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Background:

Yesterday, Mobilesyrup reported that Rogers had finally dropped their 3-year contract price for the Samsung Galaxy S II LTE from $199.99 to $179.99. That made it more competitive with the other carriers such as Bell, which is offering the original Galaxy S II for $99.95 and Telus, which is offering the Galaxy S II X (which is almost identical to the Rogers’ version, sans LTE) for $99.99 on 3-year contracts.

In fact, I’ve heard of Best Buy’s “Free Phone Fridays” which have offered Bell’s Galaxy S II on a 3-year contract for $0.01 (that price is being advertised right now on BestBuy.ca).

Yesterday’s price ($179.99):

So with that knowledge, I went down to my local Rogers Plus store in Burnaby, BC last night (Nov 8) to pick up my Rogers reserved Galaxy S II LTE which had arrived that day. When it came time to ring up the price, it indeed said “$179.99”, but I had to come back the next day because I couldn’t remember the PIN for the credit card I wanted to put it on (I only use that card for my Rogers bill).

Today’s price ($129.99):

Imagine my surprise when I went down this morning (Nov 9) to purchase the phone and the price came up to only $129.99! I was surprised, and I even confirmed the price with the Rogers employee and he couldn’t explain why it was different from the price just last night.

Has Rogers decided again to lower the Galaxy S II LTE contract price to be more competitive with the other carriers?

Receipt:

Here’s a low quality picture of my receipt (taken from the borrowed iPhone 3G that I’ve been using while waiting for my Galaxy S II LTE to arrive):

My (i.e. potentially mine) iPhone 4S finally shipped. It just left Mount Hope, Ontario. Who knows when it will get here… *facepalm*

I was #245 in the NATION for a pre-reserved Rogers iPhone 4S 32GB (Black) and now my phone will probably arrive almost a week later (Edit: It’s the next morning and my phone appears to have reached YVR airport) than the ppl who walked in to Future Shop this afternoon to get a (surprise) Rogers iPhone 4S…

Good thing my hope for happiness is not invested in a phone 😛 (but I AM upset about how the Rogers representative on the “Rogers Red Board” blog is deflecting all blame for their reservation system’s poor execution)

See: http://redboard.rogers.com/2011/rogers-reservation-system-iphone-4s-update/comment-page-6/#comments
(click on “Show Comments” at the bottom)

But I’m #245 in Rogers’ online reservation (pre-order) system for the Black 32GB iPhone 4S 😛


(from www.rogers.com)

I pre-ordered about 3 minutes after the Rogers system came back online (3AM PST/6AM EST). I guess I could have been earlier in line if I hadn’t read through all the terms and agreements before clicking “Accept”, just to make sure, hee hee.

Anyways, it’s a $40 deposit and it’s fully refundable. So now I guess it’s time to see if I can get my just expired 3-year contract renewed. It’s a Rogers retention iPhone plan from 2008, but it’s apparently better than anything Rogers offers now of days. If not… I may have to cancel this iPhone 4S order and start rethinking my phone plans 😛

Oh, and did I mention that I LOST MY iPhone 3G last Saturday, I think somewhere in Coquitlam? Yup. What timing, eh?

I just got this service text message from Rogers (at 1:48PM PST, April 6 2010):

Rogers svc msg:Good news! On May 4/10 tethering will be included at no extra charge as part of ur data plan on eligible devices.More info @ rogers.com/tethering

Checking out the rogers.com/tethering page indicates that it will be free for data plans of 1GB and higher, for both the iPhone 3G, 3GS, and also Blackberry customers.

You don’t actually have to wait for May 4th for this to take effect.  Rogers’ website states:

Effective immediately, tethering will continue to be included at no additional charge for Rogers customers who subscribe to a data plan of 1 GB and above*. This new policy replaces the current tethering promotion, originally set to expire on May 3, 2010.

[Semi-important note to all my friends: please read the very LAST (tiny) paragraph if this post is too long.  I have a question to ask of you.]

Who knew?  I didn’t, until today when I took a closer look at my Rogers wireless billing charges.  They’re charging 15 cents for every incoming text message, which is the same as it costs to send a text message!  Which also means that if a person or company spams with you with text messages, you could easily be paying a whole lot at an uncontrollable rate*.  Anyways, it turns out that they started charging for incoming texts in August 2009, I believe.  Apparently they were notifying customers in their bills as of June & July, but I don’t receive paper bills and I never noticed anything showing up via e-mail or online (even though my Customer Service Representative was trying to convince me that it must have notified me, somewhere… [he didn’t know exactly how]).  I have a hunch it was in the PDF invoice/bill that I am able to download if I click in the right place.

Ok, so apparently you are only notified in your June bill.  I downloaded the PDF invoice and it notifies you of the changes on Page 4 of 7.  Thanks for not telling me anywhere else on my online billing page, or e-mailing me or contacting me by phone.  Maybe a text message to my Rogers phone would be the best (or most straightforwardly logical) way to notify me.  This is probably grounds for some better legislation that helps protect customers.

Anyways, the bottom line is that I talked to Customer Relations (the special department that got me my current iPhone monthly plan), and I got put on a $5/month messaging plan.  This is the first time I’ve ever paid a monthly fee for text messages, of all things.  For that fee, I get unlimited incoming and 250 outgoing text, picture, or video messages.  Too bad my iPhone 3G can’t record video.

