Archive for Rogers

A Plot Twist On The Rogers/Apple Watch Series 3 Story [UPDATED]

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 14, 2017 by itnerd

You might recall that on the day that the Apple Watch Series 3 was announced, Rogers was missing from the list of carriers that would support it. That set off a bit of a firestorm online as you’d expect it to. Well, there’s a bit of a plot twist to that. About 15 minutes ago, the app that I use to scan Twitter for anything interesting spotted this:

I have also taken a screenshot of it in case Rogers decides to delete the Tweet:

Rogers

 

What precisely does that mean? It’s a very odd response from Rogers as unless I am missing something, you don’t need Rogers or any other cell phone carrier to pair a non-LTE Apple Watch Series 3. But the fact that according to this Tweet you can bring in an Apple Watch Series 3 to pair with your iPhone on the Rogers network (presumably) is a bit of plot twist. Though there’s no details on how that would work in the Tweet. After all, you only have 140 characters to work from. A more robust statement from Rogers would be helpful. I am in the process of reaching out to them to find out what the deal is. If I get a response from them, I will post it here.

UPDATE: The plot twists continue. This Tweet from Rogers got my attention:

So now the story has changed. Twice. Let’s recap. Just shortly after the Apple announcement, Rogers said this:

In other words, it was an answer that didn’t answer the question as to if they are going to carry the Apple Watch Series 3. Then over the last few hours, the party line changed to this:

That sounds like they weren’t going to carry the Apple Watch Series 3, but if you bought one elsewhere, they’d activate it for you. Then in the last few minutes the answer from Rogers became what I posted above.

It really looks like Rogers for whatever bizarre reason don’t seem to have their act together from a public relations standpoint and as a result they completely flubbed the message that they wanted to get out to the public. Then when the predictable blowback from die hard Apple users who were also Rogers customers happened, they muddied the waters further and made things worse. To me, this seems like the Rogers from a few years ago who would be famous for finding new and creative ways to invent PR disasters that didn’t need to be invented. Perhaps if they said from moment one that they would carry the Series 3 Apple Watch next year as soon as they built the infrastructure to support it, we would not be here talking about this PR mess now. If I were their PR humans, I’d get out a statement to every media outlet that made it clear what their intentions are in terms of the Apple Watch Series 3 and I’d do it right now as this constant shifting of what the message happens to be is making them look like it’s amateur hour in their PR department.

UPDATE #2: I got a response from Rogers….. That really isn’t a response in my opinion. Your opinion may differ. Their response was to send me an image of the entire Twitter interaction:

Rogers lame response

To be fair, it does clarify one point. If you bring in an Apple Watch Series 3 to a Rogers store, they will pair it with a iPhone on their network. But based on the above, your brand new Series 3 Apple Watch will only work over WiFi and Bluetooth. The net result is that people will feel like this person who reached out to me on Twitter:

The PR disaster continues.

UPDATE #3: A reader of this blog brought this Tweet to my attention that has slightly more clarity to it:

And then there’s this:

The thing is, not having support for eSIM would be weird. The tech has been around since 2015 so you’d think that Rogers would support this tech. But that seems to be the case as the same reader that brought these latest Tweets to my attention provided me with this:

This has a person who wanted to activate a eSIM device on Fido in May 2017, and Fido didn’t support the technology. Fido is owned by Rogers which means that if Fido doesn’t support eSIM, Rogers doesn’t either. Which is to be frank, is quite shocking.

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Why Is Rogers Not Going To Sell The Series 3 Apple Watch?

