Dial F for frustration when calling Rogers

October 16 2010 by Ellen Roseman

From the moment my column hit the Star’s website last night, I started getting emails from readers. Most agreed that Rogers didn’t care about excellent customer service and frustrated them when they called for help.

Some people said I didn’t go far enough. Others insisted that Bell was worse. A few talked about great experiences with Rogers, but many more told stories of indifference or rudeness.

One commenter at Moneyville pointed to corporate cost cuts, imploring customers to demand better working conditions for overworked staff.

I want to post a few emails here, just to get a conversation started. I was surprised by the number of people who felt so powerless they just gave up, either paying amounts they thought were wrong or not fighting for what they thought was right.

40 comments

  1. VZ

    Oct 16 2010

    Thank you for your article about dialing F for Frustration when dialing Rogers, but in my case it should be N for Nightmare!

    Let’s just say that having two Rogers accounts at two different addresses [A + B] and cancelling ONE of these accounts [A] due to a move to a new address and opening ONE new account [C] at the new address is a huge challenge for 10 indifferent Rogers staff to deal with.

    It was a waste of approximately 5 hours of my time, either being put on hold on the phone and having to start all over and having to visit Rogers stores for over three weeks!

    Lesson learned when dealing with Rogers:

    1/ Don’t ever accept the “3 months free service” offered by Rogers for new accounts when moving to a new condo. It’s not worth the hassle if you have to close an existing account to receive this offer.

    2/ Don’t ever return old modems [A] AFTER having moved to a new address as “the Rogers computer” automatically cancels the new account at you new address [C].

    3/ You can never be too specific or repeat yourself too much when dealing with Rogers staff.

    Are Rogers staff inept? Perhaps not, but monopoly is like absolute power, it corrupts the mind-set of the people who are supposed to work in your best interest and Bell is not any better!

  2. RK

    Oct 16 2010

    We live in Sherwood Park, Alberta. My wife has had an issue with her cell phone and its automatic payment since December last year. It has not been resolved.

    Your story has already been written, and you’ve moved on. But we have given up in frustration.

    The calls, the visits to the stores, have not been successful.

    Rogers should reimburse callers for their time if it goes past an hour’s wait at the minimum wage rate. The time
    spent waiting on hold is measurable. It is the least they can do.

  3. DM

    Oct 16 2010

    Great article but it really just scratches the surface…
    There are thousands of more severe cases with Rogers.

    Go check out http://www.howardforums.com/forumdisplay.php/49-Rogers-Wireless.

    Lots of juicy info on there.

    I have a really good one that spans almost an entire year. Here it is in full detail that I’m sure you’ll enjoy:

    http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1608207-Need-help-advice-on-billing-woes

    This thread even has replies from the top end of Rogers support… (Office of the CEO)

    It resolved the issue but I really wanted out of their contract. I was very close to getting a lawyer involved.

    Now I’m relatively young and tech savvy, just imagine the pure frustration of the general public and older individuals who have to deal with this.

    Rogers support is by far the worst support I have ever worked with.

    Something really needs to be done to regulate and protect the consumer from these companies.

    It’s like my credit card insurance. If a vendor swindles me, the credit card company covers me.

    With these companies and their contracts, they can seemingly change things on you, and you have no recourse. You can’t just cancel, they’ll send collection agencies after you. Seems just wrong to me.

  4. AF

    Oct 16 2010

    Just read your column about Rogers. I am surprised I am going to say this, but I actually like them now.

    In August, I was having a really hard time with making ends meet and got a really rough time from their credit department, same thing you noted in your file with people laughing at the customer etc.

    So I told them I was cancelling the service. I was very mad that they wouldn’t disconnect me immediately, since there is a 30 day wait on it.

    In the meantime, someone called me and said they really valued that I was a customer for 4 years and they offered to cut off about a 1/3 of the bill I owed if I were willing to pay the rest in a couple of days.

    I said sure and they then offered to give me a deal on my cable for a year plus no payment on the PVR box for a year either.

    While it is true they did screw up the most recent bill, when I called I got a really nice woman who helped me resolve everything but 1 item, which will require an additional call to the technical department.

    It was a lengthy call of 45 minutes, but on the whole I feel like they heard me, how frustrated I was, and they valued me by mentioning they didn’t want to lose me as a customer.

    I am very surprised that they could win me back – but they have!

  5. JB

    Oct 16 2010

    I must admit I thought it took you way too long to finally have an article about Rogers and their Customer Service.

    I have had numerous issues with Rogers over the past 10 years, but wanted to share the last experience I had with them a few weeks ago.

    I now exclusively only deal with customer relations, they are the retention team and I think are far more trained in the five drivers of customer service: timeliness, knowledge, fairness, outcome and going the extra mile — or so I thought.

    My girlfriend was eligible for a new phone and wanted the Blackberry Pearl, but did not want to have a date plan (mandatory for the smart phones).

    I spoke to a woman named Alie and I told her Rebecca was now a free agent and said that Bell had offered her a three year term with the data plan (lowest one being $15) waived for the entire duration.

    The Rogers person decided to match that offer (by the way, it was fictitious as we have never spoken to Bell).

    I also indicated that I wanted to have the $35 admin fee for new hardware waived (I’ve had it waived several times).

    Alie said that she had just had a coaching session on this and was told to only waive it if the customer said they were going to cancel (which I did). She agreed to waive it. I told her to specifically to write down notes to document all this on the account.

    Fast forward to a few weeks later and we get the bill. Of course, the $35 fee is there. I call to speak to Customer Relations again and get Jennifer, who says that they never waive and have never waived it.

