PayGO phone number reassigned

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I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 14

PayGO phone number reassigned

My mom has a Rogers DORO phone for seniors (she is 87). She used it while in hospital and after for a while. Then

stored it in her bookcase. Now about a year later an old girlfriend of hers told her that a stranger is answering here

cell phone. I tried it, and yes, a strange woman answers. I asked her what she is doing with my mother's number.

Apparently Rogers gave it to her a few months ago.

Is Rogers really so short of ph numbers to just give away someones number because it has not been used in 11 or so

months? My mom is furious, and wants her number back. Some of her other friends have this number too.

If I buy a $20 voucher and top off the phone, will the old number be automatically returned to rightful owner (mom)? Or will I have to fight with Rogers to get it back?

If I have to, I will call the present user of the number and persuade them to return it to her.

I am angry because they upset my elderly mother like this.

 

 

 

***Edited Labels***

Resident Expert
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Posts: 2,414

Re: PayGO phone number reassigned

it sounds like she left her pay as you go line inactive with no airtime balance for an extended period of time and that the line automatically cancelled as per the rogers policy on inactive pay as u go lines.   So yes her line was "inactive" for a certain period of time they absolutely have the right to cancel the line and re-assign the number to someone else. if your mom really wanted the number that badly she would top it up every so often so it would not go dormant.  You need to tell your mom to read the fine print of her cellular agreement as it outlines in there all the conditions of having a pay as u go line and how long it takes for it to cancel due to inactivity.   If she did not agree with this then she should not sign up with rogers and go with another carrier, however mind you, the other carriers all have similar conditions on their pay as you go lines too.  your mom can not top off her line because her line is probably already cancelled, she needs to buy a new sim card and re-open a new pay as you go account, and get a new account number and new telephone number as well,. sorry to burst your bubble



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Posts: 707

Re: PayGO phone number reassigned

I agree  with Pauly with one slight hiccup  .... since your  mom  uses the phone so little  I would suggest going with a different company now that Rogers no longer provides that cheap $100 a year plan . There are others that would leave the phone active for a year for even less $  than that .  

When we let my mom's phone  expire, I think it was   about 3-4 months after the balance had  totally  expired that they actually closed the account . In that time if there was no balance she could not have received any calls from anyone  anyway . 

I'm a Senior Advisor
Posts: 2,094

Re: PayGO phone number reassigned

I will agree with much of what Pauly has said in clarifying the terms of their and our contracts around phones, but I will respectively take a little bit offense in the advice.

 

"if your mom really wanted the number that badly she would top it up every so often so it would not go dormant.  You need to tell your mom to read the fine print of her cellular agreement as it outlines in there all the conditions of having a pay as u go line and how long it takes for it to cancel due to inactivity.

 

First, the person stated his mother is 87 - I am 61 and I am developing memory loss and have cognitive reading and text disabilities - He doesn't need to do anything that you have suggested to do as it may not be appropriate at all.

 

In my case, on my profile is stated my three disabilities, and that all terms and conditions have to be explained to be me as required by OADA (our disabilities protection act which Rogers has been required to follow because they are a customer service company, for a few years now - there are no excuses they can give for not doing so).

 

To make this work, a benefit to this person and supporting his mother is to communicate any challenges she may have with comprehending disabilities - imagine some one who has been on home phones for years - would they think naturally about losing access to their phone - I doubt it.

 

Yes, we receive the terms, and need to understand it, but it is our responsibility to indicate if we can understand text print (I can't, so I require them to go through the terms, section by section as they apply to the service and I ask a lot of questions - again, this they cannot refuse and if they do I quote the law, and if they don't adapt, I escalate and consider a complaint to the OADA who will investigate and make a decision.)

 

The act places responsibilities on the customer and the company - an our ownly responsibility is to explain that we don't understand, or it was not communicated in a way that we could understand, and I am now informing.

 

Unfortunately, in this case, there is probably no way to get the phone number back to the mother due to the technical realities of how releasing and reassigning numbers happens.

