After a lifetime, so it seems, earlier this year I left Rogers for a much better deal with the other big competitor . I wasn't very happy with better offers to new customers than to customers like myself who had not only sunk a lot of money into Rogers but stuck it out with them through some pretty awful times over many decades.
The other company made me an offer I just couldn't refuse.
One day after my new service was installed and all of Rogers' equipment returned to one of their stores, I discovered an 'error' in my new billing account. The price and plan that was originally negotiated and finalized was nowhere to be found. (Good thing I kept detailed notes..)
I called billing and explained my concern and thought it surely wouldn't be a big deal to make the correction.
I was so wrong in my assumption. They had no record of what my new plan and monthly charges would be for the next year. After getting nowhere and too much time parked on the phone, I asked to speak with that rep's supervisor. That was unsuccessful as apparently there was no one higher up to talk with according to the rep.
I was not going to accept a $90 difference in their favour so I called the CRTC who gave me the phone number of the Executive office.
The man I talked with said he was a supervisor in the Ex office and assured me that the error would be fixed by him and I would get an email confirmation of the correction.
The call ended with him interjecting some religious jargon! DIdn't like that at all.
I never did receive the corrected email confirmation and over the next couple of months I spent more time on the phone with them then actually being able to relax and enjoy my new services.
Every time I checked my online bill, which was near impossible to make heads or tails of, my charges where jacked up again and again. Calling became an exercise in futility -their word against mine and the one constant was their insistence that I added new features etc.
It was making me feel sick. So one evening, way after this new company's call centre was closed I called Rogers. Not only was Rogers still open but I talked with the nicest man who was also in a call centre in CANADA!
I returned back to Rogers the next day and even though I am paying a more than the competition's original offer as well as Rogers old price plan 2 months prior the peace of mind is priceless.
It is worth it for me even though I am on a fixed income, to be with a company that is accessible, local and I know has been really trying to make billing easier to read and understand, has made positive changes to their website, better training and apparently their are more technicians. (My building has some major wiring issues and I am in a high density area) and twice when I needed someone to come out to fix a connection I got an appointment the same day! Also big improvements with the technicians knowledge and professionalism.
I am so happy to be back with Rogers and this whole experience showed me what really bad service is truly about.
I have gone through some major growing pains with Rogers over the years but I always had the options to escalate right up to Rogers ombudsman with very satisfactory resolves. I really do appreciate being treated like I am a valued customer.
@luna It is great to see people posting their experiences, positive or negative, or in my change, just want a product mix that is not provided by Rogers, or Bell, so I am changing my whole model of technology for entertainment, and for Internet and Home phone, using a local 31 year company, who went over pros and cons of Bell or Rogers as the wholesale provider, the pros and cons of various modem models for connection, and as a large scale provider of phone services in the region, they have a deal with wholesale VOIP that no one can touch. Recommendations on their service (they are basically technical sellers and support providers) who look after their individual customer needs and offer better deals by getting a large pool of customers on their wholesale purchase rates (you pick Rogers or Bell - almost the same prices really) and yes there is the risk of delays of dealing with a provider technical issue, but if it is area, you would experience it whether you are with the big guys, or the wholesale provider. They showed a record of their experiences of dealing with the big two, and as they said, the response rate and quality of response and rate charged cannot be any different than they provide to anyone of their customers, all defined by CRTC and they have a direct contact due to their bulk orders.
So I will take the risk with a different model, and pack in Bell or Rogers - neither were any different after one year at the end of the day, I have had my fair share of poor customer service from Rogers, and don't know Bell's record as I have never used them, although I had them for Internet for 3 years when Rogers blew it big time doing upgrades in the GTA - they lost a huge number of customers as a result - we had not a single issue with Bell during that time - they just didn't have Internet DSL at our new home when we moved, so switch was an availability question only.
So at this time, Rogers refusal to provide a low speed unlimited option has led me to move, and we shall see how it goes. Nice thing - the company who provides the services is 10 minutes away and you talk personally to the owner if something is up. They support the municipal buildings in the region, and provide free WIFI to many public areas too.
