Three questions for Fido

Jeff Green has an unlimited City Fido account, a great rate plan introduced before Fido was acquired by Rogers. He’s asking why customer service has gone downhill and whether he’s being treated badly because he’s unprofitable.

His fight with Fido is about three issues:

— If a phone breaks while under warranty, Fido will get it repaired. But if the same problem pops up post-warranty, who does Fido insist he deal with the manufacturer?

— If Fido has a policy of recording all calls from customers, why can’t customers record calls from Fido?

— If Fido suspends service and charges a fee to get it back, why isn’t it up front with customers about this restoration fee?

He’s not getting the answers he wants. And though I tried to help him escalate his complaint at Rogers, he’s not much further ahead.

So, I leave these questions with readers. Read the details below and give your opinion about the rights and wrongs in this case.

Author: Ellen Roseman

Consumer advocate and personal finance author and instructor.

20 thoughts on “Three questions for Fido”

  1. A few months back, I dedicated a great deal of my time trying to have my Fido phone fixed under warranty.

    After waiting weeks, and paying a non-refundable payment for use of a “free loaner phone”, my phone was returned in the same condition it left in.

    I pointed this out to the Fido store but I was told all they could do was send it back to the repair shop.

    I also stated that the “new” battery supplied is actually a used battery. What is the point of replacing a used battery with another used battery? Now my phone has very short life, < 30min, on its “new battery” and Fido seems unable or unwilling to assist.

    Why isn’t Fido, the vendor of my Nokia phone, willing to contact Nokia or arrange for a repair? Remember that the phone returned in the same condition it left in and I notified Fido immediately. Now the reception is very poor, the battery lifs is awful and Fido says they have no obligation to repair the phone since it’s out of warranty.

    The office of the president said that Fido, despite being the vendor, has no obligation to deal with any phone repairs, in or out of warranty, and they can’t assist now that the warranty has expired.

    I suggested a solution (new battery and phone adjustment), but they would not even consider it. I said they had an obligation given that they did send my phone to a repair centre and it was never repaired properly.

    Two, Fido records all calls customer service calls, so I started doing the same, “to ensure quality service” as the message states. I record with my cell phone, which beeps in the background.

    A CSR said that I do not have their permission to record and that the recording ability is exclusive to their company and not to the customer.

    The office of the president said I can request to speak with a CSR who doesn’t mind being recorded. Come on, who is he kidding?

    I asked why a CSR who was doing their job properly, and had only provided their first name, would object to being recorded.

    If the customer were to object to being recorded, then the only option is to inconvenience and prejudice the client by forcing them to take a trip to a Fido store.

    Three, I asked why Fido can’t be up front about the restoration fee for suspended accounts. They claim it’s transparent since it’s in the fine print of the contract. I’m simply asking that they tell you about the restoration fee and the amount when you’re making a credit card payment by their automated phone system.

    Right now, they only mention the fee, without stating the amount, once the payment is received. I want it moved to the beginning of the prerecorded message.

    The office if the president responded by saying they are being completely transparent and there is no need to change anything. He said that the fee may change, so they would then have to change the message. Come on!!!!

    I’m the owner of the very inexpensive and much sought after “unlimited original City Fido account”, which the CRTC states can’t be cancelled.

    If Fido is not actively trying to rid themselves of me and other City Fido account holders, are they going out of their way to provide inadequate customer service??

  2. Dear Mr. Green,

    Firstly, we would like to apologize for how you feel about the customer care experience that you’ve received in the past. Rest assured that we do appreciate feedback from our customers as it allows us to improve our service and identify potential opportunities to meet their expectations.

    Conversely, here are some clarifications on the points mentioned in your email:

    1) In regards to our After-Sales policy, FIDO stores are required to ensure that we honor the manufacturer’s warranty.

    Since the concerns that you are raising are directly linked to the satisfaction of the repair of your handset, I would suggest that these concerns be brought to the attention of the manufacturer (Nokia). since they are accountable for their authorized repair center and the quality of their product.

