Rogers, Over And Out


POSTED ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2012 AT 3:35 PM

Back in April, we got so frustrated with Shaw Internet that we decided to write about it. Many of you responded. It's doubtful that Shaw listened to our little rant but quite interestingly, the last few times we've had to call Shaw about Internet problems, they've actually answered the phone in a reasonable amount of time. Go figure.

Today, there's a new player in our arena (sorry about the pun)*. The new player is our Wireless Provider — Rogers. If I thought that Shaw had the ability to force three extra strength Tylenol down one's throat, Rogers would warrant six Tylenol with Codeine.

I've been a Rogers customer for over twenty years. Way back when they were called Cantel, I carried a Cantel Motorola 8000 "brick" around with me thinking I was real cool (man, that thing was heavy but it worked a heck of a lot better than my iPhone — hint, hint). There were many times over the years when I considered switching providers but you always seem to get into that six-of-one-and-half-a-dozen-of-the-other thing (or maybe it's the glass-is-half-full-glass-is-half empty thing depending on which way you look at it). Is any one single Wireless Provider truly better than the other?

For three years now, we've tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and tried (sorry, my keyboard got stuck) to unsubscribe from Rogers' marketing lists. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again (darned Apple Wireless Keyboards). Snail mail, e-mail, text messages, repeated 1-888 telemarketing calls and even more — magazine offers anyone? Whoopee! Just what I need. A pile of useless magazines for as low as one dollar per month. I got so angry with Rogers earlier in the year that I finally spoke to a supervisor who "promised" to resolve the situation for us and bring an end to the relentless barrage of mass marketing. Well, it worked. For a whole three months.

We were getting telemarketing calls from a third-party marketing company working on Rogers' behalf almost every single day for one month straight earlier in the year, trying to sell us new products (most of these calls came from 1-888-215-9164 — call the number and try it). The ironic part? We just bought a new product! And the people we spoke to at Rogers had no clue of who the marketing company even was (this particular marketing company was pure neanderthal with a capital "N" — they were downright rude at times and simply wouldn't take no for an answer).

This appears to be the pattern. When you question Rogers Customer Service about your marketing permissions, they appear to back off for a while until it's "safe" to bombard you again. Almost as if their do-not-call lists somehow "magically" expire after 90 days. Believe me — we've been through it so many times now that I can't think of any other explanation. No matter what we do to unsubscribe, it just doesn't work. Another two "Rogers Promo" text messages slipped through the cracks this week. They're driving me nuts.

Sell, sell, sell. That's what makes the world go 'round. Promises, promises, promises but we all know that promises are only meant to be broken. Thank God for Panasonic phones with 30-number Call Block. If anyone out there has had the same experiences with Rogers Telemarketing as we have, I'd love to hear from you.

So let's get to the real issue here. Say what? That wasn't the real issue? No, that was just the preamble. Here's the real issue — Rogers Caller ID. Is there anyone out there in all their infinite wisdom who can tell me why my Rogers iPhone 4S Caller ID seldom ever works properly? All I usually see is the telephone number of an incoming call. Not the name (every once in a blue moon, I'll see a name show up — Telus customers, included). Even though I subscribe to both, Name Display and Number Display, even though I updated to iOS 5.1 which was supposed to have solved the problem back in March:

"[03.09.12] Hello, this is a message from Rogers. We are pleased to report that the issue with Name Display on your iPhone has been resolved by Apple with the recent release of iOS 5.1. Please upgrade your software at your earliest convenience. If you need further assistance, please call Rogers at 1-888-764-3771 or visit www.apple.ca"

Even though I'm an Apple Certified Technician, even though I've called Rogers over a dozen times and have heard a dozen different stories (along with a dozen different excuses), why the heck does my Rogers Caller ID Name Display feature not work properly? Yes (I'm sure you're asking by now) — an Apple "genius" looked at my iPhone and determined that there was nothing wrong with it (not that I have much faith in Apple geniuses).

Two weeks ago, I finally had to dump the buggy and not-ready-for-prime-time Rogers One Number because my voicemail completely stopped working. A shame because it only took Rogers TEN WEEKS to get it set up properly for me since our plan is a "grandfathered" plan (they offered no explanation — 'simply told me to delete my One Number account and my voicemail would start working again which it did). Somewhere in between May and August, Rogers made a change to my plan without telling me. They've since corrected it but the Name Display feature on my iPhone 4S still won't work right. And it did work right for a while — that's the mystery.

One Rogers technical support representative told me about a bulletin she had read which stated that Rogers customers in British Columbia, Canada, will only see the name of an incoming caller when the caller is calling from either the Rogers or FIDO networks. No other network (never mind Telus or Shaw landlines which the vast majority of our clients call from). Can you believe it? Now that's got to be the most useless Caller ID on planet earth if there's any credibility to the bulletin (which yet another technical support representative told me wasn't the case this morning).

