Thursday, March 22, 2012


The last year hasn't been a happy one as a long time Rogers customer.  I've used Rogers for years for cable television, then internet, and now mobile phone service.

Here is a chronology of the past year:
  • Last summer we were told that our plan was out of date and needed to be updated.  We were told  to give up the unlimited data plan we had on our two phones to save money and get a 'current contract'.  The new plans didn't save any money (monthly costs are actually higher), and we now have to work within a limited data plan.  What they failed to mention is that they reset our year old three year term.
THE LOGIC:  Rogers coerces customers into taking new plans that are designed to minimize customer access while maximizing profits.  I'd love to see if there's a script for this, or whether it's just an unwritten rule based on employee sales pressure.  The fact that this was done at a 'fake' Rogers store muddies the water around who is driving these dishonest sales practices.
  • 12 months into owning the high-end Android handset they sold me on, it begins to overheat and fail.  I finally return it and have to wait three weeks for a replacement, which, when it arrives, is the latest model by the same manufacturer.  I purchased the extended warranty or I would have been out of pocket on this as it failed right at the end of the manufacturer warranty.  
  • Rogers sells hard (with discounts) on a three year term, but sells me electronics that, even when handled with great care, fail after one year (then after 4 months)
  • I had to repurchase insurance for the new handset for another $80
  • The new handset suddenly stops connecting to cell towers after a trip to the States and fails after 4 months.  Two hours on the phone with various levels of tech-support then a two hour round trip to the nearest Rogers store (which turns out isn't a real Rogers store), and then a real Rogers store and everyone agrees it's broken.
  • Rogers won't replace the handset with an equivalent one from another manufacturer, though I'm obviously having problems with this particular make of phone.
  • They won't honor the insurance when I go to the store I purchased it from because (they said) I couldn't provide proof of when the replacement phone was given to me - I was talking to the person who gave me the replacement at the store who gave me the replacement.  They couldn't produce the paperwork they generated for the phone they gave me because they weren't a 'real' Rogers store, I was told to go to a Rogers Plus store in order to get service.
THE LOGIC:  Because a store has a Rogers sign and is decked out in Rogers colours, does not mean it's actually run by Rogers.  Many of the smaller stores are privately owned and can do things like mislead you into contract renewals and non-Rogers insurance plans (even as they say it is a Rogers insurance plan).  If you go to one of these fake Rogers stores with a problem, they direct you to a 'real' Rogers store.    The 'real' Rogers store said that they never mention the fake Rogers store when directing customers to their nearest face to face Rogers store.
  • The 'real' Rogers store I was directed to suggested I contact customer retention because they have the power to move beyond the script in order to keep customers happy.
THE LOGIC:  If they can keep you paying the most for the least for cellular service, Rogers is happy.  In my experience, the customer retention person offered nothing other than the same options - to buy a new phone at cost or take another (probably) faulty replacement (not even new, but refurbished) from the same poor manufacturer (Sony-Ericsson - their Xperia Android phones have been a disaster for me; 3 phones in 15 months).

Why do you think customer retention didn't make any moves to improve the situation?  Because I'd been hoodwinked into a new contract and they knew they had me strung up in a three year contract I'd been coerced into buying without my knowledge.  

I've been phone-napped with a $400 ransom.  I can't leave without paying them hundreds of dollars.  What possible motivation would customer retention have for keeping me happy?  I have no choice but to stay with a brand of phone I was encouraged to buy even though it fails... often.  

It turns out that keeping customers happy with even little things like a handset that works for more than a few months at a time, or being honest, open and transparent with how they use contracts as retention traps is more than Rogers is willing to do.

I haven't mentioned how Rogers will give you confirmation of the purchase of roaming data plans and then not apply them and charge you obscene roaming fees (which happened on a recent trip to the States), but that's for another day.

I'd leave, but they are holding me hostage.  I'd accept a change to an equivalent handset with a better reputation for dependability, but they don't have to do that because of the whole hostage thing.