Archive for May, 2010

Wireless AMBER Alerts program launches

wireless amber alerts logoAs of today, Canada’s wireless carriers are joining forces to assist in the crucial AMBER Alert public program, allowing customers to receive free AMBER Alerts notifications on their cell phones via text message.

With 23-million cell-phone customers across Canada, that’s a powerful way to quickly spread a message to help in the safe return of a missing child.

How it works:

You will receive a text message whenever an AMBER Alert is issued in your region. You will also receive a message when that same AMBER Alert is cancelled or if there is additional information related to the alert.

How to participate:

You need to opt-in via your computer or mobile phone to receive the AMBER Alerts. Here’s how:

  • From your computer, go to www.WirelessAMBER.ca, enter your 10-digit mobile number (including area code) and click Submit. You will then receive a text message on your mobile phone with a four-letter validation PIN code. Enter the code on the website and click Submit. On the subscription page, you can modify your settings to select the provinces from which you would like to receive alerts.
  • From your mobile device, text keyword “AMBER” to 26237. You will receive a link to a mobile site where you can confirm and modify your settings.

The AMBER Alert program, in which law enforcement and media work together to quickly notify the public about abducted children, is in effect in every province and territory. This latest initiative is a joint partnership between the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Ontario Provincial Police and AMBER Alert agencies across the country.

For more information on the program, visit www.WirelessAMBER.ca

Richard Bloom is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

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Bye-bye beta: Rogers On Demand Online turns on new features and functionality

Rogers on Demand OnlineOnline-video viewing is booming as more and more people watch TV shows on their computer.

Rogers On Demand Online – which serves up TV shows, movies, music videos and web-only exclusives – is also growing in popularity. Since we launched our beta last year, you’ve been  able to provide feedback via Facebook, Twitter and the site itself. Based on your feedback, we are excited to tell you about new features and functionality as we take “RODO” out of beta.

Social features: One of the best parts about watching a show is being able to talk about it afterwards with your friends and family. Now, you can easily comment on shows right on the website, as well as rate and share the video via numerous social media sites or Email in just a few clicks.

Cool new functionality: Make playlists to help organize all your favourite videos – which are now available in higher resolution. We’ve also added the option of doing an audio CAPTCHA instead of a text-only one during registration to make the service more accessible.

More content: There are now roughly 1,500 hours of video content available, including web-exclusive live streaming of concerts and world sporting events for Rogers customers. We’ve also added programming from Saturday Night Live (Global), urMusic, WildTV, Equator HD, Rush HD, Treasure HD, The Filipino Channel, Oasis HD, WFN: World Fishing Network, andPOP, Citytv.com’s Shorts in the City, and The Cineplex Channel featuring movie trailers.

No registration required: Not a Rogers customer? Not a problem. Hundreds of TV shows and movies can now be accessed for free by anyone in Canada, without registration. If you are a Rogers customer you’ll get access to exclusive content such as live streaming of upcoming sporting events, concerts and web-only programming. In addition, if you’re a Rogers cable-TV customer, you will get online access to many of the specialty channels you currently subscribe to through your account.

Stay tuned…
We may be out of beta, but we’re not done yet. With a growing number of content partnerships and more features to be added soon, we’re confident this service will take your entertainment watching to a whole new level of enjoyment.

Want to stay in touch about the latest programming and features? Check out Rogers On Demand Online’s Facebook page or Twitter feed @RogersRODO to get the latest updates and to provide feedback on the service.

Have you signed up for RODO yet? What do you think of the new features? What content do you watch on the site?

Richard Bloom is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

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Don’t blend this at home: Rogers Handset Protection Guarantee Program now live

You may have seen our post announcing Rogers new Handset Protection Guarantee Program. Today, the program officially launches and to celebrate, we asked Tom Dickson of the famous BlendTec “Will it Blend?” series to help us kick it off.

A recent online study of more than 1,000 Canadians with mobile devices revealed that one in four Canadians have at one time had their mobile device lost, stolen or broken. Causes range from devices being dropped, followed by being stolen, left on public transit and in some cases, had fallen into a toilet, lake, ocean or pool. The report also shows that many of those surveyed feel disconnected, nauseous and even naked when their device is missing.

Rogers new Handset Protection Guarantee Program is helping to prevent the spread of what could be called Missing Mobile Disorder. Customers can rest assured they’ll be covered with a working handset even if their device is lost, stolen or accidentally blended…er…I mean, broken.

No current Rogers devices were harmed in the making of this video.

What do you think of the Will It Blend video? What about the new Handset Protection Guarantee Program?

Miranda MacDonald is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

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BNJR Mom I <3 Paris! Rogers introduces new U.S. and International Text Messaging Travel Packs

sms-travel-packsYou’ve got your ticket, itinerary and passport all ready for your summer vacation.

