Home » Broadband Speed »Canada »Consumer News »Data Caps »Online Video »Rogers » Currently Reading:

Rogers: Bill Shock Warnings Cost Us Money; Subscribers Fearing Fees Stop Using Data

Phillip Dampier February 23, 2012 Broadband Speed, Canada, Consumer News, Data Caps, Online Video, Rogers 1 Comment

Ever wonder why cell phone companies are upset about new regulations that would warn customers when they are about to face mobile usage overlimit or roaming fees?  Rogers Communications explains why in their latest quarterly results:

Nadir Mohamed, CEO:

There was, however, a sequential slowing in the wireless data revenue growth rate, and that’s primarily attributable to new outbound data roaming plans that we put in place. With these new plans, we put in place automated customer notification mechanisms that had a net effect of slowing usage versus stimulating it to the degree that we expected it to. We’re in the process of modifying how these plans and notifications work, which I expect will have a more stimulative effect and help restore the trajectory we had for wireless data growth.

In simpler terms, Rogers began notifying their customers through text messaging when they were about to start data roaming — the most expensive data usage around, incurred when you leave Rogers’ service area and roam on another provider’s network.  With Canadians visiting the United States and elsewhere, using a cell phone while traveling can get expensive fast.  Rogers created new roaming data plans for customers likely to need the service while abroad.  But their roaming data plans come at steep prices:

Unintended consequences: When subscribers know they are about to pay more, they stop using.

U.S. Data Passes

Day Pass: $5 for 2MB
Day Pass: $10 for 10MB
Day Pass: $20 for 40MB
Week Pass: $25 for 15MB
Week Pass: $50 for 60MB
Week Pass: $100 for 250MB

The warnings that customers were about to incur even higher a-la-carte roaming fees or start to consume their day or weekly data pass had the unintended, but highly predictable effect of getting people to think carefully about using data while roaming.


While good for consumers, that is bad for Rogers’ bottom line, so the company’s formerly frank warnings to customers are “being modified” to help the company “stimulate” revenue and restore the predicted revenue growth from the high-priced roaming plans.

“We tried to create real transparency about when people and how people could get on data packages as they went overseas,” admits Robert Bruce, president of Rogers Communications Division. “We put in a fair number of reminders to let people know that they were on à la carte pricing, and we think that these dissuaded significantly customers from using it and possibly created some confusion along the way.”

Rogers Cable customers are also finding some of the company’s newest innovations a challenge to their monthly broadband usage allowances, among the lowest in Canada:

  • Rogers Remote TV Manager: Enables cable subscribers to search programming and manage PVR recordings anytime on any device;
  • Rogers Live TV. This service lets cable customers stream live TV channels on their tablets and watch shows anywhere they are in the home;
  • Rogers On Demand TV app on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 LIVE platform, bringing Rogers On Demand TV to the gaming console;
  • A refresh of the digital cable user interface, improving ease of use for the Whole Home PVR and a better program guide and search function.

In the long term, Rogers is moving towards an IP-based delivery system for its video programming, allowing the company to deliver video across different platforms more efficiently.  As Rogers converts the rest of its cable systems to digital cable, it is opening up new broadband capacity — a critical part of the company’s revenues.

Rogers admits it uses data caps to drive revenue.  By moving customers into higher usage, more expensive tiers, Rogers is able to drive revenue upwards as well.

“As customers continue every quarter, in and out, to consume more and more and spend more and more time on the Internet, we think it’s both a great opportunity for us and a welcome addition to the product offering from a customer perspective,” Bruce said.

Search This Site:


Recent Comments:

  • Alex: Another catch (I'm about to sign up for the "choice" package) is this: I get to pick 10 free channels out of the 60 channel line up when I sign up. Bu...
  • EJ: What area do you live in? Are you in the area that is affected by the strike? That long of a wait time for phone service is generally not okay. They s...
  • Chris: I am glad I found this site. Been with charter for well over a decade. Finally have phone service available in my area, on the west coast. However, w...
  • C Hines: How bout my phone went out on Sunday and they’re telling me it will be 4/11 before they can maybe get it fixed. I live in a very rural area with no ce...
  • Rosemary Reich: Throughout conversion to digital we have consistently mislead, lied to and bait and switched. If you like the Post Office and old Ma Bell...you will ...
  • Sam: This is such a stupid problem. Every TV provider that isn't a cable company understands that selling service by the simultaneous stream is the future....
  • scott: but no fox sports midwest for cards and blurs games. sorry but charter is way late to the party. playstation vue has everybody beat by a long shot . ...
  • EJ: That is not a fair rational at all. Fiber can be run by backbone only companies. It will take time yes, but if the wireless companies are willing to d...
  • L. Nova: Anyone who thinks that this 5G is going to be the savior for wireless doesn’t get it: you still need a lot of fiber to connect these antennas. There’s...
  • EJ: Dear Germany take it from us Americans... do not and I mean do not go down that road. Look at our mess in the internet market and ask yourself is a pr...
  • kaniki: A lot of live action shows are like that.. Same with movies.. But, when you go toward the cartoons.. not so much. credits are a good example of the sp...
  • kaniki: Left most loop holes wide open?? and you expected them to close them?? If they did, it would hurt them, and they are too greedy for that.. As for the ...

Your Account: