Posted in Technology

Rogers follows the leaders

Hey, remember last year when Bell and Telus said they were going to start charging for incoming text messages (in addition to outgoing text messages), and Rogers countered that they had “no plans” to do the same, especially because that move encouraged people to switch to Rogers?

Apparently plans take less than a year. Rogers now says it’s going to go ahead and start charging for incoming text messages.

Uncoincidentally, this news comes on the same day Rogers announces that it’s going to integrate with Twitter, allowing the microblogging service to send updates to users’ phones.

Of course, like Bell and Telus, Rogers says this won’t change anything for most customers who have text messaging included in their plans, and they assure us that charges will be cancelled on spam messages (customers just have to fill out Form 18459-B in quadruplicate and have it signed by a notary, waiting 6-8 months for a credit on their bill).

Isn’t it great that our telecom universe is a three-player oligopoly where each company sets policies to mimic the others, for good or bad?

Insert brand here

Oh, and a side note to that Twitter thing: Rogers released separate press releases for Rogers Wireless and Fido saying just about the same thing. A quote from Twitter changes only the name of the brand:

Rogers:

“We’re thrilled to be working with Canada’s largest wireless provider,” said Kevin Thau, Twitter’s Director of Mobile Business Development. “Twitter is a real-time messaging service for sharing and discovering what’s happening – right now. By partnering with Rogers Wireless, customers using Twitter can now view, post and reply to messages, ensuring the application stays affordable and true to its real-time nature.”

Fido:

“We’re thrilled to be working with Fido,” said Kevin Thau, Twitter’s Director of Mobile Business Development. “Twitter is a real-time messaging service for sharing and discovering what’s happening – right now. By partnering with Fido, customers using Twitter can now view, post and reply to messages within their text messaging plans, ensuring the application stays affordable and true to its real-time nature.”

I’m not up on press-release ethics, but I can only conclude two things here: Either the release is lying to us, or Rogers made Kevin Thau say the exact same text twice, changing only the name of the brand.

One thought on “Rogers follows the leaders

  1. Keith McArthur

    I’m with the communications team at Rogers. I wanted to respond to your comment about spam and let your readers know that we’re trying to make it simple for our customers to avoid it. In addition to the SMS spam filters we use, we’re setting up a short code 7726 (SPAM), effective July 7 when this charge comes into effect. If users receive unwanted texts, they just need to forward them to the short code to receive a full credit.

    And as you correctly point out, customers on any text messaging plan will continue to receive unlimited incoming texts. Just 6% of texts are sent/received outside of plans so the vast majority of texts won’t be affected.

    Reply

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