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We met with Rogers, and it was good.

Discussion in 'Rogers' started by mjschmidt, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. mjschmidt

    mjschmidt Android Expert
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    On Thursday, Mar 11, Puleen (Pir8 on these boards) and Don (Great Big Dog), and I met with RogersMary and senior management at Rogers head office in Toronto.

    I have been very critical of Rogers (some have even accused me of going overboard at times) and I will continue to be critical of Rogers when they deserve it, but after this meeting I think i can say that some of the perceptions we've had about Rogers (while understandable) were off the mark in some cases.

    I've written a post about it on my blog here: I Want My One Point Six - Demanding Android 1.6 for our Rogers HTC Magic & Dream, and LG Eve Phones

    I can't say too much about some of the specifics we discussed in the meeting. They wanted it to be very candid, and so they asked us to keep in confidence some of the things we were told. I can tell you that these Rogers employees (Managers and directors) shared with us very confidential information about their goals for Rogers, their relationship with HTC, and working with other manufacturers to bring new Android phones to Canada. As a result, I believe them.

    I think the most important thing we discovered in this meeting is that we were right, Rogers didn't really understand Android when they started with the HTC Dream and Magic, and they were extremely surprised by the reaction of the community. They have never seen the kind of reaction to a product that they've seen with Android. You should take that as an important revelation, because it means they know we want something special from them to continue to be Rogers Android customers.

    Believe me, they want to continue with the Android platform, and they will want to keep a competitive advantage over the competition.

    In the end, Rogers is a business, and they are there to make a profit. Android, while growing exponentially, is still a very small niche market for them, but one they'd like to see grow. As a result I don't think it's realistic to expect everything we want, but believe me, some of the things we are going to get are a direct result of the feedback we've given them.

    We can expect to see better communication about Rogers Android products, and an attempt to make the Rogers Android experience a better one.

    We discussed the true meaning of Android as an open source platform with them. We discussed rooting, and why it is so important to us. I think they have a much better understanding now of why we want to be able to root. I'm not sure if we will ever get anything official from them to be able to root the Magic and Dream again, but we've put the bug in their ears.

    We also talked about the Dream, and their continued insistence that it doesn't have enough memory to expand beyond Android 1.5. We pointed out repeatedly to them that the memory excuse doesn't wash because the memory of the Dream is the same as the G1. I suggested that if the issue is the customization done to the ROM (and Sense UI) that is a memory issue, then maybe they need to consider the possibility of offering a "vanilla" version of Android for users who prefer it. Who knows what might come of that.

    As far as the 911 issue goes, they wouldn't really get in to the details of it, but I can say that they were unhappy with the way it went down, and acknowledge that it could have been handled better. They have learned from the experience, believe me. I also believe them when they say that locking the SPL was not the intention of forcing the update. Again, we expressed to them the desire to root, and it is certainly something they are taking in to consideration. There is a difficult balance for them between consumers and what they can get from manufacturers (who seem to be the real "spanner in the works" for rooting).

    In the end, it was a good meeting, and I really hope they keep their promises to work with all of us to see a great Android experience.

    Now, I imagine some of you will disagree with me, or maybe even think I'm being to easy on them in this post, but i was there, and either they're all really good, well-trained actors, or they honestly believed what they were saying to us. This wasn't a meeting full of marketing drivel, it was open and candid.

    Let me know if you have any questions, I'll see if I can answer them.
     

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  2. bunhead

    bunhead Member
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    Well, for rogers sake I hope your meeting was truthful. I canceled my rogers home Internet service yesterday because they changed the billing rules on me for the last time and I just don't want to deal with it anymore. I mean if you are going to up my rate, have someone call me to tell me how I need to spend more money to somehow save money, I think that I should be able to understand them. Well in truth I could understand them but my wife (french/english) couldn't and she had to just hand the phone to me with a confused look on her face, then again I have dealt with people that live in that country for years in a technical role so I have been exposed to that accent for a long time, but even I had a hard time understanding this call centre agent. I reworded the last few sentences several times in an effort to make it as inoffensive as possible but it is very hard to do. As an example I can understand most french and I can even speak a little but I don't because I know my accent is horrific, I would never try and speak french for a living.

