Rogers Update: The Saga Continues

Rogers has been responsive at doing this investigation. Here’s the recap.

  • Double Plus: I recieved a call from the office of the president, promptly. They want to solve this. I got a very responsive person that seemed to understand the situation.
  • Plus: They acknowledged I emailed several vice presidents in the company.
  • Plus: I sent them a list of articles and support posts about phantom roaming charges. There apparently is a bug for older iOS devices (version iOS 4 and 5) where if the phone is set to auto download music and applications, data roaming will be activated. Neither Apple nor mobile companies that I know of have acknowledged this bug.
  • Minus: I was offered the “if you buy the $100 package retroactively, we’ll forgive the rest of the bill” solution. I explained to the  representative, “That’s great, but that’s an admission of guilt and not a real solution.” These are electronic systems that have no physical cost for this roaming issue other than increasing profits.

I get it — not everyday are they going to get someone on the other end the designs iPhone applications, has travelled internationally, is comfortable with social media and can navigate email systems. But their customer service runs the risk every day when they mistreat customers. This is all bad press, and probably will cost them customers.

They would get a lot better press if they said, “We’ll forgive this,” and would probably get a renewed contract that’s worth over $2,000 over the next year. Otherwise, there’s a good chance they’ll lose a customer over this. Sean Van Tyne, a friend of mine, talks about how good service breeds loyal customers.

A great service design culture really starts from the top. Loyalty comes from the promises companies make to their customers. Period.

Here’s a few recommendations:

  • Users should be able to remove automatic billing from their account. I get it, you want to get them on the phone. Comcast is a master of this, especially when you want to cancel the account, but their service representatives turn it into a sale. This, however, a) pisses off users and b) probably contributes to the customer service costs. I’m embarrassed as a member of the User Experience field that any UX Designer would allow Black Hat UX to happen.
  • Connect the technical support and customer service systems. I shouldn’t have to be transferred every time another department needed to speak with me. There’s nothing more aggravating than, “I don’t know the answer to this, I need to transfer you.” Again, added costs for answering simple questions.
  • Properly train your representatives on the devices your customers use. 30 percent of your customers use iPhones. If they don’t understand that the iPhone setting for data roaming are three screens down, or think the phones have magic powers, you have alienated 30 percent of your customer base. This isn’t a fragmented Android market — it’s a device that is a single hardware platform and very, very predictable.
  • Look at issues, and resolve them by looking at the ROI. The amount of time spent on this issue by all parties involved will cost much more than the $619. As a former product manager, sometimes cutting your loses is best for the business.

More updates tomorrow. Stay tuned.