 

So my suggestion to the OP is to immediately identify with his mother how best she wants to have Rogers educate her on terms and responsibilities.  I often see people jumping to "must read the terms" - some of us can't read and understand complex material and we have a right for the company to explain in what ever way we can understand, or maybe the son does the transaction.  Each accommodation is individual,

 

Although you are a representative, not an employee, of Rogers, I would hope in their training to experts that they also communicate the responsibilities under OADA - I would argue that Rogers has a responsibilty to make every person given the title Residential Expert, as indirectly they were chosen and approved by Rogers this training - they have to do it for every employee and refresh it at intervals.

 

So, to the OP - I suggest, it is your choice how best you work this out that an explanation be given to your mother of what happened, to guide her as she wishes in how to communicate the changed number to new people and I agree with Barndoor that there are far better plans out there given how you described she uses the phone.

 

It would be wonderful if Rogers and other companies gave advise to customer before deactivating their accounts due to inactivity, but that is a different story.

 

If it were me, I would also work with your mother to help her keep up of the terms and the issues of inactivity and how to avoid losing the number in the future.

 

Rogers has met the terms as described, whether your mother fully understood the terms and a discussion as a customer to Rogers as a concern about what happened cannot hurt - this site is member to member, and you are not really talking to Rogers - you would have to contact @CommunityHelps they can tell you how to run the Private messenging system or someone else can and figure out what your  best options are moving forward, but unfortunately, it is probably impossible to get the number back, even if the person wanted to pass it back to you, it will drop into a pool electronically and be available to the next person, unless there is some fancy back office way to facilitate it, but this is somthing you would have to coordinate with the current phone holder of the number, as for confidentiality, I suspect they can't talk about the person, even though you know how to reach them.

 

It is unfortunate this has happened, and as some of us age and the patterns of how we understand phones, and terms is changed by companies, or we just don't remember what we have to do, we have to find ways to accommodate keeping us up to date on terms and responsibilities beyond just reading, and storing in a file or box for future reference,  I see a simple solution is reminding people before their phone becomes inactive, but if it was sitting on a shelf, they wouldn't get the message, but there is also mail as an other alternative or email - the issue of legal accommodations, is it must be negotiated an solution for each individual, and common ones can be built in, and if a company chooses not to then the company has to prove undue cost and hardship, which, the only case where I have seen Rogers receive this was a deferrment in another regulatory area - the wireless code related to implementing roaming data charging and a couple of others due to the technical and procedural challenges they were conronted by.

 

So in summary, me advocated that we have to understand needs before suggesting or telling people what to do related to services - the company by law has to and us on the forum, it is a courtesy to not assume whether people can read, comprehend, etc and possibly ask if there are some challenges to a person understanding the terms beyond just being told to read them.  Just a suggestion of education to all public of how to be considerate of person with challenges.

 

And I don't think they can get the number back, but a discussion I believe between, son, mom on the realities of the terms and what happened, and then a discussion with a report a concern or private message here, but get above CSR level and discuss what happened, put forward education on what happened, and the error in the assumption that the terms being sent out in text form are adequate - there could be education on text to voice options, time spent on the phone - in a legal document, we have to confirm that we have read and understood, and if we can't read and comprehend, the company has to find a way to achieve that.  Other alternatives is using a person to be with you to listen and help the person understand the terms, but to say "read them" assumes no reading challenges, which for me that definitely fails the test -  I have to change fonts to 18 pt, and go to a page width of 4 inches, and go to 2.0 line spacing in order to read now (I can do that electronically and I scan paper to editible word documents and change the fonts and spacing)  Rogers at this point only advises that you can use the tools on our devices, but my experience with the abilities office, is that they don't really fully understand the use of these tools, beyond how to guide through on their use.  They will send out our bills in an increased font, but not in a layout that works, so I sometimes ask for both, which we are permitted to under the code now - paper must be offered first, then we can opt for electronic as an alternative, and we can request the contract any time in the term now.

 

So all my best to the OP and mother in moving forward - terms are not always easy to understand, and don't always reflect the reality of how we use our devices and how we will have to adapt our life to meet these terms.  A well presented and communicated terms in a form and understanding of how these terms impact our patterns of use can lead to creative solutions for either Rogers to implement, or even a suggestion to the person to put reminders on a calendar, (I am not sure they want autopay, that protects you), or maybe the solution is to consider a different company if the terms cannot be met fully due to life style.

