Archive for Rogers

Rogers Continues To Struggle With Apple Watch Series 3 LTE Messaging While Bell Circles To Steal Their Customers

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 17, 2017 by itnerd

It really seems that Rogers continues to muddy the waters with how they are communicating to customers when it comes to the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE. When I last covered this story, readers brought to me examples where Rogers had flipped away from pointing at the lack of eSIM support as being the cause of them not supporting the latest Apple Watch, which was a contradiction to earlier statement that the telco has made. Now, thanks to my readers bringing it to my attention, it seems that they have done it again. This person pinged Rogers on Twitter:

Rogers responded with this:

Seeing as they keep flip flopping on this, who knows what the actual truth is. By the way, what is an “iWatch?”

Strangely, this isn’t their biggest problem at the moment. This is:

It seems that Bell who has full support for the Apple Watch Series 3 since late September is looking to snatch every Rogers customer that they can get. And that’s more than conjecture. I had off the record conversations with several Bell employees at various levels in the telco, and the the word is out to target disaffected Rogers customers who are not happy with Rogers lack of support for the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE. That’s a problem if you’re Rogers. With Telus planning on having support for the latest Apple Watch on December 1st, I’m going guess that this problem is going to get worse for Rogers.

So the net result is that Rogers issues now go beyond messaging. Though not having consistent messaging doesn’t help their cause. It’s now becoming a threat to them retaining customers. Not a good place to be if you’re Canada’s largest Telco.

UPDATE: Another reader just sent me this which is not likely to help with their cause:

Since what was sent to me was an image, I hand typed the URL mentioned in the Tweet and it takes me to I’m not sure that this is going to keep customers from defecting to the competition.




#Fail: Rogers Website Crashes During iPhone X Pre-Orders [UPDATED]

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 27, 2017 by itnerd

Canada’s largest telco can’t seem to catch a break lately.

At 12:01AM today, you could order an iPhone X. And from browsing around the Internet, it seems that many wanted to. But if you are a Rogers customer, you likely had issues doing so. Starting with the fact that their website crashed causing these sort of reactions on Twitter:

I guess this explains the “anemic” demand that Rogers was seeing for the iPhone 8. People were clearly waiting for the iPhone X. For the record, it seems that Telus and Bell pre-orders went off without a hitch from what I could tell. But in the case of Rogers, this latest issue is really not going to help their public image.

UPDATE: Rogers sent me a statement. I have printed it verbatim below:

I just saw your post about the website crashing and it is incorrect. We opened our pre-orders at 7am as scheduled and everything ran smoothly with no issues.

I believe the customer tweets you posted had the impression that pre-sales launched at midnight which is not accurate.

I’ll buy into that…. Though I will point out that a lot of customers must have had that impression as I got pinged by a whole lot of people overnight on this. And by a lot, I mean on the sort of scale that was in the vicinity of the multi-day outage that Rogers had. Perhaps Rogers may want to look at how this was communicated as clearly there was some sort of miscommunication.

BREAKING: Rogers Serves Up An Apology & Vague Promises Of Compensation For Multi Day Outage

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 26, 2017 by itnerd

While I will not take credit for this, it seems that Rogers has decided to take some of my advice from the post mortem that I wrote. Earlier tonight, Rogers posted this on the Rogers Helps Twitter account:

Some commentary about all of this. This apology is as the kids say, on point. It sets the right tone and expresses regret and sincerity.  The promise of compensation is vague, but I guess you can’t get into specifics into how you get compensation and what that looks like in 140 characters. I will be interested to see details on that in the coming days. I have  a tip for Rogers on that front in case they are actually taking my advice…. unlikely as that may be as I am sure that they have a crisis management group working behind the scenes. I would not leave details on compensation hanging out there too long. If it were me running the show, I’d have details on the street by Monday. Because if you leave it any longer, you risk burning the bridge that you’re trying to build.

BREAKING: Rogers Still Recovering From Their Multi-Day Outage

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 26, 2017 by itnerd

While I did post a story that did a post mortem of Rogers multi day outage that affected who knows how many TV, Internet, and home phone customers yesterday, that shouldn’t imply that this crisis is over. I say that because Rogers appears to still be trying to bring people back online based on these Tweets that just popped up from the Rogers Helps Twitter account:

To be frank, I am not sure that customers who have been off line for over a week have any patience left. Take these Tweets for example:

Now based on the people that I’ve spoken to, Rogers has made significant progress in terms of resolving this. So hopefully Rogers gets the remaining customers who are still out online in short order. As in today. Because the longer this goes, the worse it gets for Rogers. Both from a PR standpoint and from a financial one as well.

