No_Op Storefronts

Yesterday I was out Christmas shopping with my wife and I went into a Bell store to ask about whether I could get a better deal than the one that I can read on Bell.ca for one of the new iPhones, and I was told effectively, No. Now this has happened to me more than once, where I have walked into a Bell, Telus, or Rogers store and I get told that the folks who work in the store are not allowed (or cannot (or even worse will not)) try to make a better deal with an existing customer (which in the case of Bell Mobility, I am (I have been with them for more than 5 years, which I view as a very long-term client)). They can try to make deals for new customers, but not for existing customers.

No-Op

Storefront Locations are of Little Value

Throughout my life I keep coming back to things I learned when I was a young programmer and one of the interesting assembly language commands I come back to is the NoOp (which meant no operation, or do nothing).

What is the point of a NoOp? Well in low-level programming there were needs to sometimes fill out programs or simply have the processor do nothing for a command to let things settle down (yes, settle down is a technical term). In my grammar NoOp became synonymous with Do Nothing.

The Storefronts for most of the major Telecomm companies in Canada have become NoOps : they are simply there for folks who don’t like doing things on-line (and for folks who don’t like calling the Bell Customer Service line). I can go in and buy something (that I could just as easily buy on-line) or I can talk to someone about a problem (which I can do over the phone).

This means that the only way I can get a better deal for an iPhone or any other Bell product will be to call their Customer Line, and then point out that my contract is up in 2 months and that Telus (and Rogers for that matter) are calling me to offer me better deals to have me use their services (i.e. Customer Retention).  I can’t even get a better deal going to a 3rd party such as the Future Shop or Wal-Mart, so it begs the question why are do these Mortar and Brick establishments exist?

 

{ 6 comments }

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Matt December 18, 2012, 3:50 PM

    I couldn’t agree more, the stores are pointless but for a lot of older customers who are used to going into a store to get something it really becomes a point of initial contact to get the customer. Think of it as expensive marketing.

    For me when I need to get something from Rogers I just call in and ask for customer retention – I’ve been with them for almost 10 years and have a lot of stuff with them so they tend to react.

    Reply
  • GTD Wannabe December 18, 2012, 12:24 PM

    Wow, you can get help at a Bell Store? I’m with Telus – when I had problems with a new phone, I went into the store. The only thing they could do for me was to call the 1-800 number for customer service and hand me the phone. Useless.

    Reply
    • bigcajunman December 18, 2012, 12:51 PM

      “Help” is a relative statement, they are very pleasant folk, but they never have done much good for me.

      Reply
    • bigcajunman December 19, 2012, 2:57 PM

      I think the folks in the store are just as frustrated by all of this.

      Reply
  • LifeInsuranceCanada.com December 18, 2012, 8:02 AM

    The business practices exist because most people fall in line and put up with it. It’s worse than buying a used car, having to negotiate a new arrangement every 3 years – for what?

    Cut it out. Drop your contract like a hot potato and port your phone over to Koodo. No long distance, NO contract, and excellent online support options.

    For example, we take the lowest data plan we can get. If I go over my data cap, there’s not some huge overage charges – they just bump me up to the next data plan for the month and then drop be back down again the next month. Compare that to my daughter’s bell plan – got busted using pinterest in class too much and it cost me $115 for the month for overage charges.

    Everyone else is welcome to put up with the level of service and support from Bell and Rogers, but you don’t have to – alternatives exist.

    Reply
    • bigcajunman December 18, 2012, 10:15 AM

      In this case I wish the American cell companies were allowed in, that might bring us some better deals, but that would be unCanadian I suppose.

      Reply

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