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It's a Sad State of Affairs, part 2: Rogers was Predictably Useless

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Continued from It's a Sad State of Affairs:

And, as expected, my attempt to get someone to resolve my problem at a Rogers Wireless outlet was useless.

I went to the nearest Rogers outlet identified by their website as dealing with wireless and business services, "Digital Communications" at 1093 Robson St, and explained my problem. The clerk at the store was apologetic and explained that there was nothing he could do and I would have to call customer service on Monday. I explained that doing so on Monday was going to be more than a little inconvenient. I asked, hypothetically, that if I were to outright buy a new phone would he be able connect it to my existing account and have me walk out with a working phone. He said, yes. So I posed the question, why could he not do that, take the incorrect phone that was sent to me back, and then make whatever calls and do whatever internal paperwork might me necessary to straighten things out. He said that it would be impossible because they were a franchise store and I had received the phone from the corporate office and there was no way to reconcile stock between the franchise and corporate. At this point his co-worker suggested I try a "Rogers Plus" outlet, since they are corporately owned and that the nearest one was in Pacific Centre Mall.

So off I went to the Rogers Plus kiosk in Pacific Centre, unit D2G, 701 W. Georgia Street. When I got there both employees were talking to people, so I took a look around the kiosk to make sure they did in fact have a Blackberry 8900. Standing at the kiosk, with a perfectly useful replacement phone not a foot away from me under the glass, one of the employees came over and asked how he could help me. I presented the box with Nokia phone I was sent in error, and explained the mistake that had been made. I told him I would like to give him the useless phone in exchange for the phone I should have been sent. He said I couldn't do that, that the phone would have to be sent back in the post, and when it was received some 10 days later the right phone would be sent out to me.

I asked why I should have to wait three weeks to resolve an internal mistake when there was a perfectly good phone not a foot away from me and why he could not accept my return when he was a corporate employee working at a corporate outlet. He had no satisfactory answer and said that what he could do was connect me to customer service and maybe they could do something for me.

Despite the absurdity of this, which I made him aware of, I let him connect me to customer service. For the third time I explained the mistake to the customer service representative, "Ken." Ken was equally useless and after jumping through the same hoops with him, asking again why I could not return the phone sent to me to a corporate outlet in exchange for the phone I had in fact ordered, Ken said he did not have the authority to make that happen and I should speak to a manager.

At this point I was passed on to "Blair," employee number 1695238, with whom I had a protracted argument about what was an was not possible. Blair confirmed that I had in fact talked to a representative around 1:30 p.m. on the 26th of January and ordered a replacement Blackberry 8900, and that the wrong phone had been sent to me. Blair then maintained a position no different than Ken, that it was against policy, that there was no way to enter the exchange into the system, that I would have jump through all the hoops to correct the mistake made by Rogers and wait an interminable three weeks for the resolution. I told Blair that, no, it was possible, since I was standing no more than two feet away from the right phone, at a corporately owned outlet, with a couple of corporate employees standing no more than two metres away (although I'm sure they would have been standing farther away if the confines of the booth allowed because they sure as hell wanted nothing to do with me.) I told Blair that I was not prepared to waste any more of my time on this mistake, and that the lot of them could exchange whatever information necessary to sort out the paperwork on Monday just so long as I walked away with the phone I had ordered on Tuesday.

Blair explained that he understood my frustration and that he was very sorry and the best he could do was have someone call be back in a two-to-four hour window. I explained to Blair how that was less than convenient since, not having a cell phone at the moment, I would have to return home to wait for the call and the very reason I was standing there at a corporately owned Rogers Plus outlet was so that I would be returning home with the situation resolved. I told him to get someone on the line so that I would not have to go home to receive the call. He put me on hold for a while (where I suspect he chatted with Ken about what and asshole I was) and then returned to tell me that since it was Sunday there was no one who could talk to me and he could arrange a call-back between 8:00 a.m. and noon on Monday.

I told Blair that I was not going to be anywhere where I could receive a call during those hours without a cell phone, and asked him why I needed to waste more of my time, plus the valuable time of the people I would be working for on Monday, when the mistake belonged to Rogers, and asked again why it was that he and the two people next to me being paid by Rogers could not use their time, for which they were being paid by Rogers, to sort out the error, while I walked away a happy customer with a working phone.

He maintained his tack on "policy" and the all powerful "system" that did not allow him to do this. We went in circles for a bit. I eventually lost my temper and shouted about just wanting "the @#$%ing phone I ordered" loud enough that I'm sure half the mall heard me (not a shining moment, but this was now an hour into the ordeal and my patience had run out.) Regaining my composure, I suggested again to Blair that if the system didn't allow for this that he not use it, that I didn't really care what limits bad programmers may have imposed on him, and that he write down on paper the details of the transaction and pass it on to a higher level manager or their I.T. department on Monday to sort it out with "the system." He said he couldn't do that. I said, "Yes, you can, you are just afraid to. Have some faith in yourself. You can write. You know the alphabet. You can do it."

With my patience exhausted and Blair being completely useless, I told him exactly how useless he was being. I told him that at this point it wasn't just Rogers that I was frustrated with but that he, personally, was useless. He said he didn't have to listen to such abuse, to which I retorted, "but I have to suffer though fixing this mistake and waiting three more weeks for a replacement for a phone I have already been without for a week while there is one here right in front of me, and then paying the bill for a month's service I will not receive." He said, "Oh, I can put a note on your account..." where I cut him off and said, "Well then, why can't you put a note on my account that I exchanged my phone and fix my problem." He paused. I pushed, "You don't have an answer for that, do you? Why is that? I know, because you are useless! Is there anything you can do for me? How about cancelling my account without penalty?"

"I can't do that."

"How would you feel about appearing in small claims court?"

"I'm sorry you feel that way."

This is where I collected his name and employee number, told him we were done, hung up, collected the box with the useless replacement phone, and left. As I left mall security was walking toward the kiosk. I forget how scary I am when I'm mad to people who don't know me, I think I may have given up an left at just the right moment.

Now I wait until Monday to see if I can talk to someone else higher up the food chain. I'm not done yet.

And to think I switched to Rogers because Bell had messed up my account and their all-powerful "system" did not allow for it to be corrected. Clearly it really doesn't matter who you deal with and I'm questioning the utility of having a cell phone at all.

Continued in It's a Sad State of Affairs, part 3: See, Blair, Anything is Possible

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