Activation was easy: I just phoned Rogers, gave them the serial number of the phone and the serial number of the Rogers SIM card I’d purchased retail in Ontario, and the phone was activiated within an hour.
One of the things I use mobile phones for most is their ability to receive text messages via email. I’ve been using my Island Tel Mobility phone in this way for many years, and it’s hooked up to our network monitoring system here at the office so that I get “paged” in the event of problems. Although historically the Island Tel network has had reliability problems, these seem to have been largely cleared up as of late, and the system works well for me.
I was eager to try out Rogers system for doing the same thing. Every Rogers phone comes with its own email address: XXXXXXXXXX@pcs.rogers.com (where you replace the Xs with your area code and mobile number). So I sent myself off an email and waited for the T610 to jangle news of its arrival. Here’s what happened:
Rather than actually just sending me the message, Rogers sent me a “you’ve got mail” message, to which I needed to reply to get the actual message sent to me.
This is insane.
It’s insane because it means a complicated extra step must be taken for every email received — perhaps trivial for one message, but when a network problem happens I often get 10 or 15 email messages.
It’s insane because although Rogers doesn’t charge for incoming text messages, they do charge for outgoing ones, so to be able to retrieve an email message I have to pay Rogers 15 cents.
And those two things together make it doubly insane because the network resources that Rogers used to send the “you’ve got mail” message could have simply been used to send the actual message in the first place.
And finally it’s just another depressing move by a mobile company that doesn’t “get” that their phones will be used by more people more often if they build an open, flexible network that lets others build useful applications on its functionality rather than trying to replicate the “walled kingdom” of land-line telephony without wires.
I emailed Rogers about this “feature” and received this reply:
In response to your inquiry, our new email to text service, unfortunately, it is not possible to remove the alerts to receive your message, below, we have added the link to our website for the details on this program.
This isn’t a great problem for me — I just won’t continue to use the T610 in Canada once my initial “pay as you go” time with Rogers is used up. I just hope that my friends at Aliant don’t decide to move in a similar direction.