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Rewind to last decade, and there were a lot of articles about people ditching their landlines for cellphones. Now I think that is without question and it’s quite rare for a young household to have a home phone, but we bucked the trend as we just got one!

One of the major proponents not to get a home phone is because it’s expensive. Bell (or Rogers or Shaw etc) will charge you $20+ a month for a phone and “features”, and they’ll try and sweeten the deal by bundling with your other services. No thanks! $20/month + taxes is a lot of money year over year. That money is better spent on a better cellphone plan!

So it’s a bit odd that I got a home phone, but I got a good deal. I have a “soft” VOIP phone, so it uses my Internet connection; but even VOIP plans are pretty expensive if you go with someone like Vonage – you might have to pay $20/month still, and therefore still not worth it!

I ended up setting up my home phone by spending about $100 for equipment and having $0/mth based on my calling pattern. The one-time ~$100 bought me an ATA device to connect my normal phone as a VOIP phone, and the SIP configuration details. Individual calls to major Canadian cities are free, as are incoming calls. I tried a few calls and there isn’t too much delay, and well worth the one-time cost. Seems like a deal that is too good to be true actually, I’ll have to see how it works out over the next little while.

I was free from Rogers earlier this month, but only the wireless part. I was still a Rogers customer because I use them for internet. Not by choice though, I HAVE to use Rogers because my building is exclusively wired by them.

But at the end of this month, I no longer live in this building, and I no longer need to subscribe to Rogers High Speed Internet. That means I’ll have no more services with Rogers. Yay!

Although, I did try and make a deal with Rogers to continue being their customer (I know, the shock and horror; why would I do such a thing?). I am thinking that I will use Teksavvy Cable for internet, and their price is about $37/mth. I wanted Rogers to give me a discount from their normal $47/mth. No dice though, they said Rogers offers superior reliability yadda yadda. So baring any other frustrating wiring issues, I should be free from Rogers!

I am finally free from Rogers (Wireless)! After testing out the WIND network for a week, it seemed to work in the areas I frequent. I could get service from my desk at work, it works in North York pretty well, and I get excellent service around Square One (although I’m not going to be here for much longer).

I went into another WIND store this weekend to port my Rogers number in. I gave up about $11 from my Rogers Pay-As-You-Go account, but I’m OK with it! WIND has a dumb procedure where you can’t just port your number in, you have to get an entirely new SIM card. Their policy is also that you have to pay $10 for a SIM card. Lucky for me, the person helping me lied to their manager and said that I just bought the phone from him a few weeks ago. I guess the policy is that if you’ve bought the phone within 2 weeks, you can get another SIM card for free.

After a bit of work, where my account and plan had to be recreated, the port was scheduled for an hour later. The hour passed and it worked! Now I don’t have to carry two phones around with me anymore.

It was another free weekend at the Rogers Cup the past weekend, and we went on Saturday. I think their free weekend initiative is a fail now, because we just end up going when it’s free! Of course, we don’t get to see any “real” games with real stars when it’s free. Instead here is what we did.

First we showed up and walked around the grounds getting all the free stuff, trying the activities, and taking some pictures. There was no AMEX lounge this year (or at least not on the free day) so we didn’t get any free ice cream, but we still got free yogurt. Next, we went up to centre court to watch a bit of the qualifying game between Serra and Bester. We left in the middle for lunch.

After lunch, we went back to centre court to watch Roger Federer practice. Because we didn’t have “real” tickets, we were relegated to the 300 level. I was too lazy to carry around my “real” camera for the day, so I just brought a P+S (with only 3x zoom). After Federer practiced for an hour, there was an event called celebrity tennis which featured local Toronto celebrities like Gord Martineau, and Nick Kypreos as well as some other ones (Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo fame, former Leaf Dominic Moore, Jake Gold, some actor from Heroes, an female columnist on SportsNet). They had to hit some targets for bragging rights. They were later joined by Andy Murray and Daniel Nestor for some recreational doubles play.

On reflection, the event was pretty pointless, and probably most people that stayed were because they were allowed into the lower bowl and wanted to be close to celebrities. Afterwards, Andy and Daniel stayed and demonstrated progressive tennis by playing against a 6 and 7 y/o. I think that was more entertaining than watching celebrities.