*Although now that I’ve discovered in that PDF invoice that you can be protected against SPAM messages, I’ll probably downgrade to the $3/month, 100 outgoing text, unlimited incoming messages Customer Relations add-on.

Anyways, I’m going to try out the $5/month plan for a bit and see if I can actually get any use out of picture messaging.  I’ll probably switch to the $3/month plan, since I don’t text people very much at all.  But I figure if I receive or send more than 20 text messages (combined) a month, then it’s worth going to the $3/month plan.  That’s a lot better than the cheapest $10/month plan that the regular Customer Service rep (not Customer Relations) was offering me (I think it was for like… well, I can’t remember.  A lot of outgoing texts, and unlimited incoming).

The real reason I wanted to write this post was to figure out who of my friends can receive text messages for free, and who can receive picture messages for free.  I want to know, so that I can feel free to text/message you without feeling like I’m costing you money.  And that is all, thanks for reading.

I just found out that Sobeys (a grocery store chain) in Ontario is open 24 hours, seven days a week.  Whoa.  They look about as cheap as Superstore (back home in BC), too.  And, I live 700 metres from a Sobey’s.  I’m still going to drive, though (while I still have my sister’s car).

And just to reiterate, I’m thinking of getting an iPhone from Rogers:

My potential voice (& data) 3-year contract:

100 weekday minutes
1000 evenings and weekends (starting at 6PM)
unlimited incoming calls
caller id
100 Canadian long distance minutes
[system access fee and 9-11 included)

1GB e-mail & data plan

Total: $42.45 per month (+ tax)
[System access fee $6.95/month and 9-11 $0.50/month INCLUDED]

(I could instead get 250 daytime minutes with unltd. evenings & weekends starting at 8PM for $5 more a month)

This is Part 3 of my three part series on the start of what I’m doing here at the University of Waterloo.

Whew.  Ok, the end of my update series.  Well, last week (actually, like two or three weeks ago) was the Week of Evangelism at Waterloo.  I am happy to report to you that, contrary to what I thought, you can actually approach students on Waterloo campus and talk to them about spiritual things!  You just can’t do that in the Student Life Centre, which is the central building where a lot of students hang out.  Anyways, I got a chance to speak with LOTS of students and do lots of evangelism last week – probably more than I did on campus at SFU in the last year or two!

I think I talked with over 10 students, and here’s a little rundown on what kinds of students I got to talk to:

  • Computer Science student from a Hindu background
  • Korean student in “Biomed” (1st year, I think) who already told us she wanted to join a Bible study
  • Math or CS student who is already a Christian
  • International student from China, studying 2nd year Math (he kind of believes in a God, although his family grew up not believing in God, I think)
  • A Grade 12 student on campus, who is a Mormon (he’s hoping to go into History at Waterloo, next year) – I got into a long and interesting conversation with this guy on the differences between his faith and mine (Christianity), whether our sin really deserves something like “Hell”, the deity of Jesus and what the deity of God, lol (Mormons have a very limited, polythesitic, un-Godlike view of God, in my judgment)
  • A Chinese grad student (1st year, Master’s)
  • A student from South Sudan (we spoke to him VERY BRIEFLY) who told us his spiritual beliefs are, “Jesus is coming soon!”
  • A 2nd year Electrical Engineering student whom I asked for directions to find a prof who used to be at SFU (then Ryan, my colleague, started a conversation with him)
  • And finally, a 1st year software engineering student who really opened up to me on different things.  I got to talk to him about the Gospel, why I believe it, and stuff like that.

Whew.  Ok.  And that’s a wrap!  No more photos this time.

P.S. …about the iPhone

I think I might be getting an iPhone with a (1GB/month) data plan.  All together, it might come to $42.45 per month + tax (3-year contract).  That includes the system access fee ($6.95/month) and everything.  How can this even be an option for me, you ask?  Well, as I explained on my own profile on Facebook:

This is a deal where you are a current Rogers customer (I just had a 3-year contract expire, for example), and I asked to be transferred to their Retention Services department. Apparently they can be really flexible. I also had an example from a colleague (one with Telus, one in a similar situation with …  Read MoreRogers) where they got data plans for their Blackberry.

Anyways, the reason I want an iPhone is so that I don’t have to take out my 9 lb, 17″ laptop on campus or whatever to check e-mail, figure out appointments and my calendar, and/or send an e-mail to a student during the day.  Also, I used to always use my laptop in the washroom at home anyways (less so, now), and I figure this will help me reach 24/7 online status.  iPhones have wi-fi access, too, so I can use it around the house or on campus by connecting to the wireless network (it’s pretty much identical to the iPod Touch).  Or practically anywhere in Canada, like on the road, if I get a data plan.  Also, the iPhone 3G has GPS.  The iPhone and iPod Touch are quite different from the competition in this aspect, as well: they run Mac OSX (the Apple operating system) and a decent version of Safari, which is the standard web browser for Macs.  Plus, using the touch screen, you’re able to view webpages pretty naturally by zooming in and out with your fingers (“pinching”) even though the screen itself is way smaller than a normal computer screen.  Anyways, if I ditch the data plan, I can get a 3-year contract for $29.45 per month + tax.

My potential voice (& data) 3-year contract:

100 weekday minutes
1000 evenings and weekends (starting from 6PM)
unlimited incoming calls
caller id
100 Canadian long distance minutes
[system access fee and 9-11 included)

1GB e-mail & data plan

Total: $42.45 per month (+ tax)

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