(Photo: Peter Hanschke in front of his home west of Stittsville Main Street. Photo by Glen Gower.)
Peter Hanschke has been a Stittsville resident for 31 years and a Rogers customer for over a decade. He says he’s never been impressed with their cell phone service.
“To get reception, you have to be at the front of the house, near the bay window, angled just properly, so that people can hear you clearly. I started a consulting business out of my home here, and trying to do calls on my cell for business is embarrassing, it just doesn’t work,” he says.
“It’s always been poor quality, but back when it first came out you could understand it, Stittsville was a pretty small community,” he says.
Hanschke is one of many residents who responded to our call last week for feedback from Rogers Wireless customers.
We asked our readers to rate the service in an interactive map. Over 100 people have participated, providing a clear picture of fuzzy service in the western part of Stittsville.
A rep from Rogers says they know customers in Stittsville are unhappy with their cell phone service, but plans to improve coverage are still “in the planning phase”.
“The community can expect an improved wireless and data experience in the very near future,” said Andrew Garas, a spokesperson for Rogers.
As to when exactly that will be, he couldn’t provide a timeline.
“While there are certain areas around Stittsville where we’re working to provide improved, more reliable wireless and data service, a large portion of the area currently has access to LTE coverage, offering Canada’s fastest wireless speeds,” he said.
“Our engineers will often identify an area where there is a gap in coverage or, through network testing and feedback from our customers, we look to make improvements where there is increasing demand,” said Garas.
Dan Pak sent us these screen captures from his interactions with Rogers customer service reps that offer a bit more insight into what may be planned for improving coverage. One tweet from 2013 makes a reference to plans to build a tower in 2014. Another tweet from July of this year says “we’re still looking at buying the ideal location”.
Pak, who’s family owns three iPhones with Rogers plans, is frustrated with the quality of service, but he would incur high cancellation costs to move to another carrier.
“My oldest child was at A. Lorne Cassidy – one of the dead zones – and of course contacting her was near impossible for phone and text,” he says.
Despite the poor service, Hanschke hasn’t cancelled his service yet. Why not?
“That’s a really good question. It’s one of these things where your choices for a major carrier is between Rogers and Bell. I think Bell is better in this area, but we spend a fair bit of time in other areas of Ontario where Rogers coverage is better,” he says.
He says a few years ago when his teenagers got their own phones, they quickly switched over to Virgin and Bell because they couldn’t get reliable service in Stittsville.
(For the record, my interview with Hanschke was done on the phone, via his Bell landline. “You wouldn’t be able to hear me otherwise,” he said.)
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