Friday, 29 May 2009

More Telecommunication Nightmares

It is amazing how a simple little rant about an everyday item like a cell phone can spur you people into sharing. Yesterday's post about our tete-a-tete with Bell Canada concerning our cell phone plan, brought out the stories. One poster even ranted about Emily, the automated attendant, calling the unfortunate mechanical voice a bitch. Here are a few of the anecdotes.

One friend told of his son losing his cell approximately nine months ago. After nagging the boy to replace the phone for what seemed like an eternity, my friend finally decided to end the misery and cancel the boy's place on the family plan. When he called Rogers, he was told that he would have to pay a fee of about $400.00 to terminate the number because he was canceling in the middle of a contract. When he tried to explain that the phone was gone and no longer in use, he was rebuffed and told that it was actually cheaper to keep paying for the dormant phone, rather than cancel the contract. He tried with little success to reduce the monthly charges, but all that Ted's company would give him was a $5 rebate. DUMB???

My mother called to tell me about one of her many conversations with Rogers. Mom owns an iPhone, so she certainly understands the concept of being ripped off by her cell provider. My parents will be traveling to north Africa in about a month and my mother wanted to know about texting and emailing from her iPhone in that part of the world. After her requisite time in the automated queue, she was informed by the Rogers girl that it would stupid to text. A text would cost her $.60 each time for both outgoing or incoming. "Why doesn't she just email from her phone?", the girl inquired. It would not even come close to using up her data plan. Mom hung up feeling slightly uncomfortable with the answer, so she immediately called back, waited another long period and finally spoke to yet another customer "service" person. She asked the same question and this time was greeted with, "Why would you email?" "You will get heavily dinged for the roaming!!" Two agents, a half an hour apart and two polar opposite responses. Nobody at these companies seems to understand their products and no two customers seem to have the same plans. It is almost as if they purposefully obfuscate so that customers will accept and pay. 

The Husband and I have used Yak services for our land line long distance. It has been very reliable and relatively inexpensive. For the last month, we have been getting phone calls from Yak saying that our bill was overdue. When we went online to ascertain the problem, we discovered that the bill was for $1.16. How this occurred puzzled us, but a bill is a bill and we were more than willing to pay. They refused to allow us to pay online or at the bank because it is under $5.00 and there is no mailing address available. When we called, we were on the phone for over an hour and then disconnected. Yak has now taken to calling us every hour on the hour for the last week. When I went back online, I discovered that our bill is now $0.00. It was obviously a clerical error, but that hasn't stopped the phone calls. It is like water torture! Make it stop!!! 

I know that there are more like this out there. Keep them coming and I will publish. I am so tired of being taken advantage. Let's rally the troops and start the revolution. 


  1. The Positive Thinker30 May 2009 at 08:59

    I'm dealing with the same issues. I will hopefully find out today how I can utilize my data plan and phone in Europe. I gather this won't be easy and after today, I'm going to need this vacation even more than I already do. Wish me luck!

  2. I bought a Samsung Jack from Fido because I was told that it functioned the same as a Blackberry. The short answer is "not". Because it did not function properly I would receive a bill for an extra $65.00 in data charges every month, when I never actually went on the internet with it. Every month I would get on the phone with Fido for an hour to get them to reverse the charges. Finally after six months and at least six hours of my time I cancelled the phone. They told me not to pay the current bill and wait for my final bill. A week later without a final bill I received a call from them telling me that if I don't pay my bill immediately then they would send me to collections and ruin my credit rating. I explained to them what I had been told by cancellations and they didn't care. I paid, but then the final bill arrived with a $400.00 cancellation fee which was supposed to be waived. Another two hours on the phone to sort that out.
    I bill for my work on an hourly rate so I decided that 10 hours of my time to deal with their mistakes is worthy of compensation. I sent them a bill and if I don't receive payment within 10 days I will contact their Accounts Payable and tell them that I will ruin their credit rating. I actually am pissed enough that I may take them to small claims court.

    Feel better Dawn!