I’ll never forget this one telephone exchange I had with Rogers. It was the mid-2000s and I was calling to cancel my cable package; after several minutes on hold with retentions, a rep came on the line to make me a final offer:
“Listen, you’ve been a loyal customer for over a decade, and you’ve never made a late payment. What would you say if I told you I could knock a full third off of your cable bill?”
My reflexive response: “I’d say you’ve been overcharging me for ten years.”
In the aftermath of this week’s 10GB bonanza, Canadian wireless subscribers might rightfully be asking themselves: Why are plans that regularly go for $125/month or more suddenly only $60?
We all know it’s the one-two punch of Freedom Mobile and the CRTC mandate for unlocked phones; The Globe and Mail’s telecom reporter, Christine Dobby, asked each of the incumbents for their take. The bad news is that her article is locked behind a paywall; the good news is that some thoughtful person on reddit copied and pasted the text of that article for everyone to enjoy. Here then, is how The Big Three justified the events of the past week:
BCE spokesman Mark Langton pointed to the busy shopping season and said, “We respond to promotional action in the market and have our own holiday offers at Bell Mobility and Virgin, now and during Boxing Week. We have other offers on now and there will be more through the rest of the season.”
Rogers also cited the holidays, and spokeswoman Sarah Schmidt added: “We’ll continue to offer time-limited promotions to meet the different needs of our customers.”
Telus did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
I was sure that I’d read somewhere about someone from Telus saying that they were responding to a regional offer by a competitor, which is actually closer to the truth than anything above. Unfortunately I can’t find a citation for that. But the important thing is that Canada has a new benchmark for smartphone plans and what they should cost. To borrow a slogan from WIND Mobile, that’s a holiday miracle!