Sunday, February 10, 2013

Rogers Wireless Performs Pre-Emptive Reform of Roaming, Service Plans

Photo Credit: Rogers

As cellular phone and wireless device usage has blossomed to a point where much of the Canadian population are now involved with a communications plan, three national players in the wireless telecom sector (Rogers, Telus and Bell) have been the ones who brought various forms of wireless contact to Canadians. As more and more wireless customers feed off services from the three major carriers and their subsidiary brands, a call has been placed by cell phone users to have clarity when engaged with a service plan.

With several complaints filed by Canadian wireless customers, a gamut of concerns ranging from unclear billing to other pricing practices have put wireless telecom providers in the hot seat. The government agency overseeing communications in this country, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), opened public consultation on the topic of establishing more transparency towards consumers. Detailing the severity of the issue, the voices of roughly 4,100 Canadians responded by mail or online with their suggestions and input. The ultimate goal is to establish a Wireless Code that will apply to all carriers. Ahead of a CRTC hearing scheduled to start on Monday (February 11, 2013), Rogers Wireless has released details of plans the company will set in place to address much of the concerns.

For those who have taken their cell phones across the border, accessing information from the device could be handled over the communication networks of other countries. Called "roaming", the voice and data services in regions outside of Canada come at a higher cost that can quickly amount to astronomical figures. In some cases, Canadians who are along the border have been docked heavily by out-of-county roaming charges by cell phone carriers, nationwide coverage has come at a price (much more literally for some customers). As many wireless customers have been hit with roaming costs, the monthly bills have easily surged into the hundreds.

Addressing roaming charges related to data use, customers will be presented with a $7.99 pay-per use rate for the first 50 megabytes of information for a 24-hour period in the United States. Rogers indicates the 50-megabyte lot of data is enough to download 50 maps or 200 webpages. This data roaming plan will also alert the cell phone user when the 50 Megabytes (MB) data amount is approaching. This is a considerable discount when comparing current prices dictated through Rogers' online data calculator. According to the current data calculator, 200 webpages would cost $48.00 to view in International areas (though the data use quote was not accurate to 50 MB). Selling data roaming in a lot is already provided by Rogers. A 40 MB plan can be purchased at $20 providing it is used within a 24-hour span.

In this move, Rogers Wireless is reacting to the input they have received from their customers base. Other proposed alternations Rogers is willing to make includes creating simplifying rate plans and amending the time period customers have to unlock their device in order to work with another phone service. Rogers' will allow the unlocking of a handset after 90 days of a customer purchasing a wireless phone plan.

At the present time, wireless service contracts are complicated by the fact they differ between provinces. Supporting the proposed Canadian Wireless Code which currently exists in draft form ahead of the CRTC hearing, Rogers welcomes a national policy that applies from coast-to-coast. The Wireless Code undergoing possible adaptation sets up numerous mechanisms that will clearly spell out costs for service features and provide all cell phone consumers enhanced abilities to control their usage.

The changes for Rogers cell phone service has not been presented with a specific date as of yet . The wireless phone carrier does indicate the measures will be in place soon.

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