So, I instead of my wife called Rogers to sort out this billing issue that we discovered, but aren’t surprised happened seeing as we’ve had billing issues every time we’ve made changes to our Rogers account. Now before I get to what happened, let me circle back to something. When this first happened and I posted it on Saturday evening, I got a response from @Chris_Rogers within 30 minutes of yours truly posting it saying the following:
As soon as I saw that, I responded with this via Twitter to both him and @RogersHelps:
As I said earlier, that was on Saturday evening. I have not received a response. I find that bizarre as @RogersHelps is supposed to be responding to Tweets between 9am-12am EST on Saturday and Sunday. I guess they figured that they don’t have to do anything since they clearly read my original article and figured that my wife was going to call in. My suggestion to them would be to not assume anything and reach out to the customer ASAP. This is doubly true in this case since a Rogers employee has already done so.
So, back to my call. After waiting on hold for 16 minutes, I got an agent who told me that the modem for our Internet access was NOT free as we’d been promised. The NextBox 3.0 however was. As you can likely appreciate, I wasn’t impressed as when we set this up, my wife and I were on a three way call with Rogers where the agent on the line clearly told us the modem was free. Now to the agent’s credit, he did offer to escalate me to a “manager” and I took him up on that offer. So after waiting another 12 minutes, I finally got a manager online. I had to explain my situation again and then he put me on hold while he went off and looked into everything. That was another 5 minutes on hold and by the end of it, here’s what I discovered:
- Rogers apparently have structured their discounts so that we would get a price of $144 a month for the first three months for all our services and then it would go up to $213 a month after that. That is taxes in and included the modem rental. My wife and I both heard that when we called in and it was documented on the account. The latter price apparently includes a $5 discount on our home phone and a $10 discount on our Internet access.
- The discount code that is on the account clearly indicates that the NextBox 3.0 will have a free rental associated with it for three years. But it is in the form of a three month discount followed by the rest after the first three months. The “manager” that I spoke to said that he will check on September 8th (which is when the 3 month discount is up) to confirm that the discount is still in place. If it isn’t, he’ll fix it and I won’t have to call him. That’s a new behavior from Rogers as I’ve always had to follow up to make sure that they keep their promises. So I’ll give them points for that. Though I will be checking my bill to make sure there are no issues.
- The modem for our Internet is not part of the deal, and thus not free. However, my wife and I clearly heard that it was. But seeing as it doesn’t increase the prices that we were quoted, it’s kind of a non-issue. Though I personally am not impressed by that. Another thing to consider is that the $10 discount offsets the $8 modem rental. Still, it would have been nice if the agent we originally spoke to had not told us that it was free.
I was given a case number (Hint: When dealing with a contact center, always ask for a case number. If they say they don’t have case numbers, they’re likely lying) and was asked if I had any other questions. I suggested to the “manager” that he listen to the original call and he would hear that the agent we spoke to promised us the modem. He said he would do so and apologized for what happened.
So, while I am not jumping for joy, this is dealt with. Mostly. So what are the takeaways from this experience?
- Rogers reached out to me when I posted the original story on this but never followed up. My suggestion is that they should have followed up. The outcome would have been similar, but I wouldn’t have had to phone them.
- Rogers to their credit did some things right from a contact center perspective. When the original agent thought that the call needed to be escalated, he offered an escalation path. Once I got to a “manager”, I was not only given a case number, but he said he’d follow up on my account to make sure nothing goes sideways. These sorts of proactive behaviors are new ones from Rogers and they’re something that I tell my clients who run contact centers that they should be doing. It shows that they are trying to be better.
- Hold times within Rogers need to be improved. This interaction took 48:23 which is way too long. Rogers needs to get their customers to agents quicker and to drastically drop the amount of time spent on hold. Now to their credit, they do have the ability to have you leave a number so that that they can phone you when an agent is free. That in theory means that you can go off and be productive while you wait for Rogers to phone you back. But I was productive anyway as I was able to work on a customer issue while waiting for a Rogers agent to pick up the phone. Thus it would give a much better perception if their call center agents were able to get to customers faster and I was on hold for less amounts of time.
- I am dubious that Rogers will go find the original call and a listen to it. But I say that they should listen to the call and follow up with my wife and I. Here’s why. As it stands, my wife and I know that we heard the agent that we spoke to say that the modem for our Internet would be free. That creates a negative perception of Rogers. What I teach my customers who run contact centers is that they should find the recorded call and listen to it. If there’s something that needs to be addressed with the agent, address it with the agent directly and clearly. Then report back to the customer and tell them what they heard and how they’re addressing it so that it never happens again. Alternately, if there’s nothing wrong from the call center perspective and the customer is wrong, tell the customer what you heard. In either case, you should also offer to let them listen to the call. In short, make sure that there’s total transparency to the process. That will put the issue to bed with the customer and change the perception that the customer has of the organization. Rogers may want to consider doing something similar.
- Rogers billing should be clearer. If their bills indicated that there were multiple discounts in play, such as saying that you’re getting this discount for three months and as of “x” date you’ll get this discount, some of this could have been avoided.
Now as I said earlier, I’ll monitor this to make sure that nothing else goes sideways. I’ll make sure to post an update as to what happens.