I’m almost free from Rogers! I’ve been talking about trying to whittle down my prepaid balance for about 2 years, and now I’m down to a balance of $21.61! I’ve made a lot of progress in the past month or two because I’ve been buying a lot of data day passes at $3/day (although now it is discounted to $2/day or $7/week) and because I’ve had a lot of daytime calls related to moving. That is in addition to a few months of the $1 top-up hack until Rogers shut down that loophole earlier this year.

The bad news for me is that my airtime expires today, so I’ll have to top up again. Instead of topping up my usual $20, I’m doing a $10 top-up and switching to a crappy plan. It’s a necessary evil because I really want to get rid of my Rogers account as I’m going to be switching to Wind soon!

It’s a bit odd to think about your next meal when you’re eating a buffet but that’s kind of the position I’m in. I have all the minutes that I can consume on my cellphone, but I’m already thinking about how to run away from Rogers.

What has spurred me lately to think about showing my customer disloyalty is my lack of a data plan. It makes playing Foursquare quite difficult! The problem is that there is nowhere I can turn to because Rogers/Fido/Bell/Telus all want your firstborn for data access (at least 3 yrs worth). I kind of like paying only $20 a month (or at least less than $60).

I’ve been waiting for WIND mobile to pick up its game. When they launched, they had an unlimited data addon for +$35, which is a bit too expensive, and a Social Blackberry plan for +$10, which only supports a few apps and is thus crippled. Today the game changed because WIND announced a new tier for their data addons. For +$20 you can get 500mb of data, which is plenty (maybe even the +$10 for 50mb is enough).

So I’ve already decided, that my next phone plan will be the $15 Chat + $20 Data for a grand total of $39.55 a month which includes enough minutes and text for me. My current phone has been good to me, but it doesn’t support WIND’s frequencies so I will probably get a BB as well. Now I just need to use up the remaining $60+ in my PayGo, which should take about 2 years. Hopefully that will give WIND the time to get their network in order in Toronto.

I haven’t had a Rogers Sucks blog in awhile, so here’s one. I’ve been researching the cheapest way to get data on my cellphone in the US. I obviously don’t want to sign on to a plan, because I would only be in the States for a couple of days. Since I use GSM, the only two possibilities are basically T-Mobile or AT&T.

T-Mobile doesn’t offer prepaid data (short of some hacking and use of proxies) but AT&T offers a few plans at $4.99 for 1MB or $19.99 for 100MB. When I first found about this, I was annoyed because it seemed like a rip off. I could spend $20USD for data, but that’s the same as I pay for my entire cellphone bill in a month in Canada! But the more I thought about it, the better it sounds.

With Rogers, the only way I can get data access is to pay $2.99 for a Data Day Pass which gives me up to 20MB of data (I pay a $1.99 tax for having a smartphone, otherwise it’ll be $1 day). That works out to 0.15¢ per MB which is a bit better than the 0.20¢ per MB that AT&T offers. Sounds good right? so why am I complaining?

The difference is that my 20MB on Rogers expires within 24 hours. I can’t use up 20MB just by checking email or updating foursquare, and Rogers is betting on that to eat up my $3. AT&T is different, you get 30 days to use up your data, and that would be great for me. Sure $20 is a bit much, but I can check Facebook and use GTalk on the go for an entire month!

My plan to eat up my PayGo balance is kind of backfiring. After all this effort to spend more each month, I have more money on my balance than when I started the plan – almost at $100 now.

That is frustrating me.

What is more frustrating however, is that now I have no use for my $7/mth unlimited browsing plan. Rogers has decided to aggressively filter out non-Rogers, non-dumb phones from accessing the plan. If you have a smartphone or an unlocked phone from another carrier, and if you want to use data on PayGo you’ll have to chalk up $1, $2.99 (if you have a smartphone) or $4.99 (if you have a non-Rogers smartphone) a day. There is no flat rate alternative.

I want to use up my credit but not be ripped off doing so. Which means that I will be cancelling my $7 plan. Now I need an alternate strategy to use up my money.

