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Buying a phone or paying your bill? Be ready to show ID at Rogers stores before entering

If you’ve gone to a Rogers store during business hours recently and were wondering why the door is locked, the company wants you to know it’s the result of a policy change aimed at preventing robberies and fraud.

The Canadian telecom giant now requires customers to show a piece of government-issued identification before entering a store — a rule that has some experts and customers in Toronto raising their eyebrows.

“The safety of our team members and customers is of the utmost importance to us,” said Rogers spokesperson Chloe Luciani-Girouard in a statement to CBC Toronto.

“Several measures have been put in place over the last few years to improve safety in the stores, including robust training, upgraded cameras, and enhanced door screening policy.”

Policy a ‘hassle,’ customer says 

Rogers says it’s a national policy that was implemented over a year ago, but the company also says it only applies in certain stores, although it does not specify which ones or where they’re located.

Oriol Ramirez is one customer who’s experienced it first-hand. He says it was a “hassle” when he went to a Rogers store in Toronto Tuesday to replace his phone, which had been stolen. 

Ramirez says he was told he would need identification to be able to enter to buy a phone. The problem was, he says, the thief had also swiped his ID and credit cards, so he had no way of gaining entry to the store.

“It was a bit of hassle to go all the way back [home] and by the time I got back, it had already closed,” Ramirez said.

“You have security guards in the store so I don’t really think it’s that necessary.”

buying a phone or paying your bill be ready to show id at rogers stores before entering
A sign outside of a joint Rogers-Fido store on Queen Street East instructs customers to look up at an exterior security camera to identify themselves before presenting a government-issued photo ID through the glass window. (Greg Bruce/CBC)

Nicholas Filippaios says he wasn’t asked for ID when entering a Rogers store in Toronto, but says he saw other customers getting asked for it at the same location.

“I can see why they would need ID to verify an account but why would you need it to enter the store?” Filippaios said.

“I don’t know why that’s in effect.”

5 charged in robbery of cellphone store

It’s not clear if robbery and fraud are on the rise in GTA electronics stores. When CBC News asked police services in Toronto, Peel and York regions for statistics to see if there’s an upward trend over the last several years, all three said they do not have those numbers on hand.

But York Regional Police can point to at least one such armed robbery last month. They say five people were charged after a cellphone store was robbed at gunpoint in Aurora, Ont. on Aug. 15. 

Police say two males went inside the store and pointed a gun at the employees while demanding cash and phones before fleeing the scene with the three other.accused who were allegedly waiting outside in a car.

Companies should consider other options, expert says

Ritesh Kotak, a cybersecurity and technology analyst based in Toronto, says it’s the first time he has seen a store that sells cellphones to the public lock its front doors and require customers to provide ID before they can enter.

“There’s probably nothing more frustrating than going to a store and seeing a door locked and potentially being rejected at the door,” Kotak said.

“I don’t think that’s a sensible policy. You don’t see this in malls, kiosks, other electronic stores.”

But Kotak says companies looking into security precautions to prevent robbery or theft should instead consider moving to appointment-based systems.

“There are ways of securing your product, not leaving all of your inventory in the front, crime prevention through environmental design.”

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