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 13, 2017 by itnerd

One of the things that I found curious when the Series 3 Apple Watch with LTE connectivity was announced at the Apple Event yesterday was the fact that one of the big three carriers was missing from the list of Canadian carriers that would have the new Apple Watch on launch day. That carrier being Rogers. That of course got the attention of a lot of people. Take for example this Twitter exchange:

Rogers responded with this:

In fact, that seems to be the official party line from Rogers when asked about the Series 3 Apple Watch as other media outlets have reported that Rogers is giving that answer when they were asked about it. The problem with this party line is that it doesn’t actually answer the question as to whether they are going to sell the newest Apple Watch. It’s doubly strange seeing as Rogers will be carrying all the new iPhones when they start shipping. You have to wonder why Rogers seems to be taking this stance seeing as the two other members of the “big three” telcos in Canada have jumped on board to carry the Series 3 Apple Watch. After all, Apple fans tend to be loyal and from what I am seeing in various places on line, many are going to defect from Rogers to Telus and Bell to get the latest Apple Watch. If that actually pans out, which I think it will, then it sucks to be Rogers right about now.

UPDATE: I posted a bit of a plot twist to this story here.

An Update To My Story On A Client’s Negative Experience With Rogers

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 24, 2017 by itnerd

Since I posted this story on a negative experience that a customer of mine recently had with Rogers, I’ve gotten a lot of e-mail and the odd Tweet on the subject. More on that in a bit. But in any case, I figured that I owed you an update as to what’s happened.

Since my original story, my customer connected with Rogers and they were able to make everything work after they presumably fixed whatever was wrong on their end. That’s where the good news ends when it comes to this interaction. I say that because Rogers then offered my client a whole six dollars in compensation. Keep in mind that when this first happened, they offered $60 which accounted for a month of Internet service for her. But not anywhere close to what I charge per hour. So clearly that was a fail as evidenced by this sentence in the e-mail that she sent me regarding this:

It always amazes me how long these things take and how Rogers does not put value on the customer’s time.

Top tip for those who are in customer facing positions. You have to be mindful of the customers time and respect that they have better things to do than to talk to a person in a customer service position. Now, I’m not degrading anyone who is in that line of work. What I am saying is that the best strategy for those in that line of work is to get the issues that are brought to them resolved to the customer’s satisfaction as quickly as possible in the first interaction. By doing that, you will respect the customer’s time.

Now that was before the Victoria Day holiday in Canada. Yesterday evening I got an update from my client. She spoke to Rogers Office Of The President which in Rogers speak is a customer experience team that exists to deal with escalated situations and resolve them by utilizing any and all resources that Rogers has at their disposal so that they retain the customer. In my client’s case, here’s what they did for her:

  • They credited her the equivalent of two months Internet service.
  • She also was having intermittent cable TV issues which they added a $50 credit to the mix.
  • She finally got the six dollar credit from the rep that she spoke to so that she could get her e-mail working.

That’s enough for my client to stay with Rogers for now. Whether she is still a Rogers customer a few months from now is a bit of an open question.

Now, this should be the part where I should say thank you to Rogers for stepping in and helping to resolve this. While I will do that as once she got into the right hands, things started to move in a positive direction, I will also say this. If you look the issues that I’ve had with Rogers Internet where the first time I had issues, Rogers had to hop through hoops to to resolve those issues after I posted to social media and got escalated to The Office Of The President. Then look at the second time that I had issues with my Internet and Rogers, and again I posted to social media and got escalated to The Office Of The President to get my issues resolved, and combine that with this specific experience where I posted to social media and my client got escalated to The Office Of The President to get her issues resolved, you come to this conclusion. Rogers customer service has some serious issues that are really impacting them in a negative way.

The fact is that using social media as a means to escalate so that you can get an issue resolved should be an exception. However, with Rogers it seems to be the rule. And the fact that my original story got a insane amount of page views and e-mails detailing a variety of Rogers customer service fails shows that I am not the only person who thinks that. Take this person for example who reached out to me today on Twitter:

This was my answer:

I gave that advice because Bell is hyper aggressive about stealing every Rogers customer that they can as from personal experience I can say that they sense an opportunity to hurt Rogers. Plus, they appear to have upped their game when it comes to TV and Internet services. In the case of the latter, Bell has an exceptionally good Internet offering. On top of that they have attractive introductory pricing (where the first few months are at a discounted rate and then it goes to whatever their normal rate is if you get a bundle of services) that makes it worth ones while to consider switching to them. If Bell can bring better customer service to the table than what Rogers currently offers, then Rogers is in very deep trouble.

