Rogers does it again!

I really dislike Rogers. I am one of the many who has had a history of bad experiences with their services. Also, I have found some of their procedures to be sneaky and underhanded.

For example, I got a Nokia 6190 through Rogers three years ago due to a corporate deal I was illegible through my place of work. When I got it, I was advised by the salesman in the corporate store that I had fifteen (15) days to try the phone and if I did not like it – either phone or service or both— that I could return it for a full refund. ‘Okay,’ I thought, ‘that’s fair.’ Case in point, Fido used to have a thirty-day return policy, but since Rogers bought them they have fallen into line with their parent company and reduced it to fifteen days as well.

Luckily I made my mind of whether to keep the phone or not after a really quick call to my then new voice mail system. Imagine my surprise when I called Rogers to cancel. ‘Have you used it?’ Was the CSR’s first question, ‘Yes, I did.’ ’Then most likely you cannot return the phone.’ ‘Why?’ ‘If you use the phone for more then fifteen (15) minutes then you void your option to cancel the contract. Unless you pay the ‘contract cancellation fee.’ ‘How much is that?’ I asked as I went through the phone’s call timer. ‘Twenty dollars for every outstanding month, to a limit of $200.’ ‘The man at the corporate store forgot to mentioned that small fact.’ ‘Fifteen minutes is pretty short, with Fido you can use the phone for as long as you want for 30 days. How is anyone supposed to figure how good their phone is if they can only use it for fifteen minutes?’ ‘That’s what is in the contract, Sir.’

Wait, so Rogers has a policy stating that you may return a phone within fifteen days only if used for less than fifteen minutes? What kind of insane clause is that? Had the salesman mentioned this fact when I bought the phone my perception of my options would have been quite different. I felt such ‘oversight’ on the part of the salesman highly underhanded. As I did ask about the exceptions and limitations regarding their return policy.

’Eight minutes,’ I said to the CSR. ‘I have only used the phone for only eight minutes!’ ‘Can’t be, because we have been talking for more than 15 minutes.’ ‘I am using my landline.’ You are not getting me that easily I thought. ‘Okay, what I would recommend then is just drop by the store you bought it and ask for a refund. I would also recommend that you do not use the phone.’ ‘Gee, thanks.’

I got a full refund the next day. But I could not help to wonder how many times this happens out there. Less then a year and a half ago, Peter one of my friends was stuck having to pay the $200 dollars because he made the mistake of expending his allocated 15 minutes on hold to speak to a CSR to cancel his service before the deadline. ‘You can’t cancel Sir, you have exceeded the fifteen minutes usage clause.’ ‘But I have used them to call your Help line to CANCEL the line.’ Sorry Sir, the limitation is fifteen minutes so in your case to cancel is no longer an option.’

In Peter’s case he was forced to pay the $200 as he was advised that his account would otherwise be sent to accounts receivable and promptly forwarded to a collection agency, which would stain his credit rating.

Marcus, colleague of mine, who works with me but used to work for Rogers as a CSR told me that he was regularly reminded by management that if they found errors in people’s accounts that they should not bring it up unless a customer brought it up first. Since according to management the system would auto correct itself anyway. He never believed it though.

Which brings me to another of my stories of woe. I must have been on some cheap drugs but I somehow brought myself to giving Rogers another try, mostly due to a very attractive offer my job was once again promoting. I bought a Motorola T720 and whether it was the abysmal reception (I lived in a condo 3 minutes away from their downtown headquarters which is littered with reception towers!) or the fact that every single bill for the four months I was with them had errors. I ended paying the $200 to get the bloody hell out of Rogers. Luckily I was able to sell the phone so I managed to cover most of the expense. You can imagine my annoyance since my Fido account has never had a SINGLE billing error, and I had by then been with them for over 6 years! Too bad Rogers bought Fido last year, and they now share the same billing system. Damn you Rogers.

Heck, there is even a guy who got so fed up after being screwed by Rogers that he created a website in which people could voice their rants. He seems to have relaxed a bit, but the rants are still an excellent and more often than not hilarious read:

On more recent news, you may like to read the following story that just ran in the Globe and Mail during the weekend, because if you are with Rogers then this could happen to you. A law professor was in total shock when she received a $12,237.60 bill from Rogers. It seems her phone was stole from her home while away and over three hundred long distance calls were charged to her account, including calls to foreign countries such as Pakistan, Libya, Syria, India and Russia. Quite a change from someone whose average bill is $75. What it is even more shocking is Rogers’s propensity to just look the other way, even though they have admited to possessing the technology to track fraud-in-process, alarm the client and freeze the account. After all, the true colours of how a corporation treats its clients are most obvious in the efficiency it resolves your concerns and not by just seating back and collecting your monthly payments. Good one Rogers, very smooth. Click here for the article.

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