500,000 Rogers customers charged incorrectly

June 18 2010 by Ellen Roseman

Rogers Communications says it will correct billing inaccuracies affecting half a million people who participated in its Better Choice Bundles program.

The scope of the errors is quite substantial, affecting up to 5 per cent of its customers, according to the news release .

About 200,000 people received greater discounts than they were eligible for. Rogers will not try to collect the under-payments, but will apply the correct discount from now on.

Another 300,000 people received smaller discounts than they qualifed for and will be getting a bill credit (for current customers) or a cheque (for former customers). Any unclaimed funds by former customers will go to charity.

Rogers will pay total refunds of $30 million, including interest and taxes. It blames the billing snafu on “administrative errors and system-related issues.”

So, what’s to stop this from happening again? Rogers has hired a management consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers, to analyze billing data. Here’s what else it will do:

Rogers is implementing safeguards to help prevent a recurrence, including the roll out of an employee re-training program, the introduction of a daily audit to review new customers joining the program and implementing recommendations identified by PwC.

These steps will help ensure each new bundled customer is accurately billed.

So if you’re a current or former Rogers customer in the bundles program, find out if you qualify for credits and make sure you get them.

And if you’re unhappy with the process, contact the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services.

I have a few questions. How long did the underbilling and overbilling go on? How did the errors get picked up? Has Rogers done enough to restore confidence in its billing?

As an affected customer who’s been in the bundles program for years, I’ll watch my bills and wonder if I can trust them again. This announcement has made me wonder.

8 comments

  1. Steve

    Jun 18 2010

    Rogers is infamous for billing errors both on the corporate and consumer sides of their business. I know this from experience. I had thought they were better on their corporate side, but they are not as I found out when we moved 150+ employees to Rogers.

    Generally, the errors they make are when they are implementing any change to your services. Everyone should look closely at their next Rogers billing following any change made to their services.

  2. Fluffeh

    Jun 19 2010

    As a Rogers employee *hiss! spit!, I know* that works at corporate HQ, I can say that there is a MASSIVE undertaking to reform the entire company and bring it up to speed. The problem with Rogers is that it’s this weird fusion of a number of different cable/internet/phone companies and outlets and the reforming into a solid entity has taken quite a bit of time. In a year or 2 when all the pieces have slotted into place it should run much better as a service provider. That’s the hope anyway lol.

  3. Bob the Builder

    Jun 19 2010

    Bell Mobility should face the same kind of scrutiny. The number of billing errors pertaining to long distance and FAB FIVE usage are numerous. And guess what? Bell generally only credits the usage when the client spots the error and calls into customer service for the adjustment. If the client doesn’t spot the error and simply pays the bill in full, well, guess who profits?

  4. NotMyRealName

    Jun 19 2010

    Note some things about that http://rogers.com/BCBupdate page:
    1) they don’t say what percentage of BCB accounts were affected, just what %’age of total cx’s
    2) They don’t say when the problem started
    3) They don’t say how many millions of incorrect bills were sent out
    4) They won’t say exactly what the problem was
    5) They don’t tell a customer how to calculate the correct amounts for themselves because when asked on that very page of your own, Rogers says:
    ====
    How will I know if I’ve been affected?

    If your account has been affected, you will receive a notification letter by mid-July.
    ====

    So let me get this straight, Rogers…

    Your company can’t do simple math the first time, you admit it and tell me you’ll fix it and hope that I’ll trust that you can get the math right /this/ time?

    Ever heard of:
    Fool me once, shame on you.
    Fool me twice, shame on me.

    ???

  5. scammed

    Jun 28 2010

    They promised a discount that they no longer wish to offer. Administrative errors, my ass!

  6. Andy

    Jun 28 2010

    The commissioner for complaints is no panacea — I’ve tried to go through them after Rogers withdrew telephone service over telephone lines in my area and then made switching to another provider very difficult.

    Lodging a complaint is quite onerous in terms of documentation. Responses are slow and resolutions are vague.

    Little wonder, since the commission is an industry “self-regulating” agency.

    Given the fact that Rogers has a joint venture with Bell (Inukshuk, which recently bought out Look), and there are numerous other formal and informal partnerships between the big players, one has to wonder about just how cozy the club is.

  7. Captain.Sassy

    Jul 3 2010

    Hey Fluffeh:

    The problem with Rogers is not that it’s some ‘weird fusion’ of telecoms companies (which exists all over the world). The problem with Rogers and Bell is that they operate as a duopoly that take any opportunity to screw their clients, who have no real alternative.

    The LPIF is a crock- I’ve read the CRTC policy and Rogers is STILL LYING ABOUT IT. The rate increases to pay for ‘improved service’ are similarly a lie. Nobody I know has seen any difference in their service following this unilateral increase on Rogers’ behalf.

    Canadian telecoms companies are FLUSH with profits, yet continue to cut wages and raise rates.

    Your day is coming, mark my words.

  8. MC

    Jan 3 2012

    I just had this occur this year! Apparently the consulting company didn’t do a good job.

    I contacted Rogers at the mid-end of November 2011 and they’ve still not corrected the problem.