Canadians distressed as Rogers blackout leaves customers stranded

Fridays are usually the busiest days for Abigail Hitchens.

The Collingwood, Ontario florist takes calls for everything from events and birthdays to anniversaries and reunions.

Sometimes it’s just a “spontaneous” weekend treat.

On days like this, Hitchens will usually sell flowers.

“Not today,” he said in an email to “My phone doesn’t ring, nor do many emails. I can’t accept wire transfer payments either. I got rid of the Visa terminal at the start of COVID. The last time this outage happened, I lost $900 in sales. Today it’s looking to be al minus $1,500.”

Hitchens joins many people across Canada who struggled to get their work lives in order when a massive Rogers network outage on Friday disabled customers’ mobile services and Internet connections.

Not only businesses like Hitchens’s are affected, but also banks, passport offices, airports and hospitals.

People are also unable to make debit payments and in some cases may have difficulty calling 911. Some are resorting to standing outside coffee shops in an effort to get back online.

Friday evening, Rogers said he was “making progress” on resolving the outage.although it is not clear when the services will be operational again.

The company has not disclosed exactly what caused the outage or how many customers were affected.

Hitchens told that he relies on Fridays to make up for slower days earlier in the week.

She and many others responded to a call from asking readers to share their experiences during the service outage.

Responses were emailed to and not all have been independently verified.

As someone with a child to feed and bills to pay, Hitchens says a $1,500 loss like the one she expects Friday is “huge” for a small business owner like her.

“That may not seem like a lot of money to many people, but after two years of COVID and no work events, these small sums are what keep our lights on as we work to recoup two years of losses,” he said.

“…Rogers is becoming unreliable and absolutely miserable to deal with, while being exorbitantly expensive for what we get.”

Other small business owners expressed similar frustrations with the Rogers outage and the impact it will have as they try to recover from the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One person said he has been unable to receive donations for his nonprofit, while a pharmacist said he is unable to receive faxes from doctors’ offices and is concerned about the impact this will have on patients.

At least two people who wrote to said they were scheduled to speak to their doctors and surgeons by phone, but were unable to.

The situation is also affecting customers in other ways, including their home security systems, online schoolwork, and paying bills.

Some questioned why Rogers didn’t tell them about the blackout. Others say that if this continues, they will have no choice but to switch to another service provider.

The blackout is even affecting customers abroad.

Pamela Tribiger told that she is vacationing in Northern Ireland with her family and is using her phone to navigate.

Suddenly, he says he had no way of finding his destinations or Airbnb.

“Being in a foreign country and completely isolated made me panic,” he said.

Fortunately, they were able to find Wi-Fi at an information center and that way they got directions to their Airbnb.

Sabrina Brosnan of Vancouver said she is currently seeking assistance for back rent and is unable to resolve the issue due to the outage.

“This is extremely distressing for many trying to contact the government for financial or medical assistance, not to mention all those trying to get a passport or other government assistance,” Brosnan wrote to

“They should be able to prevent this kind of thing from happening, I had to go to my local library to check email and send this to you, not that I’m complaining about going to my library, but I’m supposed to overcome this kind of outage issue with These companies”.

In response to the outage, a spokesperson for the Communications Security Establishment says the Canadian Center for Cyber ​​Security has offered to help Rogers, The Canadian Press reports.

With archives from CTV News and The Canadian Press

Leave a Comment