Last week I dropped by cell-phone in a Blacktop taxi. I have no doubt of that because I had it in my hand to call the taxi in the first place and it was undoubtedly with me at the point of entering the cab. This was late Friday (technically early Saturday morning.) Being the weekend Blacktop's office was closed and I had to wait until Monday morning to talk to their lost-and-found. The phone had a password, backs up wirelessly to my server, and I sent a wipe-and-lock command from the server Saturday so I wasn't concerned about the contents of the phone, but I would have liked to avoid the expense of replacing the hardware. My expectations where not high, because a little research revealed that Blacktop Cabs has a history of keeping lost items. The woman answering the phone at Blacktop was rude and unhelpful, telling me to call back because things aren't always turned in right away (in perfect keeping with the aforelinked news story.) I tried back late Monday, and on Tuesday. Later Tuesday, having given four days for the cabbie to turn in the hardware, I called Rogers to report the phone lost/stolen.
At this point I talked to the rep about a replacement. I was given a price on an identical replacement and told to expect it in 2-3 business days. Sure enough, when I got home from work Friday I had a delivery notice for a parcel from Markham, ON (a city I envision as being made up entirely of warehouses, since everything comes from Markham, ON.)
"Grand," I thought, "I can pick it up tomorrow morning."
In the morning I blithely walked over to the local retail postal outlet where all packages that don't fit in the buildings post-boxes go. Unfortunately I hadn't bothered to actually look too closely at the pick-up notice and hadn't noticed that the package had been sent to the wrong postal outlet. The other postal outlet isn't that far away either so I walked over.
At the other postal outlet I had the bizarre and disturbing experience of being served by a couple who barely spoke English and clearly could not read it. I watched in patient, fascinated horror as the two people collaborated on comparing my name and address from my driver's licence to the name and address on the package, letter by letter, illiterately comparing the shapes.
I returned home with my package. After pausing to send a brief letter of complaint to Canada Post about having my mail handled by people who cannot read the Latin alphabet, I opened my package.
Inside was a cell-phone. That is all that what I received had in common with what I had ordered. It was not the same brand, form factor, and otherwise not even close to a replacement for my lost phone.
I called Rogers. After negotiating one of those unavoidable and universally annoying voice actuated automated call-direction systems to get to a human, I was informed that the system bearing my account information was down so there was nothing they could do to help me, and that I should call back in several hours when the system
At this point I had to let it go since I had to set up for a shoot. By the time the shoot was over it was too late to call back.
Now it is Sunday. The customer service line is closed on Sundays. There is a Rogers outlet nearby that, according to the website, handles wireless and business services and is open today. I'm going to attempt to take my useless replacement in and get this resolved.
And why do I not expect this to go well?
Continued in It's a Sad State of Affairs, part 2: Rogers was Predictably Useless