Rogers Home Phone Trial: Part 1 – The Install

Because of my recent negative experience with Bell Canada, Rogers offered me a one month trial of their Home Phone service. I jumped at the chance to try it out as I really wanted to see what Bell Canada’s main competition had to offer. If I was impressed, I would even consider switching. So I made arrangements to make this happen. Rogers gave me a three hour window for the install on a Saturday morning (between 8 AM and 11 AM specifically). That’s great as the last time I dealt with Bell, they gave me 9 AM – 5 PM as a window. Which meant that I had to eat a days worth of business to wait for them (of course they also didn’t show up…. But I digress). Clearly Rogers is trying to account for the fact that their customers have busy lives.

One thing that did bother my wife is the fact that when “Kenny” the Rogers tech called to confirm that we were home shortly before 10AM, “Kenny” asked what the problem was. He seemed to have no clue that we were getting a home phone install. My wife put it this way: “It’s like a doctor walking into an operating room and asking what he has to do. That doesn’t inspire confidence.” I can see how she would feel that way, and my response to that would be that Rogers techs likely have to deal with “trouble tickets” (meaning that they have to fix stuff) most of the time, which would explain his question. Having said that, you’d think that the work order that “Kenny” got would have the relevant details on it.

In any case, “Kenny” arrived about 15 minutes later. He advised us to put a new phone jack near the Rogers hardware that would give us home phone (rather than recycling the existing jacks) as he wanted to ensure that we wouldn’t have problems with the existing jacks which often are old and unreliable. That was a logical suggestion and I went for that. So he got to work and in less than 20 minutes, we had Home Phone. Now I tried dialing the new Rogers number and I discovered that I had voice mail, but I didn’t see the TV call display feature on my HDTV. Perhaps I needed to set something up? Since there were no manuals left behind, I couldn’t do what I tell customers to do which is to RTFM. Suggestion to Rogers: Give your users a manual. It would likely deflect some customer support calls and make people like me who want to solve issues on their own an avenue to do so. Oh yeah, “Kenny” forgot a splitter when he left. I’ll hang onto it and give it back to Rogers at some point. One thing I should note is that “Kenny” on his way out the door said “Thank you for choosing Rogers.” That’s new. I guess it’s a sign that Rogers is trying to be more customer focused.

In any case, I will spend the rest of the weekend trying out Home Phone. I’ll report back with what I find.

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4 Responses to “Rogers Home Phone Trial: Part 1 – The Install”

  1. Daphoid Says:

    That’s a lot better more normal then when we upgraded from Extreme to Extreme Plus internet (which required a new modem).

    The tech shows up hardware in hand and asks where I plan to put it. I show him where the old modem is and he stares at me dumbfounded and says “you must have this setup wrong, you need a computer”, “oh they’re in the other room”. So he starts heading towards the office and I stop him and say “No sir, the modem goes over here, see where the existing one is? I just need you to swap them”. The next 20 minutes are spent as he tries to get his Rogers USB internet stick to recongnize in his ancient looking laptop (any IT guy knows the USB device connect/disconnect chimes like the back of their hand). Meanwhile I unpacked the modem, connected it and everything turned on nicely.

    He asked if could go to a computer to check it. So I did, no connection, router reports 0.0.0.0 for DHCP from the modem. He stares at his laptop for a few seconds and says “oh, well give it some time, thank you good day” and just leaves.

    After my own trouble shooting i discover the DOCSIS 3.0 Modem rogers uses doesn’t have a WAN ethernet port, but rather treats the coax as WAN and the four ethernet ports as LAN connections. “Oh great it’s a router, so it’s double natting my routing, fabulous”.

    Some googling and I find the super admin password (since apparently the customer one is neutered as all hell) and a little checkbox that says “Disable all gateway functions” which essentially makes it stupid and act like a modem and nothing more.

    I reboot my router and bam it gets an IP no problem and everything is fine.

    I run some bandwidth tests to see how my new 25 Mbps down is working and……..its not, it’s peaking at 8-9 (the norm for Extreme). I give it a day figuring it takes time to switch over. Nothing.

    I call Rogers and inform the nice lady of this issue and she says “Oh, your account says you have Extreme and are renting the Extreme Plus modem….they never set your account to upgrade to Extreme Plus. Let me do that for you”. A nice 5 minute phone call.

    However, if I had been a regular user, I probably would’ve gone the whole time being billed for Extreme Plus and receiving a lower tier of service, AWESOME!

    Thanks goodness I’m a big geek :P

    Oh, remotely on topic. Are spending time with Home Phone, did you ever figure out if the ethernet jack on the hardware is active? there’s a USB one as well that I want to plug into as try :)

    – D

    • I didn’t test either one of those, so I have no clue if they’re live or not.

      • john spintackle Says:

        can you summarize for me ow involved the home phone install was? i am currently with a reseller called distrabutel who essentially resells rogers service. im wondering if the install is as seamless as plugging in a terminal to converrt the internet traffic tcpip into voice data. i woild ask the rogers csr bit past experience has taught me that is more russian roulette than actual science.

      • It was shockingly quick. He was in and out in 15 minutes. He basically plugged in a box into our cable outlet, added a RJ-11 Phone jack, tested it and was gone.

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