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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, new member here with a question. (or maybe several)

Has anyone ever used the "Material Adverse Clause" argument on Rogers successfully?

I'm 2 years into a 3 year contract, and need to get out of it.

I'm moving at the end of the month to a new home, and want to make the switch back to Bell/Aliant for all my services.

My reasoning is quite simple actually. I live in Fredericton,NB and Rogers coverage on the east coast is garbage. My cell drops calls constantly. I've put up with it for 2 years, but recently I did not receive a call that was actually kind of important. I work at the hospital, and was actually being called back to do a Trauma case in which someone was quite injured. It took them quite a while to reach me, and though it turned out to be ok, I can't allow something like that to happen.

The reason I had no reception? I was in Home Depot. Which by the way is in the center of the city, all of 2 minutes from the hospital. (I won't even get into their coverage in rural NB, because there isn't any). I often do not get any service in any large building. My basement also seems to be a dead zone. The grocery store, Wal-mart and yes... most of the actual Hospital itself.....

Anyway, the bottom line is that while I don't think Bell gives any better service than Rogers overall, they DO have far better wireless coverage on the East Coast.

Now I know Rogers will not give a flying rats behind about that. They also don't care of I miss a callback that involves someone who needs my medical abilities to avoid being dead.

But I've done some research and the best argument I can see to avoid the cancellation fee (note: I'm not a doctor or I'd just pay them the fee and then drive my Benz a few miles to feel better) is the "Material Adverse Clause" which apparently is a legal thing that they must include that protect the consumer (and they will deny exists of course).

Basically it says they can't make changes to the contract without giving you the opportunity to opt out without having to pay a penalty. This usually involved them saying you have 30 days and once you use the phone after that period it is implied you accept the change.

The change they make doesn't have to be anything big (25 cents extra for calls to 911, an extra 2 cents per text message to Abu Dahbi).

So my 2 questions for all you fine savvy people who are smarter than I:

1- Have any of you used this clause successfully with Rogers or one of the other companies?

and

2- Do any of you know of the last time they've made any changes such as I described or are planning of any in the next month or so?

Thanks.
 

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Unfortunately if you read the fine print of your contract, you'll see that features (such as increasing text message fees) aren't covered under that clause. No carrier will let you use that to avoid the ETF.

With the current state of wireless contracts, the carrier benefits far more than the consume
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I don't have much to lose really.

Took the first step and called and said I wanted to cancel. The Rogers guy immediately got defensive. told me that would be $300. I said no thanks, I'd rather not pay that.

I explained the situation to him to a degree, but really didn't spend a lot of time with him on it. I knew he couldn't really do anything to help. I just wanted to log my first complaint.

He told be the quitters department was open tomorrow and they are the only ones who can waive cancellation fees.

I'll give it a go and see where things get me. I don't have much faith in this AMC argument working. (Though from reading my service agreement, i can't believe how ridiculous it is. If you had a lawyer sitting there explaining it step by step as you went over it, no one would ever sign.)

Eventually I'll threaten a call to the CRTC and so on.

Worst case scenario I cancel everything else with them, and either keep my phone cell only for 1 more year, or maybe I'll transfer it to my wife's number (replacing her pay as you go) and take my number over to bell.
 

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You could try contacting Bell, I have heard stories around here (Rogers/Sasktell) that when you do a switch that new company will often wave their activation fees and I have also heard of getting credits from the new company if you tell them you are paying $300 to get out of Rogers and into their great service, you need to kinda pump their tires and explain how much you love them and hate the old company, It's worth a try anyway to save some cash..

As for switching your number, that is the tricky part, yes in Canada you can take your number to a new carrier. BUT, you need to be out of a contract to take your number. So if you still have a Rogers contract as far as I know you won't be able to transfer your number.
 

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I don't mean to be a negative jerk or anything but I don't see any incentive for them to waive the early cancellation fees. If they do get a complaint from the CRTC they will probably show them the contract where you signed your name on the bottom line for three years...

Your best bet is to mitigate your losses like ClaytonG suggests.
 

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As for switching your number, that is the tricky part, yes in Canada you can take your number to a new carrier. BUT, you need to be out of a contract to take your number. So if you still have a Rogers contract as far as I know you won't be able to transfer your number.
I'm pretty sure you can still port your number if you're in on a contract, but you'd be charged the early cancelation fee as the account is cancelled as soon as the port takes place.
 

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mastercontrol is correct. When I ported my number to Bell, I still had about a year left on my Rogers contract. The number porting went through, and then I received a bill from Rogers with the ETF on it.

