Rogers adopts sane device unlocking policy, $8 payperuse US roaming

Rogers has had an unlocking policy in place for awhile, but it isn't what most would call reasonable: an unlock isn't even an option until the contract is over, which could involve a 3-year wait and obsolete hardware that isn't worth the effort. Logic is about to prevail, thanks in part to pressure from proposed CRTC guidelines on customer rights. A policy change in March will see Rogers unlock devices as long as they've been on the network for at least 90 days, delivering freedom while the equipment is still relevant. Subscribers will just have to swallow the $50 fee, although that's a relative bargain next to buying outright.

The provider is also making a gesture of goodwill to those who frequently cross into the US through a new roaming add-on launching this spring. Border-hoppers will have the option to pay $8 to get a quick, 50MB hit of data for one day. It's not quite the revolution the carrier claims when many of us could blow past the limit within minutes -- Instagram, anyone? Still, it's good enough for emergency directions or an email check among those of us who won't commit to a permanent roaming plan.

Show full PR text

Rogers to revolutionize U.S. wireless data roaming rates for Canadians

Cost and complexity of wireless roaming cited as top two barriers to smartphone use while travelling;

New simplified roaming will encourage smartphone use while travelling and give consumers peace of mind;

New roaming rates one of several new initiatives that respond to customer feedback

TORONTO, Feb. 8, 2013 /CNW/ - Rogers Communications announced today it will soon launch a new, more affordable, roaming rate for customers travelling to the United States. Canadians travelling to the U.S. use their wireless devices to go online more than in any other country, and want to have access to simple and predictable roaming. Rogers will lead the market with a new easy and worry-free roaming solution.

Coming this spring, the company is introducing a new $7.99 pay-per-use roaming rate that gives customers access to 50 megabytes of data over a 24 hour period while travelling in the U.S. This new rate, available to consumers and businesses, gives customers nearly twice the data that they would typically use domestically. With 50 MB of data, customers can view approximately 50 maps, 200 web pages, 1,000 emails or over 5,000 tweets. Customers will be alerted before reaching 50 MB which means they will be able to control their roaming costs.

"Our customers have consistently told us they want certainty and peace of mind when using their wireless devices to access the Internet while travelling," said Raj Doshi, Rogers Senior Vice President of Products. "Canadians' connected habits are evolving, and our new roaming model is an important step in addressing the changing needs of our customers. With this simple and affordable roaming rate, customers will be able to use their devices while travelling just as they would at home."

To help further enhance the customer experience, Rogers is also changing its cellphone unlocking policy this March so that customers can unlock their wireless phones as early as 90 days after activating their devices on the Rogers network.

In addition, the company has recently introduced the following programs and initiatives to help its customers:

* Simplified wireless rate plans, including unlimited text and voice, making it easier for customers to understand their plans.
* FLEXtab, a program that allows customers to pay off their device subsidy at any time.
* Rogers Device Protection and Rogers Anti-Theft, services that offer customers enhanced protection on their wireless device.
* Rogers TechXpert for wireless and Rogers TechXpert for high speed internet customers offering extended technical support, 24/7
* Tech Essentials, a new education program to help consumers better understand how to use technology safely and smartly.

"These are just a few examples of steps we're taking to continually respond to customer feedback and to create a better experience for our customers," said Doshi. "We know Canadians want their wireless experience to be simpler and easier...we've listened to their input on the national wireless consumer code and we support having a single set of wireless standards across the country to provide equal ease of use for consumers from coast to coast."

In March of 2012, Rogers led the industry and proposed a draft national wireless consumer code to the CRTC. In early December 2012, Rogers reaffirmed its support for a national wireless consumer code that will lead to strong consumer ease of use standards that treat Canadians equally. Today, different rules apply in different provinces when it comes to contracts, cancellation policies, renewals and more. Having a single set of standards across the country would make it easier for customers to know what to expect from their service provider, no matter where they live in Canada.

Rogers will provide its view and looks forward to hearing more from Canadians at the upcoming CRTC hearing starting February 11, 2013.

Planning to roam before the spring? Don't worry, Rogers has got you covered with our existing line-up of affordable and easy to use roaming packs and passes. For more information, visit www.rogers.com/roaming.