I seldom get ‘white hot’ angry when dealing with vendors but this week was an exception.  Dealing with major service providers is always a challenge and telecommunications seems to be worse than most. I can’t remember having a problem with my electricity or natural gas company. My phone provider (VOIP) can be annoying but I haven’t had to deal with them much. Cable TV is way too expensive but I still pay for it, so that is more my fault than theirs. Then we get to cell phone providers.

I’ve had to deal with all of them. I started as a Cantel (now Rogers) customer in 1991 with the slimmer version of a Motorola Brick. It was pure geek envy with vary little justification for the cost. Over the years I’ve bounced between Rogers, TELUS, and Bell including stops at Clearnet and Fido. But now we are in the world of mobile data – and I’m an addict.

In an attempt to reduce my cost I got a MiFi, hoping to wrap all my family’s mobile use into one service. The device is great. No matter how great a device, you need to deal with a carrier and if they can’t take care of things it really doesn’t matter – I vote with my feet and my dollars.

It always starts simply, the MiFi was recalled and I needed to send it in. They provided a temporary USB stick, which didn’t do me much good for connecting iPhones and iPod Touches. I lost use of it for two weekend trip. Oh-well. Stuff happens.

Shortly after I got my MiFi back I was checking my online account to see the usage and some additional phone numbers had been attached to my account. I thought it might be related to the swap and the temporary device. The email on the account had also been changed which is a major red flag on any internet transaction.

  • I contacted vendor on initial problem, advised it would be rectified and I would not be billed.
  • Bill arrived 10 days later, charges were on bill, contacted vendor multiple times including security department, advised this would be credited and not appear on my credit card.
  • Credit card was billed, contacted the vendor again multiple times. They advised a credit against the card would be processed.
  • Waited 2 weeks to see the credit, called again, they advised the credit was never put through and I would need to wait another 2 weeks.
  • Contacted them when credit card bill was due, advised it was still going through audit, there was nothing they could do, I would need to wait at least another week.

I contacted them to complain about the whole process, advised this was unacceptable, got this:

Thank you for your recent email.

My name is XXXX (Emp# XXXXXX) and I am pleased to assist you.

Upon full review of your email, I regret that our services may not meet
your needs or that some of our policies may not address your concerns to
your satisfaction.  I thank you for providing us with your opinion on
this matter. Although you will not be contacted by a representative,
rest assured that a copy of your message has been sent to our
administrators.

I’ve contacted Bell’s management, they don’t have an executive complaint form (like Rogers Does) so I had to use a general email address.

I’ve also attempted to registered a complaint with the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) as the CRTC site advises but got this:

Your complaint does not fall within our mandate for the following reason(s):

  • We cannot take action on a complaint that is currently before or has been the subject of a previous determination by another agency, court or tribunal that has the authority to compensate a customer for losses claimed arising from the occurrence at issue.

We will be unable to proceed with your complaint. However, we strongly encourage you to provide us with additional details relating to your complaint as we provide aggregated reports and statistical information to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to assist them in identifiying areas of concern to consumers.

I have disputed the charges with my Credit Card company when my bill arrived, which I really should have done as soon as the charge went on my card.

Needless to say I called and cancelled the service. Only you can’t cancel it right away. I will be charged for the most recent bill plus another week. As they need 30 days notice to cancel my service. I’m dumbfounded.

3 thoughts on “When Vendors Attack

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