Another technical support representative told me to update to iOS 5.1.1. Guaranteed to resolve the problem (which it didn't). Thanks not too much. So I had to call back again this afternoon and they told me to reset my network settings after they tried to adjust something on their end and it STILL doesn't work! Now I'm on hold waiting for Tier 2 Technical Support. But wait — Tier 2 Technical Support Escalation is going to take 72 hours now. Oh, my God. What a bloody nightmare this has become. It just doesn't get any better than this, folks. When Tier 2 finally calls me back, I suppose they'll tell me that iOS 6 will now fix the problem.

How many times are you expected to reset your iPhone in order to get Name Display to work? How many more hours do I have to spend on the phone with Rogers Technical Support? Why, oh why, did I renew my contract with Rogers for another three-year term back in December?

Our Mac motto is "call us if your Mac is driving you crazy" but this is more like "call Rogers if your iPhone is driving you crazy." Man this is frustrating. Does a feature which falls far short of working as advertised combined with the fact that we're still being charged a $6.95 per month System Access Fee along with a complete disregard for our privacy constitute enough ground for release from our three-year contract?

You know what? Sorry, man — I just can't finish this blog. I give up. Hey hon, where's the Tylenol? Get me the stuff with Codeine in it, not the "lite" stuff I took for my Shaw headaches ('might help with the Carpal Tunnel, too)...

[Updated 09.25.12] I received the following text message from Rogers on Sunday September 23rd, 2012:

"[09.23.12] Hello, this is a message from Rogers. We are pleased to report that your wireless ticket #CXXXXXXXX is resolved. Please call 1-888-764-3771 or log on to wireless.rogers.com if you need more help"

So what happens? The very first call I receive on my iPhone 4S on Monday morning? No name display. Still doesn't work. Once again, I call Rogers Technical Support and what do they tell me? Upgrade to iOS 6 and that "should" fix the problem (didn't I tell 'ya that they would say that?). Failing that, I have two options. Send the iPhone in for repair and receive a Nokia cell phone as a loaner or, for $35.00, send my phone back to Rogers and receive a refurbished unit. Customer service anyone?

Interestingly, I have an AppleCare Protection Plan for my iPhone which has so far, proven to be an absolute waste of money. An AppleCare Support Technician told me this morning that as long as I see the number of an incoming call, then my Caller ID is working properly and there's nothing wrong with my phone. Name Display is not an option that is "advertised" by Apple — the company neither confirms nor denies that it will work (their words, not mine). I wonder if Name Display works on the iPhone 5? Hey Moe! Hey Larry! I'm a victim of soicumstance!

[Updated 09.30.12] After upgrading to iOS 6, knowing darned well that it wouldn't resolve the problem (which it didn't), I had to make yet another call to the big "R" — call number seventeen or eighteen (sorry, I lost track). I reached a fairly knowledgeable person this time. They looked through all fifty pages of my "notes" and realized that there was one thing they hadn't yet tried. Hmmm... a full reset of my Caller ID. Guess what? It worked. Now who on earth would have ever thought of that? I wonder how many people have sent their iPhones in for repair by mistake this year? I'm sorry, Moe, it was an accident!

[Updated 09.13.13] Over the past month, slowly but surely, the latest advertising and marketing onslaught began to slip through the cracks again. Special offers for "valued customers" by snail (postal) mail, promotions by e-mail and those annoying "new offer" text messages from Rogers. So — one more time — we had to call them to find out why our marketing permissions had changed once again. No one had an answer but they promised to get back to me. This morning, I received a call from Rogers telling me that I had been "removed from their marketing lists". I told them that this was supposed to have been done a year ago and asked why the permissions had suddenly changed again. No explanation was given. To me, it appears as though this company simply does not honor the marketing permissions you set as a customer in your account settings. Like I said above, they'll back off for a while until a certain amount of time passes by and then you'll eventually start getting spammed again. Maybe times are tough. Regardless, I'm going to switch carriers when my contract expires — I've had enough of this.

[Updated 10.29.14] A barrage of telemarketing calls from yet another third-party marketing company claiming to be working on behalf of Rogers is coming in fast and furious once again (now coming from 1-855-760-4841). Add to that, all of the latest Rogers "spam texts" which we continually opt out of to no avail. See what we mean? It's an instant replay — two years after this post was originally written. They just won't stop no matter how many times we ask them to take us off their marketing lists. Although we toughed it out, our contract finally expires soon and we are definitely not renewing our contract with Rogers. They're gone. Telus gave us a much better offer — an offer which Rogers couldn't touch, as "proactive" as they tried to be. How wonderful it will be to not have to deal with this outfit any longer (I won't even bother telling you about our second attempt at getting Rogers One Number to work — a voicemail disaster to the tenth power). See 'ya.

* Coincidentally, Rogers Arena is going to be mighty empty for the next twelve months due to the NHL Lockout. No hockey for the 2012/2013 season. Thanks not too much, Sidney. I'll never forgive you. And what the heck's up with Luongo these days? I was on a website this morning which mistakenly (?) referred to him as a golftender!

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