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What's with Rogers whacky iPhone policies?

Rogers Communications Inc.Image via Wikipedia

I’ll give Rogers some credit for having responded positively to public outrage over iPhone data plan pricing earlier in July.  I’m surprised at some of their latest moves, however.  There’s a class of early adopter users that they’ve decided to screw over on iPhone pricing, because those users have existing and relatively new contracts.

Basically, if you’ve upgraded a phone in the last 12 months, you’re on a three year contract.  As Scott Annan found out,  the only way Rogers will let you buy an iPhone from them is to cancel your existing contract (cost $450), and sign up for a new three year contract.  That’s a $700 bill.

You’d think the geniuses at Rogers would have jumped on the iPhone craze and ridden it hard for all it’s worth. It’s their single biggest weapon in the war to lock consumers into long term contracts.  And, shortly Telus will have BlackBerry Thunder.

More to the point, this is a terrific illustration of why carriers should be prohibited from demanding abusive three year contracts, and should be required to unlock phones on demand for consumers.  At minimum, the customer should be able to unlock an old phone, sell it on eBay, and use that to recoup the cost of buying the iPhone without having to extend the service contract.

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