There was a CBC article earlier this month on why Canadian cellphone firms get a failing grade from the BBB. Every one of them has received an ‘F.’ Today I phoned up to terminate my contract with Rogers and I discovered why. I have been with them for years but because I am moving I needed to end my “contract.” I use the term “contract” loosely because it was broken by Rogers a year ago when they began charging me for incoming text messages. It’s amusing in that their salesman who phoned to get me to upgrade to a new phone with contract extension warned me that if I didn’t renew my contract the price or terms might change. I locked into another two years but that didn’t stop Rogers from changing the terms and charging me more.
I have a little less than four months left on my contract but they refuse to let me go for the contractual “early cancellation fee” of 4 months x $20 per month. Since I originally began with them in 2005 they have increased the ecf to a minimum of $100. I still have my original “Hardware Upgrade Agreement” which states clearly (in fine print) that “If you have subscribed to your Price Plan before February 1st, 2007 and you continue or renew on the same Price Plan on a 12, 24 or 36-month term, the ECF will be equal to $20 times the number of months remaining in the term, to a maximum of $200.” I told their service agent repeatedly that my contract did not state that I had to pay $100 minimum but all he could do was repeat the policy over and over. I also explained that I will not be returning to Rogers when I return and they should improve their attitude toward customers if they expect to retain any. He found this amusing and ventured to suggest that we all have our opinions.
I would suggest that you never, ever, enter into a cellphone contract with these or any other ‘F’ rated contract-breakers. As I have discovered since my last contract you can get numerous unlocked phones online from Newegg or Tiger Direct or from a local Asian mall. I am glad there is movement among the federal government to force unlocked phones upon the companies and to break their contractual hold over us. It can’t come too soon.
Update: I phoned back to see how I could get them to honour my “Hardware Upgrade Agreement” and talked to someone else who was much more accommodating and after checking with someone else he honoured it. Now for only $60 I get the privilege of leaving with a locked phone.