Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Good and Bad of Customer Service

What a difference 12 hours and one person can make? Late one evening I came home to find my FIDO bill in the mail and was shocked to see a text message premium charge of $8.00 for something called "jamster". I had called FIDO a month earlier when the charge first appeared and was given a good will credit and instructions on how to avoid this charge in the future. Basically I was told that this company somehow got my daughters cell number and sent a spam text message to her. Apparently in the body of the message there are instructions to text back "stop" if you don't want to recieve additional messages at $8.00 each.

I was told that this was a common problem and in effect my problem, however they would give me the credit after which I instructed my daughter to text the word "stop" back to the company.

Well as you can guess, in the August invoice, there was 5 additional charges for premium text messages. This time when I called FIDO, the service rep was not as sympathetic as the agent a month before. "Too bad, but it's not our problem and you will have to pay for the charges" stated the agent. I explained that a month earlier, I followed the instructions of the FIDO rep so that it should not have happened again. After 15 minutes of trying to plead my case to no avail I asked to speak to a supervisior. I was told that they were all busy and that it would be up to 30 minutes before one would be able to speak with me. I said okay. 

After 15 minutes, the agent came back on the line to say that the supervisors did not have time to speak to me and that they would call me within 24 - 48 hours. What? How could a 30 minute wait turn into a 24 - 48 hour wait? I insisted on waiting only to be told that no one will speak to me. I then asked for the cancellation department. After 2 minutes on hold, the agent came back to tell me that the office was closed. I was told to call the next day. Fine.

10 minutes later, my daughter calls me from her sister's phone to tell me that nothing worked on her phone. No phone, no text, no message service. Nothing. Vindictive bastard.

I called the next morning. Wow it was like night and day. This rep was friendly and sympathic and as soon as I said "jamster" knew exactly why I was calling. Damn. Yep, it's one of the biggest complaints they are getting. Unsolicited premium services which they can't block.

Well needless to say, he fixed the problem. I asked how I could avoid this in the future. I suggested changing phone numbers which he immediately did at no charge Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Wow, all I wanted was the problem to go away and to NOT pay for something I did not want. Perhaps the guy at night needs to go back to "customer service" school. I was about to cancel my daughters line but instead ended up a happy customer.

So, what I don't understand is that FIDO and all these phone companies are spending millions on advertising to get us to sign up with them but would not credit $8.00 to keep a customer happy. My bill that month was $172.00. I only wanted to pay for the services I wanted. $166.00. Millions or $8.00. Go figure.

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Bell Mobility Sucks!

I just can’t believe it! These cellular companies in Canada are taking advantage of consumers. Bell Mobility and Telus want to charge for incoming text messages. 15 cents EACH!! What a rip off. You can avoid this if you sign up for a monthly text plan. This maybe okay for the young at heart who are used to texting, but what about those who don’t have a monthly text plan. Your option is to turn off text messaging all together if you don’t want to pay.

This is bulls**t. How much gouging are we going to allow these companies to get away with. Rogers and Fido are no better. It used to be that if you had a text plan, you could send text messages to anyone in North America as part of your plan. No more. They now want you to pay 25 cents per text message to people in the US even though you have a text plan. I currently pay $16 for a value pak that includes 2500 outgoing text messages. Now they want more money. Shame on you Rogers and Fido. Shame.

What is needed is a regulatory body to keep these people in check. Canadians have one of the highest cellular rates in the WORLD. And they want more. NO!

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Paris Responds to McCain Camp

I thought this was a very clever response to the John McCain ad that used Brittney Spears and Paris Hilton in an Obama bashing advertisement. You go girl. Good on you.

See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die

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You've Got to be Kidding

I can’t believe it. After half an hour on the phone with FIDO, I learned that if I am in the US and someone calls my cell and leaves a message on my voicemail, I am charged long distance and roaming charges. My understanding was that if I answered the phone, then I would be charged for the usage.

Not so says the FIDO customer service rep. If my phone is left on when I cross the border and someone calls, the US cell carriers picks up and will forward the call back to Canada and my voicemail. Thus the rationale for the long distance and roaming charges. And what are the charges? $1.75 per minute rounded to the minute. Good god.

I was also charged when I called from a landline phone back to my voicemail. This also resulted in long distance and roaming charges. I can’t believe it.

The customer service’s rep solution: turn off your phone before you hit the US. That way the US cell towers won’t know you entered their territory. Huh? Or deactivate the supposedly 3 call forwarding features that direct the calls to my voicemail. Huh?

I asked the service rep to send me the policy which states that I will be charged if a call ends up in my voicemail. He tells me to look it up on the FIDO website. Yeah, well how about mailing it to me buddy. It doesn’t matter, they can change their terms of service without notice I am advised.

Well for this time (only), they will give me a goodwill credit. However, now that I know how long distance and roaming works, then don’t call again for a credit. Thanks buddy.

All I know is that I will not lock into another 2 or 3 year contract again. We need COMPETITION in Canada NOW! These large companies are taking us for granted.

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