first world problems, ninja solutions

Following Wednesday Update:

Ever since the events below transpired, I’ve been feeling uneasy about the entire thing. It seemed a little too good to be true, frankly – and when other people started having issues, I decided to make some calls.

As of this afternoon, I’ve been called twice by the office of the President of Rogers Canada. My order is in the system, but is “processing” – even though I was told on Friday afternoon (call #2) that my order had actually shipped, this isn’t true. I’ll be in processing mode until Rogers gets more stock from Apple, and no one can tell me when that will be. Okay, fine. It sucks, but it makes sense.

It’s not just that, though. The rep I spoke with on Friday swore up and down that I would be able to transfer from Fido to Rogers with no penalty whatsoever – in fact, the entire reason I was calling Rogers was to ask if this was true. When he assured me it was and that he would waive the activation fee if I placed the order with him, I did just that. Order placed, phone is on the way, everything is super.

No one at Rogers can figure out why the rep – JC – told me this, as it is NOT TRUE. If I want to switch from Fido to Rogers, I’ll be hit with a $400 Early Termination Fee, the very fee that JC told me didn’t exist. The last gentleman I spoke with – some sort of senior honcho man – is attempting to track down the recording of the call I made on Friday to verify my claim. It seems the original order number I was given was mysteriously cancelled, and a new order placed in my name. Awesome.

My fate is out of my hands at the moment. Rogers and Fido are talking amongst themselves to figure out if my claim is true, and why I was told what I was told those magic words. It’s up to Fido now, and if they’ll waive the charge because an employee at another company made a mistake is both highly unlikely and remains to be seen.

So, don’t do what my post below suggested. It clearly isn’t working out so well for me.

—–

Emotions I have experienced in the last 18 hours:

  • Hopeful
  • Incredulous
  • Furious
  • Patient
  • Hopeful again
  • Angry
  • Foaming
  • Curious
  • Decisive
  • Optimistic
  • Elated!

.. all because of the new iPhone 3GS.

I have an 8GB 3G iPhone. I routinely run out of space, and had been planning on getting a 16GB for some time. When I learned about the new 3GS phone, I was excited – I could get a 32GB and have so many GB I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. Hooray! Of course, I had to wait until the pricing plans were announced to see exactly what this would cost me. There was some suspense involved – Rogers and Fido didn’t release their plans until the afternoon of the 18th, and the entire country was eager to see what would happen.

This is when I flipped the fuck out (the first time).

From the Rogers website:

If I already have an iPhone 3G from Rogers and wish to upgrade to the new iPhone 3G S are there any special offers?

Yes. For a limited time, if you are an existing iPhone customer who does not yet qualify for an upgrade, you will be able to take advantage of the below two offers for upgrading to a new iPhone 3GS.

Offer 1:
If you are an existing Rogers iPhone 3G customer who has minimum tenure of 6 months since your activation/last upgrade, you can receive $250 off the no-term, device-only price, for a new iPhone 3GS provided that you have a data plan and extend your service agreement by 1 year.

Offer 2:

If you are an existing iPhone 3G customer who activated or upgraded to your iPhone 3G from July 11-Sep 30 2008 and have consistently spent on average of $100 or more each month on your Rogers wireless services you will get $500 off the no-term price of an iPhone 3GS, provided that you have a data plan and extend your service agreement by 1 year.

iPhone 3G S 16 GB No-term: $699  Offer 1: $449  Offer 2: $199
iPhone 3G S 32 GB No-term: $799  Offer 1: $549  Offer 2: $299

These offers are available wherever Rogers’ smartphones are sold or by calling Rogers’ customer care. These offers are valid until July 31st.

Fido’s offer:

If I already have an iPhone 3G from Fido and wish to upgrade to the new iPhone 3G S, are there any special offers?

Yes. For a limited time, existing iPhone 3G customers can apply their FidoDollars towards the no-term cost of the iPhone 3G S without subscribing to a data add-on. In addition these customers will receive a $100 FidoDollars Bonus top up towards the purchase of the new iPhone 3G S. This offer is effective June 19 to July 31st, 2009.

I joined Fido last July to get an iPhone. I pay over $100/m for my various plans and add-ons, and have accumulated exactly $50.06 in FidoDollars to date. With their offer of $100 bonus dollars, the 32GB 3GS would cost me $649.94.

If I was a Rogers customer, the phone would cost me $299.

Does anyone else see a problem here?

I’ve been wheeling and dealing all morning. I called Fido to inquire, and they WILL NOT match Rogers’ offer. I asked why, because they’re the same damn company and I’ve got the exact same plan that they offer. I was told “Fido is totally different; we bill to the SECOND and not to the MINUTE”. Um, good for you. I don’t USE my minutes; this “difference” means nothing to me. They would not budge – $100 bonus FidoDollars in addition to your own, and that’s it.