    2) As mentioned earlier in this email, I apologize if our CARE group did not meet your expectations of quality of service. Furthermore, I reiterate that we always look to improve our service and aim to maintain a high standard of customer care.

    On the other hand, after reviewing past interactions on your account, I have noticed several occasions where you have spoken to customer care representatives and requested to speak with supervisors, although these individuals were more than willing to discuss your concerns and address them accordingly.

    While we appreciate your desire to discuss all your issues with supervisors, we would like to remind you that we have a clear escalation process in place and are confident that the customer care representatives are capable to identify when a concern needs the assistance of their supervisor.

    3) It is unfortunate that you feel that the monthly plan currently on your account would be a reason for past customer service issues. They are simply not related.

    I would like to bring to your attention that we have several customers on what we call grandfathered plans and their business and loyalty is extremely valued, just as with our newer customers.

    4) We apologize that your past customer service experience leads you to believe that we are more concerned with collecting payments than offering assistance to our customers, but rest assured that this is not the case.

    Over the last year, we have introduced several tools such as FIDO live chat support on to improve our services.

    We hope that you will find this information helpful.

  3. In the rare case where an item breaks (and isn’t from Costco), I usually turn to the manufacturer for repairs during and after the warranty period.

    With the pace of technological advancement/obsolescence, buying a replacement phone may be worthwhile. It’s certainly faster and many unlocked models are available. If you lose your phone, that’s what you’d do.

    Some credit cards extend the manufacturer’s warranty.

  4. Call centres don’t have a monopoly on tape recording phone calls. If Fido can, so can the client. Canadian privacy laws allow for phone conversations to be recorded just as long as one party is aware of the conversation being recorded. In this case, Mr. Green is the person who’s aware of the conversation being recorded and he’s under no obligation to advise Fido of it.

  5. I am a long term Fido customer. Twice, I have had serious issues with the customer service representatives. In both instances, the matters were resolved fairly and with sensitivity by the Executive Office.

    Unfortunately, this means that I have had dreadful experiences twice in under four years. Still, if you can reach the executive offices, the service is excellent.

    Some of the problems with Fido stem from the stores — the majority are not actually owned or staffed by Fido employees.

  6. What ‘Hello’ said is absolutely correct. Mr. Green can legally record any of his telephone conversations without notifying anybody. Criminal Code of Canada reference:

    Any CSR who tells you otherwise is either ignorant or lying. I would assume that most are ignorant, given that most of our citizens seem to learn about legal systems from television and Hollywood – US laws are different.

  7. Wow, that Fido response is certainly full of double talk.

    – I don’t think they really understand what it means when Fido offers a warranty. It means that Fido takes care of it and doesn’t redirect the client to a third party.

    – It didn’t address Fido’s policy on the client recording calls at all. Instead they publicly complain about this client asking to speak with a supervisor??? What happened to client confidentiality?

    – It didn’t address the restoration fee at all.

    The client had three issues but Fido only addressed one. Yet the response still had four points as if they were pretending to address each issue.

    Thank you for sharing this because it doesn’t sound like I’d want to deal with Fido at all.

  8. I agree with Aolis that the Fido response is sheer double-speak. Wow. First Fido tells you to deal with the manufacturer — despite that the Fido warranty says otherwise until the warranty has expired (and since your repair process began during the warranty period, that warranty should still apply). Then Fido says that the complainant requested that CSRs transfer him to supervisors “although these individuals were more than willing to discuss your concerns and address them accordingly”. If the CSRs were “addressing” the concerns “accordingly”, then why is this guy still having issues with his phone?!? Glad to see Fido at least ponied up some credit to cover the earlier faulty repair — though I notice the credits are Fido-related credits, rather than a straight reimbursement — but it looks like Fido isn’t willing to go any further to fix the phone or to keep this customer.
    I think the complainant is right — those customers on the less-lucrative grandfathered plans are not valued. I also agree with Aolis — I don’t think I’d want to deal with Fido, either.

