Something Phoney about this….

Remember when phones were simple? Mine isn't a lobster, but it does make me crabby.

Me: Hello, I’d like to cancel my data plan please.

Rogers Guy: Right. I’ll need a couple of details first.

Me: Ok.

Rogers Guy: Can I take your first name? Last name? Mother’s maiden name? Name of your father’s first pet? Your shoe size? Can you give me a description of your immediate surroundings, making correct grammatical use of the word “Bibulous”? Excellent. Finally a security question: Neil Armstrong, who was he then?

Me: Er….

Rogers Guy: Ok then. Can I ask why you want to cancel your data plan?

Me: Yes. I didn’t want it in the first place, and every time I’ve tried to use it, it doesn’t work.

Rogers Guy: Well, of course it doesn’t work, there’s a block on the data.

Me: Oh, right, a block…Wait, what?

Rogers Guy:Yes, a block. It means your phone can’t actually receive any data, so that’s why it didn’t work.

Me: But why is the block there? Did I not do the magic dance or something?*

Rogers Guy: Oh, no, the vendor selling you your new phone should have had it removed.

Me: But they didn’t.

Rogers Guy: No. Shall I remove it for you now?

Me: Well, there’s no point, is there? I mean, I’m calling to cancel the data plan I’ve been paying for but unable to use. Why enable it now?

Rogers Guy:But what if you want to use the internet while you’re out and about?

Me: I’ve got by for the last two years without it, and incidentally, for the last two weeks with my new phone. I think I can continue to struggle on.

Rogers Guy: But what if you go on holiday?

Me: I’ll take my netbook like I normally do. The rest of the time I work from home, so if I ever need my phone to use the internet, I’ll use my house WiFi, thanks.

Rogers Guy: Right. I’ll cancel your plan. You will of course have to wear the hat of shame, pay us a million dollars and sit in a bath of custard for a week, as specified in the contract.

Me: Yes.

Rogers Guy: Right, that’s done. Shall I remove the block?

(Silence, as I punch a passing kitten in an attempt to prevent me yelling at the phone man.)

Me: Why? I’m not going to be using the data, am I?

Rogers Guy: But you wanted to use your home WiFi. That won’t work with this block in place.

Me: (And believe me, folks, I’m faint with disbelief at this point) Your system block can prevent me using MY OWN WIFI? On MY PHONE?

Rogers Guy: Well yes. Shall I remove it?

It would be nice to report that I told him exactly what he could do with his system block, but I was raised by polite parents, and besides, this idiot didn’t make up the stupid rules. The main thing was to stop paying $25 a month for a service I couldn’t use. And avoid his other offer, which was to pay only $10 a month and have the OPTION to use the data. You know, just pay money for a service I didn’t want. And would still have to pay more for if I used it. Bargain. The important thing is that I’m not paying for data and the block is removed, so my phone can work on the WiFi.

Except, of course, it doesn’t.

Today’s secret is no secret at all to my immediate friends and family. Like I’ve mentioned before, I love technology, I want technology, I just don’t GET technology. Answers to all my tech problems on a $10 bill please (Well, why not? It seems to work for the phone companies…..)

When not having insane conversations with Rogers call centres (which currently leaves five minutes on Tuesday afternoons) I write plays for Community Theatre. This is such a fulfilling and life-affirming activity that I wrote a book to help others on the path to spiritual oneness. It’s called “Writing a play for Community Theatre” because I’m a bit of a whizz when it comes to titles. You can find it at , where you’ll also find details of my other plays.

*Though some of this conversation is exaggerated for humourous effect, this sentence is not. This is, sadly, exactly what I said.

9 responses to “Something Phoney about this….

  1. sit in a bath of custard…that had me rolling! and the magic dance line – I’ve said the same before! I had one of these types of conversations just last week with a customer service rep for a sales company. Thanks for a chuckle.

  2. Wow, I feel your pain. I really do. But that bath of custard sounds delicious to me. Yum, hope it comes with donut batter and chocolate frosting.

  3. Thanks Annie, Jess – maybe I should try the bath of custard anyway? It’s a standard UK thing for raising money for charity, though I don’t know how common it is these days. The price of custard has risen shockingly. I think they’ve probably mined all the custard deposits near the surface, and it costs more to get the deep down custard lakes…..

  4. Holy cow I died laughing reading this…because that’s exactly what it’s like talking to a customer service rep. Incidentally, they do make you want to punch kittens. I guess I should keep some handy for incidents such as this.

    • Blame Kristen Lamb (Warrior Writers) for the idea of punching kittens. I’m glad this post is making folks laugh, it seems the right karmic response! Tell your friends! Tell your enemies! Tell Rogers!

  5. Wince. I used to be in customer service…..on the phones……for nearly twenty years in different fields. It is frustrating even for someone who knows what to expect and has an idea of what’s going on.

    Some of it is just flat out incompetency on management’s part and some of it is the company doesn’t want to spend the money on training. The training costs more than just cleaning up the mistakes or losing a customer, that’s what I was told at one place I worked.

  6. That’s such a shame. Having just come from a company that puts a lot of emphasis on customer service, I’m repeatedly shocked and disappointed by Rogers and their ambivalence towards my custom. That said, working the phones for any company seems a soul-destroying job, and I hate getting wound up at the person on the other end of the line, because the odds are THEY didn’t make the rules, and have little opportunity to make things right. Thanks for stopping by, Angela.

  7. I enjoyed this post immensely. Like many others I have struggled through the voicemail systems to get to a real person, who sadly is hampered by rules they did not make up. I do enjoy pushing their boundaries, though often with no sign that they’ve understood a word I said!

  8. Nice work, giood sir!

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