Holy flying pigs, the SAF that I have been complaining about is coming to an end on Rogers. I’ve been cynical about this fee since the time of no-titles and incomplete sentences!

But this is Rogers so they will never do anything in YOUR favour. To replace the $6.95/mth, you are getting a government regulatory recovery fee which will range between $2.46 and $3.46 a month (depending on province). Oh, all your plans will also get $5 more expensive. Hell, I’m not dumb, $5+$2.46 > $6.95!

Ok, you do get three, free calling features for your extra $5 (does that mean you can’t get a free text plan?), like the free call display and call waiting that Rogers started charging for a few years back? I can’t tell if we are ahead or behind in this game. But before you give Rogers any credit for their newfound honesty about the SAF. Know this about the Government Regulatory Recovery Fee:

Liz Hamilton, a spokeswoman for Rogers, said the new billing structure is an attempt to offer subscribers more clarity on their monthly bills.

“What we will be breaking out is what you’ll be paying for your wireless services and what you pay for government charges, which will vary by province.”

Hamilton said the carrier will spell out the new fee breakdown on its website and clarify that it’s not a fee Rogers is mandated to collect on the government’s behalf.

I’ll stick to my $20/mth unlimited-weekend-after-8pm-calling, unlimited browsing plan thank you very much.

Time has an article asking whether we pay too much for SMS. Yeah, we know the answer to this already since Rogers decided to all of a sudden raise the costs of incoming texts ∞% from 0¢ to 15¢. But two things were neat about this article.

The average U.S. mobile teen now sends or receives an average of 2,899 text messages per month, according to Nielsen Mobile.

Holy cow, that’s 100 texts a day on average. I wonder where the 95% percentile people are at?

The other cool thing was that they brought a prof from Waterloo to be an expert witness in front of the US Senate

At those hearings, Srinivasan Keshav, a professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario and an expert on mobile computing, presented a detailed analysis of all the expenses that carriers incur in handling SMS messages. He showed that the wireless channels contribute about a tenth of a cent to a carrier’s cost, that accounting charges might be twice that and that other costs basically round to zero because texting requires so little of a mobile network’s infrastructure. Summing up, Keshav found that a text message doesn’t cost providers more than 0.3 cent.

Hmm, Roger’s $5 messaging bundle provides 250 outgoing messages. That means that make a 600% profit on that plan!

My balance on my paygo account has been quite steady at > $50 for a long time now. It’s not as high as it once was thanks to more day time calls and being charge 15¢ for each received text, but it’s not decreasing rapidly enough for me to use it up in case I need to pick up a contract.

I was racking my brain on how to use up my balance, when I had an epiphany. I could add the $7/mth unlimited data browsing plan onto my phone. With this, I could hopefully use up my balance in about 10 months, which is about the time Pauline’s cellphone contract expires and we can get a new one.

This “browsing” plan is supposed to be truly unlimited, but it’s a crippled data plan since you can only access ports 80 and 443. That means you can’t do ftp, shh, pop3 or imap on it. But that’s ok, because with a candy bar phone, I can’t really do anything.

(Unless, of course, that means I need to buy a more capable phone to take advantage of my plan!)

Because I only watch a smidgen of TV, I’m getting confused about the advertisements for Bell and Rogers. I recall seeing this ad for Rogers with the red/blue couch split in the middle:

But then I’ve also seen ads for Bell with another couch, this one was quite a bit longer and more on the blue side. I could swear that that was a Bell ad. So I’m just confused as to which brand these sofas are supposed to evoke, Bell or Rogers?

I tried looking online for a Bell example as comparison, but they don’t have their commercials posted (get with the times Bell). Instead, I found an article in The Star that had the same idea as me.

The battle waged on a common couch started June 1, when Rogers launched an ad campaign with a two-seater, half red, half blue, saying its home phone service was a better buy – $25 less – than Bell’s.

Bell reacted quickly and launched the couch ad by June 16, this time with five blue cushions and one red, its way of expanding the conversation. The ad notes that Bell has more TV channels and is $25 less expensive than Rogers. Bell also went after Rogers’ wireless service, comparing a Rogers cellphone to a Bell cellphone.

