The Joys of dealing with Rogers.

Michael A. Adams
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
Rogers Cable, Inc.
333 Bloor Street East, 7th Floor
Toronto, ON
M4W 1G9

Dear Mr. Adams:

Although, based on my experience with your company so far it is painfully clear that you don’t care what customers think, or things would change, I wanted to detail just what hell Rogers has put me through. Maybe someone in management will wake up and actually do something about your nightmare of a company.

After a months long battle over my services, mainly stemming from my request, made months ago, to cut back my services because I had lost my job and was now on social assistance, but your customer service staff just repeatedly told me to pay the bill and THEN they would look at changing my services, which makes no sense, I finally reached John in the Office of the President. After much back and forth, he finally agreed to cancel my TV service and reduce my internet service, as long as I remained with Rogers, because I had requested my account be cancelled and I was going with Bell, who offered a much better package.

Bell then called me back to advise that Rogers had refused to allow the transfer. When I got back to John he said his “offer” to eliminate all the incorrect back charges was based on me staying with Rogers, but he had not yet told me that. I reminded him that I never signed any contract and I simply wanted to be finished with Rogers, but he insisted if I cancelled that Rogers would “come after me” for the full outstanding balance. I asked if this wasn’t blackmail and was this the way Rogers did business?

The next thing was that I got a warning notice in my browser telling me that I had reached my paltry 15 GB limit. Not only that, but I would be charged an insane $4 per GB of overage. I fundamentally disagree with the greedy cash grab of UBB in the first place, as do thousands of other Canadians. I have filed protests with the CRTC against this regressive practice. Shaw and Telus have recently bowed to pressure and upped their limits and cut their overage charges in half. I hope that during the upcoming CRTC hearings that they will respond to angry Canadians and ban this practice. In other areas at least the caps are more realistic, at 150 and 250 GB. A limit of 15 GB is beyond absurd.

My rational for objecting to this UBB is twofold; one, it smacks of monopolistic practices and I don’t’ view it any differently than what Microsoft was convicted of with the anti-trust charges. How is Rogers capping internet usage, thereby pushing companies like Netflix out of the market, any different? Secondly, we have “bait and switch” laws in Canada. You pressure consumers to sign upon monthly contracts at set fees, then you encourage them to watch everything on Rogers “on demand”. Then you impose limits on usage, which flies in the face of your advertising, and then you have the nerve to charge obscene overcharges of $4 per gigabyte on top of that, as you told the CRTC, “recover costs”. What costs? An outright lie and certainly clear evidence of “bait and switch”. Hook them with set monthly fees, and then change the contract to add additional usage charges.

Bell again approached me to provide service and I told them if they could get you to agree, to go for it. They were successful and told me that Rogers had agreed to suspend my service as of July 25th and would send me a pro-rated bill, which you did. I hated that I had to stay one more minute with your company, but I was at least thankful that I would be done with you forever come July 25th.

First thing this morning, when I checked my email I got nothing but errors that the server could not be connected. Worse, my browser could not connect either. I went though all the steps to ensure my wireless internet connection was working and it showed “connected” and “excellent”; however I could not get into anything. I use Google Phone because I only have a very expensive Fido paygo that costs a fortune to make outgoing calls, but I had no choice. Thus started my saga of dealing with umpteen people at Rogers, all day long.

The first tech support person I spoke to said he could not communicate with my modem, so it must be defective. He told me to go to a Rogers store to switch it with a new one. I have an infected foot, so walking is very painful, but I made the trip to the store and switched my modem. The girl in the store said she had updated everything and I should only need to plug in the modem and everything would be fine. It wasn’t.

