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Please sir, may I have an iPhone?

Sometimes reality really is stranger than fiction.  Take, for example, my efforts to buy an an iPhone from Rogers for my son.  You may recall that a little two over two weeks ago I paid a visit to the Barrhaven Rogers store with Jon, money in hand, to buy an iPhone.  On that occasion, we were turned away — not eligible until the contract period on his current SIM was up on November 14.

This past Sunday we returned to the store, and tried again.  We made some progress but still didn’t walk away with an iPhone.  This time we were eligible, but the price quoted was $349, not the $199 prominently displayed on the web site.  “Fine,” I responded.  “Just cancel the old SIM and we’ll get a new one at the $199 new customer rate.”  After all, the old SIM was out of contract anyway.

To cancel the old SIM Rogers requires you to speak with customer service, and pay a $30 cancellation fee.   It can’t be done in the store.  The young woman behind the counter obligingly telephoned customer service, only to discover that they’re not open on Sundays.

imageSo, beginning to feel a bit like Oliver Twist we left, a second time, with no iPhone.

This morning I called the customer service number that had been supplied, and was confronted by a woman who asked “what do you want?”, fairly brusquely. She was obviously having a bad day.   I explained what I was trying to do, and was informed that “All of our systems are being upgraded.  I can only answer general questions.  I don’t have access to your account, and therefore can’t answer any questions about pricing or your account.”

I asked how long the system would be down, and was instructed to call back in another two hours.

I’m not going to ask the obvious question, which is how Rogers can run their business with the call centre down for two hours on a Monday morning.  We’re simply trying to buy my boy an iPhone at the advertised price, and Rogers apparently has the phones.

Or maybe they don’t… brings to mind the Monty Python Cheese Shop sketch.

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{ 3 comments… add one }

  • PhoneBoy November 17, 2008, 12:38 pm

    Personally, I would have gone the eBay route by now. If you have to go to this much work to buy a phone, is it really worth it?

  • Larry Borsato November 17, 2008, 5:24 pm

    Alec, when you get the Rogers customer service people on the phone, tell them you want to speak to the “Customer Relations” group. Use those exact words and ask them to put you through. You will be connected to someone with a lot more ability to get something done for you, and they will likely overlook some of the silly rules.

    You can only get the group by specifically asking for it and nobody will tell you about them.

    – Larry

  • Alec November 17, 2008, 7:27 pm

    Thanks Larry. I have done that and got some satisfaction. More on the story tomorrow… it gets a little bizarre.

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