Depending on the circumstances, providers have been known to waive the ETF, so it's not completely out of the question. It isn't a guarantee, but it's worth a shot given your situation. If they still say you have to pay it though, there isn't much you will be able to do (and the CRTC doesn't have anything to do with this).
 

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Another possibility for the OP is to get Rogers to reduce his plan down to an "emergency" plan for around $10/month for the duration of his term. So $120 would be easier to swallow than $300. I did that with Fido on one of my office lines which became redundant. They were nice enough to put me on a $15 plan which includes 50 minutes and then give me a $5 monthly credit for a net cost of $10. As it turns out, that account is now eligible for full subsidy on the iPhone4 upgrade, so if I decide want the iPhone, that would be an unexpected benefit.
 

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If they still say you have to pay it though, there isn't much you will be able to do (and the CRTC doesn't have anything to do with this).
Based on the oligopolistic nature of the industry, I'd doubt Rogers would even care what the CRTC would say on the matter. Nor would they care what the BBB would say. I suppose you could think of it like fighting a traffic ticket... you could go to court. The longer you tie it up in the system, the more it will cost Rogers and they'll say forget it and let you out early.
 

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FWIW - the OP will be lucky to find any wireless device that works inside Home Depot. Those buildings are a steel box filled with hundreds of metres of steel shelving that act to block the signal.

That said. why should anyone be helping the OP break a contract into which s/he voluntarily entered and with which s/he has been satisfied for 2 years? Why is is OK to for a user to break a contract but not Rogers, or does someone not understand the nature of a contract?

If the OP had recently moved to NB from southern ON and was finding the Rogers signal to be unreliable for an on-call, essential health care worker there could be a reason to want to switch providers and, having had the circumstances explained, a Rogers manager likely would work out a solution. This doesn't appear to be the case (no signal in Home Depot won't cut it) and Rogers is not going to accept an argument that suddenly, after 2/3 of the contract term has transpired, the service in unacceptable.

My guess is the OP has been offered a better price by Bell Alliant on a bundle of TV, internet, home and mobile phone services and that is why s/he wants to break the contract. For the same reason a company cannot break a contract to raise its prices, a consumer cannot break a contract to save money.
 

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I find it hilarious when people respond to a post like the "OP" isn't going to read it.

Sorry there Thornhill, but I'm not lying, and there is no great deal waiting for me at Aliant.

I need better reception now because of a change in my job that requires me to be called back to do emergency cases. That change came about mroe recently. Prior to that I just "lived with" the poor reception issues. However, after the delay i had from missing a call, I decided i couldn't jsut live with the issue.

For the record I will almsot certainly be KEEPING the home phone and internet services through Rogers, even though i have no contract for them. (I would do the same with the Cable but I don't watch much TV so I don't think I'll hook it up for a while.)

an update.


I called back yesterday and spoke to a girl in the "quitters" department. They would like me to try upgrading the phone first, and see if it helps. I initally agreed to try that. Though I'm having some second thoughts.
(the girl was very helpful and understanding even though she wasn't exactly letting me off the hook yet)

Anyway, After looking at the phones to upgrade to (If i'm going to upgrade i'm going to upgrade... no point doing it half assed and being unhappy). I don't see much in Rogers repetoire that I like. So I'm likely not improving my signal (They just don't have the towers that Bell has here.) and not geting as nice a phone. (I want an Android phone)

After mucho research I think I will switch to Telus and pick up the new HTC Desire that is coming out in the process. They have the same signal strength as Bell as they share the towers.

As for my old phone/contract? I reached a compromise on it that someone on here actually suggested (very good!). My wife has been on pay as you go forever. The girl at Rogers said I could switch her phone into my contract, and reduce it down to a 13/month package with only 40mins (she uses less than that) and no SAF. (which she waived as well while adding some more extras to my current plan just because she had me on the phone.)

I think that would be a workable solution for me which is short of them just waiving the fee. I wanted to improve my Wife's phone anyway as it's old and always either dead or out of mins.

I get a kick ass phone and the better reception i need. I think it's win-win and I didn't feel the need to get into any confrontation with Rogers people, and didn't even have a bad experience with them, like so many seem to.
 

