Bell vs Rogers, part two

June 5 2008 by Ellen Roseman

When I first waded into this debate, I thought Rogers was the clear winner. Now I’m not so sure.

Bell still isn’t great at resolving problems on the first call. But the executive team handling escalated complaints is very efficient. Kevin Crull allows his email address to be published and answers emails. He’s accountable.

Rogers is hard to reach. The guy at the top, Ted Rogers, doesn’t respond quickly to letters addressed to him. There’s no easy way to escalate your complaints, even if they’re urgent.

Hardly a day goes by when I don’t hear from someone about Bell or Rogers. But the pain level is higher in the Rogers complaints. People are suffering from bad advice and stupid mistakes.

For example, you give specific instructions to Rogers to disconnect your phone and Internet on the day you plan to move. But Rogers disconnects these services three or four days early, leaving you vulnerable.

VK, a reader, sent me her story of how she found Bell easier to deal with than Rogers.

I separated from my partner some months ago. He moved, but neglected to change the Rogers service. I made several attempts to explain this to Rogers, asking that the account be changed to my name. I was told this was impossible because of privacy concerns.

Since I planned to move, I kept the services and continued to pay the bills. Two weeks ago, I called to arrange a transfer of service to my new address. Same story, but I was told I could cancel service and put in a new order, with no connection charges. I agreed, on the condition that I be assigned a 416 phone number, as part of my internet, cable, phone package.

No problem, said the rep, but his computer was about to crash and he’d call me in 30 minutes with the new phone number. Six hours later, I called back. I was told there were no more 416 numbers, too bad, and the rep shouldn’t have told me I could have one.

More than a week and several calls later, I decided to try Bell. Not only did I get a real person, no “hold please” only to be forgotten or cut off, but I got a 416 number, as well as a much better package of internet and TV services. I can ignore the beavers for this!

Bell called twice to check that their installation date was workable, even arranged to come sooner, so I could have real email again.

It took over a week to cancel the Rogers order. When I said why I was calling, I had to be transferred to someone else and the line went dead or I was on hold for more than 15 minutes.

I had two annoying automated calls reminding me about installation, and today I finally got through to a person, but she could only cancel my phone order. I had to be turned over to yet another person, who said he’d try to cancel my internet, but I shouldn’t have waited so long.

I’m back with Bell. They can’t be more frustrating than Rogers!

Who’s better? Who’s worse? Are they equally annoying? Opinions, please.

46 comments

  1. LH

    Jun 6 2008

    Same $#&*, different smell. Sorry to be so blunt, but that’s exactly how it is.

    Having services with both of these companies, I can attest to the fact they are both simply atrocious when it comes to resolving various complaints, from tech support to billing issues, and I very much doubt the top brass at either of these companies actually gives a damn.

    I have given an example on this very website, including a very detailed email to you, Ellen, about how a typing mistake at one of Bell’s retail stores ended up charging to my home telephone account almost $200 and then a 2-month chase by me trying to get it cleared from my account.

    I got nowhere with Bell’s offshore and often brutal English speaking customer service reps, who were rude, incompetent and just outright stupid. It took a strongly worded email to Kevin Crull’s office to get things resolved.

    In fact, after sending the email to his office, one of his assistants, Geri, looked after the matter personally and the whole mess was resolved in just two days. Ultimately, Crull’s staff openly admitted that Bell had made a serious mistake and that none of it was my fault.

    But what good did it do after I wasted two months and hours of agitation with their “customer service” personnel, getting nowhere from department to department, opening tickets upon tickets, constantly being told that the matter was still under review when in fact, as Geri admitted, it was never reviewed in the first place until she personally got involved!

    They did end up wiping my bill clean, but still.

    Now about Rogers. When I moved into my current house a year ago, I was sent a subcontractor to install the cable boxes and modem. There weren’t any cable lines to two rooms in the house, so the contractor had to drill for lines outside the house. The way the house is set up, as soon as you enter the front door, you have the stairs going down to the basement. You need to walk down about 6 steps to get to the guest washroom. Directly above the guest washroom is one of the rooms that had no cable line.

    To stretch a straight line from the main set up in the basement to that particular room, he needed to drill two holes — one to the outside wall of the room and the other to the basement. Can you see where this is going? Well, the moron miscalculated where he needed to drill a hole for the cable line going to the basement, and instead of drilling the hole to the basement, he drilled from the outside STRAIGHT into the guest washroom!

    He apologized and offered to fix the drywall in a few days. I told him I’m going to call Rogers and have them fix it and he goes “forget it, they’ll just contact my company and have them fix it”. I ended up fixing the hole myself because the guy was obviously an amateur and he would’ve done a dreadful job anyway.

    I didn’t bother notifying Rogers either. He’s right. The best they’ll do is send this bozo back to fix it and probably fire him afterwards. I still have the hole outside the washroom and even though it’s sealed (you can still clearly see the patching outside), it’s a reminder of the “professionalism” of Rogers Cable installers.

    On a billing-related issue, I called them about getting a discount on a PVR rental. Rogers’ standard definition PVR costs $20 a month to rent, while Bell Expressvu’s costs half of that. So I called Rogers and asked what makes their PVR so unique that it costs twice as much as Bell’s PVR. After haggling back and forth, their billing service rep agreed to give me three months rental at half price. Afterwards, I would decide if I still wanted the Rogers PVR at the regular price. I could also move to Expressvu or give back the Rogers PVR and take a standard terminal.

    The first month it ended up being discounted, as we discussed. However, the subsequent month, it was not. I called their billing department to ask what’s going on and they said the agent I spoke to had noted a discount for only ONE month. I argued with them that this was not so and ultimately they took her side over mine. They offered to give me half off a channel block for two months, but I politely told them to go and f… well, you know.

  2. Chris Clarke

    Jun 6 2008

    Two words: bandwidth caps. Whatever happened to “unlimited hi-speed Internet”?

  3. brad

    Jun 6 2008

    This is interesting news about Rogers, in light of the fact that their number of subscribers will expand enormously later this year when they start providing service for the iPhone in Canada.

    If they don’t have their act together by then, they’ll have a huge problem on their hands.

