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Ideas. Insights. Inspiration.

Don't Give Your Critics Ammunition

Late last year, the CBC published an article with the headline "Canada's Competition Bureau appealing tribunal decision that cleared way for Rogers-Shaw Merger." The subheading, describing the rationale used to initially determine that the merger could proceed, read: "Telecom merger would not result in materially higher prices, tribunal said".


I don't think Rogers Communications is very worried about the appeal, though.


If they were, they probably wouldn't be increasing their rates right now, thus allowing people to point at the increase and scream "SEE?!? Higher prices!!!! Don't allow the merger... prices are already too high and this is only going to make them higher!"


Yet, in an astonishing act of bad timing, that's exactly what they just did.


As I was reviewing my monthly Rogers bill just now, I noticed this piece of text: "The monthly service fee for your wireless plan shown on this bill will increase by $4 (plus taxes) starting on the date of your first bill after March 6, 2023."*



My wife and I each have a mobile phone with Rogers, so that's an extra $96 a year (plus HST) in exchange for... nothing new.


It's well known Canadians pay way too much for our telecommunication services in Canada relative to the rest of the world and get far less in exchange.


And it's likely that further consolidation of the Canadian telecommunication sector isn't going to make this better, it's going to make it worse.


So if Rogers wants to argue against that position, and convince the public that allowing the Rogers-Shaw merger won't result in increased prices for consumers...


.... perhaps a first step would have been to hold off on a price increase.


It's best not to shoot yourself in the foot when arguing you should be allowed to carry a gun.


 

* Credit where credit is due, I suppose: while the copy itself was in fairly small print, it was preceded by a bolded headline that read "CHANGES TO YOUR WIRELESS PLAN". So while I don't like the increase, I'll give the company credit for at least calling it out, unlike what Starbucks did recently when they basically hid the upcoming changes to its loyalty program.





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