The headline is a little bit hard on a company that was actually quite reliable for the 10-plus years after the Bell incident. But what they did was so far off base that in the end it actually made them a worse company. And looking back on things today, I realize that all customers – all – would be better off leaving both Bell and Rogers. It can be done, and I’ll tell you how – later.
First, what did Rogers do? My cell phone bill were getting extravagant so I phoned them and asked for a more expensive plan. Paying for more minutes – i.e. guaranteeing them more money – would save me in the end.
My wife and I usually pay a combined $230 a month for our cell phones. A little high, but we use them a lot. It was this way for about 18 months straight, but in August the bill I got was for about $350. So that sets off a flag – she is on maternity and is now more active with her daytime calling. So I call Rogers and expand my plan as much as possible. I’ll pay a higher set price and avoid these fluctuations.
Next bill was $600.
So I call back and it turns out that I had been charged for incoming calls, which were supposed to be free. The agent agreed and fixed my account accordingly – or so I thought (when he fixed my account for free incoming calls – I found out that he just gave me three months of that free. So in four months I would have received another surprise, had I not discovered this). He also sent the issue to Billing to knock off the rest of the overage. They would contact me on Friday to confirm. They didn’t call. So I followed up this evening.
Speaking to another agent – and later his supervisor – both nice, don’t get me wrong, but I find out the following:
1. Free unlimited incoming calls don’t exist anymore. To get free incoming calls the cost $15 a month but are subject to the normal daily call minute restraints (so not unlimited), but are free on weekends/evenings. I didn’t get that as part of my August plan.
2. I can’t go back to my “old” plan that had unlimited incoming calls. Had I left well enough alone, I would just be paying a “measly” $100 a month more until wifey goes back to work in January.
3. Apparently, when I changed my plan in August, it automatically puts me in a contract for 36 months. So instead of being free of their contract in January coming up (and trust me – I have been counting the days until that date), they say I’m locked in until August of 2012. So be very wary when you change your plan with Rogers or any money hungry wireless company.
Nothing against their customer service. It’s the suits in the head office that make the policy and devise ways of squeezing every drop of blood out of the stone that is their customer.
I’ll pay $1000 for a phone, before I sign any contract ever again. Did you know in China and India, Apple and Blackberry can’t break into that market because the culture over there is contracts=devil. The people won’t sign ’em. So as such, the iphone and blackberry can’t be discounted. As such…people won’t buy them for that much money.
I want that culture here. Contracts suck.
What I did
I canceled Rogers wireless, Internet, TV and home phone. To cancel the wireless – because they put me on a new plan they charged me the full cancellation fee (my last plan was close to expiring and the fee would have been tiny by comparison). Internet also charged me a cancellation fee. In fact, I paid $500 in cancellation fees. I paid that to Rogers to go away.
I then went to Wind Mobile for wireless. Teksavvy for Internet and home phone. Star Choice (now Shaw) for Satellite. Now while the latter is the same thing – just another bigwig – the other two have saved me huge. In the 16 months since I made the move, I have saved about $2000. Now THAT is worth paying $500 in fees for, no? Teksavvy service is excellent. Wind, not so good – but damn is it cheap, and they’re building cell towers and thus improving over time.