(with apologies to CBC News )
Toronto-based Rogers, Canada’s largest cellphone provider, quietly announced a plan last week that would allow “unlimited” internet browsing on certain cellphones for $7 a month. The company also introduced a “Communicate Suckage” pack for $20 that bundles the browsing with text messaging, voice mail and call display features. Rogers spokeswoman Elizabeth Hamilton said the prices reflect the changing state of the gullability of cellphone users. “We’re in the business of financially raping customers for trivial functionality. As subscribers grow, as applications actually do something, we can really rip customers a new one,” she said. “We’re finding new ways of gouging them all the time.” Both plans allow customers to browse whatever websites they want on their mobile phones, .. except for really good ones, which aren’t approved by Rogers, like Google Maps. The plans also do not apply to anything with a CPU in it, and do not cover e-mail, since Rogers wants to introduce another $20 “E-mail Suckage” plan for that. Rogers really, really hopes that customers don’t read the fine print and try using their cell phone as a modem, so they get raked over the coals with per-kilobyte charges. Critics said the plans were Rogers’ latest attempt to confuse customers, this time by misrepresenting the word “unlimited.” “What appears to be a good deal on the surface is actually complete shit,” wrote Marc Lostracco, assistant editor of the Torontoist website. “Customers need to remember that a company calling something ‘unlimited’ is obviously out to get you.” Hamilton disputed the criticism and said the plans fit the uses that Rogers allows. “It’s actually an excellent cash cow,” she said.