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Leaving Your Service Provider


I wrote this right after I left Rogers because they were gouging me. I will soon be writing this again for Bell as they are now gouging me. Yes, to get a good deal in Canada, you must constantly change service providers.

As I have said before, if you threaten that you are going to leave a service provider, you must be ready to follow through. With that in mind, my association with Rogers Cable, has now concluded after 32 years of association. During that time, I have seen my monthly TV cable fee go from $18 a month to an astronomical $123.60, which is the final charge I paid this month. Farewell Rogers my old friend, but you wouldn’t give me a better deal.

Why am I Leaving ?

I have regularly called and asked for a lower rate and many times Rogers complied (I even followed my own script once or twice). The last time I asked for a cheaper rate, I was told that was as good as it gets for me, and I was going to have to continue to pay this for the foreseeable future.

Was Rogers service terrible? Not really, it had its moments when things went down for no apparent reason, and such.  The cost was the reason I left this service provider.

I now have put all my eggs in one basket with Bell Fibe (and I even have my Cell Phone with Bell). This means for the next little while I will have very little leverage to get better deals (as I am locked in for a while as well). Am I confident that the Bell Services will be better than Rogers? I doubt it, although the Internet speed seems a little faster, the TV has a lag in channel changing that I forgot would be there (in an Video over IP model it is inherent), but the price is about $100 cheaper a month, so I really had no choice but to leave Rogers.

Farewell rogers my old friend

Good Bye

I am tired of having to beg. When I have shown that I am a loyal customer, I should not have to beg. I am tired of seeing new clients get great deals, while I continue to have to pay much more for the same darn service. The whole process makes me weary, and hope that Bell has not “horn swoggled me” in some fashion with this “great new deal” that I have.

Was this a Bluff ?

Sometimes you can’t bluff, you must follow through with your threat. In the new year, I believe it will be time to talk to my Bank again, as I am looking at Tangerine and thinking, maybe it is time to exit the TD treadmill of service fees as well, but that is for the new year.


Your Rogers VIP Points will be Worthless Soon

Not that they were worth that much to begin with, but a while back Rogers pointed out that they will be shuttering their Rogers First Rewards program in June 2016. It is pretty sad when the program will have a life of less than 3 years, but so be it, maybe they will come up with something much better? 😂

Customer Retention
With no Reward System?

For folks like me who have their Internet and TV with Rogers (for the moment, once I get a hold of the customer retention team I will need to get a better deal or leave) have a fair amount of points built up over the past while, so we should make sure that we spend the darn things, so me and the Mrs. will be watching the movie network for free for a few months (since we don’t have enough points to get a cash back reward on our bills).

I am confident that Rogers will come up with a much better and much more exciting rewards system (sarcasm) for their valued customers.


And the Horse You Rode in On

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.


What is in it for me?

One of the nice things about having written over 2000 posts and being on the job for over 8 years now, is the fact that you have a massive back-log of stuff that my current readers may not have read, so here I give you a post that didn’t really get much notice back 7 years ago, note the style of writing.

Dear Reader,

So as you can tell I am a mercenary blogger and will do many things to make an extra buck or two (witness the ads plastered all over this BLOG if you are unsure of this), so let’s ask ourselves how we can put a few extra bucks in our pockets (and review a few of my initial rants), What’s in it for us?

  1. Stop paying those ridiculously high banking charges (remember?)
  2. Use some coupons when you shop (hey a couple of extra bucks is nothing to sneeze at)
  3. Get a Credit Card that pays you to use it. PC Financial has a nice one (if you like shopping at Loblaws that is), and gives you cash. AMEX and Costco have one that pays cash as well. For heaven’s sake don’t pay to get money back or points (like that CIBC Aeroplan Gold, only if you are a traveling salesman would that work).
  4. Join Petropoints or whatever other “I give you points for shopping here” program you can find (as long as it is free). I also am a member of the CAA, so I get money back for buying gas at PetroCanada
  5. Stop buying those bloody “Lattes” will ya? What’s wrong with the free coffee at work!

