Rogers plays games with bundle discounts

October 14 2008 by Ellen Roseman

Customers are finding out their better choice bundle discounts are being reduced. And unless they sign a two-year contract, they won’t get any discounts from Rogers.

I fail to see how contracts benefit customers. Not only are you tied in and penalized if you leave early — $100 in the first 12 months and $50 afterward — but you get no guarantees that your rates won’t go up.

Bell also pushes long-term contracts without promising that rates will remain the same during the contract term.

How fair is that? Are these big companies trying to raise revenues? Or are they just trying to ensure you can’t defect to the competition without financial pain?

Here’s how to negotiate a better deal. Say you’re going to the competition and you want to speak to the retention department. They have the power to offer goodies to get you to stay.

28 comments

  1. Lior

    Oct 14 2008

    LD: You’re right about the picture quality of digital. It’s slightly sharper if you use S-Video or HD but just standard definition and coax will get you almost the same picture quality as analog. Rogers uses a lot of video compression on their standard definition digital channels and the audio quality is just horrendous! (128 kbits Mpeg2!)

  2. Sas

    Oct 29 2008

    To Lior and LD, thanks for warning us about the low quality of Rogers digital TV. It certainly helps me avoiding Rogers digital tv.

  3. Virgil Lanni

    Nov 26 2008

    I am extremely PO’d with this entire affair. Rogers will eventually end up the loser for their penny pinching and gouging of customers.

    They have been calling me for the past month trying to get me to lock in. Today my wife said yes to them, because we did not have the time to make the changes.

    I have 4 of their services and pay them over $200 a month. Never was I ever told that the discounts were temporary.

    Now they have me for 2 years, but I guarantee you I WILL 100% LEAVE after that. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I will further guarantee that the 15% we are now saving will be offset by one of their RANDOM GOUGE PRICE INCREASES for some lame reason they invent and we will not be able to leave.

    These cheap tactics will eventually catch up with them as more customers become incensed.

  4. Paul

    Dec 11 2008

    Rogers shows lack of respect from customer service. The TV cable was set up in my wife’s name. Rogers called my house one day, offering a free digital box and also tried selling me more channels. I accepted the digital box, but rejected the more channel package. She continued with an offer of 26 free channels, at no cost to me, and I accepted.

    I was told I could go to a Rogers Video store and receive the free digital box. When I asked for the digital box, I was told they could not give it to me because the account was in my wife’s name. I understand the person behind the counter is just doing their job.

    I thought to myself this is not good business. Okay, so now can they offer me the box and the extra packages, also it was I who called and added the internet service and got a package discount. Nobody questioned that.

    Of the 26 free channels, there was only one I liked and watched regularly. One day, the channel was blocked, so I asked Rogers what happened to my free channel. The reply was if I wanted this channel I would have to pay for it.

    If at first they had said free for a limited time, I would have said no deal. Feeling deceived, I asked why not tell me free for a limited time? She replied with a rude voice, “Sir, it’s called advertising.”

    A couple of days ago, Rogers called and offered a preferred customer $10 gas coupon. I said it is my wife’s name on the account. He said she can call the 800 number and he had to hang up now. I wanted so badly to say goodbye forever.

    So the opportunity presented itself and I could say goodbye to Rogers, when Bell called with a nice offer — HD, PVR, lots of channels, high speed internet and no contract with the promise, the price is for forever and will never increase. What a deal. I was excited.

    Bell asked for a security deposit. I used my MC and the $50 would be credited back to me on my first month’s bill.

    I scheduled a holiday day off work for the installation date, Thursday, Dec. 11. On Dec. 10, Bell called and said they made an error when listening to the recorded conversation. I asked for HD, which will cost me more money (about $20 more per month). Bell will call again in the New Year.

    At this point, I am considering canceling TV and the internet, maybe pick up reading books, renting a movie from time to time, but not from Rogers Video.

    I would like to become part of a consumers group.

    I feel big companies cannot be bothered. Who am I, after all I am only one. I could leave and they would not care.

  5. Rebecca Cryderman

    Feb 27 2009

    I was with Rogers for about a week. My home phone bill is now at $1,500.

    Rogers would not cancel my service. I went back to Bell Canada, but Rogers keeps charging me interest and the bill keeps growing and growing.

    I told Rogers to take me to court. When changing to Rogers, my landline was down for almost 7 days before they figured out what the problem was. One of the guys screwed up outside. They kept telling me the problem was in my home and it wasn’t.

    Don’t use Rogers. They will promise you the world until you change. Stay with Bell. They are much better!! Becky

  6. Peter

    May 15 2009

    How about rewarding loyal customers with a discount that increases to some level based on the number of years they’ve been with you? This bundling nonsense only serves to tick customers, like myself, off.

