Crucial Service – An Example for Others to Follow

Crucial, the consumer brand of Micron Technology has some of the best customer service I’ve ever dealt with. I recently purchased a couple sticks of Rendition memory (the value brand of Crucial) to run in dual channel. After some random crashes and a subsequent MemTest86 run that indicated one of the sticks was defective, I contacted Crucial support to set up an RMA.

I called in on a Saturday afternoon and got a hold of Elaine, a support representative. After explaining to her the problem, she (easily) concluded that I would need to exchange the RAM. I had purchased the two sticks of DDR2 as separate items but was running them in dual channel; after consulting with a tech, she told me I’d have to return both of them and she would have a set, tested in dual-channel mode, sent back to me. Normal exchange procedures would require that I ship the modules to them first, and when they receive them, they’d ship out replacements. I explained to her that it was the only computer available and that not having memory for potentially several weeks would be difficult.

She explained that the Rendition brand is typically not available for cross-shipment and that purchases not made from directly are usually not cross-shipped. However, she told me she would speak with her supervisor to see if an exception could be made, given the circumstances. I did not make any additional effort to push her for a cross-shipment. She asked me for the information required for the replacement and told me she would call me back if a cross-shipment was possible. I gave her my cell phone number, not expecting to get a call for a while.

I don’t normally carry my cell phone around with me when I’m at home and I leave the phone on vibrate, so little did I know, about three minutes after hanging up, she called me back; my call logs indicated that. I quickly re-dialed the number, hoping to get in contact with Elaine, but to no avail. I guess the service representative phone lines are not allowed direct incoming calls. I lost hope that I would be able to get the cross-shipment I was hoping for.

But not 5 minutes later, a call came in on the home phone line. I answered not expecting anyone in particular, but lo-and-behold, the caller introduced herself as Elaine from Crucial! I didn’t even question how she got the number (now that I think about it, I presume she looked up my address and the corresponding telephone number) but I doubt most customer service reps would even bother calling back the original phone number, much less actually think about how else to get a hold of me.

The replacement memory was shipped out Tuesday night and it arrived here earlier this afternoon (as in less than 1 day shipping from Utah to Ontario). Just phenomenal.

Rogers Service Sucks in General

It runs in the family – poor service that is. Rogers’ online service system is complete balls and I’m sorry to say, their customer service is even worse. Case in point, my recent contact with them regarding a equipment return left me wanting to scream. And I normally don’t get too excited.

How It All Started

I had a cable internet modem from Rogers for the study semester in Waterloo. At the end of the semester, I had to return the modem to one of the authorized internet centers. By the time I had finished packing and moving things the last day I was at Waterloo, the service center was closed. Unfortunately, there are no Rogers internet centers where I live permanently. Rogers and Cogeco have some sort of cable deal so Rogers doesn’t compete in this area. Since I found almost no information about how or where I could return this cable modem on the Rogers website, I decided to call customer service.

Going through the automated menu system wasn’t too bad and was eventually forwarded to the accounts department. After telling them of my situation, I needed to be forwarded to the equipment returns department. Expecting the cheesy music that most often accompanies the hold time, I was surprised to be greeted by an automated message that went along the lines of ‘the number you tried to access is not in service‘. Hrmm, it’s one thing to dial a wrong number, but to forward someone to a non-existent line?… Perhaps I should have thought something about kharma or what have you – obviously my luck wasn’t too great. Nevertheless, I called again.

Equipment Returns

Since I knew the department I wanted to go to this time (equipment returns), I said that at the menu and was immediately sent there. Of course, the automated system requires me to say or input my phone number, which seems a little useless in retrospect, as the first thing the customer service agent asks for is my phone number (again). I had to repeat my phone number 4 or 5 times. After each repeat, she would say back an absolutely random string of numbers (and my English is flawless so that wasn’t the problem). I can excuse being off by a number or two, but when the entire string of 10 numbers seems to have been read off a random number generator, I wasn’t sure what to think. She excused herself and indicated that she was ill and therefore couldn’t hear too well. Finally, the agent seemed to get my number and went to check up on my account. At this point, she was able to pull up a big fat zero. She insisted that my account didn’t exist. One last time, I repeated my phone number. Poof. My account exists. Whaddya know?