    I told her to look at the notes that Alie had written and of course Alie never wrote anything down. I was upset and asked why is she not believing me.

    I wondered to myself, what is the recourse customers have when one rep says something and another one doesn’t believe it.

    Anyways, I asked to speak to a manager and Jennifer said to me “that will not change anything”…again I was flabbergasted that she told me this and I told her I was upset about that. A manager wasn’t available and I was told someone would call us back.

    A few hours pass and Andrew from Ottawa calls and starts the phone call by apologizing profusely. It turns out they had recorded the phone call with Alie a few weeks ago and said that the $35 would be waived. Luckily, they recorded my conversation…they don’t record them all.

    Anways, I only deal with customer relations. Never customer service.

    It is such a shame they cannot get their act together. Too many frustrated Canadians go to bed angry at Rogers.

  6. KJS

    Oct 16 2010

    That article was bang on. Their customer service is horrible, no matter what time you call, you are put on hold for an eternity due to “higher than normal call volume”….even at 3 am (and trust me, I tried)

  7. WN

    Oct 16 2010

    Just read your article about Rogers. My experience with Rogers has been much better than with Bell, but they are both so far behind Apple that I doubt they could ever catch them even if they wanted to.

    With Apple (I have now dealt with them for 2 years), I have had reason to call their Tech Services many times with nothing but good results.

    I have never waited on hold for more than 3 minutes, they speak and understand English, solve the problem quickly and make you feel like they actually care. Just my 2 cents worth.

  8. JD

    Oct 16 2010

    Great to see someone write about the travails of dealing with Rogers!! But I can assure you, Bell is equally as bad, incompetent and uncaring.

    I honestly and truthfully would estimate that, in the last 15 years, I’ve spent at least 72 hours of my life dealing with Rogers and Bell customer service — most of that time on hold, but a lot of it just being shunted from one operator to the next, with each of whom I have to state my name, address and phone number!

    I could write 5,000 words about all this, but there would be nothing unique in my story. Suffice it to say that, maybe with the exposure you’re giving this issue, either the companies will wake up to the fact that they’ve got a huge problem… or, ideally, maybe the CRTC will wake up to the fact that the virtual monopoly they’ve given to these two companies (at least in central Canada) is not working to the benefit of the average customer.

  9. TW

    Oct 16 2010

    You really hit a nerve Ellen. I’ve had the same experience as those people.

    I called to cancel 30 days in advance to avoid a fee, so they put me through to customer loyalty department (I was on hold 15 minutes).

    They promised to give me an extra 10% discount on top of my 15% for having 3 Rogers services. I agreed to this and got the extra discount the first month.

    My second bill omitted the extra discount, so I called and was on hold for the longest time.

    Finally, I reached someone who told me that Rogers does not give more than a 15% discount to anyone. I asked them to look at my last bill if they didn’t believe me.

    Sure enough, after another half hour they came back to advise me that it was OK and that I would get the extra 10%.

    Of course, the following month the extra 10% discount disappeared from my bill.

    I stopped complaining and am now waiting for my contract to end. I’m going to switch to another company.

  10. AC

    Oct 16 2010

    I don’t understand why with Bell, Rogers etc…….;

    First, why should a customer not be paid for their time when they are left on the phone for ridiculous amounts of time?

    Secondly, why shouldn’t a customer be allowed to deduct amounts from his/her bill when they don’t have the service? If they lose service for a day, deduct a minimum of 1/30 of the month’s bill. And if, for example, it was a TV connection and you missed your favorite show, shouldn’t you get more?

    If this was happening, there would be incentive for these companies to provide better service because of the monetary loss. Otherwise, it continues.

    These changes could be implemented easily. When calling customer service, it should be required that each customer gets a descriptive number and every complaint could be tracked by both sides in case of any dispute. Then the customer deducts money for services not rendered.

    As it currently stands, legally a customer’s only alternative is to go to court and, of course, that is not worth it most of the time. So legislation is needed to give the INDIVIDUAL customer more power.

  11. JG

    Oct 16 2010

    I have never had the opportunity to write to you before. But I am now writing to give some credit where it is due. In this case, I am defending Rogers.

    I must say that in the 30 plus years that I have been dealing with Rogers, I have never had any problems. They have always been helpful and courteous to me on the phone.

    And although they have not always managed to fix a problem with my equipment the first time, eventually, the next serviceman they sent did.

    As for my cable box, whenever I suspect a problem with it, I unplug everything at the back and take it to one of their stores and exchange it with another one.

    Having said that, however, I do think that when a customer phones and request a new cable box, a serviceman should deliver one to the house and hook it up. Not everyone is handy or able to go to a store.

    Thank you. Please keep up the good work.

  12. BS

    Oct 16 2010

    My mother recently sold her house in Ottawa to move to a retirement home. One of our last tasks was to have the cable cancelled.

    We returned the cable box to the Rogers store and confirmed with the person at the store that I am still an “authorizer” on the account and could cancel the service by phoning Rogers, but it could not be done in the store.

    (I became an authorizer on the account about 6 years ago after they jacked us around when, at 85, Mom decided that our experiment at getting her to use the Internet should end. They made me put Mom on the phone to say “Yes, whatever Billy says” before they would do anything for us.)

    Between returning the cable box and calling to cancel the cable service, Mom suffered a stroke that left her unresponsive and was moved to a hospice to end her days with us.

    Both the customer non-service rep and his customer non-service supervisor told me that, regardless of the approval level I had on Mom’s account, I could not cancel the service, only Mom could.