    I have gone with an independent provider over DSL that I have dealt with for years on the business front and I have had nothing but good relations with them. I will also be changing my television service next month as I have lost patience with rogers due to my increasingly poor television service. By poor service I mean poor picture quality (Why am I getting digital artifacts on both HD and non-HD channels?) and why am I continually being locked out of channels that I have paid for? I have had to call back in to the call centre THREE TIMES between September and February this year hockey season to get my centre ice turned back on. I realize that my issues with my home Internet service and my television service have nothing to do with my cell service (which I will not be renewing in 3 years when my contract it is up - why I had to renew my contract to 3 years because rogers lied to me about the capabilities of the phone they sold me is BEYOND me). I am canceling off my service one by one with rogers because I am doing the only thing I can do to rogers to show my displeasure and that is leaving and doing so in such a way that it costs me the least amount of money possible.

    Look I know that people do not talk about how much they love a service or a company very often and people are more likely to complain about said service or company, I have been in customer service in one way or another for 20 years. I am on the phone with rogers about once a month sorting out some screw up or another, sometimes more than two or three times a week, sometimes once in two months, but my question is WHY? Every time I call in you are experiencing higher than normal call volumes?!?!? Hire more agents, or better yet improve your product and billing system so that you are not always experiencing higher than normal call volumes.

    Why in the name of all that is holy will rogers/bell not lower their prices? I realize that rogers/bell/telus are all in business to make money but if you lowered your rates then maybe MORE people would have cell phones with data plans. Your average customer bill would go form ~$40 to ~$70 (based on existing prices) and you would probably increase your customer base by 25%-30%! But no you would rather keep milking the cow you have. If rogers/bell/telus are truly in business to make money then I believe they are truly missing the boat of success here.

    I will stop ranting now as I know that everyone stopped reading half way through the first paragraph and I know that rogers(/bell/telus) will never even read this.
     
  3. mjschmidt

    mjschmidt Android Expert
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    Bunhead: _I_ read through your whole post. :) I'm sorry you're having such a hard time with them. Truly, until the Android thing I never had a problem, and I've been a Rogers wireless customer for about 15 years. I'm in Oakville, so I have Cogeco for cable and internet.

    I've sent RogersMary a link to your post. She does read these things when she can, and from what I heard yesterday at the meeting, and from other people, Management within Rogers _are_ hearing about these issues.

    To be honest, with the new social outreach program, and new competition coming, I wouldn't be surprised if Rogers does start making changes in the coming year or two.
     
  4. tigrr07

    tigrr07 Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for being a leader for all the Android users in Canada, this includes Pir8 and GBD too.
    I too have been a Rogers customer for over 15 years and have never had a problem with their service. I would not have known about the android movement if it wasn't for you guys. Thanks for all the work you guys have done and thanks for all the information you have provided me and probably others with Android. This site is where I have learned the most about my Magic, so another thanks to the posters in this forum.
     
  5. bunhead

    bunhead Member
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    While that is all well and good that is about a year or two to late. I have sent more emails and spent more time on the phone with various representatives of rogers than I truely care to count. I have gotten responses ranging from "I understand your complaint sir and I will do everythign in my power to see that seomthign is done" then that person seems to vanish in a puff of smoke (complete with a disconnected phone number) to "If you don't like our businness practices sir then pay the cancelation fee and go to another provider." Well, I am in the process of doing just that, going to another provider. Rogers has until Feb of 2013 (god that is so far away :() to make a cell phone plan that is so spectacular as to make me want to lock in again with them. To be honest my wife is now thinking that she needs a cell phone and she is not even interested in talking to rogers because she has seen (and heard) all my issues with rogers over the past year+. As well I now have two step daughters that are now starting to ask for cell phones. You see my points here I hope ;)
     
  6. FrankT

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    I'm not a Rogers customer, at least directly. I purchased a Rogers Magic to use in the US on AT&T's network. The phone has the 1.76.0010 ROM installed and I'm waiting for 2.1 to come out. Any news on that?
     
