Rogers has doubled the length of time customers must wait to upgrade their mobile devices. Now, customers must wait 24 months, rather than 12, to upgrade their devices.
This news comes shortly after Rogers execs admitted a serious budget shortfall and announced an increase in hardware costs. Lengethening the amount of time required for a device upgrade, seems to be another means of tightening the budget gap.
Rogers said the change to its hardware upgrade program, which took effect Tuesday, was “designed to achieve cost efficiency.”
The move follows a March 13 decision by Rogers to reduce subsidies on several of its BlackBerry models for subscribers who agree to three-year contracts – another change that appears aimed at reining in costs at the wireless unit.
For example, the flagship Bold model now costs Rogers subscribers $299.99 with a three-year contract, compared with $249.99 previously. Without a contract, the Bold sells for $649.99 at Rogers.
Similarly, an older Curve model is now $149.99 at Rogers with a three-year contract, compared with $99.99 before.
By contrast, a similar Curve 8330 model is advertised at $99.95 at Bell Mobility and $99.99 at Telus Mobility, although any complete price comparison must take into account the total cost of owning a device over the full term of the contract.
Although the move will likely increase revenues from those customers who need a new device immediately, it is alienating those customers who are ready to switch to a smartphone but want a hardware upgrade to help with the costs. The carrier is not making their profits on hardware but on plans rather. But focusing on this revenue stream, they could be missing an opportunity to capitalize on plan upgrades with a new device.