The situation was exactly the same with the new modem. It showed full connectivity, but I couldn’t do anything. I called back to speak to tech support, on my very expensive cell again and this time I was told that the “word order had not gone through properly from the store” so my modem was not “bound” properly. They were to put me though to customer service who could do this for me. First disconnect of the day, so I had to call back and go through it all again. This time, after again holding forever on my expensive call, the tech told me there was a problem with my account. I said I only just got the bill two days ago, so how could there be a problem already? He had no answers, but put me through to billing. Second disconnect of the day, so I called back and pressed all the numbers for “billing”. After waiting forever, again, the lady I spoke to said she understood my frustration, but she didn’t have the authority to reactivate my account, so she would transfer me to someone who did. I said I had been cutoff twice already, so please don’t transfer me. She laughed and said she would never do that, and promptly transferred me, and, yes, yet another disconnect.

Throughout all of this I had remained calm, but my next call was not. I demanded that the person I spoke to transfer me to the RIGHT person and not disconnect me. I finally spoke to a Damon who was very understanding of what I had been going through all day and promised to rectify the mess. He said he had a number of “frustrating” steps that he had to go though, but my service should be restored “by the end of the day”. I told him I had been through Rogers’ hell all day and I wanted the service restored now. He promised to call me back in an “hour or so” when it should be working again. Naturally, he never called back.

I called yet again around seven o’clock and spoke with a very snarky tech support person, whose name I can’t remember. He had me disconnect the modem and the cable, then started down the same road I had been through in my very first call in the morning. When I tried to point this out to him, suggesting that this was not the problem, he got snippy with me and said if I didn’t allow him to go through his procedures, how was he going to help me? After going through the same useless procedures he told me he could not connect to the modem and said it too was “defective”. He arranged for a tech call for Friday between two and five, but suggested I still had time to return to the Rogers store and exchange the modem yet again.

Knowing that it was not the problem with “defective” modems, I none the less hobbled back to the store,only to be met with a sign scrawled on the door saying that the cable centre was closed due to “technical difficulties”. I was obviously frustrated at this, so I tried to open the door anyway and found them open. I then went to the back counter, unpacked my modem and stood there as one of the employees was on the phone. After a few minutes he ended the call and started shuffling all the papers he had on the counter. He did not acknowledge me standing there or suggest he would be “right with me”, just ignoring me. After maybe ten minutes of me getting more and more angry, an employee, Brittney, noticed I had been standing there and asked if I was just exchanging something and then said she could help me at the front.

When she learned what kind of day I had thanks to Rogers, she acknowledged my frustration, but said she might not be able to exchange the modem because the systems had been “down all day”. I calmly said that after what I had been through and being forced to hobble over for the second time, I wanted a new modem. She offered to call and see if they could deal with it. After an unbelievable amount of time patiently waiting on hold, dealing with other customers and chatting with me, she finally got someone. She explained the circumstances and the person she spoke with offered to help. Brittney then most graciously offered to give me a couple of free rentals for my troubles. Very classy. I told her she was the first and only person with Rogers who knew how to deal with a customer and was competent in her job. Most refreshing.

Sure enough when I returned home and hooked up the third modem, nothing had changed, as I knew it wouldn’t. I had my fill of frustration for the day so I gave up and watched the movies Brittney had given me.

First thing Friday morning, knowing that the tech call was going to be pointless, I again called in and spoke with a Liza and related the whole mess to her again. She checked with her manager, who said they saw nothing wrong with the account, but they had no authority to bind the modem. She said she would transfer me to “level two” tech support, but, after I explained that tech support was pointless because they can’t check that the modem is bound to the account, she put me on hold and said she would talk to someone in the department that could. I stress with her to please not disconnect me and she said she was not transferring me, but just putting me on hold. I asked that she please call me back or get someone else to call me back, knowing I was going to be disconnected, and I was. Your phone system is pathetic and only serves to further angry already frustrated customers.

Knowing that if I called back I would never be able to reach Liza again, and would only get the annoying “we are experiencing a higher volume of calls today” message, which is the norm and not at all unusual, I hoped that Liza would call me back. I write this as I wait, so it will be interesting to see if anyone calls me back. At this point, given my experience, I doubt it. So I am left stuck at home, destroying any plans I had for going to the Canada Day celebrations today, waiting for a tech visit that I just know is going to prove as equally useless as everything I have been going through already.

