Customers groan as Rogers sets iPhone prices
By Susan Taylor and Wojtek Dabrowski
OTTAWA/TORONTO (Reuters) - Rogers Communications Inc, owner of Canada's biggest wireless carrier, announced pricing plans on Friday for Apple Inc's 3G iPhone, prompting an outcry about prices from angry customers.
The sleek, multimedia device will hit Canadian stores on July 11. But soon after Rogers unveiled its plans, a protest website began collecting signatures and comments that its creators plan to send to the company on the day of the launch.
"This plan is a joke compared to other countries," wrote one complainer, while another wrote: "What a rip off!!!"
Canadians have long bemoaned high cost of wireless service compared to those in the United States, and many blame lack of competition in a relatively thinly populated country that stretches across six time zones.
Aside from Rogers, only Telus Corp and BCE Inc are national carriers, and Rogers is the only one of the three with the GSM wireless technology that the iPhone uses.
Rogers and its Fido wireless unit said they were offering voice and data plans ranging in price from C$60 ($59) to C$115 ($114) a month for the iPhone, a price that includes unlimited Wi-Fi access at Rogers and Fido hotspots.
The top-end C$115 plan will buy 800 weekday minutes for voice calling and unlimited time at evenings and weekends.
It will allow users to send 300 text messages and have 2 gigabytes of data usage -- something that Rogers says is enough for about 1 million text e-mails, or 16,000 Web pages, or 7,000 photo attachments. Continued...