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I find it hilarious when people respond to a post like the "OP" isn't going to read it.
...
Yes - sure hope the OP is reading when I post. In this case we had someone who came on here saying he wanted to transfer to Bell Aliant and break a contract. Now we read he decided to go to Telus because they have prettier phones. Either way, these are not reasons to break a contract and the OP eventually learned the merits in trasnferring a contract rather than breaking it. Seems like a win-win; the OP got the phone he wants and Rogers converted a month-to-month subscriber into a contract subscriber. In contracts, this is what you have to do to modify the terms.

As for giving the unsatisfactory phone/service to his wife - well we'll let him deal with that. ;)
 

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Either convincing Rogers that your service is so bad it justifies cancellation of the contract or go to court. The CRTC does NOT regulate the commercial retail rates/policies/contracts of cell phone providers except in very limited circumstances. You can see that consumer lobbying has not done much to improve the consumer protection laws around mobile telecom services, so that is an unlikely route to go unless you have several years to wait. Other than that, finding a way to embarass Rogers into reacting to a bad PR situation is the only way, but given that on-line and conventional media is over-saturated with similar issues, that isn't likely either.
 

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i dont sign contracts incase of unforseen issues in the future, but if i do sign a 3-year contract, i will pay the Penelty fee to cancel if i really need to, cancelling it imho as long as itsworth it, ie no service in my new home
 

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For the same reason a company cannot break a contract to raise its prices, a consumer cannot break a contract to save money.
Yes they can and do raise prices, or least change fees inside a contract. Including rogers.

I am in a 3 year family plan (two phones )with Rogers, 2 years in. I have no data plan for these phones. I never signed a physical contract, but agreed over the phone to the terms which I understand is the equivalent.

When I "accepted" the terms of my service included was free incoming text messaging. Mid 2009, I received notice from Rogers that incoming text were no longer going to be free for my plan. That constituted a change to my plan.

I challenged Rogers, and they stated that they were allowed to change the rates as needed within the clause of the contract. Since I never saw a physical contract (and didn't want to be bored having them read it to me over the phone), I ended the call.

Afterwards, I received my bill and on the back of one the pages (likely the first) by reading the TOS, I realized that they had indeed changed the contract. I called them on it, and they stated it was past the 30 days since the notice was delivered and as such I had agreed to the change, even though I called them to complain about it within the 30 day period (doesn't count - you have to inform them in writing).

They did offer to add some sort of free text messaging to my account but that was going to reset my "contract" date. At that point I had already decided that they were going to loose me as a customer as soon as I could get out cheaply so I didn't accept.

Under the TOS, if they make a second change, you should be able to get out immediately with no ETF.

What bothered me the most is that previously I had called to complain that they were not applying a bundling discount in the manner in which they had verbally promised when I started the contract. When I finally got them to correct the issue (2 months later), I found out later that they had arbitrarily (without informing me) reset my contract date to the date of the correction (even though they were in the wrong).

However they explicitly told me that bundling discounts are never a part of any contract. As such they should not have changed my contract date, especially since they didn't inform me of the change, verbally or written.

So in answer to the 2 questions in the OP:
1) No I never used this clause successfully. (my only vindication will be that Rogers will be loosing a 15 year wireless customer next year).
2) If you don't have a data plan, then yes chances are that a change was made to your plan last year (no free incomeing texts). As you stated however, you would be past the 30 day period. However, any additional change you find should allow termination immediately.

How to port a number while still with a contract within a contract with another carrier is a completely different issue.

cheers.
 

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I desperatly need to get out of my Rogers contract

Our 15% better choices bundle just ended without notice, we cancelled cable and internet back in May, the promotion stayed in place for the two cellphones left on the plan until November of this year. Why November? - I'm not sure. We enjoyed the discount from May to October, then it was removed, without notice. This increased my monthly fee by about $15. I lost my job in August and have tried to find ways to decrease my monthly payment without penalty but it's just not possible. I've explained the situation to Rogers and there's nothing they will do to make the loss of my job easier where the cellphone expense is concerned. Can I use the loss of the bundling discount without notice as reason to cancel the contract? Failing that I feel like I should either resort to loyalty and retention department or pay the fee and get out :confused: Anyone have any suggestions?
 

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Can I use the loss of the bundling discount without notice as reason to cancel the contract?
I don't see how. You canceled the bundle. Unfortunately, I believe you will have to pay $20 per month to get out of your contract.
 

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I'd just consider myself lucky that they're not trying to charge you for the improperly applied discount. Your only hope at this point is to try and switch to a cheaper plan. Retentions can't really help because that department is for people leaving their service and you're under contract.
 

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I didn't cancel the bundle, Rogers did once the services were reduced to only two cellphones - there is no bundle discount for only two services.
 
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