  4. Joren

    Jun 6 2008

    They both blow.

    But to be honest (and touch wood), I haven’t suffered the abuse and problems with Rogers that I did with Bell. (Maybe it’s because the air conditioning gods are pissed with me instead right now and they take turns.)

    Both could really learn a lesson or two about making things easier for their customers. Instead, something as easy as calling to find out why your service hasn’t been disconnected yet takes 10 minutes of wading through voice prompts. Whether it be Emily or the Rogers version – it’s all infuriating.

  5. XP

    Jun 6 2008

    Having worked in the telecom customer service space, I thought I’d share my 2 cents.

    My opinion is that the quality of customer service depends on 2 factors: empowerment level and luck of the draw.

    1) Empowerment Level: Some phone companies give their reps more authority (ability to give refunds, ability to redirect installers if your situation is urgent, etc.) to solve your problem on the spot. My personal experience has been that Telus and Rogers do a better job of this than Bell. I believe it makes sense to empower reps, because the more often you have to call back about unresolved problems, the more reps the phone company needs to hire, driving up their costs.

    2) Luck of the draw: In any company, there will be helpful reps, and not-so-helpful reps. If you’re not too far into a conversation and it looks like things won’t go well, don’t hesitate to ask to speak with someone else. Bear in mind that these reps spend 80%+ of their working hours talking with people on the phone, so it’s always in your best interest to be nice to them – you’ll get what you want much faster that way.

    Interestingly, something that I don’t believe impacts customer service quality is geographic location of your rep. All of the phone companies now offshore a portion of their customer service reps to other regions of the world (India, etc). Believe it or not, the quality scores these reps deliver are actually just as good as the ones onshore.

    Since it costs a fraction of the cost to hire someone in Canada, this change actually opens the doors for phone companies to invest in better service (by hiring more reps)… Or they could just pocket the savings 🙂

  6. Andy

    Jun 7 2008

    Most of my issues with Bell have to do with Sympatico (huge surprise, eh?). Back in the day, they were resolved quickly and to my satisfaction. However, recently, dealing with India, things have gone south.

    Regardless of the extent of the empowerment of the rep, their solutions have been crap — that is, they don’t fix my problem. I have taken to Googling my problem and, sure enough, some lovely soul in cyberspace has had a solution.

    This is all very nice, but one would hope that Sympatico could have provided a fix quickly. I would be willing to spend a lot of Googling time before I ever call Sympatico. And most of it is for technical specs that you’d think would just happen automatically.

    As for Rogers, from whom I get cable through our condo on a bulk rate, I have had nothing but good things happen — reps that speak English and happily guide me through a cable issue. Fortunately in the past five years, there have been only two instances.

    So, good news and bad news.

  7. Melanie

    Jun 8 2008

    I’ve had just the opposite experience with Rogers. I’ve been with them for two and a half years now and still get good service. Mind you, mistakes have happened and it’s taken usually one or two phone calls to address it. The issue goes away, I go on with my life and that’s it.

    Now Bell, on the other hand, is a total joke and nothing more than a parasite that feeds off your wellbeing, wallet and sanity. Maybe Michael Sabia should include a definition of parasite with their newsletters to remind them of what they are.

    Bell Mobility was and still is an absolute disaster from my painful billing experiences. Sympatico is nothing more than a con job, where you pay for high speed and get nothing but dial-up speeds. Last year, CBC-TV’s consumer show Marketplace did a segment comparing advertised and download speeds of all major internet competitors on my street. Guess which company came dead last? Bell, of course!

    I’m a fairly mild-mannered and a forgiving person. Trying to correct error after error month after month was like trying to get rid of one those loser boyfriends. After wasting a huge amount of my personal and work time dealing with them, I finally canceled my contract and told them to #$%^ off!

    I wish I had known of Kevin a few years ago. Maybe he could’ve helped. However, calls to the executive management team, which is where the buck is supposed to stop, were never answered. As far as I was concerned, they were, and maybe still are, just as incompetent as the rest of the company.

    I’m curious, what does it say about Bell when the president of the division has to get involved himself to fix these seemingly minor mistakes? Sounds to me that they can’t go to the bathroom without making a mess of themselves.

    I know that I for one will never use, recommend or give them the time of day ever! They will never change for the better, and from everything I’ve read here, they’re getting worse!

  8. Melanie

    Jun 8 2008

    Oh, by the way, one of my girlfriends just got overbilled yet again!!! It’s no different than when I was with them. Apparently it’s the same issue that was supposedly fixed last month and wasn’t supposed to happen again, ever. Isn’t Bell great!!!

  9. Joren

    Jun 11 2008

    Bell never ceases to amaze.

    I ported my number over to Rogers in April, but thanks to the rep that handled my case (not a Rogers or Bell employee), she wisely suggested that I pay for an extra month so as to avoid the possibility of a big contract cancellation charge.

    I paid the first bill.

    Got the second bill yesterday, thinking “great…here we go!”

    I have a credit.

    I call Bell Hostility and ask if the credit can be transferred to my residential service.

    NO. That’s Bell Canada.

    So they’ll mail me a cheque – but not before 70 some odd days have passed.

    So they know that they owe you money, but are going to make you wait to get it.

    As my Dad used to say, “they couldn’t organize a piss-up in a brewery”.

  10. bylo

    Jun 13 2008

    > So they’ll mail me a cheque – but not before 70 some odd days have passed.

    That’s SNAFU for Bell. Same thing happened to me a few months ago. The explanation I got from Mobility executive row was that all refunds have to be processed and approved by three departments before any cheque is sent. In other words, Bell wastes far more money processing and approving refunds than the value of those refunds.

    Crazy, eh?

    BTW the “some odd” is because their service target is 70 business — not calendar — days.

    The sooner OTPP buys this sick puppy and puts it out of its miser, the better.

  11. Lunchtime

    Jun 14 2008

    > So they’ll mail me a cheque – but not before 70 some odd days have passed.

    And that 70 odd days rule would be a best case scenario. Trust me, I know. It pushes up to more like 90 to 100 days before the cheque arrives in your mailbox. I’m sure Bell will just blame the extra delay on Canada Post!

