Rogers. You are Infuriating.

My blackberry has died before my contract is up.  I told my cousin about this (he’s a lawyer but that’s not why I told him – I told him because he was on my couch and we were playing video games when the phone died) . He was pretty excited to hear about this because in BC there is a statute that says goods should last a “reasonable” period of time, regardless of what the warranty is.  Here, I’ll prove it:

Implied conditions as to quality or fitness

18 Subject to this and any other Act, there is no implied warranty or condition as to the quality or fitness for any particular purpose of goods supplied under a contract of sale or lease, except as follows:

(a) if the buyer or lessee, expressly or by implication, makes known to the seller or lessor the particular purpose for which the goods are required, so as to show that the buyer or lessee relies on the seller’s or lessor’s skill or judgment, and the goods are of a description that it is in the course of the seller’s or lessor’s business to supply, whether the seller or lessor is the manufacturer or not, there is an implied condition that the goods are reasonably fit for that purpose; except that in the case of a contract for the sale or lease of a specified article under its patent or other trade name, there is no implied condition as to its fitness for any particular purpose;

(b) if goods are bought by description from a seller or lessor who deals in goods of that description, whether the seller or lessor is the manufacturer or not, there is an implied condition that the goods are of merchantable quality; but if the buyer or lessee has examined the goods there is no implied condition as regards defects that the examination ought to have revealed;

(c) there is an implied condition that the goods will be durable for a reasonable period of time having regard to the use to which they would normally be put and to all the surrounding circumstances of the sale or lease;

(d) an implied warranty or condition as to quality or fitness for a particular purpose may be annexed by the usage of trade;

(e) an express warranty or condition does not negative a warranty or condition implied by this Act unless inconsistent with it.

What this piece of law above says to me is that if your are sold a phone with a contract attached lasting three years, you should be able to expect that phone to last 3 years.

What actually happens is that RIM sells Rogers a phone and says, “Only a chump would expect that to last longer than 1 year, we’ll include a 1 year manufactures warranty”.  Rogers says, “Thanks RIM, we’ll take it from here”.  Rogers sells me that phone for 3 years knowing that it will break sometime after the 1 year period is up but technology being so exciting and handheld GPSs being all that they are, they expect me to throw caution to the wind. Which I suppose I did, and people continue to do this all the time.  Rogers (or any cell phone company) say, ok customer, you’ve locked in with us for $150 for 36 months ($5400) but we know your phone will break after 1 year – if your phone makes it to 2 years, we’ll allow you a “free” upgrade.  If it doesn’t make it to 2 years, for every month remaining we’ll charge you $10 to break that part of the contract.

I ended up speaking to many people there, but the 3rd+ guy I spoke to, Zavn, also told me that Rogers had nothing to do with the hardware and wouldn’t be reasoned with. Even when I explained to him that if Nike sells me a pair of running shoes, and if for some reason those shoes are defective, I don’t go back to the originial factory in Indonesia and demand a refund, I go back to the Nike store.  In much the same way I paid Rogers for the phone (regardless of who made it because I didn’t personally pay RIM for the phone) they should be responsible. Especially if they want me to complete my 3 year contract.

So here we stand.

Me on one side, and Rogers on the other.  I’m weighing my options. They did offer me a “free” phone to renew for another 3 years (which as discussed is really not particularly free, it’s an additional $5400 bringing the total to $10,800 for 6 years of cellular use), but I said that only a fool repeats the same behaviour expecting different outcomes.

Some advice to avoid this? Don’t buy a phone with a contract that extends beyond the manufacturers warranty.  Rogers will make you pay the retail price for a  replacement to get you to the end of the contract; if you would like another “free” phone, you will have to sign on for another 3 years. It was unclear to me when that 3 years would start.  From the day you sign up, or beginning at the end of the present contract.  Weather it’s at the start of the contract or the middle of the contract you will end up paying retail for the phone.  At least do it knowingly.

Do you know anyone that’s put their finger in a mouse trap? Twice??

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