The entire call was shaping up to be a disaster, but I hadn’t even seen the tip of the iceberg. So I started off by explaining that I was in an area that did not have Rogers internet centers and that I wasn’t able to reach the one in Kitchener/Waterloo in time. I asked her for my options. She put me on hold to go check. After about a minute, she comes back and tells me that I can either ship it or get a friend to return the modem for me. Since I didn’t know of anyone going out to Waterloo anytime soon (at least before the due date for the modem) I asked about shipping it. She starts telling me an address, then stops and says, ‘oh, I’m sorry, you can’t ship the modem’. Okay… so I inquire about the nearest internet service center. If I had to drive an hour to return it, so be it. I didn’t really have any other option at that point.

I gave the lady my postal code and requested she look for a Rogers internet center nearby. Unfortunately, she told me, there are none in your area. No duh, that’s why I called. She insisted that I return it to the one in Kitchener (which is at least an hour and a half’s drive). Then I had a stroke of brilliance. I was going to the Toronto in the following days to take a flight to Montreal. There was definitely Rogers internet in Toronto/Mississauga. I asked for a location in Mississauga. I thought I was getting somewhere. After putting me on hold again, she managed to find a few places, such as Square One. To make sure I would be able to get there during store hours, I asked when they were open.

I Cannot Find Any Locations…

She stuttered a bit, muttered some more and couldn’t find the store details. I asked her if there was actually a Rogers internet center at Square One, at which point she started rhyming off store names. I’m going to switch to conversation mode here as I believe it will be much more effective at portraying my frustration at this point. Some things here will be paraphrased, but you’ll get the gist of it.

Me: So you can’t find the store hours?
Agent: Ummmm, sorry, I can’t seem to find anything for the store.
Me: Is there a Rogers store in Square One?
Agent: I… there are so many stores… *muttering* wireless, HMV, Sony…
Me: Oh, I can return it at the Sony Store? *sounding bewildered*
Agent: Hhhhmppphhhh…. Sony… I’m looking.
Me: Wait, so is there a Rogers internet center there?
Agent: No, no, you cannot return it at the Sony Store.
Me: Alright, so is there a Rogers store there?
Agent: Here, I’ll give you the phone number.
Me: Okay, so this is for the Rogers store in Square One?
Agent: No, it’s the Sony Store phone number.
Me: Uh, why are you giving me the Sony Store number?
Agent: So you can call them and find out if there is a Rogers internet center there.
Me: Why would I call the Sony Store to find that out? I called you to find out where I could return my modem.
Agent: Well, then I am sorry. I cannot find any locations you can return the modem.
Me: I called customer service, specifically the equipment returns department so I expected you to be able to help me. You know what, please let me speak with your supervisor. You obviously aren’t able to help me.

By the end of that conversation, I felt more frustrated and angry than I have in a long time. I don’t freak out the instant a customer service call isn’t going absolutely smoothly. I mean I felt I was being very patient for most of the call. It was only towards the end when I became absolutely shocked by the incompetence of this employee. In fact, there was only a Rogers Wireless store with no internet center in Square One. Good thing I didn’t go there.

Wrap Up

Long story short, I had a terrible customer service experience (once more) with Rogers. I accept that there will always be service calls that don’t go well, but this was a little over the top. At no point did she even offer to hand me off to someone who could better assist me. Then again, she’s probably getting paid by the hour. I spent the first 25 minutes of the call being pleasant and the last two exasperated. What should have taken possibly 5 minutes for any competent employee ended costing me both much more time and brain cells. Strike two Rogers, strike two.

Rogers’ Online Service System Sucks

Rogers’ online customer service system sucks royally. It is the epitome of poor service. Perhaps you thought that could only happen over the phone or in person, but Rogers manages to give you that same terrible service through their online system. It’s really atrocious and paints a terrible corporate image when a paying customer has to go through the frustrating process of accessing the online customer service system. Let’s take my example: I’m trying to pay a bill. Let’s take a look at the steps you need to go through and the things that go wrong along the way.
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