So, I've written on here before about what a great service Roam Mobility is if you're travelling to the US. Well, Rogers just launched Roam Like Home, and finally made it easy for customers to keep using their phone like normal while they're in the United States.
For only $5 per day, you will get unlimited talk and text, and be able to use your data plan from back home. That's a great deal and very competitive with Roam Mobility's rates. Roam Mobility is about $4 per day for their equivalent service, but you also need to shell out $20 for one of their SIM cards, and you'll have a different phone number when you're in the US. That means that you can't use SMS as easily, or you need to switch the number associated to your iMessage account.
Before now, Roam was worth the slight inconvenience, but I'm not so sure anymore. For just $1 per day more, you can keep your phone number, skip all the hassle of switching SIM cards, and you won't have to notify friends and family of your temporary new phone number. I think the $1 per day is worth the convenience, and I'm probably going to try it next time I'm in the US.
The big catch here is that you need to be on a Share Everything plan from Rogers. That's the way they're forcing everyone to go these days. You can no longer get a hardware upgrade if you aren't on one of these plans. They've been doing this since they switched from 3-year contracts to 2-year contracts just before the iPhone 5S was released last year. These plans aren't as good of a deal as the old plans, unless you actually have family or friends with whom you can "share everything". In that case, you can find an okay deal if you've got at least two lines sharing data.
This is long, long overdue for Rogers. They've been gouging customers who travel to the US for years. While small startup companies like Roam Mobility have been able to negotiate reasonable roaming rates with US carries, and passed those savings onto savvy customers who didn't mind the small hassle of swapping SIM's, Rogers has chosen to charge customers exorbitant rates while roaming. I can't remember the exact math—and I'm too lazy to look up an old bill—but I clearly remember paying more than 1,000 times the domestic data rate for roaming data overage charges, in spite of having already paid $50 for a roaming plan for a 2-day weekend. Of course, I called and complained and got a credit to cover the overage charges, but the fact that Rogers would charge me 1,000 times the domestic rate in the first place is pretty unforgivable. But, here I am apparently ready to forgive them, mostly for lack of a better option, and in the name of convenience.