Tuesday, January 28, 2014

[Consumer Rant] Why I (still) don't have a smart phone.

I went into the Rogers Plus store on December 30th to open an account and get a new phone. I wanted a Blackberry for the external keyboard. The very nice gentleman, Kyle, politely recommended I consider an Android device but I said no, I want the keyboard. He said okee dokee, if that's what I want. He then tried to open my account. After spending over an hour and a half on the phone with one agent after another we find the reason I can't get an account without a $200 deposit is because I owe $34 to Fido. If I'd been smart I'd have phoned Fido and paid them by credit card then and there. Instead, I decided I needed to investigate.

I tried the Fido store in the local mall, but their entire purpose, like the useless Rogers Kiosk, is to sell phones. They're representatives, they're not even corporate. So I phone. Basically, it boiled down to my LG Neon died so I ended my contract early. When the contract end date game up, there was an additional charge and that notification went to the address on file. That address, at that point, was a burnt husk of a trailer. My forwarding was no longer in effect, so who knows where that notification ended up. I never received it. Fine, whatever, I paid it to Fido. It was a legitimate charge and a miscommunication.

I go BACK to the Rogers Plus store, I deal with Ashley this time, another very nice Rogers corporate employee. I let them know it's been sorted out with Fido and give them the confirmation number. Poor Ashley still has to jump through half a dozen hoops, talk on the phone, deal with hold times, but after an hour, I have a lovely Blackberry and off I go.

I use it for three days and I hate it. If Blackberry went Android, they wouldn't go bankrupt. The OS is not intuitive, the apps are second rate and cost more than they would on Android, and basically, it's slow and lacking. I loved the keyboard however. So, with the buyer's remorse clause in hand, back I go to the Rogers Plus store in Abbotsford. I tell Amber that Ashley and Kyle were right, I was wrong, and can I please switch for a different phone. I decided on a Sony Xperia SP and with a lot less paperwork and hassle than the last two times.

I get home and I find the top band of the phone's touch screen isn't working. I try several different online suggestions on how to fix it, but no, nothing is working. Guess what? Yup, back to Rogers Plus I go. I show the phone to Amber, and the problem. She and her co-worker (whose name I didn't get, but he has excellent taste in music!) try several things but agree it's broken. Problem is, that was her last Sony. I either have to go up to a pricer per month phone plan or I have to get a Blackberry because that's all they have left of their "price picks."

Now, I already think that $45/mo is a stupid price. $55 or more? No, thank you.  Not only do I think it's ridiculous, it's out of my budget. Amber suggests I phone Rogers directly and order from them since she can't control inventory. I agree to that, thank her for her patience and help and to pass on my thanks to the rest of the staff.

It is now January 9th. I've been trying to get a phone for ten days now.  I order the phone via the website, we get everything sorted out by a couple of phone calls and I supposedly have an account and a phone coming my way.

By January 28th, I'm wondering where my phone is. I realize it can take up to 10 business days to ship and arrive but I've received NO WORD at all. So, having had enough, I try the online support and get a nice person telling me I have to phone a certain department. Okay, so I phone that department and get another nice person (I'll say this for Rogers, they hire good people for their customer service!) who sorts through the mess and says my account is still flagged as 'tentative.' For whatever reason, the account got bounced back to the boss of the lady I started my account with and he never did anything. He'd have gotten notifications and emails and he just sat on it.

And that folks, is when I ran out of patience. I'd been trying to get a phone for nearly a month. I'd spent almost three hours in driving. I'd spent four hours with Rogers Customer Service in one shape or another. I'd waited, I'd phoned, I'd written, I'd driven, I'd done a ridiculous amount of everything to try and get an account and phone with Rogers. I'd run out of enthusiasm.. especially when the agent I was on the phone with said there's nothing she can do, that guy, who ever he is, has to do his thing, she can't do it for him.  It shouldn't be this hard to get a phone and an account.

But, I'm rather impressed, they actually made Telus look good.

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