A Money Coach in Canada

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981211829_567cf171a7_m.jpgRogers gave him a bill for over $5,000. He’s a colleague of mine, and as a point of interest, in the IT dep’t.

They claimed he’d left his cel phone downloading data and racked up $5K in a month.

“No Way,” he said, “I’m not that stupid”.

But it was all his fault, said the Rogers rep. He must have left it downloading something overnight. Maybe bittorrent?

“Uh, no. I’m in the IT field. I wouldn’t do something like that.”

Well, if he clearly read his Term of Agreement (editors note: have you ever? I mean, really read, the terms of agreement on your cel plan?) he would have known he’d be responsible under all circumstances.

Several noisy phone calls later (you can just guess how those calls went, I bet), after he pointed out that even if he cancelled his contract and if they went after him, they’d never get $5K out of him (and perhaps their PR dep’t realized the optics of that just wouldn’t look good in the press), they agreed to put him on a new plan with only a $50 fee.

He agreed, although still feeling cheated — he remains positive it was a billing error — but they had him by the you-know-whats so this seemed the path of least resistence and he succumbed. Score 1 for the Big Guys, -$50 for a decent dude who probably got screwed.

My own experience with Rogers was less than stellar. I got a home phone plan from Sprint who got bought out by Fido who got bought out by Rogers. Then Rogers changed its System, and the System started billing me twice a month even though I only had one phone and one plan. When I called, the rep’s pointed out that the System had been changed and was causing problems and their wasn’t anything they could do.

“Um, well can you at least get the System to stop double-billing me?” Turns out, honest to goodness, they couldn’t.

So I cancelled my plan (I wasn’t locked in at least) and I swear to you it took over 7 calls and 5 hand-written letters before they stopped billing me for services I wasn’t receiving – either of them! – for several months. I kept receiving bills after their VP sent me a nice note saying good-bye and welcoming me back should I change my mind. I kept receiving bills after someone called to enquire why I had left.

Finally some goddess-young-woman did Something to the System so I stopped getting billed.

Meanwhile, Rogers stock has gone from about $20 to nearly $50 in the past 3 years.

I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. Do you?

Is share value in inverse proportion to respect of customers?

photo credit D Norman. 

About the Author

Imagine if Canadians were known for being all over their money. Engaged. Proactive. Getting out of debt. Savvy. Saving. Generous. Nancy wants to help. Nancy started her own journey with money over 15 years ago, and formed her company “Your Money by Design” in 2004 to help others along the same path. It’s not the usual financial advising/investment stuff. It’s about taking control of day-to-day finances –managing monthly cashflow effectively, spending appropriately, getting out of debt, saving. If you're ready to take control over your finances, pop by her business site, YourMoneybyDesign.com


  1. I wouldn’t touch Rogers with a ten-foot pole made of free-service coupons.

    They simply sicken me.


    May 27, 2008
  2. I have a pay-as-you-go plan with Virgin Mobile. No Complaints, and no bills for 5K.


    May 27, 2008
  3. You don’t understand why a company that charges customers $5000 for services they don’t use has a share price that’s going up? 🙂


    May 28, 2008
  4. @krupo So it’s not just a western thing.
    @squawkfox That Richard Branson. He just keeps doing things right, doesn’t he?
    @GIV D’oh! *slaps hand on head* Good one!


    May 28, 2008
  5. Haribo

    Telus are worse… I had a 16000 bill, yes three zeros… too a lifetime to fix it.

    It is time N.American Cell companies fell in line with the rest of the world. One payment that covers all services, incoming, out-going, text, the lot. why cant they just say : $60/month : 400 minutes, anytime. 200 texts. 5MB Data. Caller ID etc. The LOT!

    And when a bill gets a few hundred higher than usual, CALL THEM!

    Makes me want to return to Europe! ….


    May 30, 2008
  6. Perhaps someone could cook up a “customer respect index” so ‘ethical’ investors could have some metrics to consider when trading stocks.


    Jun 04, 2008
  7. I have some stock that I *OWN* and I wouldn’t do business with as a customer (BMO for one, ROC for another). You’re right that its weird how some companies treat their customers poorly but perform well as a stock…


    Jun 13, 2008

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