    When I explained the stroke/unresponsive situation, they told me that I could only cancel the service if I faxed them a copy of the power-of-attorney that authorized me to act on her behalf. Maybe they didn’t understand the word unresponsive.

    This type of heartless response can only be a reflection of a culture of greed that that is bred from the top down at Rogers. This response will end up gaining Rogers about 3 weeks of additional revenue from Mom’s account.

    (Mom died Thursday. The executor of her estate will cancel the service with some kind of a runaround expected.)

    It will also ensure that I continue my mission to never again spend a nickel with any Rogers businesses. (That started when I moved from Markham to Calgary and they sent the collection agency after me because they failed to record the return of my modem correctly).

    It has also created another negative Rogers experience for me, all of which I will continue to share with people I meet, one person at a time, while encouraging them to select any service provider but Rogers.

    And of course, when I return to eastern Canada within the next few years, I’ll be getting my TV, phone and Internet service from anyone but Rogers.

    Rogers will gain nothing but a negative return from their greed for the last $35 they could squeeze out of Mom. Even if it’s only me that never buys from them again.

  13. PP

    Oct 16 2010

    Your article brings back a lot of bad memories.

    A year back, we had our daughter and son in law come and stay with us for a couple of months. They had sold their home and there was a delay in the construction and closing of the new one by the builder.

    They wanted to order the sports channel and I had only the basic service. They ordered it and clearly specified to Rogers that they need the service for two months. The monthly cost jumped from around $30 to over $60.

    After 2 months, I tried to revert back to the basic services. I went through the same trouble as described in your articles.

    Although Rogers had courteous staff, most were not properly trained. They did not understand the basic issues and I had repeatedly asked them not to touch any other services like cable, cell etc.

    However, they took my $24.95 credit AWAY that I was getting towards the special offer of PVR (recorder) – free for 12 months.

    So I ended up every month calling them to reinstate the credit. They continued to charge for the sports channel and the fight started to get backdated credits.

    Each month, I would notice discrepancies. It took about 5 months or so to get back to the original service I was getting and have the bills corrected.

    For last 6 months, I have been thinking of adding some more cable services and I am incredibly scared to call them. I do not have the stamina to make any changes for fear of another 6 month long battle. They always make errors in their favour!!!.

    Monopoly creates this type of inefficiency and arrogance.

  14. VS

    Oct 16 2010

    Your Rogers Communications piece is very timely with my experience. I actually recorded a recent 1 hour phone call and posted an edited version at:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKarISGFiiA

    I called because I exceeded my bandwidth limits for my iPhone data plan. I wanted to see what products they could sell me on a short term basis to avoid high penalty charges.

    Instead, I was kept on hold for long periods and shunted to advertising pitches, interspersed with conversations with reps who continually tried to get me to extend the length of my contract.

    Eventually I insisted on being transferred to their complaints department. I explained that I was recording the phone call and planned to post it on youtube, whereupon they immediately offered me what I was looking for, for free!!

  15. VL

    Oct 16 2010

    If you can stand another example of the lack of customer service at Rogers, here’s mine.

    On Tuesday, I called to get our service put on hold while we spend the winter in Florida.

    After a long wait, I finally spoke to Sylvia, who said she was putting me on hold for “Just a second”. After 6 minutes, I hung up.

    I called back and, again after a long wait, talked to Jeff who said he would “be right back”. I then got
    the dial tone.

    Next I tried e-mailing them and was told I would get a reply within 72 hours. Needless to say, that didn’t happen.

    Their website shows that you can escalate your complaint but, when you click on the second step, nothing happens and you are back to sending an e-mail again.

    On Monday, I will try again to talk to someone on the phone but it really is frustrating.

  16. KR

    Oct 16 2010

    Today’s article certainly hit close to home.

    I am sitting here psyching myself up for yet another round of the mind-numbing game called ‘Let’s call Rogers’.

    This will be my fourth or fifth attempt and you think that there would be more motivation on Rogers’ part to deal with this because I want to give them money!

    Frustrating is a word that doesn’t even come close to this experience.

    This issue began when my Father passed away earlier this year. In winding up his affairs, we have had to change the banking information on the direct withdrawals for the account.

    While everyone else that I have had to deal with has worked without issues, it appears that accomplishing this task with Rogers is one tiny step short of splitting the atom.

    Countless phone calls, countless reassurances that the paperwork will be emailed, hours on the phone – a good portion of that on hold and the inevitable brushoff, ‘That’s not my department’.

    I have come to the conclusion that at all times they are experiencing ‘Higher than normal call volumes,’ but I guess if everyone has to make 3, 4 and maybe 5 phone calls to address what should be the simplest of tasks, that you will get ‘Higher than normal call volumes’.

    I have talked to numerous call centres across this great land, the last conversation taking place not a week ago with a nice gentleman located in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

    That day alone with Rogers was 2 1/2 hours of my life that I will never get back.

    No one will take ownership. All I want is the form to have signed to make this change.

    In the meantime, this particular bank account has stayed open only for Rogers.

    I guess on a positive note, at least it isn’t the ‘Voice Recognition’ system that Bell employs when you have to make inquiries and changes on the accounts of those who have passed away.

    By the way, I don’t think that I am playing the game today….I am not up to the challenge right now.

  17. AW

    Oct 16 2010

    Rogers is no treat, but I wouldn’t say that one is better than the other. I left Bell over customer service issues six weeks ago.

    I Moved on Dec. 29th, 2009 and brought the Bell service over. They charged me $150 for three satellite installations, which p***ed me off.