    Oh and by the way, Bell Hostility will now start charging new customers and customers who do hardware upgrades $1 a month if you want a paper copy of your invoice sent to you every month. The charge is $2 if your’re a SOLO monthly subscriber! This is Bell’s way of being more “GREEN”! They want you to subscribe to their wonky ECARE in order for you to see your bill.

    That might be “green friendly”, but it sure isn’t customer friendly. Charge customers a buck just for the privilege of letting them know how much they need to pay? Bell, what are you thinking?

    Also, starting on Aug. 8, Bell Hostility will charge you for incoming text messages unless you have a text messaging feature on your account. Yup, if you don’t have a text messaging feature, every incoming text message will cost you 15 cents! I’m not sure, but are other carriers doing this? Bell says it’s just following industry practice.

    Oh Bell, when will you learn the way to success is not annoying your customers????

  12. Cynthia

    Jun 18 2008

    After hearing about my friend’s issue with Bell, I thought I’d post this link which I found while reading an article on cbc.ca/news.

    http://www.ccts-cprst.ca/en/

    The CCTS is an arms-length agency that deals with consumer consumer complaints with phone service providers. What I gathered from the article is the company that the complaint is filed against receives a 1k penalty and has to resolve the issue. Rogers’ representative piped up and said we already resolved problems before we had to become members of this group. Yeah okay, apparently he hasn’t read this message board.

  13. Kristina

    Jun 21 2008

    Just wondering how can I get an email address of Bell’s M. Kevin W. Crull, the “fix it all” guy?

    It’s not listed on Bell’s site and I really need to contact him regarding about an ongoing issue with “good old” Bell!

  14. Craig Hubley

    Jul 4 2008

    Monopoly/duopoly. The latter’s a bit more responsive on issues where “the enemy” has done too well, but in general there’s no way to clean up a service industry dominated by two players who will each get lazy and complacent.

    Thankfully the relief in sight is that wireless Internet (WiFi, WiMax and unlimited data over GSM) can be offered by new players given the flexibility of current dual-mode WiFi/GSM devices and the many fixed-wireless-Internet options. Rogers at least has been forced to respond with “Home Calling Zone” making it possible to walk in and out of your home WiFi zone and pay only for the minutes you are out of range. Install bigger antennas and pay less. Make peer deals with other WiFi networks (your school, your company, Starbucks) and pay less again. Eventually you pay flat rate for every voice or low bandwidth (dialup speed) call. Exactly what we’ve been told to expect for the last ten years.

    Why didn’t we get it already? Again, the duopoly. Carriers in the US killed the PCS base station handoff standard in the late 1990s, else your old 900MHz home cordless phone would still have worked when you walk to the store or in your classroom. Carriers knew this would be the end of their per-minute business and they successfully pressured phone makers not to implement the PCS version of base station handoff. However, they can’t kill the same capability for WiFi since Internet Protocol is itself based on handoff and instant shifting of paths when one path becomes blocked. A phone with several IPv6 numbers assigned (under the IEEE 802.15.4 or Wireless-G or Wireless-N or other WiFi standards) can keep receiving and sending packets if any of those IP addresses are recognized and routed by any service provider in range. As we install more 9dBi antennas everywhere and more companies offer wireless access as a perk for customers or employees, eventually you won’t use GSM at all in the city.

    Even out in the boonies, major roadways will be served. If they aren’t, fast food chains or gas stations or enterprising householders will set up relays of their own. WiMax transceivers can actually send and receive up to 70km and that’s far more than the distance between the average McDonald’s franchise.

    For those who think Rogers and Bell have some value in their networks, and that the duopoly owns anything worth owning, here’s a surprise: They’re about to be degraded to basically websites vending phone plans. Their infrastructure is about to be utterly undermined and replaced by something that they have no possible ability to deploy themselves: massive fibre optic deployments required anyway as upgrades to power grids.

    We’re all waiting ultimately for the power company. Contrary to popular delusion, the power grid is not going away. If anything the proliferation of cogeneration (which is seen by the grid itself as a nasty power surge at random times) forces upgrades to the power grid to accomodate an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and monitoring using Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) as on the Internet.

    Putting every transformer and meter into this system requires adding fibre optic lines (not amenable to electrical nor to magnetic interference nor to rust) that run to every house or at least every transformer.

    Right away this provides potentially 400Mbps to every home using the Broadband-over-Power-Line (BPL, IEEE P1901, HomePlug) standard which carries signals between the copper 120V AC plugs already in your home and the fibre to the transformer. The meter is probably going to talk to the transformer using BPL anyway.

    The incremental cost of adding a *thick* bundle of fibre to the power grid is very low. Rogers and Bell will scream bloody murder, but the plain fact is, if the power company says it wants to deploy 100 terabits of capacity to talk to its transfomers, it can. And then it can (and already does) sell the excess “dark fibre” to service providers who vend phones and run switches. But there’s no reason for the power company not to provide customers with a basic 400Mbps copper or gigabit fibre infrastructure itself, since it already has to do so internally. This could even be a side benefit of a customer purchasing an energy and safety monitoring package.

    I just had a 1981 TV set blow. Inside the set is a tiny fire now every time I turn it on. Something about its power draw over the past few months probably could have signalled that a tube was about to blow and perhaps that can prevent a fire in someone’s house. I’m sold. I’m going to ditch communication- only providers in favour of an integrated safety, power and communications service as soon as I possibly can.

    With voice-over-IP and security-camera infrastructure also moving to one-wire powered Ethernet (IEEE 802.3at) standards I even have the option of running voice and safety stuff on DC power. Which means it can work off home batteries or geothermal generation or something else off-the-grid. It will be as reliable as the good old self-powered POTS line.

    Because Internet engineers are not stupid, they are joining up with power companies and refusing offers from Bell and Rogers. They know that by subsidizing the network rollout with a non-information deliverable, electricity, and also by integrating safety related monitoring services needed by the elderly and anyone who has too much equipment in their house, power companies in the long run will crush Bell and Rogers.

