find this out, they can just put it aside and get a new one for you. If you leave the store and find out after that it’s not working, “sucks to be you”.

What I forgot to ask about was things like

  • Is there a cap in data overages?
  • How is the 3G coverage in the Valley?
  • How can I tell how much data you’re using as the month goes on?
  • Does the plan I was looking at have texting in it as well (d’oh! talked about this but forgot to find out about it on the last plan we talked about!)

Even with all my conversation I still couldn’t find on the website where they had the details of some of the plans that I was looking at, so if you are really wanting something specific, it’s probably best to call in. Oh, and when you do, be nice, they are finding out about this stuff after we are it seems (though they know the inner details of the non-iPhone plans way better). iPhone in Canada has some info too.

Hopefully this’ll help someone out there figure this stuff out, it at least got some of my questions answered. Now at least if/when I get one I can go to the guy and say I want plan X, with options Y, Z and Q, here’s the SKU for it, and hopefully speed things up.