    Cable TV has only one player in my neighbourhood, but it’s time to find myself another ISP.

  7. Sheldon

    Aug 11 2009

    I still have a two year contract on my cell phone. First, they wanted to charge for incoming text messages and when I pointed out that my contract says the service will not change, they told me to get a lawyer.

    Ok Rogers, you got the $33.60 over the next two years, but after 12 years of loyalty, I am gone.

  8. Fed Up

    Sep 3 2009

    About 2 years ago someone had called up from Rogers saying that if I sign-up for 3 services with Rogers then I will get 15% discount on each of the services, so I signed-up and moved from Bell.

    Now they claim that they will discontinue the discount even though I have 3 services with them because the offer was valid only for 24 months, and will renew only if I sign a 2-yr agreement. I am disputing this because “the offer is only for 24 months” wasn’t communicated to me back then. They told me that it is mentioned on my invoice – but I have checked and it isn’t. I feel they are violating the terms of services, is this even legal?

  9. Karen Hersey

    Oct 8 2009

    Excellent consumer information. Thank you for creating this site. My husband and I currently do not have the internet, we have BELL PHONE, 2 Rogers Cell phones and Rogers Cable( which is $70 a month for analogue and the same channels repeated over and over and we scrapped the digital last year). We wanted to sign up for the internet but I wont give a company like Rogers anymore of my business.
    Both Bell and Rogers rip people off and both have/try to monopolize. What we need in this country is at least 10 service providers in one area for cable, internet, cell and the gov’t needs to make this happen.
    There has got to be a way to lower these costs.
    PHONE BILL
    CELL PHONE BILLS
    CABLE
    INTERNET

    COME ON!!
    We really should only have one phone service and one cable service–the cable should cover the internet and tv and the phone should cover unlimted phone use. We have got to cut this spending as it is wasted resources.
    These companies are SHARKS and we are in their tank.
    LETS FIGHT BACK. The govt has to push this.
    Otherwise we should ban together as consumers and get creative about cost cutting.
    Why cant neighbours share cable lines and split the costs? Why cant neighbours share internet connections through “hifi”-hot spots where everyone pays lets say no more than $5 a month?
    WE ARE ROYALING GETTING SCREWED AND IT IS HARD TO GET AHEAD.
    The govt has got to get rid of these monopoly’s and bring more competitors on the scene.

    Have you seen how many grocery stores there are? clothing stores? so why cant we have the same with these type of services?

    Anyone have any ideas on how we can start a consumer advocate gropu to fight these Blood Sucking leeches?

  10. Josee L

    Oct 15 2009

    After trying to cancel my cable, 1 of 3 services with Rogers, I was told there would be a $100 fee for ending my contract prior to the two years.

    When I advised them that I had never heard or been advised of this bundle contract, I was told that I had a phone call in which I agreed. When telling them no such phone call took place, they advised it was done via email.

    Again, when I said that no such email took place, they then advised it was done via phone. This continued through two phone calls and one email. Story changed every time I spoke to someone new.

    When I asked to speak to a manager, of course no one was available. I was advised they would call within 24 – 48 hours. Well, guess what, still nothing.

    I think customer service is not doing their job about advising the client, but they are putting notes in accounts as if they had advised the client. They are unable to produce phone recordings or emails.

    I do not intend on dropping this. Good luck to all with Rogers.

  11. James Scott

    Jan 13 2010

    Has anyone considered that maybe we are paying way too much for these services and bundles in the first place?

    Ten years ago, the vast majority of us didn’t have a cell phone, but now we can’t be without one.

    Cable TV? Dump the premium channels, or better yet, dump TV altogether.

    Get rid of this stuff and save yourselves some serious money every year.

  12. Sam

    Jan 14 2010

    “Robbers” don’t care about customers. Their billing system is flawed and they make the invoices so complicated that you need to hire an accountant to read them.

    I recently cancelled my home phone and internet after 4 years with them. They said I had to pay $160 as a penalty since I was getting some kinda discount and hence was locked in for a 1 year contract.

    I had never agreed to such a contract and they threatened me to send my file to a collections agency if I didn’t pay my invoice. After I gave them a 30 day notice, they cut my internet connection.. good thing I already got Bell internet up and running..

    STAY AWAY from ROBBERS!!

  13. doug howie

    Feb 1 2010

    I tried to switch to Bell services and the experience was horrendous. Hours (literally) spent on the phone with technical support reps (many of whom could barely speak English) trying to get the service to work.

    Then it was a scheduled a service trip to my house that nobody showed up for.

