Today was bill-payment day, when I login to my bank’s website, remember that Firefox somehow causes Desjardins an “internal error,” switch to Safari, login again, and pay my bills for the month.
Two bills, for cable/Internet and hydro, I get in the mail. One bill (credit card) still goes to my parents’ house, but I have all the info online anyway so I don’t need it.
And then there’s Rogers. A few months ago I switched from paper billing to online billing because I wanted a copy of my call history. And the only way I could get that for free was to have online billing. But since then it’s been a nightmare trying to get access to my bills. And even when I do get access, my “call history” is either entirely blank or throws up an error when I try to read it.
Today, my login was “unsuccessful” and my account suspended for no apparent reason (the password was good, and it was my first login attempt). I gave up and decided I’m going to have them switch me back. And since I can’t login to their website, it’ll have to be by phone.
My request was simple: switch from online to paper billing
I press 8 for English, and go through their voice menu. I have to answer a bunch of questions (is my problem “billing” or “account management”?), get stuck in dead-ends (no I’m not trying to pay my bill) and after a half-dozen of these menus (finally telling it I want to speak to a representative), I get another menu asking me if it’s for wireless, cable, Internet or other, then another asking if it’s about a cellphone, blackberry, pager or other, then another asking me to enter my 10-digit phone number, then I’m put on hold.
First representative asked for my phone number, my name, my postal code and my date of birth. She’s very nice and after I tell her my problem she explains that she’ll need to send me to something called “E-care” and they’ll fix it right away. She also says I can do it online much easier, but when I tell her Rogers.com is a nightmare to use she’s sympathetic and says something along the lines of how some people have problems.
Second representative asked for my phone number, my name, my postal code and my date of birth. I tell him my problem and he says the system that takes care of this is “not available to (him) at the moment”, so he’s going to transfer me to another representative who’ll take care of it right away.
Third representative asked me for my phone number, my name, my postal code and my date of birth. I tell her my problem and she explains that her computer can’t make that change and she’ll need to send me to “e-care” so they can reset it. She also says I can do it online. I am confused, because I already thought I was at “e-care”, but she corrects me. So I guess Rep #2 screwed me there.
Fourth representative has a thick Indian accent. He asks me, one at a time, for my phone number, my name, my postal code and my date of birth. I tell him my problem, and he asks me why I want to change. Rather than spend 20 minutes trying to argue with this guy about the hellhole that is Rogers.com, I bite my tongue and just say I prefer paper billing. He explains I can do it online, but he can do it himself as well.
He explains he’s made the change and now my previous bills (that were only online) are now inaccessible. I ask him how the heck I’m supposed to get copies of them for tax purposes now. He says he can put me back on online billing, and I can download the bills and then switch back. I figure now I have to tell him about not being able to login, and he unlocks my account lockout. I login (with the same password I used before) and I get access to the system. He explains (“Do you see the girl on the couch? Just under her…”) what to do and I end the call.
Total call time: 12:37.
I go to this month’s bill, and click on the button that gives me a PDF version. I get this:
System Error / Erreur système
We’re sorry, the epost service you have requested is temporarily unavailable. Please try again shortly. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Désolé, le service postel que vous avez demandé est temporairement inaccessible. Veuillez essayer à nouveau un peu plus tard. Nous nous excusons de tout inconvénient que cela pourrait vous causer.
So I can’t download my bills, which means I can’t unsubscribe from online billing, which means I just wasted 20 minutes.
Online billing, paper bullshit
But, I hear you ask, what about all the trees I’ll be hurting?
Well, since I’ll need to print my bills out anyway, the effect is pretty minimal. They pay postage, so that’s not a factor.
Besides, Rogers doesn’t really seem to care about the environment themselves, as evidenced by a letter I received in the mail this month.
The letter, by Rogers Wireless president Rob Bruce, has nothing but bullshit marketingese like “continued loyalty”, “never take for granted”, “working hard”, “committed”, “exceed your expectations”, “unprecedented”, “Canada’s Most Reliable Network” (capitalized, of course), “clearest reception and fewest dropped calls.*” (their footnote, not mine), “moving forward”, “even more innovative technology”, “improve your experience with us”, “our commitment” and “work relentlessly”. And he wishes me and my family a “happy upcoming holiday season.”
What gets me about the letter is that it was mailed to me on thick bond paper (about as thick as a business card) in a thick envelope. Could they not have just emailed this BS to me?