 

All just suggestions, but definitely, we have to be more compasionate of the differences in peoples cognitive abilities and perceptual abilities.  Rogers currently respects vision, hearing, and a limited amount of physical limitations - now with voice to text and text to voice on the tv remote, mention of the ability of various devices to do this, sometimes with reference to guides, and a larger remote.

 

It is the communication issue that I find Rogers remains very weak on.

 

Just continuing to try to help, clarify and continue to advocate for accommodation as a courtesy and as required by law where appropriate.  When you have gone from having no limitations to limitations of many types, you become very aware of the differences in how people perceive and understand our world.

 

Bruce

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Posts: 707

Re: PayGO phone number reassigned


@BS wrote:

 

To make this work, a benefit to this person and supporting his mother is to communicate any challenges she may have with comprehending disabilities - imagine some one who has been on home phones for years - would they think naturally about losing access to their phone - I doubt it.

 


 I would question this  point about home phones from the standpoint that even with the landline, the bill needs to be paid regularly to keep the phone active .  The issue with a paygo cell phone is that there is a once a year payment  option so it is more easily forgotten about than if there was a regular monthly or even quarterly   payment  required.

I do know from personal experience though that Rogers will notify you of impending cancellation or even depleted balance,  multiple times  IF the phone is on . 

In this case it sounds like there has been a "perfect  storm " of events that have triggered the loss of the number . The fact that the phone has been on the shelf and unused for 11 months is the main one .This was a paygo phone  so how was Rogers to contact  the customer to inform them of impending cancellation and number loss  if the phone was basically out of commission ? 

While legally the customer doesn't have a leg to stand on regardless of the the disability legislation, in my opinion ...it would certainly be good PR for Rogers to attempt to broker a deal for the customer in this situation  where it may be  a major stress trigger  for an elderly person . 

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Posts: 31,906

Re: PayGO phone number reassigned

Hello Community.

As much as i have to agree with Pauly post, I have to agree with @BS.. As someone with his parents in their 60-70s, my father doesn't really know how to read proper English let alone speak it. So how would a 70 - 80 year old be able to sit there and read SMALL fine print? Some at that age develop memory loss, can not read properly and or do not understand some English. @Pauly @RogersDarrell I would suggest removing that part or wording it a bit better please. I don't think Pauly intenonally did it but it does take offense to many older citizens.

A better way would be if Rogers would send out a reminder text ever 2 months or so letting them know that the phone has not been topped up and will be inactive / shut down soon. Another feature that could be added would be adding a secondary phone number to that account for this reason. That way the system can always text / call that second number reminding them to either top up or the line will be cancelled and number will be given to someone else. That would be fair to their customer base with Paygo. Something that will remind the customer if they forget or have some other system which can contact a family member or friend to let them know. This would be a great help too. 

@Pauly Great advice as always but next time please learn to word your posts a bit better. Not everyone can read small print at that age let alone even remember it as some have either memory loss and other type of disabilities. I know some can but most can't read or understand at that age. 

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Re: PayGO phone number reassigned


@telios wrote:

1. My mom is furious, and wants her number back.

2. (she is 87)

3. Is Rogers really so short of ph numbers...?


I have a few comments regarding this situation.

 

1. Please be advised that this is not "her number" is is "a number" that she can use as long as she pays for it.  If she doesn't pay, it's not her number.  It's highly unlikely you will "get the number back". It is in use by someone else now.  

 

2. If, due to age, she is not able to take care of certain things by herself, then someone (like yourself) should be looking after these things for her.

 

3. Yes, all service providers are short of numbers and the time that a phone number is not in use (if not being paid for), is growing shorter and shorter. The following is an article from 2012 explaining how things work.  At that time, there were over 60 million phone numbers in Canada.   Things have only become much worse in the intervening 6 years :  The "holding period" seems to vary by provider and previous end user (business or individual, landline or cell phone), but seems to be anywhere from 1-12 months with the latter being for businesses.

 

https://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/phone-numbers-running-out-as-consumers-suffer-from-recycling-digits-...

