Everyone has a telecom story! We are interested in hearing what’s your. Did you have a problem — what kind of problem and what steps you took to resolve it? Did you have a positive experience that you would like to share? Your stories are our reality checks and evidence we need as researchers.

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Submitted Stories

“Just threaten to cancel.” That was what the customer service representative from Rogers told me to say to the “loyalty” department. I had been with Rogers for over seven years paying over $100 per month for my wireless phone. Without notification, my monthly bill increased to over $150. When I called in, the customer service representative told me that my plan automatically changed because it was too old, and Rogers’ policies did not require customer notification of a change. The representative told me that it was out of his control to revert my services to the original plan and transferred me to the “loyalty department.” I did just what the customer service representative told me – I threatened to cancel my service and move to another carrier. After 2.5 hours on the phone with two other representatives, I ended up returning to my original wireless plan with a $5 discount for the inconvenience. The process was very frustrating, emotional and I felt undervalued as a customer. I tried to change wireless providers, but I would have had to pay a $50 unlocking fee and more activation fees. It’s really sad to know that in order to get my original contracted services (no additional value), I had to yell and threaten to cancel. It’s an even larger issue when the front-line representatives provide you with advice on what the magic words are to correct an issue.
When I upgraded my phone, I wanted to keep the same plan but was told that it no longer existed and could not be applied to my new phone (for unknown reasons). Instead, they offered me essentially the exact same plan at a higher price, but with a discount which brought my total down to what it was before. I thought I had beat the system. However, I later discovered that the discount was only temporary and I had to call-in to renew. I had to spend two hours on the phone with a customer service representative to get them to re-apply the discount. I dread having to go through this process again at every renewal period.
Tara Hristov
Working predominantly in the administrative sphere, I am extremely concerned with institutions and organizations honouring their agent’s promises and representations. Unfortunately, this has not traditionally been my experience. Often, while an agent will say one thing, the terms of the contract will say another, leaving the onus on me (and other consumers) to bridge the gaps and misunderstandings that result. I therefore wanted to be involved in this project to arm consumers with the knowledge they need to hold their wireless company’s accountable.
Amanda Bergman
A few years ago, a family member purchased a mobile plan and did not properly read the contractual terms associated with it. Unfortunately, a number of issues arose regarding what they actually signed up for such as confusion around why there were data overcharges or the fact that there were numerous discrepancies between what the sales agent said and what the bill reflected. I asked my family member why they didn’t take the initiative to read the contract before purchasing anything. She informed me that she felt embarrassed and rushed during the purchasing process and assumed what the sales agent told her was true and there was no need to waste time to read over everything. What was most troubling, is that she was not informed that there is such a thing as a Wireless Code and was too overwhelmed/confused about the contractual terms and fully trusted the agent and followed through with the purchase. I think that had the contract been designed to be read by a lay-person or at least the terms explained by the sales agent then she could’ve avoided “bill shock” and her confidence in the telecommunications companies would not have been reduced as a result of experience.
Selena Lucien
Wind Mobile (now Freedom) overcharged our family plan by almost $200 in roaming charges when we never went anywhere. The roaming was either a glitch in their server or on the device they sold us. This issue was addressed though calling customer service, who then directed us to an internal investigation which yielded no results. Continued calls about this issue were made but all issues were not discussed due to the internal investigation being decided in the favour of the provider. This process took months to resolve and the service provider only agreed to drop the false charges after a report was made to Better Business Bureau.
Before joining the Cavanagh-Pavlovic research team, I was an average cellular consumer, unaware of my legal rights in The Wireless Code. Now, I am constantly asking friends and family if they know that The Wireless Code provides them rights when starting new cellular contracts, amending existing contracts or resolving issues. Knowledge is power. However, how can consumers take advantage of The Wireless Code provisions if they do not know what entitlements have been afforded to them? I am excited to be working on projects that can assist with spreading the word on consumers’ cellphone rights. Ideally, using our resources, the next time consumers have to interact with their providers they can enter the conversation from a place of knowledge, and therefore power.
Allie Cuperfain

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