  7. bunhead

    bunhead Member
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    The answer we have been getting is June/July. I will admit that I did believe that 2.1 for rogers customers was going to be vapourware but now with what mjschmidt said came from his meeting I do believe we will get it this summer.
     
  8. Akkuzo

    Akkuzo Well-Known Member
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    Did you ask about Google experience phones?
     
  9. GreatBigDog

    GreatBigDog Android Enthusiast
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    2.1 was confirmed for mid-year at the meeting.

    gbd
     
  10. mjschmidt

    mjschmidt Android Expert
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    We did talk about Google-Experience phones. We expressed to them how important it is to get at least one G-E phone in their lineup ,and that it is a definite advantage for the carrier that has one. IN general we expressed a need for non-carrier branded phones as part of the line up. They were definitely listening to us on that.
     
  11. Akkuzo

    Akkuzo Well-Known Member
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    Next question: I know this isn't their deal but were paid apps discussed at all and did they have any info as to what's holding them up?
     
  12. TriC

    TriC Well-Known Member
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    Rogers needs to stop adding crap to their phones... Look what Tellus did with the Milestone.. they just have a bookmark for their site.. If Rogers puts anything on the phone it should have an option to uninstall it... This Branding thing is a very bad Idea... they need to leave the android roms alone... they do it with the iphone they can do it with android phones as well..

    Other then that I still like Rogers over the other Cell providers.. I was on the phone with them the other day and spoke to "business customer relations" and I was offered an upgrade to any other android phone that I want. Even with just having my magic for 6 months at the same promo price any other new cust would pay and I can keep my magic as well.... I did not upgrade since i'm going to wait till the x10 comes out but my account is noted so that I can upgrade as soon as the right android phone is around.. just have to re-new my contact.. but I will sell my magic when I do the upgrade..
     
  13. Trenchant

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    I've still had enough of Rogers crap and I won't even consider their service in the future nor recommend it.

    I got a letter in the mail the other day stating that I have to upgrade my phones software to rogers new patch. Until I do I won't receive internet. F**k that. I have an open complaint right now with the office of the president. I was told over a week ago that Jeniffer would be representing me and she would help me get this solved. Its been a week since she talked to me now. I followed up last week and left a message. Never got a reply back. That was a week ago! So apparently the office of the president doesn't even care about customers?

    I'm ready to cancel my internet contract now. The new magic they sent me should more then cover the cancellation fee when I sell it on Ebay. Local cell providers have better coverage and very comparable if not cheaper rates so I might cancel my contract all together. Rogers keeps saying they care about their customers. Lets see it for once.

    Sure inviting a few clients in is a good gesture but it still doesn't leave us in a better position. I can't afford to wait around for 4 months without internet WHILE PAYING FOR IT. It will be atleast that long before we have the possibility of seeing anything good come out of this meeting.
     
  14. Brendanmurphy

    Brendanmurphy Android Enthusiast
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    If you have no internet they will wave the cancellation for data. I cancelled and switched to telus due to my data being cut off on and off again and the fact i wanted the milestone. I called in and they waved the data fee no problem
     
  15. 4runnerguy

    4runnerguy Newbie
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    so hopefully we get 2.1 untouched by rogers screwing up the software. like the stupid 1.5 with a sense UI theme
     
  16. Silvertag

    Silvertag Well-Known Member
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    SenseUI interface was (and still is) the least of my problem... I actually like it and use alot of the widgets that come with it (you can also delete it from your magic and return to the basic interface). It will be part of 2.1 for sure. I'm more afraid of HTC giving (to Rogers) the next update another round of lock image ROM to restrict the user from modifying it. This goes so much against what OpenSource stands for and limits the full potential of this smartphone. We also have yet to see how the OTA upgrade will go. Will there be brick phones due too upgrade problems ? Will Rogers replace those phones ? etc..
     