    If I was a new customer, they would have all been comped, but as an existing four-year customer, I get worse treatment. It makes no sense.

    I also didn’t know about this charge until the installers were done. I argued my point with Bell and won.

    I also switched over to Bell internet (I didn’t get Bell at my previous residence) and wanted to bundle the services, but they never bundled them, which also meant I didn’t get the bundling discounts. I received separate bills for months.

    Finally, in May, I got the services bundled and they agreed to backdate the discounts, but that $150 installation fee showed up – five months after the installation.

    What started was a downhill trend of phone calls and wait times and transferring from agent to agent. It seems that the “one bill” team thought it was a satellite billing issue and the satellite team thought it was a “one bill” issue. They act as if these different departments work for a completely different company.

    I could not get these charges reversed and it went into collections. I refused to pay. I always feel it’s better to argue while you still have your money. Once that’s gone, you have no control.

    I learned in this mess that Bell automates their in-house collection system. If I don’t pick up, my number gets sent back into the queue and it will dial again.

    From mid-May until mid-July, I estimate that I was called between 200-300 times. This is not an exaggeration.

    I endured periods of 13 calls over two days and a further 12 calls in one single day, those being the worst.

    Most other days would be anywhere between one to four calls per day, but there were also a number of days where the calls would easily eclipse four. It got so bad that I started taking pictures of my cell phone to have proof of what I felt was harassment.

    When I talked to the collection department, they would say that it was automated and not something that was done on purpose. Does that matter? Is that supposed to make me feel better?

    They also told me that if I wanted to to pay the outstanding balance, I could make the calls go away.

    At this point, I’m wondering if this was a customer service friendly company, or a shylock that’s threatening to break my legs over a gambling debt. I also wondered how many times they broke a law with the number of calls I received.

    I called to complain and I was forwarded to supervisors. I went through this nice little game where a phone agent told me to contact someone through email. They told me to contact chat and chat bounced me right over to the phone again.

    I even told one individual in email that I had already had the buck passed and asked him not to do it again. His answer: contact chat. The whole thing was pretty surreal.

    I finally found one person to give me an email address for the corporate office. She said, “they will find a solution and they will get back to you”.

    The only thing I got for my two emails (with pictures of my phone logs attached) was two automated responses. It just makes me think that someone, at some point, read the email and said “I don’t care” and simply deleted it.

    The funny thing was I still wanted to stay with Bell. I don’t like Rogers cable and I would have stayed with Bell for a long time.

    I finally did get those charges reversed and I thought I was back on track, but I was still ticked at that harassment. I felt I was owed a little customer service for all I went through.

    I noticed they were selling their new PVRs to new customers for $299. I asked if I could get that price, especially after all I went through, but was denied.

    They just didn’t care. The straw landed and the back broke, I was out.

    I switched to Rogers. I signed a two-year contract to get six months of free service (they also treat new customers far better than existing).

    One week into the Rogers contract, I get a call from Bell telling me if I stayed with them that they would give me the PVR for $299. This was five weeks after I initially asked for it and was denied.

    Did they think I was just going to forgo any kind of service in the hopes that they might call and relent? Icing on the cake for such a ridiculous set of circumstances.

    These two companies are so focused on trying to steal each other’s business that they don’t try to keep the customers they have. It can’t be financially sound business to have a revolving door of customers, but it certainly keeps the installers busy.

    Hope you enjoyed my little story, I certainly didn’t.

  18. FS

    Oct 16 2010

    I must say in defence of Rogers that I have been with them for over two years now and are very satisfied with their service.

    I have the complete bundle with them and any time I called with a problem they were very helpful and polite. I would recommend Rogers to anyone and I already have several times to various friends.

    I was previously with Bell Expressvu. Talk about waiting to get to a person for help on the telephone. It was very frustrating.

    I hated when I had to phone Bell for anything, whereas I don’t mind calling Rogers for any problems or questions I may have.

    When I quit Bell Expressvu, I had to wait almost a year to get a credit that was due for overpayment and finally did only after contacting them each month.

    They even lied once and told me the cheque was in the mail. How many times have you heard that one?

    I can understand you getting complaints from people about almost anything, but how many people write to give credit when credit is due?

  19. GT

    Oct 16 2010

    In August, I completed a 2 year contract with Rogers for Cable/Internet/Home phone service.

    I thought my rates would go up, so I phoned prior to the end of my contract to re-negotiate. Much to my surprise, I was offered a 1 year extension at a lower rate.

    I specifically asked the agent if any of my services would be changed as a result of the lower rate. I was emphatically told “no” so I accepted the 1 year extension.

    When my first bill arrived, I was very surprised to find that my services had, indeed, changed.

    My long distance plan included with my phone service had been eliminated and I would have to pay for all long distance minutes.

    I phoned to complain and mentioned that the call to the agent was recorded and would verify the question I had asked and the response I had received.

    I escalated my complaint, via the internet, and received a call from a “manager” with the same response, “Nothing can be done”.

    Is it incompetence or dishonesty on the part of Rogers that causes these situations? I will be looking for another provider ASAP.

  20. JI

    Oct 16 2010

    You can’t imagine how pleased I was earlier today when I saw your column. I have been fighting with Rogers Cable for almost six months.

    I moved from my house to an apartment on 28th April, and from that moment on they continually billed me, separately, for both addresses.

    My frustration is mainly (like your other correspondents) with the ages and ages on the telephone each and every time you call. One department seemingly has no connection with any other department.