The Rogers Outage: A Post Mortem

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 25, 2017 by itnerd

Now that it looks like the multi-day Rogers outage is on it’s way to being resolved, I figured it would be worth doing a post mortem of this incident. The reason being is that I believe there are things that can be taken away from this incident that can either help to avoid another one like it, or to improve the response to a similar situation.

The first thing that jumps out at me is the system that failed and caused this outage. Whatever systems that Rogers had that authorizes its hardware when you connect it to their network clearly failed. And it took days for Rogers to get things fixed to a point that customers could come back online. This is the sort of system that sounds business critical to me, which in my world is something that usually has a backup system. But based on what seems to have gone down from my perspective, it appears on the surface that this may not be the case. If that is accurate, then that is reason to worry if you’re a Rogers customer as this could happen again. Now if Rogers was a small ISP, I could see them not having a backup system of some sort. But this is Canada’s largest telco. That should not be the case. The other possibility is that if they did have a backup system, it clearly didn’t work. If that’s what happened, then Rogers has a much bigger issue that they need to deal with. In either case, one hopes that they address this going forward. On top of that, one has to wonder if there are other business critical systems within Rogers that lack any sort of backup at all or one that they know is in a working state.

That brings me to point number two, it took Rogers days to resolve this. During that time the following happened:

  • Retail stores allegedly had no idea that this was going on. But they still handed out hardware that had zero chance of working, which in turn compounded the amount of angry customers the telco had to deal with.
  • Tech support was somewhat aware of this issue, but there was nothing they could say or do other than offer a service credit if you pushed hard enough.
  • The Rogers social media team didn’t start to admit that there was a widespread problem until this past weekend. During that time their responses weren’t consistent. Then when they did admit to it, they sent out at least a couple of messages saying that things were resolved when in reality they were not even close to being resolved. Not to mention a secondary issue of some sort was uncovered. And late on in this crisis, customers were unable to get responses for them for extended periods of time which didn’t help their cause.

The net result is that Rogers customers who were affected by this outage were not happy campers. If you look through any of my stories covering this outage that’s clear as I posted Tweets in each story from customers who took to Twitter to express their displeasure. These are people who counted on Rogers to provide them with quality Internet service, and were willing to give Rogers some slack when this incident started. But when the above happened, and the days dragged on, any goodwill those customers had went out the window. I’ve talked to exactly 103 people via e-mail, phone and Twitter about this issue. None of them are happy. If these 103 people represent how some, most or all of Rogers customers who were affected by this feel, then Rogers has a very big problem on their hands. These are people who will at the very least bad mouth Rogers to anyone who will listen. At worst, people will do that and leave Rogers for other telcos such as Bell Canada. Either way, it’s not good for Canada’s largest telco.

Now this does sound dire. But strange as it may seem, Rogers can rescue this. If I ran Rogers, here’s what I would do:

  1. Tell Rogers customers what happened, why it happened, and why it will never happen again in a robust manner and give details on how things are going to change. For example, in this case Rogers let people get new hardware that had zero chance of working and allegedly their retail staff had no idea that an critical event was going on. The fix for that is to ensure that all parts of the organization know when a critical event happens and take the best action in the interest of their customer base. As in not handing out hardware to customers that had zero chance of working. The bottom line is that customers have to know that you recognize that you’ve made a mistake and you’re willing to invest to fix it because they want to trust you. If customers can’t trust you, they’ll go elsewhere to someone who they can trust.
  2. Rogers needs to apologize. They need to do so in a robust and fulsome way that shows that they regret the inconvenience that they’ve caused their customers. Sending a direct email to all affected customers would work best in this situation. Because when one does that, most people will respond positively. Conversely, when when that doesn’t happen, customers go elsewhere because they feel that the organization doesn’t care.
  3. Make amends by giving a credit of some sort to customers. And by that, I don’t mean a credit that amounts to a week or two of service. I mean a credit that takes into account that some Rogers customers had difficulty working from home, making money if they were self employed, and had to use expensive cellular data to get online. A credit that is worth a month of service should cut it based on what I saw online. By offering a credit that is meaningful, they recognize that they seriously inconvenienced their customers. And customers will respond positively to to that.

