A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hub Good, Cost High, Usage Data Bad

As the few readers I have may know I have long whined about being stuck on dial-up at 28K and the unavailability of affordable options out here in the country, recently I stepped up to the Rogers Rocket Hub. Far from ideal, it does free up the phone line and give me up to 200K (must spring for that $150 external antenna to try and improve that some time) even if it does triple my basic Internet costs, there are however a few wrinkles which despite weeks of research and several conversations with Rogers representatives before committing to the two year contract necessary to get the Hub at the reduced price of $150.
As some of you may know both Bell and Rogers hub wireless plans have a threshold of 3GB, 5GB and 10GB which if exceeded takes you the the next level, the cost being about $45 for 3GB (taxes and other costs included) and rising to abt $55 for 5GB and over $70 for up to 10GB (with a per MB charge beyond that). For old folks like us that is hardly the 'affordable' Internet that our government is touting that all Canadians should have but if we are to move on from dial-up it is the best of a very limited choice.

As you may imagine it is our wish to keep our usage as low as possible and monitor it to try and stay below the thresholds. With that in mind I signed in the the Rogers customer pages where I was told we could check our usage – well yes you can, sort off! After checking said pages several times I could not figure out how my usages was increasing in large jumps after minimal or no use, so I call Rogers customer service (nice guys who actually are in Canada by the way) and here is what I learned.

The wireless usage shown on your customer page is up to 48 hours or more out of date!! Rogers will tell you that said data is updated every 4 hours and that may be true but the data posted is from several days before meaning that the usage in the last couple of days is not reflected in those numbers making it all but impossible to know when you are approaching a point where your monthly charges are going to jump.

Now that little wrinkle is bad enough but let us say that despite the lack of accurate information you want to check your usage regularly, this of course will use up a little of your basic usage but that should only be a few hundred K. Wrong!! Simply accessing your usage on the Rogers site (going there directly after a redirect to sign in) is around 2MB (plus the uplink data which is counted in wireless usage) and if you enter via the usual page after signing in around double that. Now to those with unlimited high speed or some of the more generous plans may scoff and say two meg is nothing, but given that my secure banking site takes less than 500K to sign in, view my account synopsis and get a detailed up to date view of my payments and deposits I have to ask is this a deliberate ploy to send our usage over the edge?

The funny thing is that said pages are very simple in appearance, almost all text with a few logo links, no high rez pictures, no marquee's scrolling across the page or stuff like that. It just reinforces my belief that many IT professionals simply have no conception of the limits some viewers are working under, they have the latest and greatest, have T1 connections and it does not even enter into their personal hard drive (the one above their shoulders) that unnecessarily 'heavy' pages not only slow things down for those on less than speedy connections but add to the general congestion that is starting to emerge on the net and penalizes those of us that must pay big bucks for bandwidth.

Nuf said..... Rant OFF.


Colotovmoktail said...

Now here is a tip for you. Stay away from Rogers and Bell.

Rural said...

Hard to do when they are your only choice!!