Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Fido Bites. Do I Need Rabies Shots?

I love dogs. I hate Fido One of the main reasons I don't stop to help when I see a vehicular accident is that I don't have a cell phone. I would not want to get involved, except to offer to call the police, who are experts at sorting these things out. No cell? I am of little use.

The reason I don't own a cell phone is due to a well-known company named Fido (aka Microcell Solutions). This is my Fido Fiasco.

A couple of years ago I did own a cell phone. It was fantastic for its time. It was black, and had all the buttons a regular phone has, plus a few more. But considering the incredible and sometimes ridiculous phone features these days, my Ericsson T18z was pretty bare bones. It did have a free "Fido" exclusive text message feature where I could recieve jokes or weather reports. When I signed up for this service, the reports never came. It wasn't a big deal, so I didn't care.

Fast Forward one year.

I started getting my weather reports, and it was an exciting day. Then I noticed my bill. This "Free" feature was costing me 10 cents every time I received a text message. I immediately cancelled this feature, not because I was cheap, but because I didn't like how Fido was cheating me out of a few extra cents.

But the text messages didn't stop. In fact, Fido started sending me some sort of promotional "Fido" text messages, and of course, charged me 10 cents for each one they sent me!

I called up Microcell Solutions and asked that they stop sending me text messages. I also asked that they credit me for the last few they sent. They obliged. I was happy, and thought my problem was over. I was wrong. The next month I was STILL receiving text messages. I phoned again, and had the text charges dropped for a 2nd time.

Month 3: More text messages, more 10-cent charges on my bill. Another phone call, and they promised me they would block my phone from receiving text messages. They dropped the text charges for a 3rd time.

Month 4: More text messages, more 10-cent charges. Phone call #4 was a bad one. I was angry. This time I asked for a supervisor. None were available. I asked for a manager. They were also unavailable. I was getting really fed up, so I said to the girl "fine, please cancel my phone service." She replied "I'm sorry I can't do that." I said "Yes you can. Cancel it right now." She became very angry and yelled at me, and told me to call a different phone number in order to cancel my service.

- the deal -

What is fdio?
I called the number. The Fido representative was extremely sorry to hear of all my trouble with my bill, and with 'Heather'. He knew Heather, and he knew she was a hot-head. I told him I understood it was not his fault, but I wanted my service cancelled immediately because I refused to call their office again to correct my bills. He tried very hard to keep me as a customer, and offered me 3 months of free phone service. Three months? Hey, that's about $100! I accepted. I accepted, on the condition that I never receive any more text messages, as previously promised, and never get billed for them again.

Two months went by and each bill showed $0.00 as promised. I stopped receiving text messages as well.

When the bill came on the third month, I gave birth to a 17-pound cow. My bill stated $0.00 for phone serivce, plus a 15-cent penalty for not paying for my text messages.

Phone call, Paraphrased.
After 1 hour and 45 minutes on hold:
Fido: "Bonjour Microsell Solutions, how can I help you?"
Me: "Cancel my phone service immediately."
Fido: "I'm sorry, but can you tell me the reason you'd like to cancel?"
Me: "No. Cancel my phone service."
Fido: "But what reason are you cancelling for?"
Me: "Read my file, then cancel my phone service."
Fido: "Sir, can you please tell me why you are cancelling? I need to know a reason."
Me: "I'm sick of explaining the problem. I'm sure there are notes on my account."
Fido: "I see you preferred to receive no text messages."
Me: "Yes. Cancel my phone service."
Fido: "But sir..."
Me: "Cancel my phone service and get a manager on the phone."
Fido: "Hold on sir."
Manager: "Hello, I understand you're having a problem with your bill?"
Me: "I've been having a problem with my bill for 8 months. I'm sick of phoning every single month to have my bill corrected. Please cancel my phone service."
Manager: "I assure you we can resolve your problem."
Me: "No, you can't resolve the problem. You already tried and failed. Cancel my phone service."
Manager: "Sir, we don't want to lose a customer who has been with us as long as yo..."
Me: "Mmm-hmm. Cancel my phone service"
Manager: "Sir, if you'll..."
Manager: "Yes, sir, I can take care of that for you."

