Monday, November 05, 2012

Dear Rogers, It's Over!

At the end of September and the beginning of October my wife and I moved to Ottawa from our home in Richmond Hill.  The move has gone smoothly with each utility closing our old accounts, opening a new account or transferring our accounts to our new address.   All utilities that is except Rogers.

Way back at the end of August and early September I contacted each utility individually to let them know of the move.  I spoke to many on the phone and sometimes made internet inquiries to relay the information.  Everything worked like clockwork with Enbridge, Powerstream, and Richmond Hill Water. 

Rogers though turned into a nightmare. I called on September 10th to move our services from Richmond Hill to Ottawa.  I explained to the customer service representative what I planned to do.  He started to take down my information (e.g. account number, name, address, etc.) and then his computer crashed.  He apologized and within three minutes rebooted his computer and was up and running.  We restarted the process and worked his way through asking questions and me answering honestly.  Before ending the conversation, based on previous experience, I double checked to ensure that the "move would be free" in terms of activation or other account charges.  The agent reassured me that all was good and no additional charges would be added.  He then ran through all the details to ensure that everything was correct before hanging up. All seemed to be perfect so far.

The next day, September 11th, in the afternoon I received a phone call from a Rogers Technician who sounded like he was outside at some cable box somewhere.  He was inquiring as to why my Rogers services were being switched over when the current occupant was still there and would be losing some of their Rogers services.  I was dumbfounded and explained I had not asked for September 11th, but October 1st.  The technician sighed and said he would rebook the appointment as requested when he returned to the office. 

On Sunday September 16th I received a phone call from Rogers representative who barely spoke English and I had a hard time understanding.  From what I could tell, she said the new owners to be of the Richmond Hill address had booked their appointment to switch their services.  She then went on to inquire if I would like to move my services and add even more.  I replied that I had already moved my services and did not wish to move forward with any other Rogers services due to my past experiences with them.  She said she would be more than willing to help in moving my services and adding more.  I asked to speak to her manager, she attempted again to say she could help, I asked to speak to her manager at least two more times before she put me on hold.  I was on hold for five minutes before the agent returned.  She said he manager was unavailable but she had confirmed my services had been transferred and then hung up on me.

I rolled my eyes and realized I had just been through the full Rogers customer experience.   At Rogers, if you ask to speak to a manager the following will happen:

1. The manager is unavailable due to them being in a meeting.

2. The manager is unavailable due to them being at lunch.

3. Make up your own reason.

Any of the above will result in the customer service agent trying to reassure you they can handle your issue despite Rogers screwing it up before or that they can take a message and someone from Rogers management will call you back (which they never do).

A week later, I spoke to the lawyer handling the closing on our new Ottawa address.  He explained to me that we probably wouldn't be receiving the keys until late on the day of closing.  Drat!  I had booked the Rogers Technician for the day of closing and now needed to move the appointment a day back.

I called on September 17th and spoke to another Rogers agent.  I explained the situation and they said it would be no problem to switch the day.  The Rogers agent made the change even ran through all the details to ensure they were correct, and they were.  We then hung up and I felt satisfied that Rogers had figured everything out on how to not to screw up a move. 

5 minutes later all hell broke loose and my satisfaction disappeared.  The Rogers agent who made the change now had my service being reconnected on the right date, but at my Richmond Hill address.  I called back Rogers absolutely livid.  The Rogers agent who picked up the phone said I could talk to my "Rogers Move Concierge" named Crenda.  I explained my reservations about speaking to someone in their "Rogers Move Concierge" centre because I had dealt with a salesperson before who barely spoke English and had failed to do her homework before calling me to move my services.  They promised that Crenda does speak English and was at her desk to help and then transferred me. 

Crenda picked up and asked me how I was doing, I explained that I was not happy about the service I had received from Rogers.  She promised to do what she could to straighten everything out about the move.  We ran through the details on both my joining Rogers via ACI being purchased (see here and here), my move to Richmond Hill from Aurora (see here) and now the issues with my move from Richmond Hill to Ottawa (noted above).  Crenda proceeded to ensure everything was correct and said a written confirmation would be e-mailed to me momentarily.  She also said the e-mail would include her phone number and if anything occurred she would gladly sort it out on her end.  I inquired again if "moving with Rogers is always free."  She confirmed this was the case, moving was free.  This reassured me that things with Rogers were turning for the better.

I received the confirmation in my e-mail and Crenda's phone number (1-855-810-4284). But there were charges for activation listed on the confirmation, so I called Crenda back to investigate the charges.  She answered the question quickly by saying that she has now control over the charges being listed on the confirmation.  But Crenda did promise that they have been refunded and will show on the next bill as refunded.  I thanked her and hung up. 

