Have you ever noticed that the price of upgrading a Rogers device on an existing account is actually $50 more than what it says on the sticker? The company’s current policy is to charge the sticker price on new activations while users going through a hardware upgrade (HUP) pay $50 more, which is later rebated.
The procedure, according to a leaked document we received, “is cited as one of the top irritants by customers,” which is why the company is eliminating the practice beginning February 19th. The price customers pay for a device will be the same whether new account or existing customer, eliminating the need to fill out an online form or mailing a silly piece of paper to Saint John, NB.
The current $50 rebate, once submitted, is credited to one’s bill 6-8 weeks after processing, making the hardware upgrade experience decidedly different from those with new accounts. The process came out of Roger’s legacy preference for attracting new customers, back when neither TELUS nor Bell had the iPhone and Rogers had ARPU advantages in the $10 range. That, coupled with a still-growing smartphone market, meant that the bulk of Rogers’ promos were geared towards new customers.
Now that early termination fees are a thing of the past — just pay off your device’s balance (subsidy/24 x months remaining in contract), pay a $15 “Connection Fee” and buy a new device at the subsidized price — and Rogers is working with higher churn rates than TELUS, the need to hold on to existing customers is more important than ever. More than anything, though, this is another move by Rogers to simplify its plans and normalize pricing expectations when purchasing a new device. The process already began by moving over to a shared data model, where nationwide voice and text are unlimited and extras like call display and voicemail, previously a separate fee, are now included in the monthly plan.
Rogers says it will eliminate the $50 hardware rebate on February 19th, so users upgrading between now and then will still have to go through the process of filling out the rebate form and submitting it. That can be found on the My Rogers website under Products and Services.