Rogers CEO to get award but customers not cheering

Thu Jul 3, 2008 11:51am EDT
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By Wojtek Dabrowski

TORONTO (Reuters) - Ted Rogers, chief executive of Canadian cable and telecom giant Rogers Communications, was named to a prestigious lifetime achievement award on Thursday, but some of his customers weren't cheering.

Rogers was named recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2008 Ontario Lifetime Achievement Award and will be presented with it at a banquet in October.

Rogers is well-regarded in corporate Canada as a savvy and shrewd executive. But recently, the CEO of the company that owns Canada's biggest wireless-phone carrier has been receiving little praise from customers.

Behind the discontent are the prices Rogers plans to charge when it rolls out Apple's 3G iPhone on July 11. The plans Rogers is offering -- ranging from C$60 to C$115 a month before any taxes or additional service fees are included -- are being called egregious.

An anti-Rogers protest website called that had about 300 electronic signatures last Friday now has more than 30,000.

"Two thumbs up on not caring about your customers," wrote one complainer. "Keep up the greed!"

A common complaint centers on how expensive the plans are compared with rates being offered by AT&T in the United States and the fact that there is no unlimited data plan available.

"At one point I was excited for the iPhone, but after seeing these rates I realize it is something the common consumer will never be able to afford," another protester wrote on the website. "It should be re-named the aPhone for 'affluent'."   Continued...

<p>Ted Rogers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rogers Communications Inc., speaks during the annual general meeting of shareholders in Toronto April 29, 2008. REUTERS/ Mike Cassese</p>