The Rogers roaming pricing strategy is slowly being revealed. On July 14th, 2009 Rogers launched new, and on the whole, more expensive voice, data and SMS roaming rates but more importantly launched a series of value packs and add-ons with them that provide savings off the new standard “rack” rates. The concept is that when you travel you can pay either a one time or a monthly fee and receive the discounts on the standard rates. Today Rogers announced new SMS travel packs. This works great for Rogers as it allows them to segment their customers and maximize revenues. Customers who have companies pay for their phone bills or have a lot of money don’t call in and they pay the full increased price while price sensitive customers can get an add-on plan when they travel so they don’t have to take out a 2nd mortgage when their Rogers bill arrives.
The problem here is the customer experience is nightmare. Although I use an International SIM Card when I travel, I feel for those who don’t.
Steps to get your discounts:
1) First estimate how much voice, data and SMS you are going to use before going on your trip so you know which size plan to buy. If you’re like me this is impossible. How do you know who is going to call you and how long they are going to yammer on? What if a business issue comes up and you have to spend a few hours sorting it out?
2) Call Rogers and wait in line to get served, which depending on when you call can take 1 minute or 30. Good luck, I hope it takes 1.
3) Have the CSR add the plan you want and then once the plan is added hope and pray that it actually did get added because trying to explain afterward once you get your bill that you “really did call” is not much fun. (This happened to me recently when I added a domestic data plan).
4) When traveling, keep track on a piece of paper how many minutes you have used and how many you have left so if you are using more than you estimated you can call (see step 2) to add another plan (I don’t know if you can increase your existing plan).
5) Make sure you use all your minutes, or you could end up paying more than if you had done nothing in the first place.
6) When you get back from your trip, call Rogers to have them remove the monthly plan from your account and then hope and pray it got removed or you will have to call again and explain that “I really did call” which is not fun.
All in all, Rogers is making more and customers are paying more, either in dollars or inconvenience and time.