Open Letter to Fido and Rogers

My wife and I have recently been forced to cancel our cell phone accounts with Rogers and we will never be returning to either Fido or Rogers for any service in the future. Over the past 5 years we have spent over $12,000 for our cell phone and data services and it is likely that we would be spending more than that amount in the next 5 years. I also have a growing business that will be requiring cell and data services in the coming years. Rogers and Fido will be receiving none of this business.

Why We Are Cancelling Our Service

In September 2009 my wife and I were both using Fido for our Cell services. She was a little over 1 year into a 3 year contract and I was not under a contract. I was looking to upgrade to a smart phone so that I could receive email on my phone so I went into the local Wireless Wave to learn about my options. The salesman informed me that he could save us money by switching to Rogers from Fido. He told me that because Fido was owned by Rogers, they had a migration program that meant that we wouldn’t have to pay a full penalty breaking my wife’s Fido contract. The penalty, he said, would be only $100.

Based on these numbers, I decided to switch to Rogers per the salesman’s advice. Unfortunately, the final Fido bill went to my wife and it was set up for automatic payment on her credit card. On this final bill the cancellation fee charged to her was $500. That is $400 more than the promised price. She thought this was high but she wasn’t aware of what the sales man had told me (about the $100 fee) so we didn’t pursue it.

Fast forward to January 2011.

My wife mentions how expensive switching from Fido to Rogers was and I am shocked to find out that we had been charged $500. I was certain that it was supposed to have been $100. There must be a mistake.

After phoning Fido customer service they verified that we had been charged $500 for cancellation and no refund was ever made. They also confirmed that they do have a migration program and that she should have qualified for the $100 cancellation fee.

However …

Since the mistake was made more than 90 days ago, they were not willing to correct the mistake in any way. I spoke with 4 separate people at Fido. They all gave me the same line. They suggested that since we no longer had an account with them, there was nothing they could do and that we should check with Rogers to see if they would help us out – since we were still customers of Rogers.

Unfortunately Rogers follows the same play book as Fido. I spoke with 3 people at Rogers customer service. They all quoted me the same thing: Any billing mistakes are assumed to be accepted by the client if they don’t object within 90 days.

Fair enough. We could have showed more diligence in monitoring our bills. We failed in this respect. However, we are still operating under the same 3 year contract for which the overcharge was made. The mistake was theirs – even if I made the mistake of not “catching” their mistake, I expect them to rectify it.

The Result …

1. I cancelled both of our services with Rogers and paid the penalty for the remainder of our contract. The value of this portion of the contract would have been approximately $2000. Instead they will receive a mere $450 penalty payment.

2. We signed with Koodo who did not require us to sign any contract. As it turns out Koodo will save us approximately $100 per month to get even more service than we were receiving through Rogers. (Please be advised that we never even would have looked for an alternative option had we not been mistreated by Rogers).

3. We will never again do any business of any kind with Rogers or any of its companies, including Fido. None of my businesses will ever again to any business with Rogers or any of its companies, including Fido.

The Balance Sheet ….

1. Fido (owned by Rogers) is up $400 for the money that they overcharged us initially.
2. Rogers is up $450 for the cancellation fees we paid to get out of our contracts.
3. Rogers is down $2000 over the next 9 months from the lost revenue they would have received had they rectified the problem.
4. Rogers is down at least $2500 per year in perpetuity from the forgone revenue from my patronage due to their failure to rectify this problem.

Forecast:

Over 9 months: Rogers is down $1150
Over 21 months: Rogers is down $3650
Over 33 months: Rogers is down $6150

Seeing how your arrogant policies hit your balance sheet, perhaps you will reconsider your ways for the future.

Best regards

Steve Hannah

UPDATE:

Rogers ended up refunding the overcharge. Read about it here.

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