Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My latest aggravating interaction with Rogers

It seems every few months I have an aggravating experience with Rogers.

A few months ago, I got a letter saying this was my final bill and my cable/Internet service was being disconnected “as requested.” Only problem was, I had made no such request. And my account was up to date, so it wasn’t a billing issue. So, long story short, after three hours on the phone, much of it on hold, bouncing between different departments where they insisted I had indeed asked for a disconnect (Me: prove it! Rogers: Umm) and saying they had tried to phone me (Me: No you didn’t, and I do have voicemail) they discovered someone trying to connect service in a new apartment and, due to a data entry error, they thought the new service was to be at my location. So they just assumed I was moving and forgot to tell them. To fix it, first they had to phone this other guy, then cancel my service, and then re-start my service. And their response for wasting hours of my time: “this happens sometimes.”

Which brings me to the latest aggravation interaction with Rogers “customer service.” The hockey season being over, a few weeks ago I cancelled the Super Sports Package and decided to get TMN in its place (mainly for the HBO) was they were offering it free for two months. Now, the fellow warned me they’d been having some billing issues so watch my account closely, and he said he’d put a note on my account about the promotion.

Sure enough, my bill comes yesterday and they’re billing me for TMN. So I phone Rogers to have them take care of it. After confirming that I was indeed entitled to the promotion, she said it had been taken care of and a credit applied to my account.

Sounds good. Anything else I can do, she asked? Sure, what’s my adjusted balance, I asked, as I haven’t paid my current bill yet. Here’s where the aggravation began.

No, your current bill is the same, she said. The credit will be on your next bill. So I should pay the current bill minus the $30, I asked. No, she said, pay the full bill, if you do that you’ll incur a late charge.

I pointed out the lack of logic of me facing the choice of either overpaying Rogers by $30, letting them have my money to do with what they will for a month, or paying what I actually owe and being charged a late fee. Why should I be penalized for their mistake? And how is it legal to charge me late charges for not paying something I was mistakenly (by their error) charged for?

That’s how our billing system works, is there anything else I can do for you sir?

Besides doing your job competently the first time? No, I suppose not.

I will not be paying for what I shouldn’t have been charged for this month. And if they charge me a late fee, I’ll be calling them and demanding it be removed. I imagine they’ll handle it with a credit to the next months’ bill and insist I still pay the late charge then, lest I be charged another late fee. Maybe we’ll make the monthly call a standing appointment, until they get their heads out of their asses.

I'm not lending them cash because their billing system sucks. That's their problem, not mine. And I understand mistakes are going to happen. But I shouldn't have to spend so much of my time correcting their screw-ups, and be left with a simple "hey, shit happens."

UPDATE: After this post and tweeting about my experience, I was contacted by Rogers' social media customer service team. They asked for my phone number and informed me they were elevating my complaint to the "office of the president."

Yesterday I received a call from this office. They apologized for my experience, and informed me this wasn't a problem with their billing system: it was possible to apply the credit to my current bill, and the call centre employee should have known that and applied it to my current bill instead of telling me it wasn't possible. She applied the credit to my current bill and left the original credit on my next bill as well as a goodwill gesture. The clock on the two free months of HBO was also re-started.

So while I'm disappointed the complaint had to escalate to this point to reach what seemed like a simple resolution, I'm pleased that it has been resolved and appreciate the apology. I just hope call centre staff training will be improved so this doesn't happen in the future because, as responses to my post and tweets indicated my billing credit issue wasn't an isolated case.

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Dan F said...

After multiple horrific customer service experiences not unlike yours, I have rid myself of the menace of Rogers in my life once and for all. I get my internet from Distributel, and my TV from Netflix, iTunes and the web. Rogers shareholders are probably wondering why they posted significantly lower revenue and profit last quarter. Here's a hint: If your customers hate you, you might be doing something wrong. If your customers who are on contracts really hate you and can't wait to get away (and in the meantime are telling everyone they know how much they hate you) revenue and profit will continue to fall, until, as Jeff said, you pull your head out of your ass and get with the reality that customers actually have a choice now.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,

This is Nicolas from Rogers social media team.

I'd like to apologize for this experience. You’re raising some interesting points that I will share with our internal teams.

We're always reviewing our services and policies based on what customers have to say.

We will contact you via Twitter shortly to assist you with this situation.

For future, and I also address that note to your readers, do not hesitate to reach out to us on Twitter @RogersHelps as you did before.

Our social media team is here to help!


Altavistagoogle said...

It is what it is. You don't like the service, take a look at the competition. As my landlord once said to me, it isn't the complainers he has to wory about. It is the others that simply move.

Tips for dealing with Rogers.
-Use your hold time productively.
-Specifically ask for a credit. Name a specific amount (Say $30). If declined, ask to speak to a supervisor, or, even better, tell them you want to give theme the 30 days notice of cancelation of services. Worse case scenerio they call your bluff and you end up with the competition. Best case is they lower your rate (for obvious reasons, do not agree to a contract).

The Rat said...

Jeff, how do you feel now that you're getting "special" treatment as prominent blogger? As a test maybe I should post a similar complain on my blog and see if the Rogers's social media team shows up. Probably should get a Twitter account, then...

Jeff said...

Rat, I seriously doubt I got any sort of special treatment. It's not like I'm a Mommy blogger; them you don't mess with. Rogers has a very active social media monitoring team that checks blogs and twitter and responds to complaints. I doubt they check klout scores before deciding to help.

CanadianSense said...

The management of many companies don't believe in customer service.
This should have been resolved at your first contact without escalating this matter.
The internal controls in place treat the customer service as light switches with no authority to make it right.
This is not unique to telcos.

OldGoat said...

I also had an "experience" with Rogers, about 6 years ago now. I started receiving statements for a wireless service which I had never had. It took nearly a year to straighten this out and I finally just ignored their notices. They finally went away.... It was a long and complicated story, but the result is that I would NEVER use Rogers' services again.