phone saga update

The C332 is locked. Rogers will not unlock it, of course, because they want it on a new contract to make back their discount on it. However, because I got someone to program that number with the C332’s IMEI, once I get it unlocked it should just work. They shouldn’t have done that, but it only took two attempted calls to get someone at Rogers to do it. I’d like to point out that all of this bullshit is still way cheaper than buying a new handset outright. Buying a C333 outright directly from Rogers (as a replacement phone or hardware upgrade) is $170 CAD. This is the bulk discount price because Rogers buys thousands of phones at a time. But I can’t do that, I’d have to buy one through a reseller, who is going to make a chunk of change off of it – RadioShack told us $279 for a C333 (basicially the same phone) without a contract. I got this phone cheap off of eBay and it’ll cost me $50 to unlock it, but then it will be MINE and it will STILL be cheaper by at least $100. Are you listening, Rogers? You bastards! Hardware locking should be illegal.

Let’s not hide the costs here. I know why the phones are locked, because they’re sold well below cost. But they must be locked into a contract for 2 years on a contract. Let’s do the math:

  • Rogers’ bulk cost for a Mot C333 =~ $170. (The C33x series are so similar, I doubt there’s any major difference in price between the 332 and 333.)
  • Rogers sells C332 “ready4u” phone for: $99.99, right off their website.. This includes six months of no fees whatsoever (they say) when you activate on a two year contract. Note that this page LIES – it states below that all ready4u phones are TDMA, when actually the C332s Rogers sells are GSM – see Motorola’s page. Also the fact that the C332 I’m looking at right now has “C 332 (g 8/1.9)” printed on its back (the “g” for GSM, “8/1.9” for 850Mhz/1900MHz dual band), and it uses a SIM card.
  • All wireless providers charge a “system access fee” – a monthly fee for every phone connection (for GSM, it’s usually per SIM – so you can have a data card and a phone on one plan) you have, except for Pay-As-You-Go. For Rogers, this is currently $6.95 per month. Assuming the above ready4u 2-year contract, minus the six free months, you would have to pay a total of $6.95 * 18 = $125 by the end of your contract. Most providers will give you a different story when asked what this fee is for – Rogers says this, I couldn’t find what Fido says about it online. Many people will say that it is a licence fee paid to the government, but that is FALSE.
  • Hrm. Bulk phone cost ($170) minus Retail Cost ($100) = $70 that Rogers has to make back on this phone. But 18 months of system access fee is $125, which more than covers what Rogers has to make back to break even. So that’s $55 that Rogers will make on this phone, not even taking into account your airtime fees.

I’m seriously considering starting a site to petition the CRTC in order to stop providers from hiding these costs and fees under meaningless names. Why not tell it like it is: “Phone discount recovery fee”. This market is so shady and underhanded, and grew way, way too fast because of tactics like these. Once Fido goes bankrupt, there’s going to be a serious lack of competition in the market in Canada.


2 replies

  1. I stumbled across this site quite by accident; but your comments are very true!! I am a recent Rogers wireless customer with a C333 phone. I love the phone and I require a mobile… however, the rates Rogers charges are ridiculous. They grab you by the balls and won’t let you go. The hidden cost of the monthly charges is just incredible! I agree that CRTC should get involved but won’t since Rogers himself sits on the board – TYPICAL!!

    If there is a petition I would sign it. Keep up the fight.

  2. tengo uno de estos celulares y me gustaria que me explicara mas al respecto ya que encuentro diversos paoblemas .
    le agradezco de antemano