    I was given a ‘special file number’ where my problem was set out for anyone there to read on the computer. I was promised three months’ free service to compensate for my problems.

    Each time I spoke with a rep at great length, they would promise me everything would then be fine, up to date, etc. I think it has finally happened just this week. (I wrote them an extremely nasty letter, snail mail, about a month ago.)

    I got a bill that did reflect the offer of free service, a reasonable monthly billing etc., so I have paid it. Imagine my dismay yesterday when I received a bill still directed to my old address!

    I plan to ignore it, as I have been doing the last few months, and have returned it to Rogers.

    This is just background for whatever files you may be keeping on Rogers. Their customer service is appalling and if I had an alternative, I’d switch immediately.

    Thanks for sharing other experiences, it’s always nice to know you aren’t alone. Like the old adage, misery loves company.

    I should add, though, that all of the many people I spoke with were polite.

  21. PA

    Oct 16 2010

    I just had to add my voice to the beefs contained in your column on Rogers that I just read online.

    I wanted to synch my Blackberry on a Mac to my computer and began calling in late August for help. Each time I called, I was put on extended wait.

    I would wait and wait and, of course, finally hang up because I do have better things to do with my life than sit on hold for hours on end.

    After about seven such tries over a two week period, I finally gave up.

    I then went to the Eaton Centre Rogers’ location to get some technical advice, but the lineups as usual were so long I gave up in despair.

    I still have not synched my BlackBerry to my computer and I obviously never will.

    I used to think Bell was bad; indeed I still do. But Rogers seems to have taken customer service and follow-up to a new low.

    Boy, do we need some tougher competition in this segment of technology in Canada.

  22. GM

    Oct 16 2010

    I’ve been a Rogers customer for about 18 years, and the experience has been uniformly unpleasant.

    Nothing prepared me for a conversation I had with them on Wednesday, however.

    My mother-in-law, Laura Louise Legge, Order of Ontario, QC, first woman Bencher and subsequently first woman Treasurer of the Law Society, died October 5. I called Rogers to cancel her cell service.

    Although one person I talked to did say that Rogers cancelled cell service on compassionate grounds on occasion, I was finally told that because her cell service was on a corporate account, I would need to pay $400 to cancel, and that there were no exceptions to this policy.

    I have not written to Rogers directly about this, because I don’t have the time to engage in their loathsome “customer support” ritual.

    There is not a day that goes by that I do not reconsider my options for living in a Rogers-free environment.

    Any help you can give that would result in the maximum public humiliation for this company would be most welcome. 🙂

  23. PB

    Oct 16 2010

    I called Rogers and after speaking to Lucy or Cathy or whatever the electronic chick’s name is, and after touch toning my 10 digit phone number, I get to a menu. My call is important!

    I’ve found that the only option on the menu that doesn’t ask you to wait until the next available representative… is SALES!

    You want service go to SALES! Bang! Sure they are busy too… but they’ll deal with you today, in less than 10 minutes… every time!

    I called because they sent me 4 confirmation emails that explained my extra digital box (picked up and installed myself) included not only the $4.29 monthly rate, but $49.99 for the ghostly installer who apparently installed the thing.

    It plugs in like a toaster from Wal*Mart! Hello? Installation technician? How the hell did people ever get to the moon? (Well, we know it was way back in the ’60s and ’70s – we could never get it done today!)

    The problem is simple. Big Business, regardless of nature — banks, gas companies, communication companies, energy suppliers, and all local services — have become self-oriented – not customer oriented. They exist for themselves and not for the customer.

    Actually, whenever a customer calls, writes, emails, or smoke signals… it can be treated as a nuisance call. Throw a menu at them or give ’em an internet address which will keep ’em occupied for at least 30 minutes per colour on the page!

    Oh… throw ’em another link. They’ll think they’re progressing if they keep getting new pages.

    We don’t need more regulators, CRTCs etc. We need competition. Not Bell and/or Rogers – but any and everyone!

    How come those guys who cut your grass every week are so willing to make a deal and do such a wonderful job? Think it’s their professionalism? Crap! It’s their competition.

    Never mind managing by expectations. Manage by supervision and competition.

    For What it’s Worth.

  24. LB

    Oct 16 2010

    About 4 years ago, we were on Rogers internet, home phone, cable HD TV and cell phone (all bundled with discounts).

    The HD TV box kept hanging and had to re-booted quite often. The home phone was not working a lot and in fact, for one entire weekend, we had no phone service at all.

    We reached the end of our patience and terminated the cable TV and home phone with Rogers, but kept the internet.

    We went to Bell ExpressVu and Bell home phone and were happy. The Bell bills kept rising. So we now are moving to another home that also has an ExpressVU satellite dish installed.

    We are trying to decide if we should stay with Bell or move back to Rogers for HD TV at our new home. So, I go to the mall and talk to the Rogers sales people in the Rogers store.

    They were two young, intelligent guys who understood we were considering moving back from Bell. They gave us some very good quotes, including future bundling discounts, on the services we would be wanting.

    I went home and went onto the Rogers website, going through the checkout process with the same services. That cost was higher than what we were quoted at the mall.

    I then phoned Rogers and spoke to a real sales rep. I told him the quotes I had been given and also the quote I received from the internet.

    He did not believe the quote I got from the internet and wanted me to explain to HIM how I got that quote. I told him I had received 3 different quotes on the same services all within the past 90 minutes from Rogers.

    I said please go talk to your supervisor and call me back, as we were entertaining the thought of coming back to Rogers. NO RETURN PHONE CALL.

    It seems to be getting so much harder these days to give your money away.