 

I'm sorry that you and your mother are going through this, however, I hope the explanations in this and other recent posts in this thread provide you with the reasons why this happened.



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Re: PayGO phone number reassigned


@barndoor wrote:

I agree  with Pauly with one slight hiccup  .... since your  mom  uses the phone so little  I would suggest going with a different company now that Rogers no longer provides that cheap $100 a year plan .


I believe the Rogers $100/year PayGo plan is grandfathered for those who had it and wanted to continue. But you're correct. In my case paying $100 to renew for a year and being able to use surplus balance to do so (by calling the Rogers PayGo number) works out to a reasonable cost for me considering how little I use my cellphone. But Rogers airtime charges are higher than just about anyone else offering a pre-paid service.  It's unfortunate that she lost her number, but use it or lose it, I guess.  I would strongly suggest checking out 7-11 Speakout. The rates are cheaper and all plans are good for a year.  The only hiccup I can perhaps see is will Rogers unlock her phone for free so she can switch, seeing as she let her account lapse.


SA8300HD, SA8300SD, DTA50, LG-E410B PayGo. Location: S-W Ontario
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Re: PayGO phone number reassigned


@BS wrote:

I will agree with much of what Pauly has said in clarifying the terms of their and our contracts around phones, but I will respectively take a little bit offense in the advice.

 

"if your mom really wanted the number that badly she would top it up every so often so it would not go dormant.  You need to tell your mom to read the fine print of her cellular agreement as it outlines in there all the conditions of having a pay as u go line and how long it takes for it to cancel due to inactivity.

 

First, the person stated his mother is 87 - I am 61 and I am developing memory loss and have cognitive reading and text disabilities - He doesn't need to do anything that you have suggested to do as it may not be appropriate at all.

 

Unfortunately, in this case, there is probably no way to get the phone number back to the mother due to the technical realities of how releasing and reassigning numbers happens.

 

So my suggestion to the OP is to immediately identify with his mother how best she wants to have Rogers educate her on terms and responsibilities.  I often see people jumping to "must read the terms" - some of us can't read and understand complex material and we have a right for the company to explain in what ever way we can understand, or maybe the son does the transaction.  Each accommodation is individual,


You make a very good point, Bruce. Rogers does far too little to accommodate seniors and people with disabilities. At the very least Rogers should require a customer's age and any disabilities to be included in their profile and  treat those customers accordingly. If an account appears inactive long enough that Rogers may want to recycle the phone number, every effort should be made to contact them by every means possible.

 

As for getting back a misappropriated phone number, it's probably possible by bribing the new "owner" to change, but hardly something other than what a commercial enterprise could afford.


SA8300HD, SA8300SD, DTA50, LG-E410B PayGo. Location: S-W Ontario
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Re: PayGO phone number reassigned


@OLDYELLR wrote:


The only hiccup I can perhaps see is will Rogers unlock her phone for free so she can switch, seeing as she let her account lapse.

All service providers must now unlock any locked phones for free. I believe it's been that way for about a year.  You just call the appropriate Service Provider phone number and ask the phone to be unlocked. In this case since it's Rogers PAYGo, the contact information is included in the following link:

 

http://communityforums.rogers.com/t5/Android/Can-t-purchase-data-pass/m-p/426891#M51040

 

To the people who have been saying that "Rogers should do more", yes they probably could, however, it is incumbent on the individual to advise Rogers that they need this sort of intervention.  Rogers can't "do more" if they're not made aware of the situation.

 

There are many recent examples of the elderly not being able to cope with all this new-fangled technology, but really, it's also incumbent on their children or caregivers to "take over" as necessary.  See the following link for a recent example:

 

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2018/08/29/dont-fall-for-a-story-about-how-only-the-...

 

Although the institution brought everything possible to the individual's attention, making them sign a waiver, etc, they just didn't listen and succumbed to the scam anyway.

 

At some point people need to take responsibility for their own actions, or those of their elderly relations.  My father passed away recently at 99, but my brother and I helped him out during the last few years, making sure that his banking was appropriate (easy to set up with a bank) as well as handling many other interactions with corporations that were difficult for him.

 

 



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