Clearly, this was not it. I learned (via Twitter) that you can switch from Fido to Rogers for FREE – there is no Early Termination Fee (switching the other way will cost you $100). I called up Rogers to confirm this, and also ask what happens: am I a) a brand new customer who qualifies for any new customer offers, b) keep my Fido tenure and therefore qualify for any upgrade offers, or c) some sort of hideous legacy customer who is screwed?

I’m delighted to announce that the answer was a). In switching from Fido to Rogers, I am a new customer and as such, get the “new contract” pricing. There’s no Early Termination Fee (which would have cost me $400 plus tax), and they waived the activation fee because I did it over the phone. In fact, my new monthly bill from Rogers will be CHEAPER than my Fido bill – the same plan with Fido is $10 cheaper at Rogers, and I get the “My 5” perk.

The only downside: the 32GB phone is sold out. Mine is backordered with priority shipping, and they should be getting more early next week – I should have it in my hands hopefully by next Friday. At that time I will call them up, get it started, and go on my merry 32GB way. Hooray!

You blew it, Fido. I would have been happy to stay with you if you were offering your customers the same consideration given to the customers of your big brother.

14 thoughts on “first world problems, ninja solutions

  1. correction… you would have paid a $500 disconnect fee… Exactly what I’m suing Rogers over, actually.

    I wish I could go back to Rogers, but I can’t. So, I’m stuck with fricken Fido’s crappy data service (and even worse / spotty voicemail delivery)

    I still maintain that we’re HOSED in Canada. :(

    • Is Fido’s data service really worse than Rogers’? I thought it was the same network, functionally speaking. My iPhone doesn’t even mention Fido anywhere inside it, but that’s what I’m on.

      (I definitely buy the voicemail thing though, guh.)

      • The Rogers network is a lot larger than Fido’s – we use the same towers, but if you look at the coverage maps, Fido customers are hosed in smaller cities and towns. When I first transferred to Fido I had a LOT of service issues as well – crossing fingers for better performance with Rogers.

  2. Cellphone carriers is Canada is akin to criminal. Fight the power!

    Your last line is most telling, and can work for all carriers and in many contexts:

    You blew it, (every carrier in Canada). I would have been happy to stay with you if you were offering your customers the same consideration given to (the rest of the world, or even just your own new customers for now, you thieving bastards).

    • Extremely straight forward; there was no haggling involved. In fact, I was just calling to inquire and not actually DO it – I wanted to make the switch at a store so I wouldn’t have to *wait* for my iPhone – but decided I could be patient for a week for the waived activation fee. :)

      My rep’s name was JC – I’m not entirely convinced he wasn’t Jesus himself – if anyone’s getting any resistance. :)

      • I’m having a bit of trouble. Called rogers and they don’t know what fido’s terms are, called fido and they need my pin to see my account (which I forgot – so I’ll need to verify when I get home).

        From what I’ve heard from the rogers girl, when someone transfers from Rogers to Fido they pay a minimum ECF of $100 (up to $500) but I’m not sure what the Fido to Rogers rate is. Also, I’ve only been a Fido customer for 11 months (purchased iPhone 3G on July 18th, 2008 – signed up as new customer). So I don’t think I’m eligible for a free transfer.

      • Try again – I’m the same; I joined Fido on July 14th 2008. When you call Rogers, try going the Sales department and say you’d like to switch from Fido; THEN ask about the iPhone 3GS. There shouldn’t be a fee if you’re going from Fido to Rogers; I asked and was told it was free from F to R but $100 from R to F. Good luck, and let me know if you get through!

      • I’ve been hearing that people are having issues via Twitter – I wish I had more info to share, but all I know is what I went through myself. I didn’t have to “check with Fido” to make sure I could switch, but I DID talk to Fido’s Loyalty Department and let them know I was unhappy. When I called Rogers (over an hour later), I went right through to Sales and they were able to get all my Fido information with just my cell #. Yes, they did ask me how long I had been with Fido – but *after* everything was said and done. Not sure if that was an oversight on their part, but as I’m about 3 weeks away from my 1 year mark, I got through. If you’re being told that you HAVE to have been with Fido for one year before you switch, maybe wait – the Rogers upgrade offer is on until July 31st. Barring that, the only thing I can suggest is to keep trying – I’ve called Rogers three times today for different things, and each time they’ve confirmed that anyone should be able to do what I did. Good luck!

  3. Some 7 years ago I finally saw the end of my rogers contract, happily. I don’t have any interest in the iphone, but with rogers, I could expect almost monthly billing snafus, including a time where they were SO overwhelmed with new customers that bills just were not sent, repeated deactivations of my account for being late on small amounts, ( it was automatic in the system, and ruthless), and zero reward for loyalty.

    Happily at Telus now, where I can be a bit late in paying, important when I’m a student with wonky income, a great loyalty dept that swung a great package for me and my husband, and no weird billing issues, and generally decent service.

    ( oh, and we won a telus mobility trip to LA, so I’m certain we’ve gotten more out of them than we’ve ever paid in….)

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