Changing Suppliers: A Lesson in Poor Customer Service
Okay, it’s not a normal Monday morning and while I’ve slept on my frustration, I can tell you that I am totally pissed off at two of the countries leading telecommunications companies – Rogers and Primus.
But let me explain – calmly. Rationally. In moderated tones rather than the screaming that I’ve had to resort to to try to get somone to fulfill a change made to my accounts with both of these huge firms. Wait…let me count to 10 again…as I’m getting upset just reading my logs on these changes.
Uh…logs? Yes, if it’s one thing that I’ve learned it’s that when you wish to make a change to a service provided by any supplier – Rogers and Primus in this case – that it is a “carved in stone” need to document the requested changes and the reference numbers supplied by the cust service rep that you talk to….so that when something is wrong you have a reference point to get the latest cust service rep to refer to….sigh….
So, I wanted to make changes to my 3 cell phone accounts with Rogers. I called and spoke to someone (after wading thru one of the stupidest call answering serivces I’ve ever had the misfortune to have to use) and this was on Thursday April 19th at 9:30 am EDT….and I called to cancel my service with Rogers. I intended to move over to the WIND network at $25 per month for our 3 lines to total $75 monthly before tax and get my monthly Rogers bill down from $140 a month which would simply save me money. After trying to cancel my service with 2 operators, I was finally moved to a dept that I can only think might be called the Rogers “save the customer” dept. and after once again explaining I wanted to cancel the nice lady there made me an offer I couldn’t refuse – she would match the WIND deal for me and maintain all the current services and addons that I had already. No extra $. No canx fees. Sounds like a winner I thought and so I said yes, sign me up…which she “said” she did…but I knew to ask for a ref # which I did get, an “I” number of 9 digits.
And 5 minutes later, my spouse calls me and says “hey, our BBM messaging ain’t working” so I had to call back, wade thru more call answering stupidity, and finally get tech support that said “gee, sorry, you need a Blackberry to use BBM.” Have one, I replied, and you’ve been managing same for years. “Oh sorry, yeah I can turn that back on for you” meant to me at least for both our Blackberry phones (our third line is my son who has an iPhone). He gave me another “I” ref number…and I thought we were done.
I wont bother here with the further 8 calls back to cust service and tech support, as Rogers constantly kept “losing” our BBM service, then our emails, then our BBM messaging again, then our internet browsing abilities. I have on my logs now 9 “I” reference numbers. I have also lost any respect I might have had for Rogers and their ability to “manage” my account with them. One thing I do know is that in October of this year, when my 3 year contract is up I will move to WIND then. No ifs ands or buts or other offers will deter my feelings of disgust with the way that my changes were handled over the past 5 days. And from what I see when I go to google and try a search on “rogers bad customer service” it’s not at all surprising that there are more than 2 million hits there….and a quick read of any of same shows what I now know to be true….which is that Rogers is not for me.
Now to Primus….and this is just about the same thing once again…and yes, I did know that when I began these changes to my telecom suppliers that I “might” face some issues, I had no idea that they would be so rife with incomptancy and ineptitude….and NO, Primus does not offer up any type of ref number to use as a reference point for past communications…..sigh….
Primus is the supplier that I use for my VOiP business line and I thought that yes, I’d need a new one added to my service. So once again I called in, waded thru poor call answering stupidity, and then got someone who quite nicely had my account on her screen. I made my request for a new line, and as I’m a geek at heart, I know how to setup same and I was told all those changes were done right then and there. No waiting. You now have a second line – well, soon as you “okay” the 911 authorization…and the rep conference called me into her software to make some entries…then I had to listen and validate same. Didnt’ work. She hung up and tried 3 more times, then said “um….okay, I’ll look after this, as I guess our software is wonky” and I was told I’d have my second line within a day. That too was Thursday just passed and I waited till Saturday to phone back as you guessed it, the second line was still not activated. Called in again, call answering stupidity again, got another rep who said “huh? you have no second line, Mr. Rudnick….”
…Sigh…once more the exact same transaction took place – lost that previously issued phone # – had to get a new one – and then the 911 routine again and yes, once more the Primus software did not work. Not even a little. “Sorry, the rep said, can’t do anything for you then….” and would not consider just placing a X in the box that said that yes, I understand how 911 works and as I already have a working Primus line I should know how it works….sigh….but could I please start a tech support ticket. Which I did. And I got an answer almost immediately that said “thanks” for starting a ticket. No more, of course…but then it was Saturday afternoon…
Sunday. No new Primus phone # was enabled, so once again make that call and wade thru all that call answer stupidity…and once again got a rep. But this time as I was totally pissed and upset with both Rogers and Primus – I demanded that they escalate the call to tier 2 service, which they seemed to be unable to do, as I got a brand new cust service rep who said “yes, can I help you?” and no knowledge of all the preceeding communcations as they lack any reference number system. However, this rep was more than ready to admit that their 911 service sucked. That yes, she knew that. And she would just do a “work around” and I wouldn’t be bothered by this. I guess she must have done just that…as the new line came online about 6 hours later and that made me happy.
Course, both of these firms don’t care. They provide the MVCS (minimum viable customer service) levels that they can get away with.
They do not care a whit about trying to improve their customer service and as a result, there are millions of google hits for them. Too bad, really….but I do hope that others in the telecom channel listen and learn…the space does need a “Southwest Airlines” or “Apple” in same to provide both leadership and service….you provide that and I’ll be a customer for life!Google