I think this is a waste of money. Roger’s is spending money building a mnemonic, but Bell is paying money to associate the same mnemonic with itself. I don’t think they’re doing themselves a favor with their consumers either, since this sounds like two brothers fighting it out in public.

Last week, I was over at the local Rogers TV station after work because Pauline was getting interviewed for the local high school sports show. Her badminton team won the local trophy and two students from her team had to fight for #1, which made for an intruing storyline I suppose.

I had a chance to watch in the control room as they were filming and it was an interesting experience. It wasn’t live, but it seemed like they wanted to get through as quick as possible. There was one time when the host asked a question twice, the producer yelled stop, rolled back the tape to an earlier point and continued recording. There were multiple cameras rolling at once, and I guess they pick the best one (i.e., close up when someone was answering a question). What you don’t see on TV is the host fidgeting with his ear piece when the interviewee is answering a question.

Because her badminton team did well, Pauline is off to balmy Sudbury for OFSAA for the rest of this week. That means I need to try not to burn down the house!

As part of my partial boycott of Rogers, we don’t get Cable. TV is pretty expensive for something that is easily replaced by DVDs, torrents or gaming. We can get a lot of other entertainment that supports time-shifting for the $50/month that we would have to pay for digital cable (and box, and pvr etc etc).

But, it’s nice to have TV sometimes, to watch the news (isn’t there something happening in Mumbai?) or Smallville (wait no, I’m officially weened off the series, I haven’t seen one episode from Season 8. It was bye Lana, bye Luthor and bye Kevin). So our solution was to buy an antenna for our TV (since it already has a ATSC tuner).

Getting a pair of rabbit ears is a bit odd to go with cutting edge HDTVs, but it does work. And not only with the analog channels of old, but with 1080i digital channels. I ordered an antenna from Dell back on September 26, and it finally got delivered on Friday. A good two months later (I seem to have some trouble with order delays). We can get City, Global, CTV, CBC and a couple of Buffalo stations all in HDTV.

It’s not the perfect solution (although it was cheap, ~$40 which is less than one month of cable); because our suite faces NE, I can’t get a line of sight to the CN Tower (or Buffalo for that matter) so the signal strength varies a bit. Unlike analog, when the signal drops to low, the picture just doesn’t update anymore!

I got a free iPod shuffle last year. No, not this one, but one as part of the QIP celebration. It’s pretty ugly, being teal (they didn’t have navy blue iPods then) and having a customized message thanking us. I’ve recently upgraded it by getting a skin from Tego to affix over the back. Now it’s much prettier!

Tego sells glorified stickers which you can print with your own design (or use one of their pre-existing ones) that are shaped like your mp3 player, phone, or other electronic device. I suppose it could be popular with teens that worry a lot about image, and have a lot of disposible income; because printing a tiny sticker for my iPod shuffle cost $10! And that doesn’t even include shipping.

I wouldn’t have gotten a skin, if it wasn’t for a recent Rogers Thanks event. I didn’t win any of the big prizes, so I had to settle for 1) a free movie/game rental, 2) a 3 month subscription to a magazine, or 3) a Tego skin. But don’t think I’m singing praises to Rogers, because I wanted to design a skin for both the front and back of my iPod, and Rogers was adamant that they only finance one side.

It took two whole weeks and 3+ weekends, but I’ve finally, really, moved in/out. The last thing to move was my array of computers, which I delayed till the very last moment since I wasn’t able to setup Rogers High-speed. I called them again late on a Friday night and was able to setup internet in 5 minutes — and was online 5 minutes after that. I didn’t get 3 months free (just the $100 credit), but I was glad that I was able to set things up smoothly.

On Saturday, Pauline and I went down to Niagara Falls so that Pauline could participate in a conference. I spent my time between meals bumming around the city, which on a hot & sunny day was not too fun. I ended up at the Niagara Falls Botanical Gardens (roses were also melting from the heat), the Sir Adam Beck 2 Power Station and the Canada One outlets on Lundy’s Lane. At night, we went up to the station which shines the (coloured) lights on the Falls and changed the colours around randomly much to the chagrin of the tourists on the street.