During the hour I have now been waiting for a callback that I doubt is going to come, I attempted to go through the procedures to refresh my network, hoping that someone has done something at Rogers. To my considerable surprise when I went to refresh my network settings using my Dell Wireless program, my original network, named KING, was gone! Instead, when I viewed the available networks I now saw WLAN, which I had never setup and didn’t even know if it was mine. When I attempted to connect to this network of course it asked for the network key, which I don’t know. So, now I am left in an even worse position with no available network and no clue why my original settings are gone. Any attempt to reestablish any connection has failed.

No surprise that Liza never called me back after we were disconnected, but the tech did finally come, which was even more grief. The first thing he tells me, after spending at least ten hours with all the idiots at your company, is that the wire had been disconnected! No wonder no one could talk to the modem! Does nobody know this? What kind of useless system can’t even tell when there is no connection? All the hours and trips to the store were completely useless and a total waste of everyone’s time.

The tech immediately had reconnected me and got the network up on his computer, but then he handed me the setup disk and told I had to reconfigure my wireless network. I asked him if he could just make sure I got reconnected okay before he left, especially given what I had been put through. He refused and left. Sure enough as soon as I tried to reinstall the network the software reported an error that it could not configure my network because some other program was managing my network. Yes, my Dell laptop has its own network manager which has always worked perfectly. Why would your software attempt to override that? After many attempts to get it to work I gave up and went through the grief of moving everything around so that I could use the USB connection to the modem. Just more grief because of your idiotic systems!

I called back to speak to your cancellation department who, believe it or not after what you have put me through, said she could only cancel the account after thirty days. After a lesson in just how pissed off a customer can become, I told her I wanted the service cancelled on Monday so that Bell could also install my internet service when they are here to install my TV and phone service. When she said she was going to put me on hold I told her that I had already been disconnect umpteen times when anyone at Rogers did that, plus I was on my very expensive cell phone at thirty cents a minute. I asked her to do what she had to do and then call me back, but she insisted on me holding. When she came back fifteen minutes, or $4.50 for me, later, she said the department she needed to speak to was closed, but she had sent some emails and it should be dealt with. Yeah, like I believe anyone does what they say they will do at Rogers? I can’t believe she left me on hold while she wrote emails! Do your people have no common sense?

There are so many issues here and idiots that I was forced to deal with, it boggles the mind. Why did the first tech I spoke to first thing this morning not know that it was an account problem and had nothing to do with my modem being defective? Is that too much to ask? Why was I disconnected every single time someone tried to transfer me? Why did NO ONE know the wire had been disconnected in the first place? Why do staff not call back, which only serves to further infuriate the customer? Why are your staff not properly trained? Why is there no escalation procedure when a customer is clearly upset and getting nowhere?

When this all started hours and hours ago the stupid part was that I discovered my internet was down when I went to pay my Rogers bill. Now, after wasting an incredible amount of time with hours on my phone gobbling up expensive minutes I cannot afford, sending me to the Rogers store twice for no reason, and literally, the pain and suffering and emotional distress you have caused, not only will I not send you a cent, but I hope to be compensated for my time. If you chose to take me to court over this I will relish the opportunity to blast you in public in the hopes that I will save other customers from the horrors of dealing with you.

Somewhat related and curious is that I naturally wanted to be as vocal as I could about my disastrous experience with Rogers, so I visited the site, and attempted to post my concerns about UBB and my recent experience; however, all emails were returned as “undeliverable”. When I checked into who owned the domain, imagine my surprise when I discovered that you own the site! It’s this yet another despicable move to squash horror stories about your company? Looks heavy-handed to me? Yet another issue that the CRTC should look at.

I’d like to envision a meeting with your senior managers during which my letter is read out to them, and giving them thirty days to earn their fat salaries by solving these problems, or they’re fired, but I know from experience that nothing will ever happen and you will go on ripping customers off solely because of greed. This is deplorable. No wonder people hate Rogers. It is well deserved.

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