E-mail confirmations by Rogers need work.  Rogers Moving Concierge's should be able to adjust the confirmation so that all details of the move, including fees being charged or waived, are included.  Rogers has refused to do this and thus, does not give it's customers the benefit of having a clearly explained written confirmation of the details of the move.  Instead, customers receive a cluttered and confusing confirmation that is useless.

Later that day I received another e-mail from Crenda at Rogers.  This e-mail advertised the Rogers was in the business of home security.  I immediately disposed of it in the recycle bin of my e-mail account.  Good gracious!  Rogers can't even handle activating cable (me in 2009) and can't get the details right on the move of internet (me in 2010).  So how can they be trusted in not screwing up home security services?

Fast forward to September 30th and onwards.  I received an automated e-mail from Rogers as a reminder that the technician was booked for the date and time requested.  Great customer service, remind the customer about their date and time for the service.   This was followed with a phone call a couple of days later.  Great again, things with Rogers appeared to be looking up. 

Then on the date of the appointment I had arranged to be at the address between 2 and 5 P.M. to wait for the Rogers technician.  Wouldn't you know it, the Rogers Technician pulled in at 2:05 P.M.  I congratulated him on being right on time.  He did a quick tour of the cable, adjusted a few things and ensured I was up and running with Internet before he tap danced out the door to his next appointment.  I was very impressed on how the Rogers Technician provided excellent service and answered any questions I had about the hook up. 

Fast forward to two weeks ago when I received my Rogers bill.  Rogers was billing me for:

1.  Two full months of internet but only providing me with 1.5 months of service.

2. Increasing my monthly rate upwards by $2.00 per month without any notice. 

3. Claiming I had not paid my September 2012 invoice. 

So I called Crenda to investigate.  She wasn't in, so I left her a voicemail as to my billing issues. 

I spent a couple of hours wondering how Rogers could have screwed up the billing on two moves I had (2010 and 2012).  I was seething that I was promised moving wouldn't cost me anything on two occasions in 2012 and similarly on my move to Richmond Hill in 2010 yet when the bill came in the mail the ink on paper told a different story.

I called Crenda again and still got voicemail.  I hit "0" and spoke to another Rogers Concierge. The Concierge reviewed my file and claimed:

1. the charges were proper for the time I was paying. I reviewed it with her again by using my August 2012 bill as an example of 1 months charges and showing how my account was not prorated correctly by Rogers.  She put me on hold, recalculated and came back to say I was correct that my account was not prorated correctly and mathematical errors had been done by Crenda. 

2. that the rates had recently increased by $2.00 per month for my service.  She was also surprised that I had the old rate for that long.  I pointed out that I was originally an Aurora Cable Internet (ACI) subscriber and was promised by Rogers certain rates.  The Rogers agent put me on hold claiming she had to  double checked her library and would get back to me.  No surprise, the Rogers agent claimed that the old ACI guarentee had run out. 

3. the September 2012 invoice was never printed by Rogers.  So they let me pay it once I received my October 2012 invoice.

I was then asked the usual call centre standard question of: "is there anything else I can help you with?" I said "yes" of course there is.  Based on what I've experienced with Rogers previously and during this move I will taking the next couple of weeks to review my internet options.  The agent replied that she since I was going to be reviewing the services and I was obviously unsatisfied with Rogers at this point, she would extend an offer: 15% off my current Rogers package if I stayed with Rogers for 1 calender year on contract.  I said thank you for the offer and I would like to inquire with my wife as to what our next steps would be.  The Concierge said she would note the offer on our account and we could call in anytime to activate it. Before hanging up the Rogers Concierge inquired if I would like Crenda to call me.  Still seething, I said that would be perfect.

An hour later, Crenda called. I explained to her the issues with the Rogers bill.  She reviewed all the charges on the bill and said they were now correct.  I also went over the promotion I had been offered.  Crenda put me on hold to review what other offers there were and came back to say the 15% off was basically what the best out there right now.  I thanked

Considering the service I had received from Rogers over the past 3 plus years, I was torn.  It seemed that any time a change was needed to be made by either Rogers acquiring a company I was with or whether I was moving, Rogers employees and accounting systems couldn't handle it.  I was either signed up for the wrong program or overbilled.  Hours had been spent trying to straighten out Rogers stupidity.  Added to the stupidity, the offer of 15% off my internet if I stayed with Rogers for one year.  The calculation for 15% off my bill? It came out to Rogers offering me $2.00 and change on my monthly bill which roughly came out equal to what I was paying before the recent fee increase.  On top of that, if I had accepted the 15% offer I would also be stuck with Rogers for 1 year.  Finally, after all this time, I had it.

