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.
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.
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.