I’m not your typical cell phone user. The main reason for this is that I don’t really need one. And by “need” I mean in the first world sense of the word. I’m not a teenager. I’m not single. I’m middle-aged with a young family, so socially – I don’t really need a phone. I run my own business from a home office (which I rarely leave), so professionally – I don’t really need a phone.
I hate the way wireless is set up in Canada (i.e. the duopoly). We pay the highest rates in the world. So when Wind launched in 2009, I was first in line. December of 2009 I signed up and have been with them ever since.
Now that’s loyalty.
Those times when I do need the phone are when I’m away from the house, which isn’t often. Several times per month – but maybe twice per month when it’s for any reasonable length of time (perhaps an hour or more). I use it mostly for email and Twitter, as I have an online business. Service with Wind has been 60-40 at best. Data service indoors is often non-existent (downtown Toronto hospitals? Forget it – need to walk 50 feet from the building to get a signal for calls, texts or data). If you look at the WIND map for home vs. away coverage, my house is inside the home part – but barely. What that means is that my signal for “home” is shitty, but it’s too good to switch to “away”. So using my phone in my own house is a 50-50 proposition. But it’s the cheapest option so I’ve stuck with them.
I get my bills online. I don’t bother logging in to check them because they say the same thing each month – very little usage, minimum payment. So every month I pay $60 or $80 and I’ve been fine. Last month, however, I was cut off for not paying $15 I owed. Huh? So that caught me off guard because all this time I figured I was paying “extra”. Either way, to cut off a loyal customer over $15 is not exactly customer friendly. (Suggestion: cut people off at $100 two weeks past due, instead of just two weeks past due for even $1.00).
Recently, I had to investigate some older bills for tax purposes so for the first time in a couple of years I had to actually study my WIND bill and guess what I found? I was paying $15 per month all this time for a chat plan on my wife’s phone – a phone she lost over two years ago. She’d had a new phone for 15 months.
I called in and had to be transferred to “Loyalty” (ironic name) to cancel that particular service and see about obtaining credit. WIND had no record of my cancelling her phone. So perhaps I didn’t. Sounds like something I’d miss. Nav, the “Loyalty” agent, would not give me credit. Understandable, but fortunately she cared enough about my situation to offer me $60 in credit (four months of my mistaken overpay) in good faith. She understood that as a long-time (near original) and loyal customer, the gesture would go a long way.
Wait a minute, wait a minute – no she didn’t.
In fact, not only was a credit of any sort not offered, but what was offered was a repeated mantra of “it’s not our fault that you didn’t check your bill”. I already feel like an idiot. I certainly deserve that statement. Once. But repeating it six or seven times in a condescending voice is something that your friend (or enemy) does – not what a customer service (“Loyalty”) agent does. Anyway, she didn’t cross any line of rudeness. She pressed up against it, but didn’t cross it. She was probably better about it than I would have been, in her shoes. But then again, I would have thrown the customer a bone.
I put up with six years of weak service with little complaint. And now I’m leaving. A $60 “feel good” gesture on their part would have saved a customer. I don’t feel valued. I never have, in fact. So here is valuable feedback, WIND email@example.com – customer retention can cost as little as $60. Just something to make them feel less of an idiot. Yes, it was my fault that I paid $15/month extra for what was 18-24 months without realizing it. But here are some things that I did for you, in good faith, over the last six years:
- I gave you upwards of $200 for services that I didn’t use and you didn’t provide (because you didn’t have to, because I don’t have that phone).
- Service has been spotty in my own home, and very bad elsewhere. It has improved over the past year (new towers?), but I put up with service that nobody in their right mind would put up with for a good four years. I’d rate the last two years a 7.5/10 but the first four years a 4.0/10. My friends around me with Rogers/Bell/Telus get 9.5/10 service.
- For tax purposes, I need bills for 2013 and 2014. I can’t get those bills, and after being told by your customer service rep that there is nothing I can do, I then discovered that I could actually have the third party auditor email firstname.lastname@example.org and “request” them. Nice. Just more hoops from a company that doesn’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to creating hoops.
For this, I didn’t ask for a refund. I didn’t cancel. I kept paying. Blind loyalty.
Anyway. Justified or not, I’m done. The situation was salvageable, but your trained “Loyalty” expert was unable or unwilling to salvage. Reference C24400620
UPDATE: WIND contacted me immediately after this post (I’m guessing because I tweeted them, perhaps they noticed all of my followers) and gave me $100. A very nice gesture, and it gives me two free months to cool off and decide if I want to stay. I so hate to cave in and give business to Rogers or Bell, who force us to take a “plan” and have the gall to state that Canadians prefer “plans”. (no, we don’t)