How to Infuriate Your Customers

Rogers stock tanked today. While I don’t usually write rants about how utility companies are bad at customer services, I wasn’t really surprised at this news. I figure they’re a lost cause anyway, and no matter how horrid my experience was somebody out there could do me one better. Which is depressing.

I’m going to vent anyway. If you want to set up a company whose apparent purpose for existing is to aggravate people, I don’t think you can do much worse than a phone company. In this case, Rogers in Canada. This was my experience two days ago. Here are the highlights:

Desired outcome: change in account billing.

Total length of call: 44 minutes 19 seconds, including being on hold before (25 minutes) and during my interaction with the so-called customer service representative

Number of levels down in the phone tree: 6. Yes I counted. I had to listen to six different “If you’re a carbon-based life form press 1. If you breathe oxygen press 2, . . . ” menus.

Classic stove-piping: “I’m sorry, I can’t help you reset your on-line account pass-word. That’s customer service. We’re sales”.

No, you’re Rogers the phone company, and your customers don’t care about your internal organizational structure.

Most bewildering request: my address. Why in the name of all that is holy and unholy would a technology & communications company, whose every interaction with customers is scripted by computer, be able to pull up my account information and NOT have my billing address?

Stupidest question: “Calgary is in Alberta, right?” Yes, and the area code should have been a hint too. I know it’s a big world, but if you’re going to work for a Canadian telephone company you might want to learn some Canadian geography. There’s only 10 provinces, it’s not that hard. Or is that why you’re working in a call centre? . . . Oops, sorry. My bad.

Most patronizing request: two pieces of government identification for a credit cheque. My change included opening a new account. I already have two accounts. My accounts are up-to-date. Why do you need to run a credit cheque please? “Because you’re opening a new account” explained three times is not an answer.

Most memorable quote: “That woman made me work!”, as shouted by another customer service rep in the background. Kudos for putting me on hold quickly after that outburst by your fellow representative.

Worse experience: A friend who shall remain un-named who, after 7 (seven) hours on the phone with customer service trying to resolve a broken phone issue, ended up crying. How is making your customer cry good business?

What makes me sad: Nobody else is better. Anybody sense a business opportunity?

Rogers,  please call me. You need help.

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