Archives par mot-clé : HTC Dream

Rogers Canada: how NOT to sell Android

I love Android (the platform, as a colleague put it).

But I hate my cellphone provider, Rogers Canada. I hope that’s clear. Rogers CANADA.

Being a community, people-oriented person, free software activist and open source enthusiast, and on top of that a full time technical trainer and support analyst, last summer when I heard that Rogers Canada would be the first company to sell & support the mighty HTC Dream (known as G1 to T-Mobile customers), I decided I would trust them. In fact I got my HTC Dream the day it came out, on June 2nd. If Google trusted Rogers with their first Android deployment in Canada, I would be OK. Big mistake!

I’ve posted before that Rogers Canada sucks. I’ve thought about documenting my own problems, but it’s getting easier to just gather other similar experiences Android customers have at Rogers:

That’s right, there is a whole blog dedicated to document and share all the mistakes Rogers Canada has made and all the problems they have caused.

When I saw that I started my own group: RogersSucks (or !rs)

As I write this I am waiting for a replacement HTC Magic which was promised once, order « lost », promotion postponed, then secretly available again, then finally ordered on Sunday. I know, it’s Wednesday and we’re only a province away, but the phone hasn’t even shipped. Nevermind it’s only a slightly less outdated phone, I am waiting again to get the Rogers Canada Android Revolution.

Rogers Canada thinks it’s good business practice to suspend data service in order to force customers into upgrading to a firmware that basically locks down my phone. Why is it important it’s unlocked and rootable ? Because otherwise it’s very much useless, or should I say even less useful than a regular cell phone. At least regular cell phones behave well with BT headsets, don’t crash or reboot spontaneously, and don’t lag for >30 seconds when going from one application to the other. Among other things. It used to be possible to use Cyanogen Mod and other custom firmwares to make these phones somewhat usable. Not anymore.

How did Google let this happen ? I have no clue.

A lot of similar mistakes can be made by any company selling devices based on free, open-source software (and yes I know Android devices don’t come with 100% free software). I secretly hope some anonymous person inside such companies learns something from Rogers Canada mistakes. This is truly an example on how NOT to launch and service such a product.

Meanwhile I am gathering details on my own problems and getting all my services with Rogers cancelled without penalty for breach of contract. If that doesn’t happen, small claims court in Quebec should help, and I’ll document this in true free, open fashion so I can help as many people as I can do the same: vote with their money. I am angry such a great platform got such a bad start in Canada.

I guess the Revolution is not going to be available in Canada for some time.

How Rogers Ruined My HTC Dream


Which Android HTC Dream smartphone case ?

If you’re like me you want your phone with you all the time. HTC Dream phones and « smartphones » in general tend to be a bit bigger than regular cellphones, so most generic cases don’t fit. No biggie, this is Montreal, I should just be able to go to the next corner’s cell phone shop and get a proper case.

Not so fast!

I’ve had my phone for ~5 weeks now and during the first three weeks I couldn’t find a proper carrying case. Rogers doesn’t even carry any worth mentioning. And I mean none. Well, I’ve spotted some at the downtown store, but they were in hard plastic (go figure) or oversized and overpriced.

So every now and then, during lunch, when I spotted a cellphone accessories kiosk dowtown I would ask about a case for this phone. I went to La Source, Bell, La Cabine Téléphonique, etc. Hell, even the million-cases mini kiosks in underground Montreal couldn’t find anything for this phone!

Well guess what, Walmart near Décarie and Jean-Talon has it. I’ll spare you the details of why I ended up at Walmart, and I hate shopping there for a million reasons, but if the local shops can’t bother to carry something, I’ll gladly hand my money to WM. Although this applies to Montreal, this looks like a product at least a few stores carry online.

This Planet Wireless Smartphone Case (ref: PWSMT3BK) is made by Gentec International. Note the reference no., this one fits the HTC Dream perfectly. I can’t remember how much I paid for it, I think it was CDN$19.95. Not cheap, but not $40 like some cases at La Source!

Here, I thought I’d throw some pictures to illustrate this: