The iPhone is dreamy. I sure would like one. The thing is, it ain’t going to happen.
In my quest to rationalize this latest target of my affection, I tried to think about it a different way. What if I calculated the price over the entire length of the contract? Surely it wouldn’t be so bad.
The cheapest monthly plan is $60, except it costs $67.45 before taxes. Why? Because of two fees you only discover in the small print:
- The monthly $6.95 system access fee. Rogers says the “system access fee is charged to help cover the costs associated with the ongoing operation, maintenance and upgrading of the wireless network.” If they need $7 more to cover the network, what’s the other $60 used for? Oh yea, hookers and blow. I forgot.
- The 50¢ 911 “covers the wireless access to emergency 911 service. All emergency calls placed to 911 from your Rogers Wireless phone will continue to be free of charge.” You’d think the typically short time one would spend calling 911 wouldn’t cost them anywhere near 50¢ each month, especially considering the minuscule percentage of people who call. Frig, I’ve called once. Ever. If I had been paying this fee for my adult life, this one call would have cost me $150.
Multiply $67.45 by 36 months, the length of the contract. Add the $35 subscription charge, because signing you up is a terrible financial burden for them. Finally add the tax, and you’re looking at a total cost of ownership of $2778.87. Oh, and that doesn’t include the phone. Don’t even mention long distance, and charges for minutes and data over your allowance. It also does not include call display.
I’ve been hearing news stories about how Rogers has relented in the face of mounting complaints about what they’re charging for iPhone service. Don’t you believe it. Their answer to these complaints is the offer of an 6 GB of monthly data bandwidth for $30, on top of any voice plan you’d like. The cheapest voice plan I could find is $25 for 250 minutes, but evenings and weekends are not free. It’s cheaper, but barely, and your use of the iPhone as a phone is severely limited (less than 9 minutes a day!). And that still doesn’t include the phone. See how good Rogers is to you?
In the meantime, I eagerly await the release of firmware 2.0 for the iPod Touch. I want to play Super Monkey Ball and Trism, damn it!