  25. AR

    Oct 16 2010

    How about writing about all the happy customers that are satisfied with the service?

    I am a Rogers cell customer that is happy with their service. I switched from Telus because they have lousy customer service coming from a call centre in India, but thgey sell their service to Canadians.

    Why don’t you do an article on call centres and compare Canadian centres awith call centres from overseas? How many good paying jobs has Telus exported to India?

  26. LD

    Oct 16 2010

    Ellen, in my retirement, I look after about 110 computers that belong to about 60 people. Most of these are in the Toronto area.

    In my work, I get to see a lot more of the interface between my clients and Rogers or Bell than the average customer does.

    In summary, I keenly recommend Rogers for Internet connections above Bell. I’ll explain why:

    Overall, on a scale of 1 to 10, Bell ranks -3, Rogers maybe a 7. Neither are excellent.

    Bell’s ADSL technology doesn’t come close to Rogers’ cable-based technology. At best Bell reaches 4500, and mostly around 2500 — some as low as 500.

    Rogers consistently delivers what it says it does. Typically, most clients buy the Express service level as I do. I consistently get 13000.

    ALL of the other (non-Bell or Rogers) wire-based services use ADSL over Bell’s lines to some point.

    Dealing with tech service at Bell (even for me as a technician) is frustrating to the extreme. Half the time they barely speak my language and/or have horrible headsets.

    It is clear their principal goal is to get you off the phone. They have no ability to vary from scripts.

    Consequently, you go through extensive exercises that even rudimentary technical knowledge would tell you are not necessary.

    Sometimes they leave clients’ computers an absolute mess after they have made numerous changes that had nothing to do with the problem and they do not reverse them.

    I am pretty certain they do not even keep a record of what they did.

    All too often, their conclusion is tell their customer that they need a computer technician, leaving them in the lurch.

    If they conclude there may be a physical line problem, they tell the customer they can schedule a technician’s visit. But then, very threateningly, they tell them that if the problem is within the home, they will charge something like $100 an hour to repair.

    Rogers has mostly good technicians. They do have some bad ones, but it is easy to hang up, re-dial and get another.

    Mostly they are technically at least partly competent and will almost always vary their actions according to the competency of the customer.

    If they decide there is a line problem, they will send a technician at NO CHARGE to the customer’s home.

    Bell is culturally still angry that they had to give up ownership of the wires in the home.

    Rogers has another technology advantage in that they can actually “talk” to the modem and determine if the problem is before or after that component.

    If the problem is physical between Bell and the customer (wires or connections), much more often than not, Bell can do nothing about it because the problem is caused by the wire-line distance between the computer and Bell’s connection — the primary reason Bell’s service is just plain inferior.

    In my experience, dealing with a visiting technician from Bell is a 50-50 deal. Chances are they will be an incommunicative dolt who will tell you nothing and react angrily if you challenge.

    The vast majority of Rogers technicians seem to be happy people.

    When you order service from Bell, you get a package in the mail. When you order service from Rogers, a technician visits and ensures a good connection at your computer.

    As for customer service for things like billing, I have never had a bad experience with Rogers personally. Some of my clients definitely have.

    There is a secret when dealing with either Rogers or Bell customer service — simply threaten to go to the other. You are then re-directed to the “save a customer department” and then treated like royalty.

    There are limitations to technology. Both companies over-sell some of their offerings, and then when they really can’t deliver what marketing told them they can, customers get angry.

    For example, the whole house networking thing using the power lines in the home is a theoretical idea that in virtually all practical senses is a really dumb idea — it really works either not at all or very poorly.

  27. HR

    Oct 16 2010

    Just to let you know that I had great difficulties with Rogers this year too.

    When my husband and I decided to bundle his cell phone bill with our existing cable and hi-speed internet services, I actually looked closely at the Rogers bill and realized they had been charging me since at least 2006 for two digital cable boxes (at $12.95 per box per month).

    My question to them was why would I have two boxes when we only have one TV in the house?

    You wouldn’t believe the rigmarole I went through after
    this. They sent out a tech to look and he said “I believe you” and left.

    At some point in a conversation with a supervisor (after many with lower level people), he said words to the effect that people had been known to hide or remove a TV from the house. I was in the “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” Catch 22.

    They initially offered to stop the monthly fees for the second box for one year!!! If I wanted it off
    the books, I would apparently have to pay the several hundred dollar cost of the box….

    Finally, the supervisor said most grudgingly and not at
    all happily that since I had been a loyal customer for many years he would stop the monthly charges, intimating that he was doing me the greatest favour possible.

    Rogers never reimbursed me for the many months and years of overpayments. Those, of course, were also due to my lack
    of attention to the bills.

    My other beef with Rogers has to do with the absolute opaqueness of their bills. Even the Rogers people have difficulty explaining the various lines of charges and deductions.

    However, my last phone call to them this year did result in offers of 30% discounts for this year and 20% ones afterwards. These I grabbed.

    Maybe I will phone them from time to time to ask for an explanation of the bill details and will be rewarded again in like manner!

  28. MB

    Oct 16 2010

    I have had so many problems with Rogers over the years I find it hard to remember them all.

    A few months ago, I phoned to discuss my bill and why I had been offered a 6 month deal giving me TMN plus MPIX for $16.95 per month, but was billed $19.95 every month!

    When I called I got the typical issue, namely, the Rogers rep couldn’t find my file. I gave him my name, my phone number and my account number and still he couldn’t find me.

