I called Rogers back today with what I thought were reasonable requests.
1. I am paying for a cell phone and I would like a cell phone I can use. I would like either the courtesy cell phone they insist is available as part of their handset protection plan or my own cell phone.
2. I only want a cell phone for two reasons. One is to use as a phone (that should be obvious) and two is to have it as a back up camera just in case something memorable happens when I don't have my real camera with me. I'm an avid scrapbooker and photography is very important to me. I would prefer the phone I chose originally, the Samsung Corby Pro, but if they have another cell phone with a decent camera I would be willing to accept that one instead.
3. I wanted an explanation on why I have to wait two weeks before I can pay $19.99 for the phone, instead of the $249 available at our local store (it says $279 online). Why can't they waive that two weeks?
First customer service representative on the phone was Bob. He was friendly and willing to try and help out. Unfortunately for Bob, he works on front line and didn't have any suggestions other than going through the list of phones they have currently available for people who had the misfortune of having their phone lost or stolen within the first 6 months of upgrading. The best he had to offer was the Samsung Gravity, which has a 1.3MP camera. Sorry, but if I'm going to be stuck with a phone for three years I want a phone that works for me. I don't want to pay $19.99 for a refurbished phone that does not suit my needs. Especially when I can pay the same price in two more weeks for my original phone. Speaking of which, why do I have to wait those two weeks?
Bob couldn't answer that and transferred me to Stacy in the customer service department. Stacy should have moved onto another job at least a year ago. She was cynical and hard-nosed and got onto the phone with the attitude that I was wasting her time and out to rip off her company. She didn't have anything to do with courtesy phones and she didn't know why I was bothering her about them. That was up to the stores. She didn't particularly care it was part of the plan her company offered. There was no way she could waive that two weeks, the charge for the phone would be automatic. She wouldn't be able to credit my account for the charge either. Besides, why should Rogers have to credit my account? She knew that I could have a phone in 5 days if I wanted. It didn't matter to her that the phones they were offering didn't suit my needs. That was when I barked "I want to speak to your manager NOW!"
Next on the line was Chris, ostensibly her manager, although chances are he was her supervisor. No one ever speaks to a real manager in a call centre. I reiterated my concerns yet again. By this time I'd been on the phone for an hour. Chris explained that they only offer the upgrade I'm getting (which is available to all new customers by the way) to people in their last two years of a contract. Again that "get them upgraded and onto a new contract before they quit" philosophy. So getting a new phone 6 months into a contract was really bending things for me. And there was no way they were going to budge with the two weeks.
I explained that my biggest issue was I currently don't have a phone. It's funny, I went without a cell phone for years but they're incredibly handy. I really could have used one yesterday. I got off the bus at the mall, leaving my son on the bus with plans of meeting his Dad at a bus stop farther down the road. Son was supposed to call his Dad as he passed the mall. This was to give his Dad time to get to the bus stop. As I was getting off the bus and the doors were closing, son informed me that his Dad wasn't answering his phone. And there I stood as the bus pulled away, with the dawning realization I had no cell phone. Son couldn't call me if he couldn't find his Dad and son had only ever been there once. That was when I went to the Rogers store in the mall and asked for a courtesy phone as my phone was lost. They didn't have one but, confronted by a ticked off and panicked Mom, were willing to let me use their store phone to contact my son. Who was luckily with his Dad by then.
Chris explained that he couldn't give me a courtesy phone, they weren't available through customer service (which is directly opposite of what the lady at the store in the mall thought). But blithely assured me there were 15 Rogers Plus stores in my area and at least one of them must have a courtesy phone. He would put a note in my file telling the sales clerk that I was to get a phone and I could use that until the 14th.
I lucked out, in a sense, as the first store clerk I talked to had literally just called all the stores in the area looking for a courtesy phone and not a single phone was available. Which saved me a heck of a lot of dialing but still left me without a phone.
So I called Rogers back and got John. John was so new to Rogers that he needed to speak to his coach before getting approval. By this point all I was asking was for a credit for the time without service. John calculated this to be fourteen or fifteen dollars but, surprise, I don't qualify for even that little of a discount on my bill. The best he was able to offer me was two months unlimited texting instead. Even though I don't text anyone other than my daughter, I took it. The other option was some sort of discounted long distance. I don't call anyone long distance so that was even less of a help than the texting. Thanks Rogers, for offering me services I don't need instead of a credit that would actually prove to be handy. So, if any of my friends get a sudden urge to text me in the next two months, feel free.
And Rogers, if you're going to offer a service like the courtesy phone, make sure it's a service you honestly have available AND make sure you explain it to your staff. Because, quite frankly, at this point I seem to know more about your courtesy phone plan than a good chunk of your staff and I'm not get getting paid by you. Speaking of which Rogers dear, with the number of times you've screwed me over the past two weeks, you really should pay me something. And I sure hope this was better for you than it was for me.