  9. I can not seriously believe that the person who is posting under Fido really works for Fido. Obviously, someone is playing games here on the blog. 🙂

    When you have a consumer affairs columnist for the Toronto Star taking an interest in a matter, you resolve it immediately. You don’t offer a $150 rebate, you don’t dictate options, you just fix the issue. This is like Public Relations 101. You now have this nonsense posted publicly for everyone to read about how poor your customer service is.

    How can a company that records its calls refuse to let a client record those same calls? Are you actually trying to place the blame on your employee?

  10. To calm any concerns of authenticity, rest assured, Ellen Roseman simply posted what was provided to her. The postings are the actual exchange between Fido and its customer.

  11. “To calm any concerns of authenticity, rest assured, Ellen Roseman simply posted what was provided to her. The postings are the actual exchange between Fido and its customer.”

    Wow. I call this the “business is good” attitude. Business must be so good, so amazingly profitable, that it’s not worth a company’s time to make any more of an effort.

    Guess business is good for Fido — that’s nice, because they sure won’t be getting MY business!

  12. Wow Ellen, where to begin with this sad case of so-called customer service.

    Rogers is bad (they’re my own bailiwick) but it looks like Fido is even worse. Yech!


    First let’s dispatch the issue of recording calls:
    – as mentioned by others there is no prohibition in law, in Canada, for a party who is a participant to a telephone call, to record same. Similarly there is no obligation in *criminal law* for any party doing same to notify any other parties of their recording.
    — EFF Canada has this link, quoting the Criminal Code of Canada:
    and therein s. 184.2 [1] and [3][b] are relevant to this matter.

    Nonetheless in a way it’s tough to prove this point, since it’s the *absence of a prohibition* in law that makes one-party awareness of call recording permissible.

    — About my qualification of “*criminal law*” – it’s worth noting that Privacy Comish, pursuant to PIPEDA, has advised all businesses to advise customers (cx) when their call will be recorded. This is why Fido et al notify cx’s that their call will be recorded:
    Guidelines for Recording of Customer Telephone Calls

    However this does not encumber a cx with the responsibility to advise a business, or its agents, that the cx is recording the call.

    If Fido refuses to speak with a cx because the cx is recording a call I’d treat that as a breach of contract because there’s nothiong in The Contract that prohibits call recording by cx’s and no right of Fido to deny cx access to Customer Service as a consequence of the cx recording the call.

    Stupid move, Fido. Educate your reps in the law please.

    And yes, I’ve had this debate with Rogers … I’ve been recording my calls to Bell, Rogers and their ilk for about 5 years now, because their reps are so often incompetant and the call-detail notes made by reps, so often inadequate.

    About that farcical statement by Fido:
    “[…]it is important to keep in mind that in accordance with Federal and Provincial laws you are still required to get the authorization from the representative you wish to record to proceed with the call.”

    The person from Fido who made that statement is clearly at least ignorant of the law, and in my own opinion they actually know (or should know) better and thus are LYING RIGHT TO ELLEN’s FACE (well, her email inbox, anyway ; )

    Funny how they closed their ‘fnal response’ with the legalese of non-predjudicial, no-admission butt-covering … but don’t have enough knowledge of the law to make an accurate statement about ‘secret’ call recording being lawful if done by a) a private citizen acting in a private capacity and b) that citizen is a party to the call.

    Chalk up more duplicity from Fido (a Rogers company you may wish to note).

    The OP asked: “If a phone breaks while under warranty, Fido will get it repaired. But if the same problem pops up post-warranty, who does Fido insist he deal with the manufacturer?”

    To clarify my understanding, the OP had an in-warranty problem with the phone and the problem came back post-warranty … presumably chronologically close to one another.

    IMO, because Fido doesn’t want to assume any more responsibility or liability than they have to, and will prey upon the ignorance of cx’s, if necessary, to maximize profits. Or to put it another way: GREED.

    IMO this is not-fixed-correctly-the-first-time matter is similar to ‘lemons’ in car sales. If the first repair didn’t remedy the issue then even if the warrantry has now expired, cx has a right under the terms of the initial warranty (and subsequent repair having been inadequate) to insist that the initial problem be properly remedied.