Rogers new CEO is a fellow named Joe Natale who is best known for his work at Telus to up their customer service game. By the time he left, Telus was the top of the food chain when it came to customer service. If I had any advice for him, I would say that he needs to focus on turning Rogers customer service from being something that makes customers want to leave the telco, to something that is core to them retaining customers. And he needs to do it quickly. Because as evidenced by this experience by my client, they aren’t doing nearly enough to send a message that Rogers values their business and it is worth being a customer of theirs.

How Rogers Lost A Customer In Three Hours

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 16, 2017 by itnerd

I just got home from seeing a client who had a very negative experience with Rogers. Now, this isn’t my first time helping a customer to deal with Rogers, but this one was the worst experiences I’ve had. It started when my customer got this email from Rogers:

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 9.28.02 PM.png

She attempted to go through the process at the website referenced above, but she ran into trouble. She couldn’t recall what her e-mail password was and the password that she had on file didn’t work. On top of that, when she tried to reset her password at that same website, it said that it could not retrieve her secret question.

So she phoned me. I arrived at the client’s house at 5:30 PM, and after ten minutes of troubleshooting I figured that we needed to do is to phone Rogers. So we did at the number that is in the above e-mail and got through to a technical support rep quickly. He verified some information with my client and then came to the conclusion that because her Rogers e-mail account was so old, it didn’t have a security question which is why the instructions in the above wouldn’t work. He then figured that the fix to this would be to reset the password. He did so and asked us to log into the Yahoo web email portal (as Rogers has an association with Yahoo for email) to verify that it work. He then declared things fixed and hung up.

They weren’t fixed.

Not only could she still not follow the instructions above, but now she was unable to receive e-mail in Microsoft Outlook. However she could send e-mail. Prior to the actions of that tech, Outlook worked perfectly. Thus it was a second call to Rogers. The person we got listened to what we had to say, but she was unable to help. She did some basic troubleshooting, but this was clearly above her head. So she transferred us to Rogers TechXpert who she claimed could solve her problem. After a ten minute wait, we got to a TechXpert tech who again listened to what we had to say, and then used a remote access tool to remote into the computer to do the following:

  1. Look at Microsoft Outlook and see what errors we were getting.
  2. Testing the account name and password in the Yahoo web email portal. That worked.
  3. Trying to walk through the process that was in the email above with no success.

At that point that so called TechXpert escalated to another TechXpert. Here’s where things get weird. Instead of putting that person on the phone with us, she transferred the remote control session to her and hung up the phone. Whatever would happen next would happen via us communicating with this TechXpert via a chat window in the remote access application.

Let me stop here and comment on this. A chat window in a remote access application is the most inefficient way to troubleshoot any sort of issue. Why they went this route is mind boggling and I would never recommend that any of the contact centers that I consult for would ever go this route. What should have happened is that they should have remained on the phone with us. Clearly Rogers doesn’t see things that way.

In any case, we watched as this second TechXpert did the same steps as the first one with the same results. At the end of it the TechXpert gave us and told us that she would need to create a ticket and get back to us in 24 to 48 hours. We got the ticket number and the TechXpert disconnected from the computer.

It was now 6:30 PM and my customer was far from happy with Rogers as she walked into this with working e-mail and she now doesn’t have e-mail that works with Outlook. That is a #fail. I decided to see if I could do something else to help her. Since Rogers has a presence on Twitter, I decided to try that by reaching out to them during the attempts of the second TechXpert to help:

 

Rogers responded and after a few Tweets back and forth, they instructed us to do this:

So she dialed the number in question as she was not on any form of social media and got another tech on line. Now I will give him credit. He tried his best over the next 30 minutes to try and do something for her, but to no avail. He said that he’d have to file a ticket and get back to us in 24 t0 48 hours. That was something that was a bridge too far for my client and she demanded to speak to a manager. After another 10 minutes we got a manager. In short, his stance was that people had already filed tickets and things were going to get fixed. However because she was a customer of Rogers since the mid 2000’s, he originally a “make good” of $50. Then he offered up a free month which for my client was $60. That wasn’t good enough for her seeing as she had to hire me to support her in a situation that she should never had been in. One other thing happened. Via talking to this manager, we discovered that he had no documentation about our very first interaction at 5:40 PM. That caused my client to explode. Clearly some of Rogers employees don’t care enough about their customers to properly document their interactions with Rogers customers. That’s something that I discovered when one of my interactions with Rogers went sideways. The manager was at first insistent that we were wrong, and then backed down from that and apologized for our experience. In the end, my client refused the offers this manager was making and ended the call.