    All that’s needed now is management unstupid enough at the CBC and other broadcasters to make a deal with the powercos, to eradicate the parasitic duopoly once and for all. With YouTube forced to hand over all its user records to Viacom it just became a big problem to rely on them to host, say, CBC’s The Hour content. Why not set up terabyte servers on fibre optic pipelines and wave exclusive rights at the powercos if they deploy gigabits to the home before Bell and Rogers can?

    Let’s see Bell’s and Rogers’ pointy-haired bosses respond to that one. Fifty bucks says they run screaming, with lawyers, to government to demand that powercos be kept off “their” turf. And a hundred more says consumers will respond that they want rid of Bell and Rogers for good, and they want an already-regulated already-reliable company running the fibre so that anyone can play in the mobile services or phones game.

  15. Matt Kojder

    Aug 13 2008

    Awesome website Ellen!

    Rogers….sigh. I love the reliable and high speed Internet connection I have. However, they really need to pay attention to the contractors they use for various services in the GTA. I live out in Bowmanville.

    My neighbour switched all of his services over to Rogers – phone, internet and television. Rogers came over and connected them up in the winter. They strung cables through my front yard tree after taping it to the lamp post. That was fine, it was winter – the ground is hard, and burying cables seemed like it could wait until spring.

    This spring, Rogers sent a couple of guys to bury their cables. They inadvertently cut my Bell phone line. I called Rogers….they at first blamed me! I tried to escalate, and got put into call centre hell – being on hold for some transfer between departments and then dropped. I was quietly dropped – click.

    Sigh, I was pretty annoyed by this time so I called back. I ploughed my way through various departments, re-explaining and re-explaining my story each time. I got it escalated up to some sort of manager who said, “How do you know WE cut the cable?”

    This was getting ridiculous…I couldn’t believe the guy’s arrogance, lack of empathy and lack of will to even attempt to address this issue. I had to hang up before I started to scream obscenities! Those guys are really not helpful….how do they keep their jobs?

    So I called Bell…they sent out a guy to fix the cable THAT DAY – at 7 PM!!! Try getting that sort of service with Rogers. He ran a new wire to the house, using a free pair from my neighbour’s drop.

    A few weeks later, they came by to clean up the emergency fix they did, and the tech showed me where Rogers had cut my phone cable (you could see the line in my grass from the cable box on the boulevard) – in TWO places – with a careless application of their shovel. He recounted anecdotes of Rogers doing this to other customers.

    Anyway, that is why I always try to diversify my services between a few vendors so that I am not exposed by putting all of my ‘eggs in one basket’.

    Rogers – Thanks for blaming the customer for yet another screw up on your side!

  16. Artie

    Aug 25 2008

    Bell vs Rogers…they are both monopolies, but one has 127 years of deep rooted connections to the community.

    I receive the flyers from Rogers every second day and get a call at least once a week to switch. The thing is you cannot believe everything you see or hear.

    Have you ever visited Rogers website or read the fine print on the flyers? You need a Ph.D.to navigate their site and a magnifying glass to read the fine print.

    The truth is Rogers is not cheaper in price but more expensive, even with their promotions. Hidden fees and non-disclosure will hurt you every time with Rogers.

    If I can say anything to the consumers of Ontario, it is to read the fine print and terms of service and agreement before switching to Rogers or you will end up in a contract you did not ask for and a bill that is higher than what you are currently paying.

    That and 911 may not work, but do not hold Rogers accountable, no power, no phone…period.

    While we are at it, the 15% discount is based on a contract (pretty much a lifetime) as they renew it every two years. That is part of their bundle agreement.

    There are tons of alternatives out there, but people need to educate themselves before saying yes.

  17. Farooq Khan

    Oct 14 2008

    I’m another disgruntled customer – victim of Rogers’ corporate monopoly.

    Here’s my rant: I was moving houses 3 weeks ago, and Rogers told me to inform them 1 week before the move of my new address so they could switch my services. I did this and my services were disconnected right away.

    Each time, it took them 1-2 days to reinstate my services for the remainder of term at my old house.

    And each time, I would spend 1-2 hours on the phone, submitting a new work order, and fishing for the new phone number.

    Then on the last day, when the new phone number was confirmed and all my services were switched, lo & behold, they screwed up on the new phone number and switched the digits around.

    What’s funnier is they think this is funny. I have worked in customer service for an engineering firm and can tell that Rogers reps are frustrated as well and do their most to be uncooperative. They know after all, Rogers is a monopoly and the customer has no choices.

    I urge the government to stop defending Rogers from competition. Let this be a free market.

  18. ali

    Nov 23 2008

    “bell > rogers” in quality of service.
    “bell < rogers” in customer support.
    “bell < rogers” in customer service.

    have you ever had your on-demand just fail and reset your whole box? its like your tv just blew up.

    have you ever had to wait for a bell tech support dude to come and fix your phone line for a week?

    have you ever wanted to smash your rogers cable modem after crawling speeds in rush hour periods?

    i did.

  19. Carl

    Feb 9 2009

    I have owned my property for 6 years. Five times now, I have had to try to deal with Rogers through the Office of the President to get them to deal with their 3rd party cable crews stringing temporary cable drops through my yard and my trees to service their clients down the road. (The pedestal is located at the corner of my property – I have a corner lot.) And I am not even a Rogers customer!! I have Bell Expressvu!!

    The cable is stapled up my trees, wound around branches and strung across my yard. I have asked repeatedly that this not be done – but it still is done. The last time I let it go, as it went across the top of my fenceline and was technically not on my property – however I wasn’t happy about that. It took about 6 months for that cable to get buried/moved.

    The largest problem here is that although you THINK you are dealing with one entity with Bell or Rogers, you are not. In truth, they hire 3rd party (cheap) contractors who actually build, repair, maintain, install different “facilities” in the physical outside world.

    The guy who actually buries the wires, shows up at your door, is NOT an employee of Rogers or Bell. They work for some low cost person who won the contract with Bell or Rogers to service that part of their business.

    And frankly, the communication between these 3rd party low cost suppliers and Bell or Rogers isn’t that great. These guys aren’t paid directly by Bell or Rogers, but they are paid from this third party company they work for.

