I meant to write about the ripoff and a half Rogers Next program when I first heard about it early this year. I mean seriously, what a scam. For an extra $300 a year straight into the pocket of Rogers, you could get a new smartphone every 12 months whether you need one or not. Oh, and you don’t get to keep your current one, either. You’re giving that sucker back before they’ll hand over the new one. No reselling to make back any of that money or passing it on to a family member for you, person dumb enough to sign up for this legalized robbery.
But it turns out I don’t need to bother saying all that, because before it even hit it’s first birthday, Rogers has scrapped it.
Existing customers are allowed to continue on until their 12 months are up, which is lovely since their payments aren’t, what’s the word I’m looking for here? Refundable? Yeah, that’s the one.
It’s unclear why Rogers did this. The company said in a memo that it was decided that it would no longer be offered after a routine service review, which hopefully means there was a lack of interest in yet another fleecing by Canada’s most reliable company. But there’s also some speculation that it might be Rogers’ way of getting ahead of a regulatory complaint that could be trouble.
Twitter user Ben Klass has pointed us towards a joint application filed by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and the Consumers’ Association of Canada that challenges Rogers Next as well as TELUS’s T-Up program, which launched last year.
The two consumer groups filed their application in June and argue that these types of monthly fees or deposits for a new device violate the CRTC’s Wireless Code because they’re not refundable.
Indeed, while our information indicates that current subscribers to Rogers Next are allowed to continue their monthly payments in exchange for a new device one year later, it doesn’t mention anything about customers who wish to leave the program now that it’s been canned.
The PIAC and CAC’s complaint from this past summer is based on the fact that customers can’t refund payments if they want to leave the program (or Rogers). The two consumer groups said that because the monthly fees were non-refundable, they acted as a deterrent for customers looking to switch carriers, especially since customers would lose that money and also have to pay off any remaining balance on their current handset.
Whatever the reason for its demise, good riddance to bad rubbish, I say.