    Since the same prob has manifested a second time, Fido should offer you a *free* loaner phone. If they don’t then pay whatever fees are necessary (or buy a PayGo phone) and tell Fido to compensate you. If they don’t then file a claim with the CCTS:

    I would speculate that CCTS would support your claim for out-of-pocket compensation in this matter.

    Admittedly however, this not-fixed-correctly-the-first-time can be tough to prove:
    #a- is it exactly the same problem
    #b- was it clearly not corrected the first time
    #c- did the subsequent re-manifestation of the problem happen shortly after the first non-repair?
    .. because ostensibly, all Fido has to do is make sure they have a working proper phone for the whole of the warranty period but not beyond – IMO they /can/ put in enough of a fix to the initial problem to get you through the warranty period but not have the fix last forever. So the Op would have to prove that the repair the first time was not proper or complete. Tough, IMO.

    OP asked: “– If Fido suspends service and charges a fee to get it back, why isn’t it up front with customers about this restoration fee?”

    I’m not so familiar with Fido as I am with Rogers, though they’re cut from largely the same cloth and thus may things can be said of both.

    In the case of Rogers they have a page:
    that outlines the various ways that Rogers can insert a speculum into your pocketbook and have access to your money, incl “Restoral Fee/Account Processing Fee” @ $25.

    (And yes, kind reader, if you’re using FireFox that page will NOT render properly, try IE [and don’t shoot the messenger!]).

    Fido does not have a same page FWICT.

    The closest thing is in the Fido TaC ( ) wherein s. 5 speaks of a fee for “restoral of Service” and also says “A list of such charges is available on request and is incorporated into these Terms by reference.”

    However I would certainly dispute that you have adequately notified of these fees! Again, I would argue this fee at CCTS level (and if you’re in ON, QC or BC where the Fido TaC s. 34 Arbitration-only clause is rendered void by provincial legislation and it’s necessary, then go to Small Claims Court).

    IMO Fido ought provide, without you needing to request it, all details of your Contract.

    (Rogers Wireless does this, by way if their ToS, in s. 5 where they link to and therein the actual fee amounts are clearly indicated .. well, if you’re using IE I guess)

    So by virtue of the fact that Rogers Wireless clearly indicates the fee amounts, and Fido doesn’t, I posit that Fido is deficient in their notice and you can argue, to some extent, the amount of those fees or your have been adequately notified).

    Wow, what a dog-poop experience the poor OP’s had.

    I’ve known for a while that Rogers Wireless is bad but had no idea how much worse is Fido.

    BTW, Ellen’s written glowingly of Rogers’ “ombudsman”, maybe Fido’s is worth a shot before you go the CCTS route?
    Office of the Ombudsman
    350 Bloor Street East
    Toronto, Ontario
    M4W 0A1

    Fax: 416-935-3604


    OP: If no luck or desire for ombud, learn about CCTS process, consider filing a complaint. Pretty simple process. No charge. You can ‘refuse’ their “decision” and still be able to arbitrate/small_claims_court if you wish.

  13. I must speak out on the Fido story. Although I’ve not had warranty problems with Fido, I can say that their customer service is terrible compared to a decade ago.

    Yes, I was one of the very first people to join the company when it started offering service in the West. I opened my account in 2001 and have stayed with them ever since. When Rogers took them over, they started changing, however.

    One of the oddest things is their relentless (I mean it) push to make me accept paperless billing. They even did the negative optioning thing – I had to call and complain to get them to re-establish it.

    They also sent nasty notes on my bills such as “if you care about the environment, go paperless”. I don’t need a giant company lecturing me about environmental policy – they are interested in saving on mailing costs, not helping the environment!

    Really sad to see them go the way of Rogers.

  14. I’m currently experiencing my own little problem with them. While the situation is being looked at, I’m hoping the outcome would be satisfactory.