We will have to change our mix of what we watch - but some speciality channels are available online free still, all major networks are available to us by digital antenna, we are installing a TIVO 4 tuner DVR that also provides whole home TV, and the Android box is basically a tablet operating system in a box, look and feel is like my phone, so I will have to give up on some things we watch (keeping it legal definitely), but things like Bill Mahr - lots are available on You Tube, HGTV is free online, CBC, Trevor Noah on the Comedy Network (with ads), and I keep finding more and more available legitimately over the top via Internet (thereby the reason for unlimited bandwidth, but only one TV, so don't need speed). Even with paying for equipment, the savings are huge per year and I just learn to change our viewing habits.
So as I said, nice to hear the various stories and the risks, benefits, and changed viewing or useage pattern changes, hardware purchases, etc we need to consider when we start thinking about changing.
For us it is purely financial and Bell and Rogers don't provide what we want, and the third party providers do - here I go cutting the cord - long over due - we don't watch that much TV, and we blocked all channels that we can't get over the Internet or on Antenna and you know what - after about a week, didn't miss any of it.
The reality is TV is mostly time filler for us, we just found other things to watch and do.
Great conversation, and my only advise is don't pay much attention to the horror stories, or the price challenges (unless price is a critical factor, and if like us, when price is the real issue, time to downgrade or even get out).
Decide on your needs and can the company you are dealing with offer it, and certainly if you have just had a bad experience you can't get over, for your sanity, I suggest look elsewhere and then deal with whatever comes. You may come back, you may not.
One other nice benefit - I like to go to public areas and watch kids play hockey, figure skate, the swim meets, the library, and like a tim hortons stop and I get free Internet from all of those places and get to live a lifestyle of community entertainment, I had let go since my kids grew up.
If it came down to it, I could even live without Internet at home. Never though we could - but we did it for a week just to see.
A secondary note about dealing with customer service issues with any company.
Ask them for their escalation process, the numbers and people to contact. If they decline to give it to you, you now have another complaint that can be taken to CCTC and end of escalation process.
Every company must post their escalation (CRTC requirement), and provide it on request. There are defined regulations that they must provide information on your bill about the escalation process at least 4 times per year, and to include it easily found in sections like in contact us on their web sites.
Each company has different methods - Bell actually does not provide direction to a manager, you go to their Bell Customer Relations Department, then Bell Escalation Team, and then to CCTC and they provide the link.
So if you want to go over the person's head - say you wish to escalate your concern, and they must tell you how to proceed - if not, they are in violation of CRTC rules - one more strike in your favour as you move forward.
If you don't follow the process exactly as written, the CCTC, or CRTC will send you back to the next level, as they did with you. The escalation of TV issues was originally the mandate of CRTC only, but there was discussion of giving that to CCTC.
Dealing with large companies these days always has a chance of issues, as there are so many changes, and often very poor communications, so do know and research the complaint process.
Also keep in mind that you can cancel out of any new contract or change in contract for home services within 30 days, and take a look at the CRTC rules around receipt of confirmation of your contract, terms, quotes, prices, etc in paper (yes I said paper), unless you expressly give permission for electronic, which means they have to ask and you must get it within 15 days, or the clock gets extended. Most of us implicitly accept the contract from over the phone via an email. When they confirm your email you are not giving permission to remove their responsibility for paper version to be sent out.
And them saying, "we will email it out" is implicit consent, not explicit - they must ask may we send you an email instead of mail. If you go to the store, you will get paper version. Review it closely before signing and walking away. I have used this requirement once, when they asked me, and I said, I want paper, as the last time, you didn't send it to me via email, and lately I have not had quotes either. I do know that Bell will email you quotes of your verbal interaction and the private company I am going to provided a complete quote and terms to review.
Know your rights as they say.
When I left Rogers earlier this year and stupidly went over to Bell within a day or so I was already getting conflicting info through email and 'my bell'. I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt thinking that one phone call would rectify their billing errors. I couldn't have been more wrong about my assumption.
I realized pretty quickly that I should keep notes on every phone call which I did for the next 6 weeks with Bell.
I also realized that each rep I talked with had a script to follow and limited as to how much corrections and changes they could make on my account.
So I called the CRTC who was very helpful, giving me suggestions on ways to proceed. One of them was how to file a complaint with the CCTC.
