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Rogers change may push full-price iPhone upgrade

updated 02:15 pm EDT, Wed March 18, 2009

Rogers HUP Now Two Years

A Rogers internal notice obtained today by BGR suggests that existing iPhone owners may be asked to pay full price to upgrade for a likely hardware replacement this year. The Canadian cellular provider's memo notes that the period before a smartphone subscriber qualifies for the Hardware Upgrade Plan (HUP), or a discounted phone replacement, has been doubled from one to two years as of Tuesday. Only users of regular phones upgrading to smartphones are allowed to upgrade in an earlier timeframe.

The company argues that the move is necessary to continue subsidizing phones while still adding new phones to its catalog in a "fair timeframe." However, it adds that the surprise extension also affects existing customers who might have qualified for an upgrade before March 17th and hadn't yet traded up to a newer device.

Unofficially, the move is believed part of a panic reaction by Rogers executives to a sudden $30 million shortfall created by acquisition costs. The attempt to quickly compensate for those expenses has also raised BlackBerry prices at the carrier by as much as $50, even for the year-old BlackBerry Curve 8300 series.

Whether or not the extension will specifically affect iPhone owners isn't clear. Although it officially prevents many of those who bought an iPhone 3G on launch from getting a discounted device until July 2010 at the earliest, AT&T and other carriers that have had iPhones for more than one year have previously waived their usual policies on upgrades for those trading up to new iPhones. Rogers itself allowed customers to upgrade early without boosting the iPhone's price but hasn't said what its policy would be for future updates.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Salty

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Jul 2005

    -8

    Makes sense

    Makes sense given the cost Rogers has on every iPhone (Quite high) this makes a lot of sense. My guess is AT&T will do the same thing. The first iPhone wasn't subsidized at all hence customers being able to upgrade and get subsidized phones. These ones all have been.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -4

    Re: Makes sense

    ATT does do the same thing, even on the gen 1 phones. There's been complaints of users who tried to upgrade their v1 phone to a v2 on a recent ATT special, and told they had to pay 'full' price, not the $100-$150 price.

  1. kkthompson

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 1999

    +5

    Not really

    Rogers should be offering the discount considering everywhere else in the world, it's a 2 year contract at most that needs to be signed. Rogers rapes you with a 3-year. That's just too long when new phones are arriving so quickly.

  1. noreallyitsme

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2009

    +3

    Rogers Fail!

    I'm sorry but this: "Only users of regular phones upgrading to smartphones are allowed to upgrade in an earlier timeframe." is a crock of c***. My 3 year term just ended with rogers in November 08 and I am being asked to pay $349/$449 for the 8/16GB models. When I tried to get an iPhone 3G on the first day they wanted to charge me $550 with 3 months left on my contract of a regular phone that I paid full price for! So thats like, not true at all! They say because my old contract was only $40 a month its not eligible for a full hardware upgrade discount when upgrading to a smartphone?SCAMS!

  1. Telekinesis

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2009

    +4

    No competition

    Rogers, and well all Canadian Telcos are famous for finding innovative ways to provide the least amount value for their customers.

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