I started to investigate other options.  Bell?  Forget it, after reading the horror stories over the years I would have rather stayed with Rogers.   One of Ellen Roseman's most frequented covered stories has been Bell's awesome customer service antics.

I had also heard about Teksavvy via advertisements on the Toronto area transit systems.  My wife, who had worked at an IT Department recently, said that a lot of her coworkers use Teksavvy and we should look into it.

I looked into Teksavvy last week and was quite impressed at what I saw.  The website has a plethora of options available for internet.  Teksavvy's website even goes has you enter your address information to see what services are available in your area and what price you would receive.  I was impressed at the pricing to Gigabytes of data allowed compared to Rogers.    But I had some doubts how such a small out of the middle of nowhere company would be able to provide reliable internet service. 

To investigate if my doubts were valid I turned to old Google.  Google results came back with some reassuring results.  Discussion threads extolling the virtues of Teksavvy technology and customer service were satisfactory compared to the horrors shown for Rogers. 

What sealed the deal for me though, besides my wife's former coworkers at the IT Department using Teksavvy, was this article by Globe & Mail Technology reporter Michael Snider.  Mr. Snider had left Rogers after reviewing his own options for his own personal at home internet.  The only hitch Mr. Snider ran into was Rogers requires a 30 day notice before shutting down the internet in order to allow a switchover to a company like Teksavvy.  So there was no time to waste.

I reviewed my findings with my wife and we decided to move forward.   On Friday November 2nd I headed down to the Rogers Plus Store at Rideau Centre (50 Rideau Street, Ottawa) for 9 A.M.  Big mistake, the stores don't open until 9:30 A.M.  So I hung around until 9:30 at the Second Cup before scampering back upstairs to the Rogers Plus Store for 9:30 A.M.  I arrived only to find it closed with the lights out.

I waited until 9:35 A.M. for the employees to open the store.  While waiting I headed back towards the Second Cup to borrow the internet in order to check the Rogers website for store hours.  The Rogers Plus Store locator is aggravating as it wanted to know what services I was looking for etc. before showing me my options.  After five minutes I gave up as I saw, in the distance, a Rogers Plus store employee opening the store.   I scampered to be first in line. 

I arrived at the Rogers Plus store to be met with an employee on the phone.  Great start at Rogers Plus, opened late and now on the phone.

Eventually I spoke with Kali at the Rogers Plus store.  She explained that I needed to call Rogers on the phone to speak to representative in order to get rid of my internet service.  I called the 1-800 number provided and went through the "press this for that and that for this" phone centre hell.  I eventually got to "Fahid" who asked how he could help.  Full stop there...

Have you ever wondered why call centres like Rogers ask you to go through pressing numbers to work your way through different options and may even include entering in your 10 to 12 digit account number only to be asked how to be helped by the agent? Um, like doesn't your computer screen say "I don't want your service anymore" or "You overcharged me a horrendous amount of money!"   So why not skip the middle man (the automated phone system) and give me a functional human on the phone and don't waste me time argh....

I explained to Fahid that I was providing the 30 day notice for my internet.  He inquired if there was anything Rogers could do to retain me as a customer.  I thought a free year of internet would help matters, but figured I wouldn't waste my time mentioning it.  I replied there was nothing considering Rogers had put me through issues of migrating me over to their services after the purchase of Aurora Cable Internet, screwing up my move to Richmond Hill from Aurora and now the calmanity that occurred with my move from Richmond Hill to Ottawa.  I said I would like out as of December 2nd.  His reply was that December 1st would be the 30 day notice.  My reply was "hey I'm such a nice guy I'm giving Rogers 31 days notice instead of the required 30 and besides Rogers couldn't prorate a bill anyway.  Fahid said sure we can prorate a bill.  I pointed to my recent billing screw up that showed Rogers couldn't prorate and further said, just make it December 2nd to make things easier for both of us.  Fahid confirmed all the details of the cancellation of my account and hung up.  I thanked Kali at the Rogers Plus store for her help in cancelling my service and left. 

I signed up with Teksavvy once I got home.  It was quite simple, I logged onto the Teksavvy website, chose my options and was away to the races. I'm expecting the beginning of December to be an early Christmas present, no more hassles from Rogers including ever increasing rates. Now I will have Teksavvy with excellent customer service (I called them once with questions on how set up works) and, based on the reviews, excellent internet service.

So Goodbye Rogers! I wish I could say it has been great (IT HASN'T!).  Hello Teksavvy!

1 comment:

  1. I'll add my voice in support of Teksavvy---they are well regarded among techie types in the GTA and in my (admittedly limited) experience with them, they do seem to be the best.

    Anyway, best of luck with it all, Michael. Hopefully Rogers will process the disconnection properly in December and you'll finally be done with the whole ordeal.

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