August 2009

Monthly Archive

I hate UPS a little less and Rogers Wireless a little more

Posted by Office-Bob on 14 Aug 2009 | Tagged as: General Craziness

I’ve been a Rogers Wireless customer since 1997. How do I know this? Rogers told me. Remember this, because it will become important later in this story…

I bought the Apple iPhone 3G when it came out last year; it was an upgrade from my old Motorola V360 flip phone because, while I liked the V360, it didn’t have a lot of the calendar and contact integration that the iPhone offered.

Okay, I’ll admit the iPhone’s audio and video capabilities played a big part in my decision too.

When the iPhone 3G S was announced, I decided to see what my upgrade options were. I wasn’t too sanguine about my chances because:

  • I was only one year into a 3-year contract (yes, up here in Canada it’s not a 2-year contract but 3 years) and I wasn’t about to pay the full, unsubsidized price for a new phone no matter how badly I wanted it.
  • Even if I were eligible for an upgrade discount, I’d want to find someone to buy my “old” iPhone.
  • It took Rogers a while to update their website with the upgrade information. Once they’d done so I checked and saw that I was eligible for the discounted price…but since I’m a big fan of instant gratification I went to the dealer I’d bought my original iPhone from to see if I could pick one up right away.

    According to their computer, I wasn’t eligible for the upgrade discount.

    They offered to call Rogers to confirm but since this was the day after the Canadian launch of the 3G S, the wait time for customer service calls was about an hour. Since it was obvious I wasn’t going to be getting my hands on a new phone that day I decided to go home and place the order on the Rogers website so I could be “certain” to get the discount.

    Time passes, about 10 days elapse. I haven’t heard anything – Yes, No, or Fuck Off – from Rogers, so I decided to call and ask the status of my order.

    The response boiled down to 2 words… “What order?”

    I thought the order might have been pulled because Rogers had screwed up the info on their site and I wasn’t eligible for the upgrade price, so I was pleased when the customer service rep confirmed that I was indeed eligible for the lower price and she would be happy to place a new order for me. I hung up the phone a happy bunny.

    At this point, the iPhone’s popularity became a problem as demand had outstripped supply. Since I was busy with Canada Day and Celebration of Light I didn’t have the time or inclination to stress over shipping delays, so life went on and all was right with the world.

    The last week of Celebration of Light, I received a voicemail from Rogers telling me that my new iPhone should be shipped within the week and that if I went into Rogers’ site and updated my account info with an email address, they’d let me know the UPS tracking info when it was available. I updated my info and then waited for the email…but instead of receiving an email, I came home one day to find a UPS doorknocker for a delivery attempt.

    By this time I was off the fireworks barges and back at my desk job, so I went onto the UPS site and requested a shipping redirect so my work location. I did this in the evening and I expected it might take a day or two to be processed, so I wasn’t surprised when I came home the next day to find a second doorknocker.

    I called UPS to confirm that the redirect was in place, only to be told that Rogers doesn’t allow redirects because someone has to sign for their shipments…I chose not to engage in a philosophical discussion about how a redirect doesn’t automatically mean that the package can’t be signed for, and instead asked if they could just hold it for me to pick up.

    That, they could do.

    In Delta.

    Pickup hours 2-8 PM, Monday through Friday.


    I started planning how to get from downtown Vancouver to Delta after work the following day but I was interrupted by someone ringing my doorbell. I went downstairs to see who it was and lo and behold, it was the UPS driver; he’d had to make another delivery in the area and was nice enough to come back and try my house again. I signed for the package and happily started setting up my new iPhone, then did a wipe and restore on the old one (I’d already found a friend who was willing to buy it from me). I’ve got my reasons to dislike UPS, mainly for their obscene cross-border clearing charges, but I have to admit they did good this time.

    Time marches on, and a week passes.

    I get a phone call from Rogers. Remember 1997? Here’s where it becomes relevant.

    The rep calling me was new and/or not very good at reading from a script, because he’d obviously been instructed to call customers who’d recently bought new phones and review their plans and coverage. While he knew I’d been a Rogers customer since ’97, he obviously wasn’t aware that I’d been using an iPhone for the past year and that the voice/data plan I had was perfectly fine with the new iPhone. I hope this wasn’t intended as an attempt to try and upsell me, because if this guy has to make a living from commission he’s going to starve.

    He also asked if I needed any help using my new phone, so I reminded him that this was just a new version of the same phone I’d had for a year and that I was fairly proficient at making calls and listening to my voicemail. I decided to refrain from asking him for tips on playing Wolfenstein 3D because I was worried it’d break his brain if I forced him to go off-script.

    While discussing my data plan he mentioned something called Mobile Backup, where your contact lists would automatically be backed up online. I sync my phone with my computer so this wasn’t a big deal, but since it was included in my plan I thought I’d take a look at it. The rep told me that if I went to the Rogers Mobile website I could register there…pity that not only did he give me the wrong URL (after putting me on hold to get the info from someone else) but the feature doesn’t support iPhones. Oh well, no serious loss there, other than to Rogers’ credibility.

    Another point against Rogers is that according to the rep I didn’t have an email address on file, which would explain why I never got a shipping notification even though I’d added my email address to my account profile. If you’re keeping track, the score is now:

    UPS +1

    Rogers -3

    Rogers can tell how long I’ve been with them but can’t tell when a hardware upgrade is for a model with the same basic phone features, or when an offered feature doesn’t work with a particular phone (something that I was able to figure out by finding the right web page myself and reading the information contained there)? The mind boggles.

    It’s a good thing I’m happy with my cellphone service because, if this round of customer “service” is any indication, actually trying to report and resolve a problem would likely result in serious stress and much screaming.

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