    This is why there are major problems and disconnects. There is little recourse for problem resolution from the people that we as customers interact with and the company that markets and owns the brand – because it’s a supplier issue with Bell/Rogers.

    We are at the effective wrong end of the stick, because the company we pay isn’t the company that services our day to day issues.

  20. Pat

    Mar 6 2009

    Comment to Carl:

    I was experiencing the exact same problem, as the phone/cable tower is located on my property. When my next door neighbours moved in a couple of winters ago, Bell ran their phone line across my lawn and into their house.

    I assumed that when spring arrived the line would be buried, but this was not the case. Spring turned to summer and the line remained on the lawn, creating a hazard as someone could have tripped on it, plus cutting that area of the lawn was a royal pain. So, as weeks dragged on, I asked the new neighbour when they would be burying the line and was assured it would be “soon.”

    Of course, the line remained sitting on my lawn months later. So, one day while I was mowing the grass and feeling throughly fed up, the lawnmower “inadvertently” 😉 mowed through the line!

    Within 48 hours the line was repaired and buried!

  21. Zaid Siddiqui

    Apr 18 2009

    Every single time that I have a problem with Rogers, I think to myself, This is the last straw, first thing tomorrow morning I’m switching to another service provider. Then it dawns on me. Who do I switch to, the equally mediocre Bell?

    Last year, I moved in to a new house and I informed Rogers of my up and coming address change. They told me I would not have to worry as my service would be disconnected the day I left, and that I would get to keep all my numbers. (I had two home phone lines) I’ve now learned that what a Rogers rep will say on the phone is completely different than what will actually happened. My phone was disconnected three days before I moved and Rogers had no explanation for this, blaming me for not telling them that I wanted it cut THE DAY I MOVED and not some time before. When I finally moved into my house, I called Rogers up again to ask why my phone, cable TV and internet were not working. They said it would be up in a day or two. Unknown to me, a day or two in Rogers time can amount to a month or two in human time. I called Rogers two days later and they told me that they were having trouble connecting my services because the previous owners had not canceled their account properly.

    12 Days later – Spent 3 hours on the phone to no avail
    13 Days later – Rinse and repeat
    14 Days later – This begins to turn to a daily part of my life in my new home
    20 Days later – Rogers tells me that the problem is almost resolved and I should be getting my service reconnected soon.
    21 Days later -Rogers says that my problem has been placed in priority sequence. I should not worry because this case is an unusual one and as a result twice as many people are working on it than other cases. I reminded Rogers that 2 times 0 is still 0.

    30 Days later – Having been a full month without service, I get frustrated and yell at the lady on the line prompting her to finally “promise” me that the problem will be fixed within the week.
    35 Days later – Problem solved. I have to spend two hours on the line with Rogers demanding some sort of discount for the next while. The sales rep. agrees to give me my service free for the next three months.

    Next Bill – Rogers holds up their promise for free service
    Every bill after – Somehow I start being charged for my service after only a month of free service.
    I spend hours talking to the rep. but he tells me that the record shows only one month free. I finally gave up and got on with life.

    Fast forward a year. Last month I called Rogers and asked for my cable TV service to be cut because I really did not watch too much TV. The sales rep. told me that she would give me a 15% DISCOUNT to stay on and would send over a technician for FREE to add a line in my basement where I wanted to move my TV. Technician arrives about a WEEK late.
    On my next bill I see that the price for my TV service is still the same, I got charged $50 for having a technician over and $30 extra on my home phone bill for making multiple international calls which I never made.

    After politely explaining my problem, the sales rep. says that they cant give me a discount on my TV service because I already have a 15% discount due to the “Roger Better Choice Bundle” for customers that subscribed to multiple services. I was lied to by the retention specialist. That seems like a great customer retention policy eh? She promised to waive the $30 international call fee. I’ve yet to hear anything from them about the $50 charge for having a technician over.

    What am I supposed to do? How much time do I have to spend on the line with these people? I’m so frustrated. I think I’ve spent more time talking to Rogers about problems with their service than time I’ve spent enjoying these services.

  22. Jeffrey A

    Jun 1 2009

    Hi there,

    I saw above that someone posted they mailed a letter to Rogers Head Office. While I’m sure I will have the same luck as the mother & daughter above, I would still like to send a letter to a few individuals at their head office, but am unable to find the mailing address for the Rogers Building in Toronto…if anyone can provide me an address, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you kindly

  23. Guy Dutrisac

    Jun 1 2009

    My fiancée and I moved into our newly built home on May 16, 2007. Since we were the 2nd house in the entire community, the Rogers technicians had to run the wire on the property (earth only). They advised us they would come and bury the wires once we had grass.

    Since we were in the middle of a work zone for the better part of a year, our cable got cut by construction crews a few times. We had to call Rogers twice to get a new wire installed. On the second time I called, I asked the representative why they couldn’t bury the cable directly in the sand (would seem like the obvious thing to do). I even offered to do it, but the representative advised against it, saying they had to do work to the green cable box in my yard!

    A few months later, my new neighbours move in and call Rogers. I come home one day with 3 sets of wires going across my lawn in different directions.

    I politely call Rogers to tell them it’s a hazard and they should come and bury the wires.

    In July 2007, I finally get grass. I call Rogers and book an appointment to get the wires burried in the ground.

    Two weeks go by, so I call back. Apparently no request had been done! And so this repeats for a year and some months of my calling and their saying that no request has been issued for my residence.

    In May of this year, after my tenth phone call, I finally trip over one of the wires one night and almost smack my head on the neighbour’s steps.

    It’s now June 1, 2009, and I still have cables running accross my lawn and on my roof now!

    I’m contemplating suing Rogers for negligence. I’ve given up on trying to get these monkeys to come and bury wires! Apparently, you can’t get anything in writing from them! And they can’t send you an email confirming the work order.

    Next steps, I cut all of these cables and move to Bell! And if they come back. I still cut the f**king cables, they are on my property and they are a hazard!

