UPDATE: Chris Clarke of Rogers addressed this issue in the comments below, saying that the changes “have been repealed, and we have reverted back to our previous HUP policy.”
A couple of weeks ago, Canadian wireless giant Rogers tweaked its Hardware Upgrade Program. Given that the tweak added 6 months to customers’ HUP eligibility (iPhone the only exclusion), Rogers made the change as quietly as possible.
This isn’t the first time the company has raised the length of its HUP, either. And now it sits at 2.5 years, just half a year before a full-length contract will expire anyway, rendering it very close to pointless.
Now, granted, Rogers doesn’t actually have to implement a HUP at all. It isn’t a necessary component of Canadian wireless contracts. But in a world where technology is always one step ahead of what’s actually on the shelf, many consumers find their devices miserably outdated after three years, even if they buy the best one on the market at the time. Being able to upgrade after two years on a three-year contract is a major competitive advantage.
Outrage in response to the change has been relatively muted by Rogers’ successful under-the-radar approach, but those who are aware are truly enraged. As one online commenter duly noted, “The only thing pushing me towards renewing with Rogers was the fact that I could HUP after 24 [months].”
If Canada’s telecom industry wants to force – or rather, bribe through subsidization – everyone into three-year contracts, the least that the oligopoly can do is lessen the pain with a shorter hardware upgrade cycle.
Alas, that is apparently too much to ask.
How important is a HUP to you?