Another suggestion was to contact Bell's Executive office. (The CRTC not only gave that phone number but offered to connect my directly to the executive office.) But that turned out to be a very short lived fix because the supervisor in the executive office who promised to have everything corrected within 24 hours, never happened.
A long story short..over the next 6 weeks of spending more time on the phone with Bell than enjoying my services with them, I got every rep I talked with, their name and employee number , logging the date and time of the call keeping notes that were pertinent to the conversation.
I called the CRTC a few more times for advise.
After I reinstated myself with Rogers the last chapter with Bell was the absolute worst. I was never rude or antagonistic, though I did at times want to put my foot through the phone!
Bell insisted I broke my contract and owed them. I told them I never signed a contract and their confusing and inconsistent emails were also not contracts. They continued to say I owed them penalty money and for one extra month. I insisted that I owed them $0.00 and it might have been different if I was leaving early because I found a better deal. But I was leaving after 6 weeks..which was 2 weeks over the 30 day grace period , because their service was so bad. I would sign into 'my bell' in the morning and my balance would be one amount and then if I checked it again in the evening or following day there would be a new balance usually around a $100 difference in their favour. I couldn't get bell to correct it nor give me an explanation that wasn't subjective.
Finally I found contact info for one of the CEO's in their Montreal head office.
I called explained my problem with billing and charges for what?! and never with any dates or timeframe.
In that conversation I also mentioned that I had every employee ID number I'd talked with, dates and times and logs of every conversation as well as screen shots of all the daily changes of what they thought I owed them. I concluded that the next step was either for Bell to finally confirm a zero balance and never to contact me again or with all my notes etc., I would be back in touch with the CRTC about filling a formal complaint.
Bell finally saw it my way.
I learnt that doing some research, finding out exactly what my rights are and being able to back it up makes a big difference.
I feel the best way to find a resolve is do your homework. Research, Google, read the CRTC and CCTC websites rather that demanding to speak to the next level up. Call back or call directly to another number that if you look you can find for another dept., and be business like with all you facts, acts and by-laws.
Know what you're talking about when negotiating a business transaction.
I will not get defensive or argumentative if the rep I am talking with is not taking some ownership of the issue and isn't being very helpful. I'll thank them, hang up and call back later.
But with Bell's horrible business practices and inability to LISTEN to their customers , got me wondering if they intentionally want to drive you crazy so as to keep Bell Let's Talk, in business!
As I've mentioned before, I am so relieved to be back with Rogers!!!
@luna Sounds like a horrible experience. And you have passed on an important lesson. As soon as you don't get satisfactory answers from the first CSR, then you may want to try another time, but you don't have to - under CRTC, every company must publicly make their escalation process available.
You can find them for any company under the CCTC framework and this also includes cable now finally, by searching the company name and the escalation process - you can ask a rep for it too and they have to give it to you. If they don't they are in violation with the wireless code and you now have another issue, separate from your initial concern.
Get to know the wireless code, the easy and longer versions put out by the CRTC, how to file complaints, etc.
In all companies now, each level has their hands tied to a certain level and can only do what they have the authority to do, but all companies must work with you in the escalation process.
Your experience of getting names, employee numbers interactions numbers, dates times and clear documentation and screen shots is very powerful, but if you provide all that, the company has to prove otherwise.
Hope your services with Rogers are more comfortable.
Within minutes of posting here yesterday I got a call from Bell though I didn't answer partially because I can't stomach the thought of talking with them anymore and also because the name display was not Bell ,(number was Bell). There was no message left. Could have been a spoof by a goof!
@luna I hope you filed a complaint with the CRTC. It might not help you directly at this point in time, but, if enough people complain, maybe the CRTC will take Bell and others to task for practices that allow them to avoid responsibility by abusing customers (putting it mildly) with their customer services practices.
@luna Sorry you've had such a bad experience. I've had only good service from both Rogers and Bell. Although here is hardly a place to discuss the latter.
I switched allegiance for Home Phone, Internet and TV simply because a) they offered me an Intro Offer that I couldn't refuse & b) less clutter with cables, boxes etc.
If Rogers offered home fibre-optic at an attractive price along with wireless receivers for satellite TV's I might switch back, who knows?