  24. Guy Dutrisac

    Jun 1 2009

    For those how want to complain to head office:

    855 York Mills Rd.
    P.O. Box 41258 STN.BRM B
    Toronto, Ont. M7Y 7E1

    Hope they get a slew of mail.

  25. Wendy

    Jun 5 2009

    So one day Rogers calls me about a great deal to get the Movie Network channels and TMN on demand. The girl on the phone said it was only $9.99 a year for the first year and then I would choose to keep it at the regular price. I had clarify with this girl because what she was telling me seemed unreal- I said “so it is a one time payment of $9.99 and I get a year of TMN?” She said yes. I asked again, she said yes. So I said sign me up!
    Needless to say- first month $9.99, second month $9.99, third month $9.99 (this was when I actually noticed the charge.) When I called them up I was told that I was wrong and that it was a monthly charge! I wish I could pull the recorded initial phone call to prove to them what I was offered, because I was ticked! Apparently not ticked enough because they only refunded me for one month! That is the last time I opt in to one of their so called “specials”
    My other pet peeve about Rogers is that everyone everywhere is always talking about “going green”. Probably once a month I receive something in the mail about how I should sign up for their home phone service– I already have it!! How much paper are they wasting, ink and production costs to send me something I already have. I suppose it is still unaddressed mail but how hard is it to have two lists- one for people who have it, one for who doesn’t. I would rather them do it that way, use the money they save and lower my bill!
    Who am I kidding though- the only words I ever see on bill is “rogers price increase”.

  26. MP

    Aug 18 2009

    I left Rogers nearly 12 years ago and have never looked back.

    I’ve always had issues with Roger’s billing, and customer service practises. Anyone remember MeTV and negative billing? Yeah well. Cable bill was in husbands name, he was never in town. During the MeTV campaign they called the house daily to pimp their new channels. I had requested over and over to put us on a do not call list, we were not interested. Blew my stack on day when thier telemarketer called, I said we had already refused countless times and want to be on the do not call list. Little ms uppity tells me they have no such information. I told her that her company has called me daily for a month and I’m fed up with it. She replies with “Well I haven’t called you, I want to talk to Mr. X” Excuse me? “I want to speak with Mr. X because you don’t count” After picking jaw up off the floor, husband grabs the phone and replies “What part of no don’t you bleeping understand”. Click goes the customer service rep. She has the odacity to call back 10 minutes later asking to speak to my husband. Anyhow. Called Rogers the next day and told them to cancel our cable, cell phone, followed by cancellations of all magazines published by Rogers.

    Have never looked back. We have had expressvu since. We have pretty much every channel you can imagine including movie channels and superstations for less than half of what it would have cost us with Rogers. We own all of our PVR’s and recievers. No monthly rental fees. We do subscribe to dish care and have never had to pay for a replacement receiver or pvr if there has been a problem. Bell sent out some servicemen for the first time in 12 years last month when we were having signal issues, no charge. The upgraded our dish to HD, and we purchased a new HD reciever and hard drive. Again, no change to our programming and we now receive multiple HD channels at no additional cost to us. We are on an ancient package with Bell and have no plans to change.

    Our cell phones, internet, and television are all with bell including home phone.

    We have had the odd issue with service over the years however, that said….dealing with India if you are nice to them generally things go well. I have spoken with the Phillipines, India and Canada with repair issues or questions. Only had ONE problem in 12 years with the call center and it was resolved very quickly when I explained that I simply could not understand the rep and please pass me to a manager.

    Tech support for expressvu has always been answered in Canada (east coast).

    I can’t say I’ve ever had any real complaints with Bell. Now…if they ever force me to give up my ancient programming on expressvu, I’ll be raising hell.

  27. Maya

    Aug 28 2009

    Interesting debate. Unfortunately, I had a very bad situation with Bell, and just switched to Rogers; not that I’m holding my breath that there will be no problems with them in the future.

    I relocated from Toronto to Ottawa. I asked for suspension of phone, internet and TV for a month, when I was going to live in a hotel, and for reconnection a month later, when I was going to move to an apartment.

    I was assured that they understood the situation, and that all three services would be disconnected in Toronto and reconnected, after a month, in Ottawa. I was given a “ticket” number as a confirmation.

    At 5 PM Tuesday, my moving day, a technician showed up, looked around, said that it will be difficult to find phone jacks with all the boxes, checked one visible jack, said that it’s not working and “there will be a lot of wiring to do”, and suggested that he’ll reschedule the connection for Saturday, when “I’ll be ready”. I agreed.

    Friday I found out that he did not reschedule anything, but someone would come Saturday morning. Nobody showed up; when I called, the rep told me that “probably they called in sick, they are human, you know”.

    The next available appointment was Tuesday. I took time from work to be at home. Nobody showed up – “your order did not download”. In fact, my order did not download AGAIN for the THIRD appointment.

    At this point, I called to cancel; the rep asked for “one more chance”; the technician called me on my cell to confirm that he’ll be at my place – and guess what? He did not show up.

    In the meantime, Bell sent me two invoices for the full amount for services that were disconnected and never connected – not for lack of trying on my part.

    A guy called Mark, who apparently deals with complaints, told me that my phone in Toronto was disonnected, but my internet and phone were not (whose fault is this?). He credited me for the internet – “I can see you were not using it” – but wanted me to pay 50% for TV AND the phone, which he admitted earlier, was disconnected.

    Of course, I do not intend to pay; all this conversation took approximately one hour – another hour of my time wasted by Bell. The saga will continue, I’m sure; he advised me to write a letter of complaint, because he can’t do anything more for me.

    Thanks to Bell, I was in a new city, without phone, internet or TV for almost three weeks. I took time out from my new job twice; I’m expected to pay for services I did not use; I spent hours on the phone, passed on from one person to another to another to another, each asking the same questions, I was put on hold countless times.

    I was able to order all the services at Rogers through one person. The tech showed up on time the first time and did everything in 45 minutes.

    For me, Bell execs can take their big blue couch and shove it…

  28. MD

    Sep 17 2009

    Bell … Rogers … they’re both a monopoly.

    After being with Bell for over TEN YEARS: internet, 2 cell phones, & home phone, I had to make the switch.