I spent Sunday at my third places of recent memory: Dollarama, Walmart, but unfortunately not Ikea. I mentioned how Dollarama is cheap (price-wise), but not surprisingly the household items we buy from there are not designed that well. What is surprising is that when I go to Walmart and buy cheap household items, they DO seem a step-up from the products at Dollarama. I can’t believe I just said that.

I’ve bottled up my distaste for dealing with Rogers and moved ahead with getting my services setup. It’s not like I had any other choice right? I scoured online for the “best” deal for Rogers High-Speed and there really was no choice. I could do a 1-year contract at $39.95+$3/mth or I could buy a modem for $99.95 and get a $99.95 credit. I chose the latter and attempted to set it up this weekend.

I called them on Sunday after noon, and after 30 minutes and talking to 5 people, got nothing done! Apparently their systems were down so they couldn’t do any sign-ups. Plus, they used some VoIP line (to India?) and between the static and the accent, I couldn’t really hear anything on my cellphone that was getting full reception.

I called back on Monday and finally setup my services. Instead of the $100 back, I got 3 months for free (which is a better deal), but I couldn’t get everything activated because I didn’t have the serial number of the modem on me (my fault I guess). So I still have to wait to call them back and setup my account (let’s hope they honor my 3-months-free deal). Plus, then I have to wait for someone to come to the building and “wire” my cable. I thought that’s what got me into this problem in the first place…

Of all the companies that I have to deal with, I hate Rogers the most (MBNA is a close second, but only because they are retarded). You can read all my rants about Rogers, but basically I think they are a rip-off who can get away with it due to their monopoly (cable, GSM).

As you can expect, I was not very pleased to hear that in our new building, we can ONLY get phone service and internet from Rogers. Home phone from Rogers is a rip-off because there is a $5.95 “system access fee” on the bill, in addition to a higher initial cost ($29.95 vs Bell’s $19.95). Immediately, my phone service is $15 more expensive per month.

The “phone service” is also a bit funny, it’s not a POTS line like Bell, but actually a cable modem with battery backup (but not VoIP) which means you can’t get any sort of DSL. That means I’m stuck with $44.95/mth internet over Cable. Which is again a ripoff compared to my $29.95/mth DSL.

What pisses me off the most is that everyone in our building doesn’t have a choice. Because Rogers wired the building, they have a monopoly on us. Our “alternative” is to not get phone service or not get internet; and how likely do you think is that?

I have a money-hole called my cellphone. Being a life necessity, I need to have a cellphone but I don’t use it enough to warrant its cost – and I’m not even talking about a lot of money here, I pay $22.60 inclusive a month for my cellphone service.

I’ve written about the benefits of the prepaid plan but the problem I’m facing now is that I can’t use up $20 worth of airtime in a month. It’s a constant problem, and although I’ve been better at using up my monthly allotment, I’m still consistently over $100 worth of credit. This is getting to be a problem because the iPhone is coming out. If I were to switch to a contract then I have to find someone way to use up this $100, which isn’t an easy task.

But in the end, I think it’s just a thought exercise. Would I want to spend $70+ a month (or $50 more than I do now) over 3 years AND pay $200 upfront for GPS location and the ability to access the internet the web anywhere? Not really.

On Sunday, Pauline and I had our annual visit to the Rogers Cup (2006, 2005). This year it was the Womens’ again and we had tickets to the Singles and Doubles final. I had bought seats awhile ago, and based on previous experience picked seats that faced east because it sucks facing west when the sun is going down in the evening. Of course, I screwed up because I assumed that the finals would be at night when in fact they were during the day.