    I called them about exchanging a brand new iPhone GS I just received that stopped working the following day. The phone worked fine for one day. The next day the status bar showed “No Service”. At the advice of Fido’s support staff, I rebooted the phone. When the phone turned back on, it was stuck in Recovery mode.

    After trying to boot the unit from Recovery mode using iTunes twice, their tech support rep determined the error code means the fault is likely hardware and the phone would have to be replaced with a brand new one as it’s covered under the initial 15-day exchange period. The incident happened this past Sunday.

    I called today (Wednesday) to get an update on where my new iPhone is only to be told the exchange request put together by the first rep was declined! WHAT? According to the rep I spoke with today, the rep I spoke to on Sunday wasn’t a “qualified” tech support staff so the request for the exchange was canceled by their system *without* even notifying me!

    If I wouldn’t have called today, I could have waited and waited and waited. I would have also, in all likelihood, went past the 15-day exchange period where I wouldn’t be able to exchange the phone altogether.

    Can you believe this %$&#? The rep I spoke with today said that he has put in a new request to send me another iPhone and that this time the request would work. I’ll give it until the end of the week to see if he’s right.

    He also informed me that if their engineering staff determines the unit was damaged due to abuse, they will charge my account $550. How nice of them to look after their end considering the phone had ZERO usage except setting up my email account before it crapped out!

    They are the ones who sent me a defective phone, they are the ones who botched the initial exchange request, and yet they’re putting the onus on me when I’m the one paying for that p.o.s. and I’m the one being inconvenienced by their incompetence. Unbelievable!

  15. An update on my Fido situation. The CCTS has decided to investigate Fido on two of three issues: 1. why Fido refuses to repair my phone. 2. Why Fido refuses to be upfront & transparent with penalty charges. On the third item, not being allowed to record calls to Fido customer service, CCTS says is not within their purview.

    NB I was curious to see what info Fido keeps on its customers so, and as per privacy-access legislation, I made a request. However, last week I pointed out to Fido they have not provided any info and it’s been more than 30 days since my request–a clear contravention of access legislation. Fido never responded. On another matter involving privacy, I am investigating what appears to be a severe breach of my privacy. I was informed a Fido employee appears to have shared my personal account info with an outside party–contrary to Fido’s own privacy policy and provincial legislation. I have contacted Fido. I was considering an apology may be appropriate but I now have concerns that Fido may not fully appreciate the gravity of the matter. The best approach may be a formal complaint with the IPC (provincial information and privacy commission). I’ll try and keep you up to date.

  16. could someone please let me know how to contact the President of Fido and also the Ombudsman. I have escalated several times my problem to Customer Service and to their supervisors. Thank you

  17. My most recent contact with Fido started in August 2010 and involved 2 Cell #s (416 821 7443 / 416 821 4733).

    I bought a new BB Curve 9360 from Fido in December 2011. The phone had battery issues since inception and I reported the same in Feb. as well as April 2012. I was advised to return the same for repairs; I was assured that my services will not be disrupted during the period my BB is away for repairs.

     Eventually, I gave the aforesaid BB for repairs when it also started having charging issues; the BB was given on 20th of July 2012.
     I was in return only given a normal, flip-phone that was in BAD condition. The phone set was shabby and had poor voice quality.
     I got my BB back on 30th July and the same had to be returned again on 31st July since the BB was continuously rebooting itself.
     I was told that the Fido WILL give a new BB set if the phone has to be send back thrice; I only got the same shabby loaner phone for now.
     I got a new (?) BB back on 8th August, which also, to my utter surprise and disappointment had the same rebooting issue.
     The phone was returned next day again the third time.
     Since the phone was still under warranty and was given third time for repairs, I expected that I shall be getting a new BB and my services shall be restored finally after 3 weeks, per previous communication.

    I also called RIM directly to discuss about the repair issues and was told that Fido should be giving me new BB set. I was explicitly told that I shall be dealing with my service provider while RIM should be contacted by service provider, only. RIM Supervisor was even kind enough to invite/conference Fido’s Customer Service, who agreed that Fido shall be providing a new BB set since the warranty falls at Point of Sales (Fido store in this case).