    This has gone on for 4 or 5 years. He would ask if I lived at a particular address and I would tell him I haven’t lived at that address for 4 years and, in fact, it was 3 addresses ago.

    I asked him to transfer me to a supervisor. He refused. He told me that he had to find my account before he could transfer me.

    When I asked him how ridiculous that was when the reason I wanted to speak to a supervisor was that he couldn’t find my account, he told me there was no other way.

    So I sat on the phone for at least 20 minutes before he finally found my account. He then tried to tell me I couldn’t speak to a supervisor unless I told him the original reason I phoned.

    So I gave in and told him about the TMN/MPIX problem. Then he started to argue with me about that…

    I literally begged him at least a dozen times to let me speak to a supervisor and after 40 minutes on the phone with this guy I was transferred.

    The supervisor seemed to understand that he had handled the call badly but she wasn’t going to do anything about it.

    The good news? They seem to be able to find my account again.

    The bad news? I still had to call every month to get them to fix the TMN/MPIX charge and when I cancelled MPIX, I was charged an extra month and a half because I am not permitted to cancel channels except at the “end of my billing period” (i.e., 3 months – a billing period Rogers imposes on its customers).

    If there were any other options open to me, I would take them. I can’t wait until the CRTC will no longer be able to impede us from dealing with service providers outside of Canada.

  29. Lior

    Oct 16 2010

    I found my experiences with Rogers to be mixed. Sometimes I would talk to someone who’s quite competent while other times I’ll get someone who doesn’t have a clue. It’s clear that consistently good customer service is highly problematic.

    Bell actually got better in terms of service. Their billing system remains totally screwed up when it comes to applying credits in a timely manner. But the reps I’ve spoken to have been able to sort it out on several occasions. Most of the customer service calls are handled from Canada (at last!) but some tech support calls would go offshore.

    Talking to the offshore reps is definitely a problem as you’re basically talking to people who just don’t give a damn. There’s also the language barrier. But hey, Rogers’ call reps are right here in Canada and they’re no better.

    What do you expect? Most of their staff are paid like $12 an hour to sit in a cubicle for hours and talk to irate consumers. Not exactly the most exciting job and the service levels show it.

  30. Ace82

    Oct 18 2010

    I have been Rogers and Bell free, and thus stress free for a year.

    Two words… Tek Savvy.

  31. Magster

    Nov 6 2010

    For the life of me, I don’t understand why I’m still a customer of Rogers. It’s only because the only other option is Bell and they aren’t much better.

    This year has been extremely frustrating dealing with them. They wouldn’t renew my HDPVR free rental even though the first rep I dealt with in customer relations said he would. When I called the 2nd time to clarify, the 2nd rep denied that there was such an agreement and there were no notes to that effect.

    I called multiple times but they wouldn’t budge on the free rental. I ended-up buying a used HDPVR on Kijijii. That was another hassle as Rogers kept saying they couldn’t add it to my acct. I must have spoken to at least 10 people to get it resolved. Some of the Rogers reps were awful and implied that I wouldn’t have this problem if I had just bought a new HDPVR from them. Multiple reps said they would put in a workorder to resolve the issue and someone would call me back. That never happened and I had to keep calling.

    The last guy I spoke finally got there IT area to fix the problem with adding the PVR to my acct. Of course, it wasn’t my fault but it was Rogers fault all along. The issue too 3 weeks to resolve. For the wasted time, Rogers gave me a $50 credit and free TMN/MPIX and HD Specialty & Nature for two months.

    Being that it was Rogers, they screwed-up with the billing and charged me for TMN/MPIX. When I called, they tried to deny that I wasn’t supposed to get the free TMN/MPIX but I had the date,time & name of the fellow who had made the offer. Lucky for me, the guy did write it in the notes that I was suppose to get the movie channels for free. The Rogers rep reluctantly give me a credit for the charges.

    It’s such a hassle each time dealing with them. I’m cringing at the thought of my next bill as I’m just anticipating another billing error as I returned the rental HD Box I had last month. They’ll probably still bill me for it when they shouldn’t and I’ll inevitably have to complain and also tell them I have a receipt for the return.

  32. Irene Beau

    Nov 15 2010

    After reading this, I decided to tell you my story regarding Rogers cable and one of their people who lunged at me.

    My husband and I decided to cancel Rogers (since we could not justify the $75 per month for cable that we rarely use) and install an antenna. We then informed Rogers that we wished to cancel (they said it would take a month ???).

    One of their technicians came to pick up the remote box and told me someone else would disconnect the cable from our house. I asked if he would please do the disconnect (since he was here) instead of waiting for another person and he agreed to do this.

    The next day, I found someone in my back yard at the Rogers box. I asked him who he was and what he was doing. He said that he was from Rogers and was there to disconnect the Rogers cable.

    When I told him that it had already been done, he didn’t seem to believe me and started interrogating me. I repeated that the disconnect had been done and would he please leave. He still was not leaving and was just about to CUT the cable we had installed to our antenna when, at this point, I told him I would call the police.

    As I started to dial the police, he closed the Rogers box and started up my driveway. He seemed very irate and was about 10 paces ahead of me when he turned to face me, lunged towards me, bared his teeth and growled. He did this twice.

    When he got into his truck, he shouted out the window “F**k you, you crazy lady, f**k you.” I was appalled at this lack of respect and abusive behaviour; this should never happen to anyone, especially a woman by herself!

    I am glad we no long have Rogers.

    Thank you.

  33. SUSAN

    Dec 7 2010

    I can only say that I have more of the exact same issues above and I’m only staying with Rogers because Bell internet and tv service is worse in our area.

