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Rogers launch sounds alarm bells

We don’t always get a lot of comments posted on our website in response to stories, so when we do, I pay close attention.


August 30, 2011
By Neil Sutton
Neil Sutton

We first published news of Rogers Communications entering the home security market on Aug. 17, the day the company held a media day to announce the news. The fact that the launch was low-key — it was held in the living room of a homeowner next to Rogers headquarters in downtown Toronto — is particularly telling. To me, it says that Rogers is taking this one slowly. No big deal. No major advertising campaigns in print or television. It’s what you might call a soft launch. To the best of my knowledge, Rogers hasn’t been hitting its existing customer base of cable, Internet and phone customers too hard — although telemarketing and flyers in mailboxes can’t be too far behind.

But regardless of how much effort Rogers is putting into its initial campaign, some SP&T readers aren’t thrilled or necessarily impressed.

“There is so many security companies doing this already and the prices are cheaper. Good luck but there are giants in this industry already,” writes one.

Another: “I expected a bit better from Rogers … the same solutions are readily available from different players at much lower monthly rate.”

And another:  “There are many systems out there offering the same benefits that are better priced. Make sure that you get competitive quotes before signing up with them.”

It’s only natural that the entry of a very large media company into the comparatively small world of home security be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism and a measure of distrust. Bell Canada, for one, briefly dabbled in this market only to sell off its security business. Rogers, meanwhile, has been mulling its current launch for quite some time. News of the new line of business surfaced last November when Rogers president and CEO Nadir Mohamed mentioned in a speech that an IP-based home security offering was on its way. It took nine months — an appropriate gestation period, I suppose — for Rogers to go from announcement to delivery. Whether that was the plan all along is anyone’s guess, but it’s arrived with such little fanfare, it’s hard to imagine that this is a major priority for the communications giant. Clearly the plan is to build on the company’s existing customer base, since you need to be a Rogers Internet subscriber in order to use the service at all. Whether the pricepoint is low enough to entice subscribers to further pad their portfolio of Rogers services is a matter of debate. Based on the reader comments we’ve received so far, it may not be.

By now you’ve probably noticed that things look a little different at SP&T News. As you may have already heard, Jennifer Brown has left the magazine to pursue another opportunity. We wish Jennifer the very best as she continues what is already an impressive journalism career. By the same token, I’ve received numerous emails from people lending their support and good wishes as I take the hot seat. I’ll do my best to live up to your expectations. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch. And please keep leaving comments on our website!