And, if you plan to bring your smartphone along for the ride we’ve got some news that will help make keeping in touch less costly: our new U.S and International Text Messaging Travel Packs, featuring a greater number of included text messages with a rate as low as $0.10 per sent message in the U.S. and $0.20 per sent for International. And best of all, received text messages are free!

What is it?
U.S. and International Text Messaging Travel Packs are a one-time purchase of text messages at a discounted rate for use while outside of Canada.

Travel Packs are valid for one month from the date of purchase. And, if you run out of the included text messages, you can keep on sending messages at the reduced rate provided by your Travel Pack until that month is up.

The U.S. Text Messaging Travel Pack text messages may be used all over the U.S., including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The International Text Messaging Travel Pack may be used for international text messaging excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Cuba.

What are the new rates?
Text messaging Travel Packs range in price from $12.50-$50 and can save you up to 87 per cent off Rogers regular text messaging rate outside of Canada, depending on which Travel Pack you choose.

To find the one that’s right for you, check out www.rogers.com/travelwithyourphone

How to Get It?
You can add a travel pack right from your phone:

  • Text “SAVE” to 7626. A link will be sent to your phone to allow you to activate the pack.
  • Or, select the Internet icon from your phone’s main menu to get to the Rogers Mobile Internet site, www.rogers.mobi. From there, click the My Account link, select Browse New Services, then click Travel Packs.

Also, if you frequently travel to the U.S, you may want to check out Rogers recently announced One Rate data roaming plans. For about $10 more a month than equivalent domestic plans, you can use the same data allotment in both Canada and the U.S. to check email or use your phone’s mobile internet.

Where will your summer vacation take you this year? Have you ever used a Rogers Text Messaging Travel Pack?

Miranda MacDonald is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

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The long-weekend menu: BBQ, beverages and fresh-off-the-grill apps (not necessarily in that order)

abs apps reviewAhh, Victoria Day weekend: the unofficial start to summer. The BBQ is heating up. You’ve got a drink in one hand; your smartphone in the other.

And if you’re going to be on your smartphone, why not spend a portion of your vacation time making sure you’re getting the most out of your device by grabbing some of the hottest apps?

URmagazine, a Rogers publication that covers the latest in personal technology and gadgets, puts together a weekly roundup of the hottest app reviews, updated every Friday so you can be in the know on the latest mobile software, games and entertainment.

Pick up your 12-pack of reviews – including my faves EasyBartender and Anywhere Abs (screen shot above) – here: http://urmagazine.ca/reviews/apps.htm

Have a great long weekend.

Have you tried any of the apps in URmagazine’s reviews? What apps would you like to see reviewed in the future?

Richard Bloom is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

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Extreme Text Messaging: Copy and forward and block, oh my!

extreme text messagingI use my smartphone to text more than I use it to make phone calls. I text my friends to coordinate plans and I’ve even exchanged a few text messages with my mom.

New research released today conducted for Rogers by Harris/Decima finds that 65 per cent of text messaging users want to do more with their text messaging services.

Indeed, texting is a super fast and easy way to communicate, but it’s also been a pretty basic service. Until now.

Starting immediately, Rogers customers can take text messaging to the next level with our new Extreme Text Messaging service, a first in North America.

Extreme Text Messaging lets you block unwanted texts, set up an auto-reply message and easily send a text to a distribution list, to name but a few cool new features.

Best of all, Extreme Text Messaging is available at no additional cost for any Rogers postpaid or prepaid wireless customer — whether you are using text messaging on a pay-per-use basis, part of your plan or as an add-on.

Features and benefits:

  • Text Blocker: Have an ex you’d rather not hear from? Getting spam messages? You can now add any phone number to a blocker list and stop receiving messages from that number.   The owner of the number won’t even know they’ve been blocked
  • Text Auto Reply: If you’re away on vacation or not checking messages, you can set up this feature to send an auto-reply message to anyone who sends you a text
  • Distribution lists: Quickly message your family or a group of friends all at once without having to add each recipient to the message one by one.
  • Text Copy: Want to send a copy of any text message you receive to your computer so you can see your text messages while you email? Need a written backup of your text messages? Have a copy of your text messages automatically sent to an email address or another wireless phone number.
  • Text Forward: No more carrying around a personal and work phone on the weekend. Have all your text messages automatically forwarded to another phone number, just like call forwarding.
  • Personal Signature: Add some fun to your text messages by creating a personal signature or message that will automatically be included at the end of any text you send.

Standard text messaging rates apply for each person on a distribution list and for any copy, forward, or auto-reply text message sent. For additional details, please go to www.rogers.com/extremetext.

How to manage Extreme Text Messaging:
Visit the My Account section of Rogers Mobile Internet Portal at www.rogers.mobi and click on Extreme Text Messaging under Manage My Services. Or, text “XTREME” to 4716 to be sent a URL to access the setup page for all features.  iPhone and Android customers will need to browse to www.rogers.com/m/extremetext to access the set-up page.

