When Rogers decided to launch a new wireless brand in Canada they went the route of offering low-cost, no-contract, unlimited talk and text plans with “Unlimited Zones” in Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, Edmonton, Ottawa and Vancouver. They later rolled out a data offering, but the Chatr brand falls into a three-brand strategy that includes a premium service from Rogers Wireless, then a mid-range/mid-tier offering by Fido. There could be confusion in the marketplace, possibly even saturation, but Rogers is hitting every price point.
A couple weeks back we let you know that Bell decided to stop taking new activations for their Solo Mobile brand. The internal doc stated that “As of May 17, 2012 Solo Mobile will no longer be activating new customers (both postpaid and prepaid). Existing Solo Mobile customers will not be impacted by this change; they will continue to enjoy great rates, amazing Canada-wide coverage and affordable devices.”
During the Rogers Annual Meeting of Shareholders last week I asked Nadir Mohamed, President and CEO of Rogers, if they plan of moving in the same direction as Bell by focussing their efforts on two brands rather than 3. Mohamed stated that Chatr is progressing very well in the prepaid sector and have with no plans to shift the brand around.
We’ve learned, and confirmed with Rogers, that the 7 Chatr-branded kiosk locations in Montreal will be shutting down and converting to Fido kiosks. The Chatr service in Montreal will still be fully operational, but Rogers stated in an email to us that the reasoning is because “the majority of our Chatr customers in Montreal make changes to their account online or over the phone.”
Chatr customers will be able to top up their accounts via the Fido locations, or online. In addition, if you’re looking for a Chatr phone you will be able to pick one up at a retail location such as Best Buy, Future Shop, Zellers, Telephone Booth, WirelessWave, Wireless etc.
No word yet if other Chatr locations in other provinces will be getting a similar treatment. Here’s the complete statement we received from Rogers about the slight shift:
“We’re making changes to our Montreal Kiosks that will allow us to better serve our Fido customers, as well as our Chatr customers. The majority of our Chatr customers in Montreal make changes to their account online or over the phone. The number of Chatr customers who prefer the ease and simplicity of online self-service has been increasing each month. Chatr customers will still be able to buy top-up vouchers at the 7 Fido-branded kiosks. Chatr customers will also be able to visit any of our 88 third party dealer retail locations to buy top-up vouchers, inquire about services and purchase devices. We’re committed to providing a great experience to all of our customers – Chatr, Fido and Rogers – in Montreal and throughout Canada.”