And the Horse You Rode in On

in Consumer Advocacy, Opinion

Another story from 2013 and when my dealings with Rogers concluded. Remember you must follow through if you threaten to leave.

This is an expression my Father on occasion used to describe someone claiming they would not help you. The actual expression is “Screw You, and the horse you rode in on“. The shortened version (“And the horse you rode in on”) is much more palatable in polite circles, though.

I found out later where my Father may have acquired this phrase. Donald Regan, who was Secretary of the Treasury under Ronald Reagan from 1981 through 1984 used it. Evidently one of his favorite phrases. My Father must have picked it up from a story William Safire wrote about Regan. Editor Michael Seidman recalls hearing the phrase while growing up in the Bronx in the 1950s. This could be the root of my Dad’s use of the expression as well.

I had one of these experiences when dealing with Rogers, talking to a very nice young woman. Rogers was offering a $10 “unlimited internet” option on their new bundles program. I figured I’d call to ask whether I (a valued customer of many years (IMHO)), could avail myself of this self-same program.

No, no, no! Your Horse, not your Zebra!
No, no, no! Your Horse, not your Zebra!

The young woman while very sympathetic said that the deal was only available if I added my Home Phone to my Rogers bundle. If I wanted to add it to my existing package that would cost an extra $30 a month. I mentioned Customer Retention more than once, hoping she might take the hint, however, she finally said, “they most likely won’t want to talk to you about this”.

In my humble view of Customer Service this is the same as saying, “Screw You, and the horse you rode in on“. I finally asked her to please connect me to customer retention. She warned me again, but did try to see if they might talk to me.

Did she actually talk to them? Not sure, however she did finally come back and say, “Your current deal with the Internet is all they can do for you, so they don’t wish to talk to you”. I thanked the young woman for her help. As a last question I asked what the penalty was for breaking my “great deal” early with Rogers, as I do have Bell beating down my door about their Fibe Program. She said it was $20 a month and the deal is until August 2014, I did a quick calculation and said, “…so about $260 to break this deal? OK, thank you.”

There are Consequences No Matter What the Response

While I understand the message that I already have a good deal, and shouldn’t ask for more, responding to a customer with, “I won’t talk to you”, is really a slap in the face to anyone. Having someone from “Customer Retention” deliver this message would have been much more palatable.  I would have felt less annoyed by the response.

Did I expect to get this deal? Unless I asked I knew the answer was no, so I asked, however, answering, “No and go away!” is a bit more than I expected. Am I saying Rogers is being unreasonable not offering me this deal? Absolutely not, it is within their prerogative not to give me any more deals. My issue is with how the message was delivered. Even unreasonable, needy customers must be treated with a level of respect by giving them a clear and polite response (even if the response is no).

In the end, I left Rogers, mostly due to this call.


  • Rogers_Kate May 24, 2013, 10:23 AM

    I’m part of the Rogers social media team and just wanted to reach out and thank you for your feedback. While it’s true that the $10 unlimited internet add-on is only compatible with accounts that have cable, internet, and home phone, if you’d like to reach out to our team on Twitter via @RogersHelps I’d be happy to get more information so I can have this interaction reviewed further.

    Thank you,

  • David Leonhardt May 22, 2013, 5:30 PM

    A zebra is a horse. There are several species of zebras. Some are adapted for the savannah, some for the mountains…but all are horses.

  • Bet Crooks May 22, 2013, 1:16 PM

    According to Scott Adams (Dilbert) you should buy some stock in Rogers.
    He may be on to something.
    Or on something.
    One or the other.

  • krantcents May 22, 2013, 11:36 AM

    I had a similar situation with a customer service department. I guess they think they are the only ones offering this service. I think they do this because they can get away with it. If they lost a lot of customers, they would probably change. Obviously, they don’t lose many customers so why change!

  • LifeInsuranceCanada.com May 22, 2013, 7:12 AM

    I’ve gone to using rogers and bell as little as possible. When Rogers started dropping channels because I didn’t have digital, they assumed I just went and got a digital box for all my TV’s. I figured if I had to do work, it was time to shop around. And sure enough, Shaw satellite was very interested in my business – we kicked rogers to the curb. Rogers and Bell customer service aren’t ‘service’. They’re simply functions of a large uncaring 1984 style business designed to either have you pay more money or go away as quickly as possible.

    And no way would I sign a contract every again for a cell phone. We’ve been using Koodo for a couple of years now and couldn’t be happier. My wife wants to switch phones, and with Koodo, you can just switch phones. No negotiations, no contract revisions, nothing.

    • bigcajunman May 22, 2013, 8:00 AM

      I found that Teksavvy works well for my daughters and their Internet usage, and yes even though there are not many choices, you can change from the Big 3 if you want to.

      Wonder if Google will ever come to Canada with their Fiber network?

  • Jane Savers @ Solving The Money Puzzle May 22, 2013, 6:23 AM

    I have found that it is best to end the discussion with an uninterested customer service rep and call another day to speak to someone else who is interested in customer service or who will cut you a deal just to get you off the phone.

    • bigcajunman May 22, 2013, 6:48 AM

      Indeed that is another way if you like to be persistent.


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