  17. puleen

    puleen Well-Known Member
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    Mike and Don, I have to thank the two of you for walking the walk together to Rogers and being the voice of the community to highlight how serious we are about Android.

    Having said that, I do hope and would like to see Rogers actually do something about it before I can say that our mission was successful. They've heard us and we've heard them. They know where we're coming from and what we would like to see. We know they are willing to listen and work with us. Now we just need to work together to make this a reality and bring about a much needed change. A change both for Android community and for Rogers.

    We did spend some time talking about Google Experience phones and were quite clear as to why a Google experience phone is one good option to offer customers, specially those power-users like all of us who are inclined to tinker and hack around with our devices not because it is cool, but because it is possible. That is how Google expected Android to be.

    For those of you who are interested in looking at the presentation which we put together, you can find it here Rogers Android

    Let's hope that in the coming few weeks / months, we can have another open dialog and be able to share concerns and/or wants of the community with Rogers and make Android a great success both for the community and for Rogers.

    Leave No Droid Behind
     
  18. c4cho

    c4cho Newbie
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    It would be helpful if you can send me where and who you guys met during the meeting.
    Thanks,
     
  19. mjschmidt

    mjschmidt Android Expert
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    We met at Rogers head office in downtown Toronto. as mentioned in my blog post:

    "We sat in a comfortably appointed conference room, (with cookies!) where we had the pleasure of finally meeting face-to-face with Mary Pretotto (@RogersMary), along with Keith (@RogersKeith from Twitter and RedBoard), Raza, Reade, and Dan. These people are some of the real movers and shakers who are deciding the future of Android, and this was a great opportunity to explain to them the perception of the Android Community from outside the
     
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  20. c4cho

    c4cho Newbie
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    This team should be helpful
    Keep it up,
    Thanks for your effort,
     
  21. JackTheMan18

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    A question about your meeting with Rogers.
    Was there any discussion about their strategy with regards to:
    a) offering data only plans
    b) integration of the FIDO brand
    c) comments around using 3rd party phones (e.g. Nexus One) on their network?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  22. puleen

    puleen Well-Known Member
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    a) & b) No, since the objective of our meeting with Rogers was to speak more about Android and not about them offering data only plans or integration of the FIDO brand. May be we can address this next time we speak with them.

    c) Mike did bring up the fact that users currently use jailbroken phones and that they shouldn't restrict people from using non-Rogers phones. Rogers did say that they are aware of people using jailbroken iPhones but have no way of telling which iPhone is jailbroken and which isn't. Rogers also suggested that people aren't stopped from using their phone however Rogers cannot guarantee that the non-Rogers phone will work perfectly and would not be able to provide any support on issues due to a non-Rogers phone.
     
  23. mjschmidt

    mjschmidt Android Expert
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    As far as the Nexus One goes, Rogers has specifically tested the AT&T Nexus One on their network to make sure it works, however they will NOT be offering support for the _phone_ only for your Rogers plan. They also will not guarantee that all features of the Nexus One version of Android will work properly at all times on their network.
     
  24. RogersMary

    RogersMary Member
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    Hi Trenchant, I'm sorry to hear about the trouble you're having. If this is continuing to be an issue and you have not heard back from office of the president, please let me know. PM me your full name and best number to reach you at so I can circle back with the group.

    However, I would like to reiterate that our primary concern is with customer safety and we highly recommend HTC Dream and Magic devices download the update to ensure 911 calls can complete.

    Also to clarify, as long as your internet access is disabled, you will not be charged.

    Thanks,
    Mary
     
  25. RogersMary

    RogersMary Member
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    Thanks Puleen, Michael and Don for taking the time. We appreciated meeting with you and hearing your input. Also, thanks for keeping the community informed.

    As we committed to in the meeting, we will come back with a progress report. We also hope to continue working with this community :)

    Take care all,
    Mary
     
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