    However, when calling Fido Customer Service directly, to my utter surprise, I was bluntly refused a new set, as promised before. Instead of “service”, the motto became ‘sales’; I was repeatedly coxed by your associates/supervisor to buy a new one even though my current BB Curve 9360 was still under warranty. I was told that there is no BB loaner and there is no guarantee till how many times the set shall be sent back for repairs. The only limit, as told to me, was warranty period of 12 months that shall expire in December 2012; after that I shall be paying for the repairs. Really!!!

    Rather, after more than 6 years being a loyal Fido customer, I was told by one of the Fido’s Customer Service Supervisor, either to buy a new phone/BB or break the contract & move-on…

    I, like any graceful customer, took the second option. I moved my both lines (416 821 7443 / 416 821 4733) to another carrier. Now Fido wants me to pay for breaking the contract – an amount of around $800+…

    Additionally, I will also be billed for the (non-existent) services till 11th September 2012..

    Please take note that the fact remains that I DID NOT break the contract. Fido broke the contract by NOT providing the services that it has promised to provide. Fido failed to provide me the necessary service, as guaranteed, and thence, the contract that I signed in August 2010 for 3 years stands null & void.

    I have been without any service through Fido since 20th July 2012. I still have not received my BB back from repairs…

    I am surprised that nobody in Fido’s “customer service” team even tried to analyze that why a committed customer of 6 years (with two lines on a single account) will suddenly take a radical step to break the contract and move-on?

    1. I should not be charged any Cancellation Fess for being forced to cancel my contract.
    2. Of-course, I should not be charged anything from 20th July since the service was non-existent.
    3. Moreover, Fido shall refund the money (around $350.00) that I paid for the new BB Curve 9360, which is still in warranty.

    I stand grossly frustrated & humiliated by the service and treatment given by Fido to a committed customer of more than 6 years…

  18. To keep you in the loop, I got a call from the office of President of Rogers Communications, in reply of my email sent earlier.

    They were kind enough to apologize for the bitter experience and waived any Cancellation Fees, as well as credited the monthly bill since my service was impacted, retroactively.

    I will still be stuck with the BB, which will be sent to me once fixed (shortly).

    However, the following questions remain valid and need to be accounted for consumer protection:

    1. Why should a customer pay contract cancellation fees when the service provider actually botched the service agreement?

    2. Why should be a customer charged for a month’s notice period when the service provider failed/stopped to offer the service, abruptly?

    3. What is the meaning of a warranty if the customer is left in a lurch and repairs are not provided in a satisfactory, timely way?

  19. Public message to ALL FIDO users:

    On December 6 2012 I purchased for 125$ a LG phone @ FIDO in Montreal in Angrignon shopping mall for my son. In the begging of May 2013 the phone’s display as well as all features stopped working due to a manufacturer error. I brought the phone to FIDO’s Alexis Nihon branch for repair as it was still under warranty.

    And then problems start multiplying. For 3 weeks I’ve been awaiting for my LG phone to be repaired, tough promised by the branch it would take 2 weeks only. Once done the employees at FIDO branch at Plaza Alexis Nihon in Montreal, being very unprofessional,delivered the “repaired” phone without battery. I explained the battery was taken by either the branch employee or never returned by FIDO contractor service company. However they insisted that “I lost it”

    I contacted FIDO online support and demanded to escalate the problem. FIDO response: “When it comes to handset repair issues, these must be dealt with the store itself. As we are unable to reach an agent at this store I am unfortunately unable to rectify this situation.” FYI: any time I called I was able to reach someone at the store but with the same answer:” Sir, I cannot talk to you over the phone we have so many clients in the store”. I guess they consider a junk clients calling…

    And so FIDO “escalation service” and the branch are keeping me in an infinite loop of not-doing- anything…The offered me 25$ airtime for the phone that doesn’t work..can you imagine that ??

    Right now my son is 5 weeks without the phone due to FIDO error.

    I will cancel subscription for all 3 cells I have with FIDO and switch to another provider.

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