The Doubles final was first, and started at 11:30. Good thing too, because the tickets said 11 and were half an hour late. We got in right as they finished warm up and immediately before play. I didn’t know any of the players, although the top two seeds played. I think this was the first time I’ve seen doubles live and it seemed like there was some pretty sloppy play. Black and Huber lost the first set 6-4 and were were up 5-2 in the second set when we decided to leave for a bit and get back in time for the end of the third set. We received these Rogers’ advertisements that we had to get scanned by 2PM in order to enter the draws. These advertisements were clever because they looked like backstage passes, so everyone was wearing them to be cool. We also got some of the usual freebies (yogurt, shavers, wrist sweat bands, mouse pads) and Pauline played some of the sponsored tennis games. By the time we were done our rounds, we noticed that everyone was leaving. It turns out that Srebotnik and Sugiyama had already won the double titles! How did they finish so quick? apparently there is no third set in doubles play, they just play a race-to-10 tiebreaker. Oh well.

After some concessions for lunch, we headed back in for the Singles finals between Justine Henin (no longer Henin-Hardenne as of 2007 says Wikipedia) and Jelena Jankovic, the first and third ranked players in the world. This match was much more entertaining than the doubles, because there were fewer unforced errors and several long rallies. But because this was the prime event, there were also more problems. First, there was a noisy biplane that kept circling the stadium during the first set, the PA said that it was taking pictures; what is this, a football game? Next, there was a very rowdy Serbian following, mainly in the 300s, that supported Jankovic. There was one fan that would “call” all of the close calls against Henin until the crowd and the referee told him to be quiet. Next, there was what devolved into a cheering war between the numerous Jankovic fans, the few Henin supporters, and the rest of the crowd. The Jankovic fans would yell some random Serbian cheers, and then the Henin supporters would yell Allez Justine and then everyone else would yell Shhh. It was like a baseball game before each serve, except the referee kept reminding us it wasn’t. This was at the worst in the second match when it was tied 5-5 with Henin serving; they were stuck at deuce for half an hour and during every serve the Jankovic would cheer to disrupt Henin’s concentration. Of course, these cheers disappeared when Jankovic served and lost the deciding game. I wanted Henin to win just to spite the Jankovic supporters, and maybe Jankovic did too because she was notably frustrated and tossing her racket.

After receiving her trophy, Henin was asked to walk around the court for photos as advertised in the promotional material. It wasn’t really walking around, but I got a few photos. After that, we went to the AMEX tent to get our free Haagen Dazs and drinks before leaving. As we were driving along Keele though, we were stopped for awhile as a herd of geese decided that now was a good time to cross the road.

Yesterday, I went to the Rogers Cup since it was Family Day and admission was free. This was the second year in a row that I had went to the Rogers Cup, and it wasn’t much different. The layout and it looks like the sponsers were identical. The only difference was that it was Men’s tennis this year.

Once Pauline and I arrived in the early afternoon, we walked around the merchandise area, picked up some freebies (refridgerated yogurt is very useful on a hot day). One thing that I didn’t see last year was an opportunity to make your own version of the American Express advertisements (similar to the one that Lazaridis of RIM and Roddick have: My life is blah blah blah, my card is American Express). They billed it as a form of creative expression, but it was too warm for thinking so I couldn’t think of anything fresh. At the same place, they also had a pong game which mirrored their Roddick commercial.

Eventually, we made it to the grandstand to watch some tennis, but by then all the real games had finished, so we settled for sitting around and watching a random person practice. After a bit of that, they changed people and I had heard rumors that it was Federer who would be practicing — and it was true. Then everything went crazy. Everyone went up to take photos, and the stadium started filling up. For a practice! Admist the chaos, Roger shouted my name! Well not Roger Federer but my friend from high school, so we chatted for a bit. At one point he asked me what ticket I got, and I was like uhhh it’s free today; haha that was a funny moment.

So we stayed and watched Federer practice for a good two hours against a decent partner (not sure who it was though), during which they seemed to play a mock game (not sure what the score was though. Afterwards, he signed some autographs for the mass of fans at both ends of the stadium. I also took about 250 photos while he was practicing, but afterwards threw most of them away. I think I ended up with one good papparazzi photo which I’ve posted on flickr.

Looks like I spoke too soon about my good Rogers experience. I found out today that my phone had been deactivated on January 4th (so I don’t use my phone a lot at school) and my balance deleted.