During this interaction, I pleaded with Rogers to help via Twitter.

Now I could understand their stance. There are privacy issues at play and I applaud them for enforcing that. I then tried a different approach to get her some help. Here’s their response:

It blows my mind that you have customer who is so frustrated that they were looking at the Bell website while talking to various Rogers employees who are unable to solve her core issue wouldn’t think outside the box to help this person in some way. In fact, this next Tweet illustrate Rogers inability to think outside the box:

Well….. I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen given all of the above. When she saw that Tweet, she declared that Rogers didn’t care. I then typed this back:

Total time invested: Three hours.

Here’s the core issue. Rogers wants its customers to be secure. That’s noble. However this customer had issues and nobody could troubleshoot a problem that was Rogers responsibility and resolve it in a timely manner. Plus she had to hire me to help which given that Rogers is one of Canada’s largest teclcos should never, ever happen. On top of that when I reached out for help on Twitter, the only medium that they were willing to help was on Twitter and Facebook. This is an all around #EpicFail and shows that Rogers really needs to do something about the customer service that they provide. Because, they took a customer who has been a with Rogers since the mid 2000’s, and put them on the path of of leaving Rogers for Bell.

That’s pretty sad.

Rogers could rescue this situation if they stepped up and accept responsibility for the fact that this customer went through a ton of hoops that she didn’t need to and solve her issue to her satisfaction. Then they need to work out some way to make good that is equal to the the hassle that she’s been through. If they did that, I think that she’d stay a Rogers customer. But I honestly don’t think that is going to happen. What I think will happen is that Rogers will fix this password issue, her e-mail will work in Outlook, and she’ll move to Bell in a month or two. Though I’m open to being proven wrong.

Rogers, over to you.

UPDATE: I put up this story on Twitter and on the blog and it took FOUR MINUTES for Rogers to respond:

I responded with this:

Rogers responded with this:

I did so and got a response that my client will be contacted within 24 hours. I’ll be watching to make sure that happens. Updates as they come.

UPDATE #2: There is an update to this story here.

Globe & Mail Discusses Bell & Rogers Rollouts Of Gigabit Internet

Posted in Commentary with tags , on March 31, 2017 by itnerd

There’s an interesting article in The Globe & Mail today that talks about the rollout of Gigabit Internet in Canada and the costs and challenges associated with that rollout for Bell and Rogers. Here’s a snippet of what I am talking about:

“Rogers has completed its upgrade to the next generation of cable technology (known as DOCSIS 3.1) and said Thursday that between itself and BCE, the city of Toronto is now covered by gigabit Internet services.”

“It costs cable companies such as Rogers and Videotron Ltd., which is BCE’s biggest competitor in Quebec, about $250 to $300 a home to upgrade their networks and provide gigabit speeds, according to an estimate by Desjardins Securities Inc. analyst Maher Yaghi. In contrast, he estimates it costs BCE from $1,000 to $1,500 a home to make its fibre-to-the-home upgrades.

However, in both Toronto and Montreal, BCE is making use of aerial options – such as hydro poles – to string its cables, which is cheaper than building underground. Barclay’s Capital analyst Phillip Huang estimates it costs about $400 to $700 to connect homes using aerial infrastructure. He said that while 60 per cent of the build in Toronto had to be done through buried infrastructure, it will only be about 10 per cent in Montreal.”

