Followup to blog on 8/31/09: Getting nowhere, it seems…

1 09 2009

I got a response back to the e-mail I’d sent yesterday to the president of Rogers Cable Communications, regarding the new Local Programming Improvement Fund, and other issues I had with the service I was getting from Rogers (check back here to see the letter).

I’m very disappointed with the response. There’s nothing new from this letter, and it does nothing to address my specific comments about the value of the service I’m getting with my cable. And I said nothing about whether I agree with the LPIF. That was not the issue. The issue was with making Rogers customers pay for it when it should be coming out of Rogers’ revenues.

I’m definitely going to have to consider whether it’s worth keeping the my cable access here.

Here’s the response from Rogers:

Dear Jim Todd,

We understand your frustration and thank you for bringing to our attention your disagreement with the Local Programming Improvement Fund (LPIF) fee. We take pride in being consistent with our Rogers customers regarding these matters.

The Local Programming Improvement Fund (LPIF) fee is a new CRTC-mandated fund to which cable and satellite companies are required to contribute to support local television stations in small markets.

Rogers makes significant investments in our network and technology each year to offer you the best possible in-home experience.

In order to be able to continue making these investments, we will pass through our contributions to LPIF to our customers, as we do with all CRTC regulated fees. The LPIF fee Rogers collects from customers is remitted directly to the CRTC?s Local Programming Improvement Fund.

Rogers Cable does not benefit from the LPIF fees collected. These fees are directly remitted to the CRTC?s Local Programming Improvement Fund, for use solely by TV stations serving smaller markets.

For more information on the Local Programming Improvement Fund (LPIF) visit:

English: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/news/releases/2009/r090706.htm

If you have questions or concerns you can contact the CRTC online:

English: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/contact.htm
French: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/fra/contact.htm

Thank you again for your time on this matter and we appreciate your
continued business.

Sincerely,

Gigi Cod | Rogers Communications Inc. | Advisor | Office of the
President

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6 responses

1 09 2009
Paul

Rogers has been know to screw their customers for a long time. This is the problem with a monopoly where we have only one choice for cable in Toronto.
The force channels on you that you don’t want just to get those you do want. They can charge whatever they want and with no completion there are no alternatives. I have Bell satellite but was frustrated that I lost the signal during every rain storm and heavy snow fall. Switched to rogers and now I get the same thing since many of rogers feeds are via satellite!

I have cable up here in Fenelon and I can get many of the digital channels, (Discovery, A&E, CNN, TLC, KTLA etc) without the need for a cable box! Cable straight into the TV! Why can’t rogers do this? Why do I need to pay for a box from Rogers?

It appears to me that the Canadian TV watchers are being screwed and no one in Government really cares enough to put some regulation on the providers.

Satellite is even worse as you need receivers and boxes for every tv you have.

I think they are all robbers.
Paul

1 09 2009
Jim Todd

I have to say, Paul, I’ve just about had it with them. Time to pull out my old rabbit ears and pull in what I can over the air, which, because of my location, isn’t a whole lot – and to get a number of programs off the web when I can. I should still be able to pull in Global so I can watch News Hour Final and continue to take part in the Glog.

The one thing I have to really consider now is this: is it worth the $70/month to watch the handful of channels I do? With the response I’ve gotten from Rogers today, I’m very strongly leaning to the ‘no’ side.

1 09 2009
Daniela

Hey JT!

I am also definitely leaning towards ‘no’ especially since you don’t use it much. As long as you still get Global!
But if you’ve got the time (and energy), if I were you, I’d continue to ‘hound’ them since they did not answer your question. Something to the effect of “Thank you for your response…however you did not address my exact question. With 2008 earnings of *insert Rogers profits for 2008 here*, I am wondering why YOU, Rogers, are not covered the extra fee, and instead passing it onto your customers – many of which are losing their jobs at an exponential rate.” … Just a thought

As an alternative, you could in theory get a ‘one-time fee’ satellite…just something I’ve heard being mentioned randomly…you know. šŸ˜›

Have a great day!
Daniela

PS: I do know how you feel though, b.c I spend about an hour a month on the phone with Rogers re: wireless. šŸ˜

1 09 2009
Jim Todd

Hi Daniela,

Being in an apartment building, getting a satellite system is not an option, unless I can get the rest of the building aboard with that idea, which I’m not counting on.

I am in the process of drafting a response to their “reply”, in which I plan to highlight some other issues I’ve had with Rogers ever since I’d signed up with them, and asking them directly why I should not cancel.

Thanks for your comment!

Jim

2 09 2009
brandonlayng

Jim,

I’m with you man and that letter was basically a restatement of the initial correspondence sent out to subscribers to tell them they were being screwed (and might I add illegally double-billed for stations we are already paying for). The fact of the matter is that the LPIF is being painted in a negative light. Rogers and Bell along with other cable and satellite providers have been basically getting these “free-to-air” channels for a long time and charging us, the customers, for them. The LPIF was instituted to make these companies pay up for a portion of their profits. It was intended to punish them for what is in effect “stealing”. The channels’ programming is top-notch in most cases except where you can see that the lack of profit from providers has caused a pinch in the budget. By passing on the LPIF fee to the customers they are saying, “we don’t want to take any money out of the CEOs’ pockets to pay for what we get for free, so we’ll pass it on to you and hopefully you will be outraged enough to contact the CRTC and get them off our backs.”

I sent a letter to the CRTC asking them what they were going to do about Rogers double-billing their customers and the CRTC said that while they don’t condone or agree with Rogers passing the buck, legally they have no recourse to stop them. Nice, eh?

Essentially our only course of action is to hit the cable and satellite companies where they hurt and that is by cutting back our services to basic. Which might I add includes those channels you are paying for twice. Lets be honest, what do those other channels really have for us? I have 900+ channels and my wife and I end up popping in a movie instead of watching cable because there is absolutely nothing on. I mean how many times can a person watch Jumanji or House reruns (House appears on a basic cable channel by the way, so you’ll still see the new episodes)? Space network was once worth watching, now it’s all the same shows I watched when it first came out. I can’t stand the garbage on the Comedy Network or Teletoon. Why watch the game on a specialty channel when you can probably find it somewhere on the net along with streaming episodes of your favorite shows. Why pay hundreds of dollars to a greedy cable company who treats you like crap for asking them to give you one simple and honest answer? More and more each day the corporations walk all over us, whether it be gasoline, electric, car, phone or even the grocery store that cranks up the cost of coke by fifty cents a bottle to raise the cost of their own brand. Hit them where it hurts by starting a family game night or taking a walk in the park instead of watching another rerun of Friends or Seinfeld. This month my own cable will be dropping to the basic package and the only person who really cares is the president of Rogers Cable.

Keep up the fight, man.

Brandon

2 09 2009
Jim Todd

Hey Brandon, thanks for the comments.

I’m very much leaning towards cancelling my cable service completely. Looking back on my TV habits, I really haven’t been watching regularly – just had it on in the background while doing other things, and you’re right, there hasn’t really been a lot that’s interested me recently. And nowadays, much of what I would like to watch is now available online. So I’m really spending some $72/month needlessly, and can put that money towards something else.

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