Monday, October 31, 2005

The Death of a Customer Service Provider

Is it just me, or has customer service in general really taken a nosedive as of late?

#1: Since finishing my contract with Rogers AT&T wireless back in June, I decided to change cellphone providers, having been offered a pretty sweet deal with Fido ($15 camera phone, $25/mo w/free voice mail and call display, free iPod Shuffle). So, I call them up on Saturday to get them to cancel my old plan. Lo and behold, the cancellation department isn't open on the weekends, so I have to wait until Monday to call.

Monday, the person on the other line is about to charge me a fee for breaking contract (usually $100+) and then I find out that there is a 30-day window between putting in a notice for cancelling a phone, for which I will be billed the time for a phone that I don't even want anymore. I raise a large enough stink and manage to convince them that the contract ended several months back, but I'm still paying for a month of phone service. Can someone please explain the logic behind this?

[ADDENDUM: Okay, so I find out that Bell Mobility forces a 30-day lag on cancellations too. Why isn't there more rioting in the streets?]

#2: Last November, I had my entire collection of DVDs stolen, which was being reimbursed through my insurance company. Allowing A&B Sound to handle my claim, I was slowly rebuilding my collection, trying to be a lot more discriminating when it comes to whatever DVDs I choose this time around (the best thing about having your DVDs stolen is that you get rid of a lot of crap that you have no intention of watching more than once).

Funny thing was that A&B Sound was in the process of changing hands, having declared bankruptcy protection. So, any claim that was filed prior to March 2005 was invalidated, although they were continuing to process claims as a "show of good will." All of a sudden, as of September 2005, these are summarily cut off. I contact my insurance adjuster and A&B's creditors (via KPMG) and they offer no recourse whatsoever.

Way to rebuild your customer base.

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