Since Rogers' head office is in Toronto and in a time-zone three hours ahead I got up an hour and a half earlier than usual today to call in at 9:00 a.m. their time in order to get a hold of a someone with some authority and have something done about my phone.
It took an hour and half.
I called up and initially spoke to "Anne." I started out by explaining that I had already spent a great deal of time with customer service yesterday and was calling back to speak to a manager. Anne did not simply put me through to a manager, presumably because she was trained not to in order to screen out people who ask for escalation before they have actually talked to the lower lever representatives at all (which, admittedly, I do routinely when getting tech support since, without fail, I know more than the tier-one monkeys.) Anne was very nice, though, and while it was a waste of time, it was not unpleasant talking to her.
Upon the revelation that my account was a business account and not a personal one, Anne passed me off to Sonya in the business department. Sonya was a bit more frustrating. She maintained the same line as Blair from yesterday. She told me about how it was "physically impossible" to send out a new phone until the one I had been sent was returned because the fields in the almighty "system" were "greyed out" until the other phone was received.
As I had with Blair, I explained that I wasn't at concerned with what limitations were programmed into the system, and that those simply represented an artificially imposed and flawed process that could be circumvented. She maintained that it could not. I proposed several hypothetical situations on how she could send me a "new" phone and credit me back for my mistaken "upgrade" and the difference in price between the "upgrade" and the "new phone."
Eventually I proposed that I would be sending back the Nokia 2660 I was sent, keeping the SIM card and buying third-party hardware to put it in, but nonetheless I would still like to speak to a manager to suggest changing "the system" to facilitate correcting problems like this one.
Sonya put me on hold to find a manager - this was somewhere over an hour into the call. After I had been on hold for a while she came back and asked if I could be called back on my cell number. I asked her to stop and think about what she just asked me. She did and put me on hold again.
In a few minutes I was connected to "Noreen." I was in fact ready to do as I had suggested and buy third party hardware and really only wanted to talk to Noreen about fixing "the system." But before I even got that far Noreen proved that what I had been proposing to Blair yesterday was, in fact, possible. Unprompted, Noreen offered to send me out a new Blackberry 8900 prior to receiving the return on the Nokia, and that for my trouble I would have the new phone for only $75 rather than the $449 replacement cost I was happy to pay last week. She further explained that I would actually only be paying $50 for the phone, and $35 for the processing fee, at which point I chose not to question what universe she lived in where 50+35=75, because, frankly, $85 is still a crapload better than $449!
So, in the end, having saved $364 on my replacement phone, that works out to "making" about $120/hr. for the time spent getting to that point. But doesn't it make you wonder what kind of profit margin a company like Rogers has where, in the end, they'd rather sell me a phone for such a tiny fraction of the "full" price (which is actually $599 without a plan) rather than not sell me a phone at all?
Continued in It's a Sad State of Affairs, part 4: I Have a Phone Again