OK, so that is the rant for the day, put your money in your pockets!


A Script for Customer Retention Deals

This one is an oldie but a goody. One of my most popular posts. Do these tactics still work? The concepts are still correct, all of these companies want new customers, not crappy old existing customers, so be prepared to jump!

Where do you get the best deals? I find the Customer Retention deals are the best. My deal on the new iPhone after using pretty much the same script I have used to save money on:

  1. Rogers , Bell or Telus Internet Fees
  2. Bell Landline phones
  3. Rogers , Cogeco, Shaw , or Bell Cable fees
  4. etc., etc.,

by (hopefully) getting to the Customer Retention (or the folks who can make deals) group on the phone. The scenario becomes quite straightforward forward however beforehand. You need to collect some important information:

  • How long have you been a customer if you are an existing customer? If you have been a customer in good standing (i.e. you paid your bills on time, etc.,) keep that in mind too.
  • Do you have viable alternatives to the service you are attempting to get at a cheaper rate? Usually, if you are spread out across various companies, you can make statements like, “I have Internet with Rogers, and they keep bugging me to move my phone over to them”, or “Bell Fibe keeps bugging me about how cheap and how fast their internet service is, and I already have Bell phone”, etc.,
  • You can do your own research and talk to competing services and get real “deals” from them, so you can make specific comments about what you have been offered by the competition.

Also keep in mind, if you are bluffing, you cannot let that come out, or you are screwed. I typically am not bluffing, in that I have no real allegiance to any of the major telecom service providers in Canada (or in the world for that matter).

Step 1: Call Sales or Customer Service

Sh*te Vortex
Customer Retention Sh*te Vortex

You will have to make this call first, since we have figured out that Mortar and Brick Stores are No-Ops. I actually spoke to a Salesperson at the Bell Store and they are equally frustrated that they cannot offer any “deals”.  You must make the first call, be polite, and talk to this first person, ask what kind of deal they can give you. Almost all of the time this first person can do nothing (I am being polite, this first-person can do nothing for you).

Eventually, you will need to utter the important statement: “Can I please speak to Customer Retention group please?“. If they will not connect you, thank them, hang up and call back again a while later, and hopefully that person will connect you with the folks who can make deals for you. If you can’t get through after several tries, ask to talk to a supervisor, maybe they are the folks to talk to?

Step 2: Customer Retention

Once you are talking to Customer Retention (or the supervisor, or the magic deal-making person), you need to make it clear you want a better deal because:

  • You are a long-time customer.
  • Their competition wants you.

Or any other reason if you can think of one. Getting this person to give you a better deal (or the best deal) is essential. You need to get them to think that you deserve a deal. If customer retention simply restates the existing deal that the first person told you, this is the wrong person. You need to ask for another person or their supervisor. I have found that no matter what, the first deal you get from Customer Retention is not “The Deal“, ask for more! Keep pounding home the point that you are a desirable client, and you want more. Keep at this, pound away about how you want a better deal, and you deserve it.

Step 3: Close the Deal

After you have spent enough time (it seems 30-60 minutes is average for me) and you feel you have a good enough deal from Customer Retention, you must close this deal! How do you close this deal? First, don’t just hang up and assume you have the deal. Get all the particulars of who you spoke with:

  • Their Name
  • Their phone number
  • Any identifier code for this great deal. Thus when you go to a Mortar and Brick store to consummate the deal, you get what you deserve.
  • The exact amount that this is saving you. See if they might e-mail the information to you.

I have seen more than one “great deal” go sour when you show up to close the deal. Suddenly the deal has disappeared like a fart in the wind. An example would be the person who gave you the deal is no longer available. When you close the deal, get it all in writing. Ensure it is the deal that you wanted . Do not let them make small adjustments that change the deal. Sounds complicated? Not really, but I have found that remaining polite throughout works best. You can still sound annoyed but there is no reason to be impolite. Simply restate your point with a bit more emphasis (not yelling, just a sterner tone). Did I miss anything here?


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