It was recently my anniversary. So, I thought what would make my wife's life easier, a Tricorder or an iphone.
Since I moved both of our phones to Fido last year from Bell Mobility and payed a minor penalty to break my contract early. (The monthly savings because of the switch made up for breaking contract early, simple math). Anyways back to this saga of stupid business. So, I called Fido to figure out how much it was going to cost me to modify my wife's current contract and flip it to an iphone, a 3 year contract.
Here we go, the "customer support agent", let's call her Amy, told me that my wife's phone plan was not eligible until June 2010 for an upgrade? I was mildly confused. She told me that to get an iphone at 99$ she had to wait.
"OKayyyy, what if I don't want to wait?", she replied "599$ + monthly penalty for breaking contract". Seemed sorta expensive when you do the simple math (add on a voice and data plan/3 year contract).
There was a moment of silence on my iphone that I was calling from... then a solution! I said to Amy, "what if I cancel her phone and get a new phone number" or even better "what if I just move her phone plan to another provider like Rogers and pay the monthly penalty to break her contract?". Simple math. 99$+ retain phone number+ 300$ penalty. Way cheaper and odds that customer service would be much better than Fido's. She agreed with me. So, I ended the call. Interesting.
I called 611 on my iphone 2 minutes later, Fido "Customer Support". I have learned from my years with Bell Sympatico and Rogers Cable to alway call twice if your not sure you got the right information. I must say that I was a little confused why Fido didn't want me to lock in to a new 3 year contract before the next contract expired. I would imagine that this would be a Cell Phone Provider's wet dream. Let's call this agent Jason and he confirmed that this was all correct. Moreover, confirmed that my best course of action was to go to another provider Rogers.
I sat baffled since I was trying to do this contract change in the shadow of Bell and Telus announcing that they were going to carry the iphone. Wouldn't Fido want me as a customer for 3 more years before the real competition comes to town? I voiced my displeasure on Twitter where let's just call the user @Fidomobile tried to solve my problem by sendind it to the head office "Customer Care dept."
I talked to, let just call him Abdul, for 12 minutes where he re-iterated the same information the other agents had informed me but with a particular spin "if they just let people change there contract constantly Fido could not run there business properly". I wish I could recall his analogy but I countered with mine which at that point just seemed to see that I was not buying his "sales pitch".
My Analogy: I lease a Car for a 5 years contract. 3 years into the contract I go back to the dealer and say " I want a new model. Car salesman would promptly sign a new contract, locking me in for another 5 year contract. Thus, another happy customer and that is how you should run your business.
Fido's policies are counter intuitive and they have weakness' in there plans that I won't go into.
At this point, I am waiting for Bell & Telus to roll out there iphone plans. Then I will move my 2 phones to the company that offers the best service and plans, but not Fido because thwarting your customers from upgrading doesn't make for happy customers. Moreover, I will discourage my clients who usually ask me technical questions about future purchases not to become a Fido customer.
Oh yeah and thanks for ruining my wedding anniversary gift for my wife.
So, after this blog post was posted. I feel the need to be completly transparent and inform you that the Executive Office at Fido called again. The level 2 customer service person, let's call him Simon, informed me that they could wave the contract delays & redtape after review of "my situation".
I was speechless... after all that work on my part. The best damage control was to give me what I originally asked for...? Nothing extra for the discomfort, unpleasant "taste in my mouth" at there silly policies or ruining my wife's wedding anniversary present. I didn't really say anything further to "Simon" since FIDO had failed me for the last time.
Fido is on the Blacklist of recommedation(Not alone on that list. Bell Sympatico (bad service), Rogers Cable (overpriced & poor quality), Rogers "HighSpeed" Internet).
I am patiently waiting for the competion to begin (Nov. 6). Telus or even Bell you can get my business for the next few years. What is your best offer?
P.S. If you make it really good. I will tell all my clients, friends and familly to sign up too like I did when they ask me for tech help.