Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rogersfail Two: The Return of Rogersfail

After a miserable experience with a constantly breaking phone over the past year, I thought the poor Rogers customer experience couldn't get any worse, then we got the horror story bill after travelling to the States.

Out of nowhere comes a $500 plus bill for cell phone use from our trip to NYC.  I'd gone online and arranged travel packages for both phones, but Rogers seemed to know nothing about that.  When we crossed the border we got a text saying we were roaming and would be charged, which prompted a long distance out of country call to Montreal.

The customer service person said there was nothing on record for us with travel packages, so she helped me set some up.  We got no messages about data use or anything, so I (foolishly) assumed that all was OK.  When we crossed back over into Canada my phone suddenly died after only a few months, and I had to pay for a replacement, even though I'd purchased insurance, and the damn thing was only a few months in service.

When I got the ridiculous bill it had hundreds of dollars in data and voice usage on it.  I contacted Rogers via email, but the person who received it didn't actually read anything I'd written, instead they sent me a 'we looked at your account and you owe us that money' email, which made me angry.  The response is telling, I'm in red:

"Frustration building...

On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 6:20 PM, Rogers Wireless Customer Service <> wrote:
Dear Timothy King,

Thank you for taking the time to write to us, we appreciate your use of online customer service.

I wish you would take the time to actually read the email I sent.
After looking through the bill it seems as though both of the phones had 15MB US Data Travel Pack. Each phone went over that limit in which caused charges. ***-0362 had an additional 60 MB used and ***-0363 had an additional 31 MB used. It does seem as this is a legit charge as there was only a 15MB pack added on both lines and the data went over.

I know this, I told you this in my initial email which you neglected to read.  I ordered two 60 mb travel packs on the website the night before... when we crossed the border I got a message saying we were roaming and would be charged... which shouldn't have happened because I'd already made other arrangements and received an onscreen confirmation.  A long distance phone call later I thought they had restored the 60mb packs I'd initially ordered that the website conveniently dropped.  The french call centre I had to phone long distance from out of country apparently put 15mb packages on instead.

At no point did either of us receive any warnings about exceeding our data plans, something that I thought was part of the process.  Had that happened we would have realized the issue and resolved it on the spot.

I've felt misled several times in this process, and in each case Rogers seems to have benefitted financially.

I would politely ask now that the cost of that long distance call be dropped and the bill recalculated with the 60mb packages applied.  I'm happy to pay for the usage I thought I had, that seems entirely reasonable.

Some kind of response that acknowledges the situation instead of ignoring salient facts would be appreciated.  I'm a long time customer who pays a great deal per month in Rogers for cell phone use.  This was our first attempt at using them out of country and we are feeling abused by the experience.

Rogers replied with this:

I am sorry that the last reply did not address your issues and appeared
as if we had not fully read your email.

(appeared?  No, you actually hadn't read it)

I can see on xxx-xxx-0362 and on xxx-xxx-0363 there was the $25 package
added by us to cover 15MB done by call centre and a notification
10718173 was sent advising: “Added/Changed Added on Mar 10, 2012 - 15MB US Data Travel Pack $25.00 - expires on Mar 17, 2012
One-time Fee: The data in your Travel Pack are available for one month
from the date of purchase. If you run out of the bucket, you'll still continue to enjoy the same great low rate for the month. Receive a 5%discount off the price of Rogers Travel Packs next time you travel by purchasing through a self-serve option 1. Text 'Travel' to 7626 2. From your Rogers My Account 3. From your mobile device visit

(Yeah, I'm enjoying the great low rates... only rogers would try to upsell someone they've just ripped off)

I also see another package added from the devices for another $25 on March 9th for another 15MB.  Given this duplication of coverage this technically means 30MB per line was covered.

(Technically?  But whoa hey! suddenly you've found the packages I purchased before?  When was that going to happen if I didn't complain?)

Also given that each line had the data travel passes each line should have been prompted to renew the packages after 15MB passes you purchased from the devices were used.  Assuming you customer would have chosen another 15MB when notified on xxx-xxx-0363 for $25 cost since usage was lower on that line, this means you would have only paid $25 instead of $52.38
For xxx-xxx-0362 since you were using data in a much quicker rate, it is likely you would have chosen a 60MB data travel pass for $50 instead of having a $100.77 in usage.
What I have done is discuss this with my manager and we assumed that you would have chosen packages as above and now adjusted $78.15 from your bill.  This leaves you with a balance of $231.21 owing on May 8, 2012. You will see the credits noted on page 2 of the next invoice.
I am sorry that this issue was not fully looked into on your original email and hope that this information has been helpful and fully resolved this for you.  If you need me to resend the notification that was sent when the agent added the 15MB travel packs please let me know and I willresend this for you.
You are a valued customer and it has been a pleasure responding to you today.

Sigh.  With a repeatedly broken phone and some (always to Rogers' advantage) billing errors, I'm not feeling valued and none of this has been a pleasure.  They were willing to sort out the data plans so we weren't left in the wind, but not the long distance phone call their amnesia over my initial purchases prompted.

So what have we learned?  Rogers will only acknowledge errors in travel package purchases if you pursue it relentlessly, otherwise they will pretend to have not received the request and charge you ludicrous amounts of money.  If you say nothing, they will happily wrongly charge you.  Don't expect these errors to ever be in your favour.

Don't give up when you query them and they ignore your specifics then reply with snide emails.  Keep at them.

Most of all?  NEVER EVER BRING YOUR ROGERS SMARTPHONE OVER THE BORDER! Five days in New York cost us over $200 in additional charges, even after they finally acknowledged dropped packages and a failure of any advertised warning about exceeding travel data limits.  I could have brought a wifi laptop and uploaded pics from the hotel for 1/10 that, or just picked up a pay as you go phone, and next time I will.  Rogers "convenience" comes at too high a price (and any convenience is mitigated by the hours you'll have to put into sorting out your bill afterwards).

Had they not renewed my contract when my phone broke (without my knowledge), I'd be so gone, but I'm trapped under a contract I never asked for with a phone I don't trust with a company that seems intent on finding every possible way of making me miserable.

I'd love to try Telus, or even Bell, but it'll cost me hundreds to just walk away from this.