Text messaging plans:
Rogers has a variety of text messaging plans and options to help you get the most out of your text messaging. Click here for more information about our text messaging add-on options.

Do you use text messaging regularly? If so, how many text messages do you send a month? And, what do you think of the new functionality?

Miranda MacDonald is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

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Rogers offers Handset Protection Guarantee

Handset Protection Guarantee Mobile PhoneOnce, I left my cellphone on a windowsill during a thunderstorm. Rain water destroyed it. I tried everything to bring it back to life: removed the battery; wiped off every button with Q-tip; and even put it in a bowl of rice (someone told me that would help soak up the water). Until I bought myself a new device, I was totally disconnected, anxious, stressed, and felt utterly lost.

Chances are you, or someone you know has a story exactly like this. We feel your pain.

We know that accidents happen and that’s why we created a new Handset Protection Guarantee, which will help cover the cost of repair or replacement in the event that your device is lost, stolen or broken. What’s more, we guarantee that there’s always at least one replacement device option at $0 with new or existing term commitment of at least 12 months.

While you wait for your device to be repaired or your new replacement device to be ordered, we’ll hook you up with a courtesy phone while you wait. This guarantee, a first to be offered at no additional cost in Canada, applies even if your device is out of warranty.

How does the program work?
Starting May 24, customers with an eligible lost, stolen or broken device can either call 1-888-ROGERS1 or visit a Rogers store to participate in the program. In the event of a lost or stolen device, Rogers will offer you a $0 or subsidized replacement device on your first out of warranty occurrence.  In the event of a broken device, you can choose to take advantage of a discount toward a replacement device or Rogers will assess the damage, provide a subsidized quote* and repair the device within 10 business days. Replacement options will include both refurbished and new devices including $0 options.

To keep you connected, Rogers will provide you with a courtesy loaner device until your replacement or repair is complete.

What devices are covered?
Customers need to have an eligible device to participate in the program.  In particular, all new devices in the following categories are eligible including:

  • All smartphones (including BlackBerry and iPhone devices)
  • Voice devices
  • Rocket Sticks

How many times can I use the program?
You’ll receive a discount on a repair or replacement on your first out of warranty issue. You can use the program as many times as you want, but you’ll only receive the subsidy once per term.

We’ll be providing more details on the program soon at www.rogers.com/protection.

Ever had a lost, stolen or broken device? How did you handle it? We’d love to hear your story in the comments!

Miranda MacDonald is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

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Rogers Announces Data Plans for iPad in Canada

Apple fans are passionate about Apple products. We know because we’re among them.

Rogers introduced the iPhone to Canada in 2008 and we were the first Canadian carrier to announce that we’ll carry the iPad. Now we’re thrilled to say it’s available for pre-order today at www.apple.com/ca/ipad and is set to launch on May 28.

We have a long-standing, strong working relationship with Apple and we think our years of experience will benefit Canadian iPad customers.

All iPad data plans will be available without a term contract, providing the freedom to activate or cancel a plan at any time. Rogers customers purchasing the iPad will be able to take advantage of the new iPad data plans to enjoy the device’s full suite of capabilities, backed by the reliability of Rogers’ proven network.

Here are the pricing options we’re making available to future iPad customers:

  • 250 MB for $15 + WiFi (Includes free unlimited access to all Rogers WiFi Hot Spots)
  • 5 GB for $35 + WiFi (Includes free unlimited access to all Rogers WiFi Hot Spots)

Customer experience shows that our 250mb/5GB plans will be more than enough for virtually all our customers. 99.8 per cent of our iPhone customers use less than 5GB of data. As the tablet is a new category, it’s too early to say if customers will use more or less data than they do for iPhone. But even for our rocket stick/embedded laptop customers, 95.6 per cent use less than 5GB per month.

Visit www.rogers.com/iPad for full details on these plans.  As always, we’ll keep you posted right here.

Note the iPad will not be available on the Fido brand at launch.

Much has been said about the tablet being an important new product category. More importantly, you now have more options than ever before to communicate, to be informed and to be entertained wherever, whenever you desire.

Excited yet? We are. And we’d like you to activate your iPad with Rogers.

Will you be buying an iPad? Why or why not?

Keith McArthur is Senior Director of Social Media at Rogers.

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Rogers Apple iPad Update

iPad RogersYou may have seen today’s news that the iPad is coming to Canada on May 28.

With pre-orders set to start Monday, we know there’s anticipation for more details. There’s nothing to share just yet, but we’ve set up a page (http://www.rogers.com/iPad) where you can stay in the loop.

Later today, the page will allow you to sign up and get the latest information delivered straight to your inbox.

And as always, we’ll keep you posted right here on RedBoard. Stay tuned!

Update (May 7, 5:16 PM): The page allowing you to sign up for more information via email is now live.

Richard Bloom is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

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