    Rogers, Bell they all treat customers like pieces of dirt. I have now been without cable TV or high speed internet service for almost 4 years. Just a regular phone line and dial-up modem internet. Don’t miss it and have saved thousands of dollars.

    I don’t know why anyone with any intelligence even watches broadcast TV any more. It is absolute crap. Reality shows and endless advertising. Twenty minutes of commercials in every hour of programming and they come blasting into your living room at twice the volume of the program you’re trying to watch. And you’re paying hundreds of dollars a year to be subjected to this abuse!

    Stop it, get smart and drop cable TV from Rogers or Bell. If desperate, I can watch 3 stations using a TV antenna and for those few ‘good’ programs I like, I buy the DVDs. Such a pleasure watching programming without commercials.

    Oh and for those living in Ontario or BC, your rates will be going up 8% due to the HST – just another good reason to say bye-bye Rogers/Bell.

  14. Manga

    Feb 11 2010

    Canadian companies (Rogers et all) don’t understand the meaning of customer service…they should take some pointers from the US companies.

  15. Carola

    Feb 25 2010

    Hi, I lived in New York City for 6 years and returned to Ottawa last year. I cannot believe how much more expensive cell phone service is. Most US cell phone providers offer services to USA/Canada/Puerto Rico as a basic. Here what a rude shock when I tried getting a Canada and US calling plan — it is disugustingly overpriced. The cable is also more expensive and I don’t understand why it is so bad.
    I find it infuriating–hopefully the new players in the marketplace will start to bring down prices.
    The other thing is how Bell is refusing to service some new subdivisions. We are having a new home built in Kanata and Bell is not servicing it so we are now at the mercy of Rogers for home phone, internet and cable. It makes me furious.

  16. Bob Gardiner

    Mar 23 2010

    I recently purchased a Magic Jack and cancelled my Rogers home phone. After 40 plus years of Bell and then Rogers, it is nice not to have a land line phone bill.

    Magic Jacks can be purchased on line or at Tiger Direct stores in Ontario.

    Having had enough of Rogers billing practices, I also changed my Internet provider from Rogers to Bell. To some, including myself, this would seem like going from bad to worse, but thanks to the CRTC (our government controlling body) we have limited choices.

    Bell have fibre optic internet. The cost is about $45 a month (approximately the same price as Rogers); it is faster, a dedicated server, more secure and wireless. I got this on a month to month basis with no contract.

    Rogers charged me over $30 to cancel my Internet service. Rogers informed me that I had to repay my bundle discount as I had a one year contract. I have no knowledge of any contract so I requested to see a copy; I was told it is a verbal contract, if they can get away with this, we are all in trouble.

    I then decided enough is enough; I unhooked my Rogers TV box and returned it to a Rogers store. The store told me that to cancel my service, I had to call Rogers. They dialled the number and handed me the phone.

    Roger informed me that I would have to pay almost $200 to cancel my TV service as once again I had one of these so called verbal contracts. Comments about the legality of these verbal contracts would be appreciated.
    Thanks
    Bob

  17. Michael

    May 8 2010

    Why are people complaining? There are plenty of VOIP providers out there. Rogers is VOIP as well.

    The only difference is that it’s a private (proprietary) VOIP that doesn’t send voice packets along with your “Internet” data such as email, chat, web browsing, etc.

    On top of that, the phone modem is not “movable.” It has to be used on a Rogers cable network, unlike other VOIP such as Comwave or Vonage, which can be taken anywhere.

    Even better, just use a Magic Jack. It’s 70 bucks for 5 years. You get US and Canada long distance, all features and free conference calling. No fees, no bill.

    Rogers Home Phone is A GIGANTIC SCAM and how many idiots buy into it?

  18. Vincent

    May 11 2010

    Comment by MICHAEL: Please explain in detail what is a Magic Jack and how does it work for those of us who are green in the communication business.

    I am fed up with promises by Rogers that last only 6 months. They jack up the charges after that. So where is the saving ?

  19. Heide

    Jun 22 2010

    Just cancelled my Rogers Phone, Internet and Cable after finding out I have to pay them $324+. I was with them before and getting 15% discount and no contract, as far as I know.

    Then I became an employee of Rogers in IT and got 50%. Now since they sent my job to India, I’m no longer an employee. I’m back to being just a customer and that’s how they jack my bill to $324.

    I asked and pleaded with them since I’d been with them for more than 15 years, but to no avail. If I wanted the 15% discount applied to my account, I had to stay with them for a 2 year contract. Still a lot of money.

    I switched to Bell and got Phone, Internet and TV Bundle at more than half of what Rogers was billing me. Since I have Magic Jack for unlimited long distance, I still save a lot of money every month. Now, 10 of my former co-worker and friends will be switching to Bell. Rogers will go down one day. I can’t wait to see that.

