Late Friday afternoon, “Mookie” from Rogers called to talk about our phone service. Rogers is pushing to convert as many of their customers from the incumbent Bell Canada over to Rogers Home Phone. Rogers has a plan for $30.95 per month which gives you 5 calling features, and 1,000 minutes of long distance in North America. But it’s actually not $30.95, after you add in the system access fee of $5.95 and other miscellaneous fees, the bill is closer to $40.
We’re probably paying more on Bell, but I don’t really know how much more. With Bell we’re paying $25 per month to get unlimited long distance (yeah – over 40,000 minutes), and we’re paying for some additional features. Mookie argued that hardly anybody ever uses more than 1,000 minutes per month. 1,000 minutes is nearly 17 hours of calling. He’s probably right that we would never use more than 1,000 minutes, especially considering that I already spend $5/month with my mobile plan to get 1,000 minutes long distance on that phone. Woe betide you if you use more than the 1,000 minutes however – Uncle Ted’s rate on overage is a steep $.12/minute.
I didn’t take him up on his offer.
“Mookie”, I said “my home phone bill just isn’t painful enough for me to switch. Now, if you could do something about my outrageous monthly mobile bill, or the ridiculous price I pay for substandard broadband, then we’d be in business.” Mookie demurred, saying that he only represented the home phone service.
The hassles associated with porting our number, the equipment installation, and the things I’ve heard about Rogers Home Phone incompatibilities with security systems were enough to dissuade me. If Google Voice ever comes to Canada with number portability, we might reconsider. For now, however, we’ll pay a couple bucks extra per month and stick with the Bell system.
I suspect that there are a lot of people like us out there. When Vonage came to Canada people flocked to sign up, us included. Bell responded some months later with the current $25 all you can eat plan, which stemmed that tide. Rogers is going to have to do something equally dramatic in order to win market share. How about home phone on cable with unlimited long distance across North America for $10/month, no system access fee, and features that Bell not only doesn’t have but probably can’t easily provide? $40/month, however, is just too little, too late.
What do you think? Would you switch? Or does Rogers have to do more to win your business?