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? šŸ˜‚

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 SeidmanĀ recalls hearing the phraseĀ 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 RetentionĀ deals are the best. My dealĀ 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 straight forward however beforehand you need to collect some important information:

  • If you are an existing customer, how long have you been a 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 telecomm 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. It is important to get this person to give you a better deal (or the best deal). 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 (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?


No_Op Storefronts

I went into a Bell store to ask about whether I could get a better cell phone deal. I was told, No, I cannot have a better deal.

This has happened to me more than once. Ā 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 no better cell phone deal for existing customers.

What is a NoOp?

better cell phone deal

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? 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 NoOpsĀ : 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), but I cannot get aĀ better cell phone deal.

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). Ā 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?



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