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With Netflix for the kids and baseball on the iPad for me, our household uses a lot of data. Having an Internet plan that can accommodate our data use is a necessity. (Michael Snider)
With Netflix for the kids and baseball on the iPad for me, our household uses a lot of data. Having an Internet plan that can accommodate our data use is a necessity. (Michael Snider)

From the archives

Dear Rogers Hi-Speed, I'm leaving you for someone else Add to ...

Switching incumbent providers – which, in my view, is completely redundant – is easier than moving to a Rogers partner such as TekSavvy. One of the customer reps I spoke to early in the process admitted that if I returned my rented Internet modem and HD cable-TV box to a Rogers store, my account would be closed and that would be that. So customers fleeing to Bell can actually quit Rogers immediately because they can co-ordinate the installation of their new service with the termination of the old. As I say, though, that’s like jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

For me, it wasn’t an option.

Part of the reason is that TekSavvy buys its bandwidth from Rogers, and the transfer process – which I understand is relatively simple and conducted remotely – is done by Rogers. No trucks sent to your house, no cut lines, no holes in your walls. All TekSavvy does is couriers you a new modem ($75-$90), if you need one, though you can buy your own , which is an option that’s not available to Rogers customers. Note: As various commenters have pointed out and as Rogers has just confirmed, you can buy your own modem for Rogers Hi-Speed, though the modem must be approved, for which Rogers says there is a process.

The other part of the reason is that if I had returned the equipment I would have been without Internet access for more than a week. TekSavvy requires at least seven days advance notice for new hookups. That makes sense. But here’s the rub: TekSavvy – at the insistence of Rogers – will not schedule the transfer until the account is closed.

So I was stuck – cancel everything and go a week without Internet access, or stew for a month because company A can’t connect until company B says it’s okay.

I stewed.

During the stewing process, I communicated with someone from Rogers’ Office of the President. Although I identified myself as Globe Technology’s editor, I didn’t tell the person I might use his correspondence in an article, so I won’t identify or quote him. But he essentially said Rogers has made exceptions in the past based on a customer’s situation and he wrote that if TekSavvy were able to secure an earlier installation date, then Rogers could expedite the transfer.

TekSavvy said that while it sounded like a swell idea, it has been directed by Rogers not to put in transfer orders without a cancellation date already in the books. A TekSavvy rep said there have been many issues in the past when it was handled otherwise. The he-said, she-said continued, and then communication from Rogers stopped and I figured I’d have to wait.

To be fair, it wasn’t really a hardship. My Extreme Plus has been fine. It’s fast and reliable and it has a relatively high data cap compared with Canadian standards, even though on two occasions I’ve tripped the data line and incurred overage fees. Whatever. It’s done now.

So what am I going to do with my unlimited Internet cap?

I mentioned in Part 1 that my household reconnected Netflix after getting an over-the-air antenna. I can now bump up the Netflix video settings and stream programs at the highest quality rather than dialling it down so it uses less bandwidth. We can also watch Xbox programming. Microsoft has agreements that Netflix doesn’t, so together the choices for movies and programs are a little better.

And there are more over-the-top services out there, accessible through devices such as Apple TV and Boxee, and I suspect there will be more in the future that do not hinge on being a customer of Company X. It never ceases to amaze me how disruptive the Internet can be to traditional businesses and practices. Companies that are unwilling to use disruptive technology in their favour put themselves at a disadvantage. As business models make delivering content online profitable, I have little doubt that content creators will continue to bypass traditional delivery methods in favour of direct-to-consumer methods.

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