By doing all of the above, Rogers stands a healthy chance of retaining the customers that they upset during this outage. But will they do it? At best I think the odds are 50/50 that they will. But I do know that if they don’t do anything, their odds of retaining customers who were affected by this outage plummet dramatically. How will you know for sure which way this goes? Watch next quarter’s results for increased churn in their cable, TV, and home phone operations relative to last quarter. If it goes up, then you know that the people who were ranting about Rogers on social media were deadly serious about leaving Canada’s largest telco.

One other thing. I want to circle back to the 83 year old client of mine who I had to set up my spare cell phone in hotspot mode (which ended up consuming 5GB of data and blowing by my data cap with Fido by 1GB by the way) so that she could get onto the Internet as having Internet access allows her to order medication and food. That’s important because she is housebound. She’s up and running as of yesterday and I will monitor her situation. But what was interesting was that Rogers reached out to me directly on Monday to see if they could assist. I told this to my wife and her response in a very cynical tone was “they likely want to get her story off the field because it looks really bad to take a old woman offline.” That statement further highlights the challenge that Rogers has which is how the public now perceives them. But the reality is that Rogers didn’t have to try and help her. Thus I applaud them for wanting to assist. The thing is, the fact that Rogers wanted to try and help this woman illustrates that they aren’t bad guys. I think that something happened here that went sideways on multiple levels. That along with some less than optimal decision making on the part of Rogers conspired to make them look worse than the really are. I believe that they can remedy that if they choose to do the right thing. The question I have is if they have the desire to do so.

I guess we’re about to find out.

UPDATE: Rogers is apparently still working towards bringing people back online. Details here.

The Rogers Outage MAY Be Ending As More People Are Coming Back Online

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

It seems that more people are coming back online from the almost week long outage that kept some Rogers TV, home phone and Internet customers offline. Overnight I got these Tweets from readers of the blog:

But there are still many who continue to be offline:

So it looks like there continues to be progress in terms of getting people back online. But it also seems that this issue cannot be filed under the “resolved” pile. Adding to this are the people who are looking for compensation for this outage, along with those who are fed up and are looking to leave Rogers for the competition. In terms of compensation, if I were Rogers, I would be very proactive on that front. But only after all customers are online.

Watch this space for updates.

UPDATE: I just got an email from a Rogers customer who is none too happy with the telco. I’ve reprinted his email below:

Rogers continues to lie to me and really need to get their message straight. Rogers store where I got a new modem says that they have no idea about failure to activate new modems (this was on Monday)….also getting message that everyone is getting hooked back up…really???…so I guess I’m just the unfortunate one…sorry for the inconvenience…and sorry we have no idea when we’ll be able to hook you back up (finally a kernel of truth)…even senior management is frustrated…really??? Goodbye Rogers..hello TekSavvy…5 days without service and counting…

This is another data point in terms of the challenge that Rogers has when it comes to putting this issue to bed once and for all. Hopefully as people are coming back online, Canada’s largest telco is formulating a plan to assuage the discontent within its user base.

UPDATE #2: A look at Canadian Outages indicates that people are continuing to come back online, and there is some scale to it. Thus I really think that there’s a light to the end of this tunnel.

UPDATE #3: The Rogers customer who sent me the e-mail above is online as of a few minutes ago. He’s now waiting to see if Rogers compensates him for this before he decides if he will leave Rogers or not.

BREAKING: Rogers Now Saying That There’s A “Secondary” Issue Keeping People Offline

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 23, 2017 by itnerd

Here’s another twist in the ongoing saga of the Rogers outage that has affected a client of mine along with untold others for the last few days. Rogers on Sunday promised that things would be up and running by that evening. Which by today was proven that they didn’t bring people online as promised. And to top it off while some people got online today, many didn’t.

The latest plot twist can be found in these Tweets that were just posted to the Rogers Helps Twitter account:

This is quite literally unbelievable. By that I mean that I am having a hard time believing this. Why? From where I sit, a significant number of Rogers customers are still not online as I type this. And they have been for days. Given how long this has been going on and the sort of resources that Rogers must be throwing at this, this new issue cannot be plausible.

Predictably, this isn’t going over well on Twitter:

The fact is that at this point, Rogers can kiss whatever credibility that they had goodbye as none of their users who are offline are likely to believe what Rogers is saying.

Consider this to be a full blown PR crisis that is spiraling out of the control of Rogers.

UPDATE: An increasing number of people are coming back online. Details here.