Act 262

Raise a little hell

Sometimes, it needs doing.

Here’s my rant. I’ve been a Rogers customer for 13 years. I purchased an I-phone 5 earlier this summer and signed on for another 2 years. Do the math, I’m now a 15 year customer. My lifetime value to date is approximately $25,000. My future lifetime value is about the same.

I owe Roger $200 from my September 6th bill. Today, exactly 12 days after my last payment, I got a call from Rogers credit office asking me to consider clearing up that balance by using their convenient mobile credit card payment option. I don’t mind the friendly reminder. I admit I’m 12 days late. But ask me to put in on a credit card and I unhinge. I reminded the snarky credit caller of my long time custom and my so far unblemished payment record as well as my choice to renew my contract with them as opposed to their competitor. She couldn’t have cared less. Her response? That she regularly phones customers who have been with Rogers for 15 to 20 years. The call ended. And not that nicely.

I then phoned customer service to share that concern. I appreciate that I am 12 days late and that I owe $200. What I don’t appreciate is a snarky credit call after 12 years of custom in exchange for my decision to spend more money with Rogers in a single month than I’d ever spent before. He was equally as snarky. So I asked to be transfered to the customer retention person, which I was. Twenty minutes later, I got an apology and a $50 credit in exchange for ¬†an agreed upon payment date. Was that so hard? Customer retention people are well trained. They know a pissed off customer will go to another provider. Customer service and credit callers, not so much.

We need a consumer bill of rights. Even if I owe money, I abhor the abusive strategy of credit calls that do not take into account 1) that all customers have a lifetime value and 2) that all customers deserve respect and 3) credit calls should be placed with a customer’s credit history in mind. Their approach seems to be that everyone who owes money, no matter how insignificant, is a dirt bag. And nothing could be further from the truth. They treat people like this for a living and we let them. So raise a little hell. You might just get a credit.

Rogers will get its $200 (well $150 now) as they should. But what they won’t get is my soon to be teenagers phone accounts. And that’s what the call will have cost them. Expensive if you ask me.

It’s not what you ask for, it’s how you ask for it. That an oligopoly the size of the telco industry doesn’t get it or doesn’t think it needs to is, well, off the hook.