The last time this happened, there was a valid reason as my credit card wasn’t working, but this time; I was 100% positive that the information I gave them worked. Why? because they successfully charged the card after I gave them the information.

So here’s what happened, and I’m making a detailed public record now so I can always look this stuff up (ignore if you wish). Anyways, I talked to Cynthia at 4:20PM today and she did not offer any explanation why the Auto Saver didn’t automatically kick in for December. Without any need for persuasion on my part, she credited me back my balance of $19.60, of which I got a text about at 4:24PM and extended my expiration date past the 24th of January when the next Auto Saver payment should kick in.

The annoying thing about this is that it’s a waste of my time to “talk” with Melanie and get her to transfer me to a CSR (this time, what I did was attempt to add money to my account, enter the incorrect passcode 3 times, and kept saying random things for a couple of minutes when they asked for my SIM card number), only to have Rogers admit they screwed up. If they realized the screwed up, they should have a technology solution to realize it and fix it. Don’t waste my time.

I often complain about Rogers on here, with good reason I think; so it’s fair that for once I will have a blog that says that they did good.

So anyways, I’ve been trying to add money onto my PayGo account since last Thursday and their website kept having errors accessing my account. This was bad because I had used a $30 for 90 days deal in late August so I needed to add money quickly. Next Tuesday came and my phone showed “Unrecognized SIM” which I read to mean a bad thing.

I called them up today, and the story goes that i was on Auto Saver (20% off per minute!) and my credit card was rejected 3 times in a row so they cancelled my account. Great. Except, I found a loophole. Turns out that they were supposed to mail you the agreement so you actually knew about this, but they never mailed anything out to me. I was able to reinstate my account for free, and regain the leftover money that I had left on my cancelled account. The only drawback is that I would be able to qualify for any special deals like I did before (which I shouldn’t have been able to since I was on Auto Saver, but wasn’t).

Anyways a little tidbit of information (perhaps this is only valid for me), Rogers charges your card on the 21st of every month and adds money to your account on the 24th of the month.

More blogs about Rogers:
Prepaid is a Better Deal

Rogers is a Rip Off
System Access Fee isn’t a Real Fee

Seems like I blog a lot about Rogers recently, I should make a Rogers tag or something.

Anyways, last night I went with Pauline to catch some second round action at the Rogers Cup at the Rexall Centre at York University. We saw fifth seeded Serena Williams play against unseeded Stephanie Cohen-Aloro. I won’t do a recap but if you’re interested you can read it at the Globe. Too bad Maria Sharapova pulled out, because she would have probably played at Centre Court instead of Williams.

We also went on Sunday because it was freebie day, unfortunately it was also rain sporadically throughout the day day so we didn’t see any real tennis. That however, provided us with an opportunity to buy tickets for the Tuesday match. We did a 2 for 1 deal whereby if you surrendered a ticket stub from the Jays’ homestand versus the Yankees you could get two tickets for the price of one.

So we also recently to the Rogers Centre to watch a Blue Jays game but I guess that should be another story for another Rogers post.

I should start this off by saying I don’t use my cellphone as a landline replacement, I just use it on the go so people can get in touch with me, I can get in touch with them and I can send and receive texts. That’s it. I don’t use unlimited evenings/weekends nor a data plan nor in-networking calling nor anything else. That’s why this works.

Anyways, I think that monthly plans are insanely expensive but I don’t think I can live without being connected via cell phone, so a happy medium is prepaid. It’s better because it’s cheaper and you get

  1. Free Call Display
  2. Voice Mail
  3. No System Access Fee
  4. Credit carries over till the next month

for (at least for me) $23 a month including tax. Even with my old $20 base plan, it ended up costing at least $32 per month. So I can save $9 a month and quit any time (for free!).

Sure you can’t yap forever, but if you sign up with Rogers and get their Evenings/Weekends plan with Auto Saver, your cost is 4 cents a minute at night and on weekends! That’s more than enough time per month for me, plus I hardly use my phone during the day time anyways.

So if all you’re doing is to use your phone sporadically, then my advice would be to go with prepaid rather than a monthly plan. Even better is if you can get someone’s old cellphone and not have to pay anything more than the sim card and activation.