A few minutes later, my account was cancelled. Then the manager asked me if I could send the phone back to them. Huh? I paid $75 for that phone! It was mine. And I told him that.

So, if you ever see me drive past you while you're trying to change four flat tires in the dark, you can blame it all on Fido.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

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3:59:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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4:00:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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4:17:00 PM

Blogger Poison said...

Well, you've got point there! If I would be you, I will do the same, but I must said, you did it in very kind way.
Acctually good for you :]

4:17:00 PM

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4:34:00 PM

Blogger Lo said...

so you are one of those customers. i really hate dealing with people like you. take it out on the people who aren't at fault. you must be proud of yourself.

usually if you get texts like that means YOU signed up for them with a third party. anyway blame whoever you want, but take some personal responsibility

4:34:00 PM

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Blogger Rainypete said...

Wow! Apparently if you bitch about really bad customer service on your blog it will result in a multitude of blog sapm and a irate customer service rep who had a bad day and feels the need to chew out random bloggers. Go Martini!!

I had a problem with a company who markets their phones with cute animal pictures. After canceling the service I recieved a bill (several months later) claiming I owed them for a few months' service and would be sent to collections.

These folks seem to think not having a cell phone is a big deal!! And if it is then there are plenty of other carriers out there!

12:36:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your writing. It really moves me, and I will bookmark it for future.

Next time, consider text messaging your blogs through a new phone service a href="http://www.fido.ca">featured on my website.

10:11:00 AM

Blogger Useless Man said...

Forget her complaining... she's hot.

10:12:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think you were at fault. You were nice to the people for the first 7 months you dealt with them.

Unfortunately, these call centers are given scripts to follow instead of common sense.

When dealing with an angry customer, your first action should not be to disagree with him.

And according to your account, didn't the customer service rep yell at you as well at one point (Heather?).

10:15:00 AM

Anonymous CURB said...

My beef is with Rogers that still sells phones to my mentally handicapped sister despite her never having paid a bill to them to the tune of $4000.00. You'd think they would have stopped after the first $1000?

10:26:00 AM

Blogger Martini said...

Lo, you make me laugh! Obviously you didn't read my blog carefully. Why do you hate dealing with nice, friendly people like me? I only became angry after the incompetent people at Fido could not fix my problem after many, many months.

FIDO sent me the weather reports, and I asked Fido to STOP sending me text messages. So, sorry to say, FIDO is at fault.

Hmm, I have a sneaking suspicion that you work for Fido...

11:07:00 AM

Blogger Lo said...

NO i do not work for fido, never even heard of them. I am not a customer service rep I work in sales in store.

If a customer gets angry with me(especially for something I didn't personally do) I am just going to reciprocate the same attitude.

Dude you got three months of free service and you canceled your bill for .15 cents, seems petty to me. If that is all I had to worry about in life, my life would be so easy.

Anyway I am not a bitch. I am sure it might have been fido's fault but i am also sure it was not the fault of the one you yelled at. Getting angry gets you no where in life

11:36:00 AM

Blogger Martini said...

p.s. Thanks Pete, and GreenPoison.

11:39:00 AM

Blogger Martini said...

Lo, no I didn't say or think you were a bitch, but I don't think you understood the exact problem, or I didn't explain it well enough.

I went back and re-read my blog, and it does sound a lot like I was being an assh*le, but I assure you I didn't yell at anyone until the very end, when they simply wouldn't listen to me anymore. I used to work almost the exact same job, and I know what it's like to be treated like crap on the phone, so I am always calm, logical, and pleasant.

The problem was not the 15 cents. It was that Fido couldn't get my bill right for EIGHT months. That's some serious incompetence. I couldn't trust them any more.

On a brighter note, I have friends who cancelled their terrible Fido accounts in order to get Bell Mobility, Cingular and Telus Mobility accounts (and love them.)

1:03:00 PM

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6:08:00 AM

Blogger mmat said...

that sounds strangely similar to my dealings with Bell Mobility. i was getting hassle with the bills (or rather the lack thereof - 3 bills on the same day for months that i had paid for 8 months previous). if it wasn't for the fact that i've been stranded on the highway with a busted-ass car more than once, i'd not bother with a cell phone at all.

3:07:00 PM


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