    I suspect that Rogers is getting some kind of government funding for keeping their employees engaged, as it seems to take 3 people to do 1 person’s job.

    Perhaps they would not have such long wait times if the front line people were empowered to solve the issue right away rather than after 2 or more hours.

    It would be interesting to see a cost/benefit analysis done on the cost to Rogers for wages etc. vs. the amount of the credit or reduction the person is requesting.

    In my case, I spend at least 2 hours every month vetting my bill and then trying to get the same issues resolved as the prior month or worse, trying to get what we arranged on the prior call to be reflected correctly on my bill.

    Assuming they pay minimum wage, Rogers has a cost of about $250 per year just to have someone finally agree with me at the end. So they have that cost PLUS the lost revenue.

    Seems to me it would be more cost effective to have someone resolve it in 15 minutes at an annual cost of less than $35. I am sure that the savings plus the decreased revenue amount I am asking for is still less than $250 per year. And that does not factor in the call centre system, benefits, facilities and not least, the lost revenue when I ultimately take my business elsewhere.

    My husband finally took a look at the bill and realized I am not an incompetent ninny (by the way I am a Certified Management Accountant) who can’t figure out a simple phone/cable bill.

    That is 2 hours per month x 12 months x $50 (1/2 my billing rate) for a total of $1200 per year to argue with them!

    Would it be easier to just let it go? Probably. But the point is that they are overbilling me and if I attempt to shortpay the bill (and just pay what I really owe), I get a computer call threatening my service and ultimately they downgrade our service.

    Even for collections, I don’t get the courtesy of a real live person that can resolve my issues. So like everyone else, I dutifully call every month to get my bill right.

    As I said to one Rogers agent, I apparently work for Rogers because I have to do their work for them (figure out their billing) month after month after month for the same issues! But unlike Rogers employees, I don’t get vacation pay or a coffee break (oh, or a wage either!).

  34. SUSAN

    Dec 7 2010

    And here’s what happened when I just decided to go online and fix a couple of things myself.

    Digital Cable

    We are currently experiencing system problems. Please try again later, or call one of our Rogers e-Care representatives at 1-888-ROGERS-1 (1-888-764-3771).

    If you would like to make changes to your cable account, please call 1-888-ROGERS-1.

    To continue shopping, simply click on the ‘Continue Shopping’ link below.

    Continue Shopping
    The following SVOD services are weekly services that are billed on a monthly basis: YTV Anime On Demand, Anime Network On Demand, here! On Demand, Howard TV On Demand, Too Much for TV On Demand and WWE 24/7 On Demand.

  35. MatureGrade10Student

    Dec 7 2010

    I agree that although Rogers has its ups, it is the most difficult company to work with and is always trying to trick you into wasting more money. I’m not a fan.

    Am now with Bell. They still follow the universal rule of being frustrating, but somehow seem to be the lesser of two evils.

    P.S.
    They both look like angels if you compare to the TTC

  36. WifeOfRogersEmployee

    Dec 10 2010

    It’s funny how Rogers is such a large company with so little earned respect from consumers. Its employees (the “little ones”) get the brunt of the anger.

    I can tell you firsthand that for those of you angry with the company – tell it to someone who can actually make a difference!!

    It’s true, my husband can attest, that a lot of the people you phone in and talk to have little or no training because the turnover is ridiculous.

    He is on the ‘front lines’ and has to deal with the worst mannered people. It’s sick how people displace their frustration onto those they can access and often they aren’t even the people that they’re mad at.

    If you want to get mad, find the emails/phone numbers of district managers or higher and you might actually get somewhere.

    Or in the future, DO RESEARCH before signing up. Every company has its pitfalls, so find out what they are before you sign up for a contract that isn’t right for you.

  37. Frustrated

    Dec 14 2010

    I am dealing with Rogers on a rather expensive issue. I am renting their HD (non-PVR) box. The one that we had started to reboot every so often; it became frequently enough that I called Rogers.

    The support was nice enough about ordering a new box; all I had to do was to drop off the old one and enjoy a new, working HD box.

    A month later, my wife noticed a charge for $319.99 on our bill. I called Rogers to be told that it was “a valid charge” and that I would have to submit a complaint at the store to which I returned the broken box.

    All the support person could say was, “They must have looked at it and determined that it was damaged while in your posession.” What ‘damage’, they did not know.

    Of course, the box did nothing more than sit on a shelf while we had it. I will be heading into the store tomorrow to find out what, exactly, they determined to be ‘damage’ that was done to their rental equipment that is worth $319.99.

    That is on top of the rental fee, mind, that we have paid over the years.

    However the store deals with this (I will provide an update), I am disgusted with Rogers. I smell a $319.99 rat, and am entirely unimpressed with the ‘help’ that support offered me.

    As part of my follow-up, I intend to try to find out where the ‘damaged’ box is; I expect that it has been repaired and sold.

    We are going to switch to Bell. It is not the ‘lesser of two evils’, but rather, ‘the evil that is unknown’.

  38. Peter

    Apr 7 2011

    Can you believe that Rogers cable guys get paid over $90,000/year!!!!

    Most of them have no educational background in the trade, yet make as much as a doctor. There is a complaint for you.

  39. Stephanie

    Jul 8 2014

    I can understand everyone’s frustration, but do you realize that the people you are speaking to are just like you and just happen to work for the COMPANY that is giving you problems.

    They get blamed and yelled at and called names all day because, as much as they would like to help you, they are bound by Rogers’ policies and cannot do so without being terminated.

    As you know, we all need a job.

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