    Internet:
    – sudden cap on download limit
    – customer service was horrible
    – internet was down for TWO DAYS and they couldn’t fix it. This disrupted our home-based business
    – Solution: moved to Teksavvy. Better customer service/billing

    Dad’s Cell:
    – got the problem resolved with Ellen’s help.
    – verbally agreed to a contract, they sent us another. When we returned the phone, it “got lost” in the mail
    – Solution: port over to Rogers. Better plan/billing/customer service

    Home Phone:
    – sudden large charges for long distance. Ongoing problem for SIX MONTHS — had to call in every month to get it fixed. On one end I would get Bell calling me to “come to Bell for your long distance needs”, and on the other end I would get Bell’s long distance bills although I was signed up with Yak
    – Home phone suddenly went down = can’t call 9-1-1 in case of an emergency. Took them THREE DAYS to get this fixed!
    – Solution: switching over to Teksavvy very soon.

    My cell phone:
    – based on all the negativity surrounding our other services, I paid the early cancellation charges and switched over to Rogers. Even though Rogers has screwed up my bill, their Customer Relations department has made it up to me everytime! It’s worth giving my $$ to Rogers for the better customer service, than to Bell.

    TV:
    – always been with Rogers. Upgraded to the VIP package and got awesome discounts and customer service once again.

    Yes, each company has its Pros & Cons, but in my experience, Rogers has always outshined Bell. You can bet that once I get my own house, I will never have anything to do with Bell ever again. I do realize that Teksavvy is connected with Bell: but it’s not the actual service in question as much as it is with the customer support. I have told my story to SEVERAL friends, family, & colleagues. Needless to say, I have effectively convinced them to switch their services to Teksavvy & Rogers.

  29. Ron Munson

    Sep 18 2009

    Hey guys, I just wanted to let you know about a new cell long distance plan. I found it to be very helpful and safe.

    The website is http://www.celllongdistance.com Cell Long Distance. It is way better than a calling card, as there is no expiry date and it is always in your phone.

    I’ve been using these guys for almost a year and I have no complaints whatsoever.

  30. Pia

    Nov 13 2009

    Rogers ripped me off! They put a splitter in the cable box service from side of my house to connect service for our next door neighbour because the underground line was cut for that particular house. The tech guy had never asked our permission to do so.

    We found out later because we noticed the slowness of our internet service, so they sent a technician to fix problem and that tech guy told us because of the splitter our service is not up to the speed it should be.

    Please be aware when Rogers has people working around your house. I think it is illegal to do that without asking our permission. Any idea or suggestion?

  31. Ray

    Jan 18 2010

    Both Bell and Rogers suck. I’ve had problems with both and it is unfortunate here in Ontario we have very few options.

    I was living in the US for 8 years (for work) and recently moved back to Canada. In the US, if you don’t like the service of one, you have many other options…not so here in Ontario…what a ripoff.

    I don’t have a home phone for this reason and my cellphone is with an American company. I do have Rogers for basic cable only because I refuse to give Rogers any more money. As for Internet, I do have Bell because I have no other choice. Rogers was not able to connect me…not really sure why.

    Anyway, I cannot wait until we will be able to connect our computer to our TV and watch all the shows we want with no commmercials and no cable or satellite. I can’t believe in a country like Canada, we are not able to get decent service but we pay premium for our services.

    Did you know that Canada is one of the most expensive country for communication services? We are getting ripped off and there is not one thing we can do about it. What’s up with that?

    I thought we lived in a democratic country…..MAD AS HELL.

  32. Bell Internet Rep

    Jan 22 2010

    I would still believe that Bell Internet is the best in Canada in terms of quality and cost.Too bad for you Ray but actually I didnt agree that Canada holds the title for being the most expensive country for communication services. You must have tried living in a country where there is only one provider. Its simple economics. You might said that in the US, communication services are cheaper cause there are a lot of options. That’s obvious. Its the law of supply and demand.

  33. God

    Jan 25 2010

    This is a really good forum, and i really like all the feedback so i can now make a REAL DECISION on who i want to be with.

    I am currently with Bell for all services – been with them for about 2 years now and the only reason i am still with them is because i am lazy and don’t want to switch.

    Bell has been nothing but trouble for me. All i have is tech issues, my dish is always going down and even now, during this recession, they are RAISING OUR RATES!!! If you didn’t get a letter regarding this, you will see it eventually. I have to call in almost every month to get a tech out here to “readjust” my dish because it is not in the “peak location.” My house faces a park and the park is basically a huge soccer field with 2-3 trees on the other side of the field.

    Bell tells me that those trees (that are at least 15-17 houses away from me) are the reason for my dish not working….WHAT IDIOTS!!!

    I FINALLY CALLED ROGERS TODAY – my parents have been with them for about 3 years now and has had NO PROBLEMS – and they are very picky senile people…lol

    My parents are into the whole HD thing and are getting a great deal on their TV and Internet Package. they dont use home phone as they have cell phones (with Rogers) and they have had not 1 problem with their services.

    So i called Rogers, and spoke to this really nice lady who told me that if i signed up, they could give me this promotion and this other promotion and after reading these postings, i declined them all and just got VIP Cable, Internet Express and their Classic home phone for just under 125 per month – and this is for 3 TV’s (HD) the internet with their wireless modem and their home phone which gives me 500 long distance minutes….. the lady was so pleasant and offered free install and they placed me on a 1 year contract and explained everything to me… and i also received an email outlining everything i spoke about!! it even explains all the contract information which again is everything that they told me about!!!

    They come to install tomorrow between 8-11am … lets see how this works out!!

  34. david

    Feb 17 2010

    I would recommend Bell for home phone, Teksavvy for internet and you can’t go wrong with a fta dish for TV.

  35. Tamara GB

    Apr 18 2010

    I have been trying to figure out who to get my services with and this website has helped a lot.

    I have decided to go with Rogers.

    I have gone on Bell’s website and tried doing bundles (phone, internet and tv). The pricing is really good, but when I called to get the service, the rep told me there were some “hidden fees” and the price ended up going up by an additional $30 for everything..

