A Money Coach in Canada

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Well, well, well.

It’s about bloody time Canadians refused to bend over, and fought back, nice and loud, about the iphone. Or rather, about how Rogers planned to personally bankrupt Canadians foolish enough to purchase the bright, shiny object under Rogers Rule.

So here’s what happened:

Rogers data plan was so obscene some good folks created a blog: RuinedIphone and started collecting signatures. (And as a point of interest, the original domain name was not so polite. The original name started with an f.) Within hours it had the 10,000 signatures needed to bring it to the competition bureau; within days, it had 50,000 signatures and Rogers had a serious PR nightmare on its hands. The story got picked up by the globe, the sun, 24 hours …

and the blogosphere

and rumour has it that apple itself was disgusted, and a) diverted 20% of the phones from Canada to Europe and b) will not be selling the iphones in their own retail stores.

and this morning, Rogers finally dropped their rate from $100 to $30 for the 6G data plan – provided you lock in for 3 years, and pay for a voice and voicemail (?) plan. And of course there are always those hidden fees.

Personally, I’m staying in touch with Peter’s Useful Crap to weigh my cel phone options. (err, Peter, will you be sharing your thoughts on iphone v instinct etc.?)

Meanwhile, I really am wondering: where are our politicians in all this?

A. Conservatives: let the free market rule, even if it screws our peeps

B. Liberals: what will get us elected again? what will get us elected again?

C. NDP: there are people starving. apple-what?

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Readers: do you believe politicians should have any interest in this? or is something like obscenely overcharged consumer goods not worth the time and energy of our government?

About the Author


Imagine if Canadians were known for being all over their money. Engaged. Proactive. Getting out of debt. Savvy. Saving. Generous. Nancy wants to help. Nancy started her own journey with money over 15 years ago, and formed her company “Your Money by Design” in 2004 to help others along the same path. It’s not the usual financial advising/investment stuff. It’s about taking control of day-to-day finances –managing monthly cashflow effectively, spending appropriately, getting out of debt, saving. If you're ready to take control over your finances, pop by her business site, YourMoneybyDesign.com

10 Comments

  1. Excellent points made, I want an Iphone, but I can’t afford to pay that much money to have something that interesting.

    [Reply]

    Jul 09, 2008
  2. … oh and to answer your question, “We have a government?”

    The Conservatives view this as the Open Market helping set the pricing, so they will not intervene. If Canadians don’t buy iPhones, the pricing will change
    –C8j

    [Reply]

    Jul 09, 2008
  3. I think the entire cell phone industry in Canada needs to be examined. I just don’t understand why we have such high cell phone rates when compared to other developed countries. Is it the large mass of land companies have to cover? Is it the fact that there are only a handful of companies that provide the service? Is it both?

    Anyway, thanks for updating us on the situation, Nancy. I’m glad consumers spoke up. Still, as much as I love Apple products, I won’t be getting an iPhone because I refuse to sign a contract with Rogers.

    [Reply]

    Jul 09, 2008
  4. Looby

    I agree with unspending this is not just an apple issue this is the entire cell phone industry in Canada. I moved here from the UK 2 years ago and was appalled at the charges (bear in mind almost everything else is more expensive in the UK except cell phones).
    Pay extra for voicemail? Extra for caller display? Pay for incoming calls? Contracts of several years?
    I don’t think politicians should care much about an iphone, but there needs to be some regulation of the industry.

    [Reply]

    Jul 09, 2008
  5. @bcj most of the time I agree (I’m all over the map, politically, including a strong conservative streak to my own surprise), however, it seems to me that when there isn’t enough competition to *truly* have an open market, there is a place for the gov’t to intervene. I would love if Canadians boycotted the phone – in fact, boycotted cels for a while! In my dreams…
    @unspending you and me both – no thanks, Rogers, for even the most tempting of offers. Re: large land mass, I think there is a measure of legitimacy there. Having said that, let’s be clear: ROGERS MADE $708MILLION PROFIT in their wireless division in the Q1 of 2008 ALONE.
    @loopy Thanks for dropping by! yes, Canada air and wireless is a dizzying array of charges upon charges. Currently I have a bb from my (awesome) employer, but apart from that, I would honestly opt out of the whole cel phone experience. It’s too insulting as a consumer. (Am I annoyed?)

    [Reply]

    Jul 09, 2008
  6. Hehehe, despite the cool factor of these devices, for now I’m making the decision to stay clear of them. I want no part in helping Rogers and friends gouge Canadian consumers.

    [Reply]

    Jul 10, 2008
  7. I wrote a full post on the iPhone/Rogers failure and the implications for public policy, but I had a headache and had to post-pone it. I’ll have to work on it sometime this week 🙂

    [Reply]

    Jul 14, 2008
  8. It’s clearly obvious that urban cell phone users subsidize those in parts unknown.

    Of course, by “urban” I mean, “people who NEVER go on a road trip” and pay the same rates as everyone else does – or, for that matter, even higher rates despite being in “easy to cover” cities.

    Still, what we have here is a textbook case of oligopoly and Market Failure. That’s when even economists believe government intervention can do more good than harm.

    n.b. no one guarantees it’ll do good though – you just hope whatever they do is competent.

    [Reply]

    Jul 14, 2008

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