  20. Enraged

    Sep 14 2010

    I just had a shouting match with Rogers’ customer service and then with a manager.

    I have 4 services with them (home phone, cable, Internet and cell). A year and one month ago, I added the cellphone service because they said I would qualify for a 15% discount.

    I signed up even though I have access to a cell phone through work because the new cell phone would in theory be free because of the bundle discount. (I am too busy to even look at my bill. I pay through the Internet and was just too trusting.)

    Yesterday, a lady called to discuss my account and see if I am happy with them and she mentioned something about the 15% bundle discount that I clearly qualify for.

    I said, “Yeah I know, I have it already on my account,” and to my shock she said, “NO, you do not.”

    I freaked and was enraged at this clear THEFT of my money by Rogers. I had not once thought to check my account because I trusted them.

    They refused to rectify the issue and called it my problem. They said that the most they could do for me is to give me a 15% credit for three months, because it was my responsibility to check my account.

    I know it is, but I still feel cheated. If the lady had never called me, I would still have been paying my ~$250 a month without questioning them.

    They have lost my trust and now I will be moving to Bell (not a great fan), but they never robbed me in this fashion before.

    I never expected a company like Rogers to do something like this. The manager I spoke to was not interested in the least to retain me, even after I asked her to put in a request for cancellation of all my services by the end of the month.

    The only thing she cared about was that I needed to give them 30 days’ notice, not 15, and that the service could be discontinued on the 15th of next month.

    I asked if that was it. Did she really want to let a 12-year customer just slip by like that and for something that was their fault?

    She said she could not offer me what I wanted and if I wanted to go I was free to go. Amazed and Shocked!

  21. Tony

    Dec 17 2010

    I am simply amazed at all the complaints about Rogers and Bell. I have home phone and cell from Bell, internet and cable TV from Rogers. I have been looking for ways to save some $$ and have looked at some of the bundles offered by both of these crooks. OMG could they make it any more confusing – what ever happened to straight talk. My two year old contract for me cell phone has expired and I have seen my bill go from just under 80 for 2 phones to the current price of 180 – and it’s all new BS nickle and dime charges and when I ask Bell just doesn’t give a damn about it. I see two possibilities here… get rid of all the tvs computers and cell phones or get together a consumers group. They just don’t give a damn about losing one or two of us however if a large enough group of us got together as a consumers group they just might start listening and stop the crap.

  22. Kurt

    Feb 11 2011

    I am in a bundle contract as well but am so tired of Rogers. Last week I canceled my HD cable and cable service and bought an OTA Antenna.

    The HD you get is about 29 channels and is supposed to be a lot better and is not compressed. Audio is better as well.

    If you are in the GTA, I recommend getting one as well.

    So anyway, the woman at Rogers just said to me, “I am removing your bundle discount.”

    I never heard anything about being charged a penalty for leaving. I am thinking about going with Teksavvy for internet. Way better plans!

    I started a group on Facebook called Canadian Consumers Against Corporate Greed. Check it out!

  23. pom

    Mar 22 2012

    CUSTOMERS LIKE ME ARE SO LOYAL TO ROGERS THAT THEY KEEP PAYING HIGH PRICES FOR THE BUNDLE SERVICES. AND ON TOP OF IT, YOU GET DIFFERENT INFORMATION FROM DIFFERENT PERSON.

    AND THEN THEIR MANAGERS TRY TO PROTECT THEM WITH AN EXCUSE …OH WE WILL SEND THE REPORT TO THAT GROUP MANAGER OR WE ARE SORRY.

    I KEEP ON GOING IN CIRCLES. DO NOT TRUST ROGERS AT ALL.

    TO CANCEL THE SERVICE, ONE EMPLOYEE SAYS THAT 3 TO 5 DAYS BEFORE INVOICE DATE, NO CANCELLATION CHARGE AND THEN IT IS NOT EVEN HIS AREA TO QUOTE THE PRICES ON SERVICES. HE IS QUOTING THEM AND WRONG.

    YOU WASTE TIME WITH THEM AND THEN THEY SAY.. SORRY.

    U R LOYAL WITH THEM AND FOR SURE THAT THEY ARE NOT…REPEAT THEY ARE NOT.

    GET OUT OF THEIR EXPENSIVE BUNDLES SOOOOON BEFORE U R
    TOO LATE. FOR ROGERS, LOYALTY MEANS BIG ZEEEEERO. THEY ARE THE MOST EXPENSIVE AS WELL.

    I HOPE THEY COME TO THEIR SENSES SOON.

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