As a follow-up to my piece the other day, here is a blog post from Roam Mobility themselves, comparing their plans to the new Rogers offering.
On what they are calling "the catch":
Rogers’ new offer is only available for Share Everything Plan subscribers. That means if you are an existing Rogers customer with an older plan, you’ll have to give up that plan to take advantage of the Roam Like Home offer.
These more expensive Share Everything plans start at $80 per month (or $70 if you bring your own device) for talk, text and 500MB of data. At these rates, many customers who make the switch to save on roaming alone will end up paying more on their wireless bills than they do now, so it doesn’t work out to be much of a deal.
I totally agree that switching to a Share Everything plan is not a good idea just to get access to Roam Like Home. Hell, it's not a good idea at all for most people. I'm on a Share Everything plan, and that only works okay for me because I've got three lines (two iPhones and an iPad) sharing data, and my plan is not a standard Share Everything plan. Technically, it qualifies as a Share Everything plan, but it's really a retentions plan. My total bill for all three devices with unlimited talk, text, and 12 GB of data is about $205 per month including taxes. The standard plan for approximately the same service is $235, plus tax. As I've said a few times before, it's always worth calling to cancel at least once per year. I'm saving probably $600 or more per year compared to what I would pay if I didn't have a retentions plan. If you're not on a Share Everything plan, then I wouldn't switch to one. Rogers is trying to force us all down this path by requiring them for hardware upgrades, and now to qualify for their new roaming add-on. It may sound inciting, but iPhoneinCanada did a great job prior to the iPhones 6 launch of laying out all the true costs of a hardware upgrade on a contract vs. buying the phone outright. It's definitely hundreds of dollars cheaper to keep your old contract and buy the phone outright—if you're on a standard plan. So, if you're not on a Share Everything plan, then go with Roam Mobility. You won't be disappointed.
However, if you are on a Share Everything plan for whatever reason, then I think the $5 per day add-on for Roam Like Home while you're in the US isn't a bad deal. At the very least, it's the first reasonably fair and competitive deal Rogers has ever offered for US roaming. My point a few days ago was that it interests me, and I'm going to try it out. I did find swapping SIM's to be a bit of a hassle. In fact, I lost a SIM upon returning from a trip to the US back in May. That meant I had to shell out another $20 for a replacement SIM. I also had issues with iMessage authorizing once I popped in my new SIM on a recent trip to Las Vegas. The iMessage authorization problem was not Roam Mobility's fault at all, but the fact that I had to switch the phone number to which iMessage was associated is what caused the need for it to reauthorize in the first place. If I hadn't had to do that, I would have saved myself some pain and some time on the phone with Apple to get it rectified. To be fair, in the several times I've used Roam Mobility, this was the first time I had an iMessage problem.
In Roam Mobility's blog post, they also link to a MobileSyrup article on this same topic. Here's what Daniel Bader had to say:
While Roam Like Home is a boon to users who don’t want to switch SIM cards, it butts up against solutions from Roam Mobility, which offers a base package of $3.95/day for 400MB of LTE data and unlimited voice/text using T-Mobile’s network, and KnowRoaming, whose SIM sticker we covered earlier this week offers a $7.95 package for unlimited 3G data in the States. Rogers customers who travel often but don’t use their monthly data allotment will find Roam Like Home useful, but Roam Mobility is still likely a better option for those who want a US number.
I was also contacted by the founders of Roam Mobility via Twitter. They seem like nice guys and their main point seems to be that Share Everything plans are not a good deal. On that, we absolutely agree. I hope Roam Mobility continues to be a successful business, as it is a great option for many Canadians travelling to the US.