posted at 3:52 pm
on Dec. 20, 2004
80% Self Referential Post
Appropriate Holiday Feelings
posted at 3:52 pm
So, for the second month in a row, Rogers Wireless has overcharged me on my cell phone bill. Does this make them devil spawn? No. They could be pawns, I suppose, and not actual progeny.
Last month, the overcharge was $17.10.
This month, it was $56.10.
I’m taking bets on next month.
Do you want the details? You do? What luck: I feel like venting today.
So, as you know, I had to switch my cell phone number because of multiple Rogers misleading statements and errors in September and October.
Well, they switched my phone number in November, about 6 days before my new billing period started.
I originally had a plan that gave me 500 minutes a month for one rate. It’s called, in a fit of marketing genius, “Canadian One Rate.”
Last month, I used 459 minutes. Good planning, eh? You’d think.
But still, they charged me for some of the calls I made. Why? Because, in the switch from one phone number to another, they said I had to have my minutes pro-rated for each part of the month. And I used more than 6/30th of my 500 minutes in the beginning of the month.
Ah ha, you say, well, that’s irritating that they didn’t tell you, and sneaky that they do that, but it seems there’s nothing you can do about that.
I thought that too, until I looked a little more closely and did some math. 6/30th is 1/5th is 100 minutes. But I only used 84 minutes. In fact, I saw they’d actually started billing me after 2/30th of my allowance. In other words, they either took advantage of the “confusion” over my switching phone plans to squeeze some extra coin out of me, or their billing system incorrectly pro-rates plans automatically. It’s like those embezzling schemes where they round fractions of a penny up instead of down or vice versa.
If you ever switch your plan in the middle of a billing period with Rogers—and of course, they encourage you to switch plans now, and naturally, almost all plan switches occur in the middle of a billing period—they may use this pro-rating cover to overcharge you. On my call, they blamed it on computer error, and if “computer error” happened to me, it is probably happening to other people as well.
(You’ll notice I put aside the issue of whether, when they switched me from one number to another, but kept the exact same plan, I should still have to deal with pro-rated minutes for each portion of the month. You might want to be wary of that, too!)
Well, ultimately (I was firm and insistent) they credited me for all the minutes I’d used that month, and I thought my long cell phone nightmare was over. Ha. Ha ha.
December. The cell bill arrives again, and this time, every single call I made was billed at $0.30 / minute. In the immortal words of John Stewart: Waa-aah?
Turns out that, even though the December bill had a big charge for the Canadian One Rate 500 plan, whoever had set up my account most recently had forgotten to assign me 500 minutes free at the same time. That’s interesting: they can assign a plan to my account that charges me, without also assigning me the minutes that plan pays for.
Again, that’s the sort of “computer error” (or more specifically, operator input verification failure) that would be to their advantage NOT to fix, eh?
Eventually, they said they’d waive those charges, too. That’s another 25 minutes I’ll never get back. I wish I could bill them for my troubleshooting time.
And, just because I’m venting—ooooo! they make me mad!—I’m also going to tell you that the initial excuse this time from the customer service operator was to tell me that (because coincidentally the first call I was charged for was to Pasadena, USA) the Canadian One Rate plan doesn’t cover any calls to the United States.
That’s completely false, and again, is either a lie or poor training of the customer service staff, and in either case, the first response of your customer service staff shouldn’t be to tell the person calling that they’re mistaken.
Rogers Wireless recently purchased Fido, which several friends told me had fairly decently priced plans and straightforward customer service. Let’s hope optimistically that the good service will win out over the bad. Hey, did you hear that cackle?.... Rogers is the devil.
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