This explains to some degree why Rogers and Bell have been engaged in battle to grab as many users as possible. They have to recoup the costs of this rollout somehow. I suspect that this will escalate over the next few months. That means that users will win because prices for Gigabit Internet will drop because of the competition between the two. If you’re in the market for Gigabit Internet, see if both Bell and Rogers can service your area with that service. If they can, I can say from personal experience that you’ll have leverage over both to get the best deal that you can. Especially if you bundle your services.

Rogers Ignite Gigabit Internet: It Is Working Again… Mostly

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 16, 2017 by itnerd

Let me bring you up to speed with my latest issue with Rogers Ignite Gigabit Internet. After I posted the original story, my issue got escalated to the Office Of The President at Rogers. That means that my issue was being taken seriously by Rogers. That might have something to do with:

A) My profile as a blogger.

B) The fact that I was considering bolting to Bell to get decent Internet service.

C) All of the above.

Now the person that I was dealing with was extremely responsive and attentive. I will give him points for that. However, I am not sure if he had to do much. I say that because during this period, Rogers had two serious outages. And I do mean serious. Now once they were resolved, things actually improved greatly and my connection was almost back to normal. But it wasn’t totally normal as I still suffer from the occasional lag spike that is short lived. As in lasting for just a second or two. But even that was a huge improvement over what I was dealing with before, thus I can live with that. But this wasn’t there before Rogers rather problematic rollout of DOCSIS 3.1 which I have documented here since late last year. Thus it is safe to say that Rogers still has a lot of work to do before I consistently get the service that I am paying for, and I had previous to that rollout.

Speaking of paying, the upshot of this experience was that the Office of The President dropped the cost of our TV, Internet and home phone from $195 a month to $155 a month until April 2019. This is a $40 reduction that they served up because according to them my wife and I were long standing customers of Rogers and they appreciate our business. The cynic in me also thinks that this is due to the fact that we were thinking of bolting to Bell because of these Internet issues and this is a way to keep us from doing that. But whatever the reason, we’ll take it. Lower telco costs in Canada are always a good thing as Canadians pay way too much in the first place for their telco services. Having said that, it’s not going to stop us from bolting if we continue to have issues in the future as we’ve tried out Bell’s Fibe Gigabit Internet in our friends units, and it is very tempting to switch to that because of the speed it offers both upstream and downstream and the fact it according to my tests offers a very low latency connection to the Internet.

Rogers clearly has issues with their Ignite Internet service and their rollout of DOCSIS 3.1. A quick look at places like Red Flag DealsDSLReports, and even their own Rogers community forums illustrate this. They really need to get a handle on this and quickly. Otherwise the bad press that issues like these generate will simply mount to the point where it will be difficult for them to get customers in areas where Bell offers a competitive product. And even in areas where they don’t have to worry about Bell. I’m sure Rogers and their shareholders don’t want that. Thus they may want to redouble their efforts to have a stable and reliable Internet offering.

BREAKING: Rogers Ignite Internet Customers Continue To Have Issues After Last Night’s Outage

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 10, 2017 by itnerd

Last night Rogers had a major outage that affected all of Southern Ontario and some points beyond where users could not surf the Internet Intermittently and there were significant ping times and a large amount of packet loss. The issue was thought to have been fixed this morning:

Apparently it isn’t fixed. Reports are once again coming in of people complaining of the same issues that they were complaining about last night. DSLReports and Canadianoutages.com are tracking an uptick in reports of issues. For example, the latter not only has a graph of the volume of issues:

Capture

But their live outage map looks similar to the one from last night:

Capture

While the volume of complaints isn’t nearly as high as last night, there clearly is still an issue that has enough scale to it that it is difficult to miss. So Rogers declaring the issue as fixed is clearly premature. I will be tracking this story and provide updates as I get them. In the meantime, I hope Rogers has a plan to bring back full functionality for their Internet users quickly and completely as I can say that based on the feedback that I am getting directly and what I am seeing online, there are a lot of very unhappy campers out there right now.

UPDATE: The latest issue appears to be resolved as of 2:30PM. I seem to have no issues at present. But there are still scattered reports of issues.