    So I called Rogers today and wanted to add on Internet and Phone with my existing cable with them. The rep gave me an EXCELLENT deal, $117 for everything!

    I recommend going with the provider that ‘provides’ the best/cheapest service. Some people prefer Bell and other prefer Rogers.

    Also get the representative’s name and employee number, which will help if further problems arise.

    I am waiting 1 month for the tech to come out to hook everything up, so it does not screw up my billing cycle, May 17, 2010. I will see how things turn out!

  36. Anthony

    Jun 24 2010

    I was reading this, and thought I would share some pain with you.

    Last week (Wednesday), Rogers cut off my cable TV. It was my own fault really, I didn’t pay the bill on time (but hey, times are tough, and things such as rent and groceries come first).

    I called in to Rogers, and made arrangements to pay my bill in full the next day (Thursday). The man I was talking to said my services would be reactivated within 24 to 48 business hours.

    Come Saturday, still no service. I called in, and was told a tech agent would be by on Monday (Tuesday at the latest) to physically reconnect my cable line from the outside. This was placed on high priority.

    Wednesday, 4:00 pm. Still no service. I call the customer support/tech line once again. They apologize for any inconvenience. I tell them that I am getting quite fed up with the runaround they are giving me, and I am thinking of switching my business over to Bell. The nice man on the phone basically tells me to “suck it up, cancel with us if you want”.

    Thursday (today). I call in yet again. This time I am told there *must* be a problem with my cable box, because my services have all been reactivated. I am instructed to go to my nearest Rogers Plus store, and switch my box for a new one. So I do. And I am still getting the same message on my TV that I have been getting for a week;

    “Your EXPLORER settop is NOT AUTHORIZED for use. Please call [866]894-9662”

    Getting very upset, I call Rogers once again. I ask why no one came by Monday/Tuesday to physically reactivate my cable. I am told that my appointment has been scheduled for the 27th (this coming Sunday). High priority eh?

    I am now at wits end. I would love to switch from Rogers to Bell, but I cannot. Living in an apartment building, I am not facing the correct direction for Bell Satellite to be installed (and the super does not want a dish drilled into the building).

    So I am reminded of what that nice man said to me, “Suck it up”. I can either cancel my services and not have TV, or stick with this company and have the worst service I have ever experienced.

  37. Beverly

    Jul 27 2010

    My problem was with Rogers. When I went on mat leave, my husband became obsessed with reducing bills.

    Rogers became available in our area, and to save $20 a month on our phone bill, my husband decided we would switch.

    The tech came and installed a home phone. He said we would have to switch phone numbers, which I did not want to do.

    Well, the number they assigned never worked,. We couldn’t call people who didn’t have a Rogers phone, and nobody could call us from their phones.

    The salesman who sold us the phone said we would definitely be able to keep our phone number. So every day for two weeks, I called trying to get them to fix the issue.

    They promised to send a tech out three times, but nobody showed up. Then they told me that I needed to call Bell because they had put a block on my phone to prevent people from calling or us calling them.

    I had already canceled my Bell service at the time. They later said it was the wires running into my house from the road, and they didn’t fix those, so I would have to call someone who could fix them.

    They accused me of doing something to their wires. I was 9 months pregnant, and in order to fix it, I would have to crawl around under my house… as if any woman who is 9 months pregnant could do that, even if she wanted to.

    Anyhow, long story short, the phone never once worked and yet Rogers charged me a $200 fee for installation. When I argued with them about it, they told me if I didn’t pay it they would immediately send me into collections and put a complaint in with the credit bureau about it.

    Now Bell, we have satellite with Bell, when they transferred it for free from our old apartment, to our new house, they put it on the side of the house where all our trees are. It worked fine for the first year.

    But going into our second year, the trees have grown. Now it’s out more than it’s in, so we called them to come and move it.

    They said they could not move it, as that was where the best signal was. We asked them if they could at least move it higher, so that it can clear the trees (lilac bushes).

    They said they could send a tech out at $100 to look, then $50 every 30 minutes after, so we called an independent contractor who came to look at it for free.

    Well, he explained, it was in a bad place. The only way we could get it to work properly was to cut most of our trees down, then approach our neighbor and ask him if we could cut down trees on his property (2 Lilac bushes and a huge oak tree).

    So we got absolutely no help from Bell or Rogers. Neither was particularly polite to us, even though we were very polite to them. Neither one offered us any help, and neither took any responsibility for their failures. They blamed us……..

  38. Beverly

    Jul 27 2010

    I should mention that we are now canceling our satellite and switching to Rogers cable…..not like we have many choices….stay tuned to see how that goes….they are coming Thursday…

  39. nancy ashley

    Aug 23 2010

    My husband and I have recently purchasd a house, which is divided into two apartments.

    In the yard, which is actually used for parking, there are eight lines running diagonally lengthways through, one Bell line and one Rogers line to the house we purchased, as well as another line (I don’t know who it belongs to or what it is).

    We then have four lines running across the yard diagonally lengthways to a neighbouring house and one Rogers cable line which also runs diagonally across to a neighbour.

    Please tell me, somebody, what right they have to do this, if any.

  40. Xentelboy

    Sep 16 2011

    Hey there. How about being pleasant to the customer service rep? It works every time.

    Helpful tips: no matter how angry you are, don’t start the conversation by asking for the correct spelling of the agent’s first name and their employee code. They may not even be the correct party.

    AND PLEASE!!!! Don’t keep saying the agent’s name in every sentence. Nothing more infuriating. It’s just annoying and a time waster.

    Yes, I am a customer service rep for one of the offending companies. Food for thought.. 🙂

  41. Xentelboy

    Sep 16 2011

    also.. i have never called anywhere to complain about my bill and have never had a problem.. i pay my bill on time and no issues with interruption of service..

  42. Ieva

    Dec 19 2013

    I have been with Rogers for years for my cable. I have now moved into a apartment where Bell satellite is included in my rent.

    Too bad, because the HD quality with Bell is not as good as with Rogers. In a few months I will go back to Rogers.

    I hate both companies, but out of the two I do like Rogers better.

  1. Bell vs Rogers, part three : Credit Debt Banking News | CDBN