F*@# You, Canadian Telecom Companies!

I have such a hate on for the Canadian telecom industry right now!

First, Rogers abruptly changed my boyfriend's mobile plan (without notifying him, I might add) so that his unlimited text plan no longer includes texts that he sends while in the United States. He is on the road all the time and often working evenings while I work days. Text was our number one way of staying in touch. Grrr.

Then I started investigating pay-as-you-go phones for my mom, who only carries a cell phone for emergencies, only to find that the minutes that you purchase in advance actually expire within 30 to 90 days (depending on how many you buy). WTF is the point of having a pay-as-you-go phone if you still have to buy a minimum number of minutes every month?!

Now this, from Twitter:

Unexpected changes in our billing have forced us into a difficult situation with our Canadian SMS service. We can’t afford to support this service given our current arrangement with our providers (where costs have been doubling for the past several months.) As a result, effective today we are no longer delivering outbound SMS over our Canadian shortcode (21212).

The ability to update Twitter over SMS will still be supported over 21212. But we know that this is only part of the experience and we want to make Twitter work in the way folks want … regardless of where they live.

There is a realistic, scalable SMS solution for Canada (and the rest of the world.) We’re working on that and will post more details on the Twitter blog as we make progress.

Yet another reason to buy an iPhone, if you ask me. Except that I can't. I'm locked into my Telus contract for another 2 years and Rogers is the only company offering the iPhone. The penalty for breaking my Telus contract is about double the cost of a new iPhone.

My faith in the industry was almost restored a couple weeks ago when Bell called me, unprompted, to tell me that their system showed I was receiving less than optimal speed via my Sympatico high-speed connection and could they send a service technician to identify the problem. I agreed and patiently waited for the technician to arrive between 8:00am and noon on the following Sunday. At 6:30pm someone from Bell called to say the technician couldn't make it (no shit?) and promised someone would be out the next day between 5:00pm and 9:00pm. They also said they would be sure to call if the technician was going to be delayed again. That was 10 days ago. No technician. No phone call.

At this point I'm thinking a couple of tin cans strung together with dental floss would be the best option.