January 12th, 2009
This is part 4 of a multi-part post on my battle to get an iPhone for myself and a Blackberry Pearl Flip for my wife from Roger’s wireless. At the time of this writing, the saga is still on-going so I cannot say how many episodes there will be… Previous episodes: Episode 1: The Phantom iPhone, Episode 2: A Lack of a Phone, Episode 3: Revenge of the Pissed.
It was almost noon when the text message arrived. It was from my wife. All it said was “Happy new phone day, honey!”. Finally, FINALLY! After nearly a month I finally had an iPhone! It had been a little over a week since I was promised a phone through the “lost and stolen” program and someone at Rogers had finally delivered on a promise and UPS had finally delivered a box full of iPhone. It had been a long, long month. I think I spent as much time talking to Rogers as I spent talking to my wife. It was finally done, my ordeal was over!
Okay, yeah, reality check. The ordeal was far from over. At the time, however, I thought it was over. I’m going to keep that delusion going for a moment now and talk about the iPhone. I love my iPhone. This is 100% to the credit of Apple. They have made a great phone and I couldn’t be happier with it. Well, I would be a little happier if Rogers’ G3 network wasn’t complete and utter shit, but I’m taking a break from talking about Rogers. Ever since I started working at VendAsta I have been a complete Apple fanboy. I was uncertain about whether or not I would like working on a MacBook Pro, but I have to admit that I love it. I am fully aware that some of my iPhone enthusiasm is a side effect of my new fanboy status. Nevertheless, I have found the iPhone to be a very well designed and implemented device. There are lots of reviews on the web for the iPhone, so I won’t go any further into that but I definitely recommend the iPhone. Just try and get it through anyone other than Rogers. And Michael, I have had absolutely zero troubles using the iPhone out in the cold. It works like a charm inside or out in -40C.
With my iPhone in-hand, all I had to do was make one final call to Rogers to get it and the BlackBerry activated. I dialed the hateful toll-free number for what I hoped to be the last time. I belched out my phone number, name, postal code and date of birth to what had to be the last time. I was connected to a young-sounding gentleman who sounded really eager to help me. We went through the activation and everything seemed to be good to go. He even managed to reassign the SIM cards in the phones so that I could put the SIM card that shipped with each phone into the phone it came from. Everything seemed to be going swimmingly!
With the activation complete we began to discuss my compensation for all of the trouble I had gone through so far. I told him that I had been given 3 months of unlimited local calling for four days worth of inconvenience so what could he do for the two weeks that followed? What he said next was a pleasant surprise. It appears that my raging had really made an impression on the last guy I had talked to. He had placed a $10 / month / phone credit on my account through 2011 – for the full 36 months of my contract! I was very pleased. I said to the guy, “Well then, everything is all taken care of. I got this credit for the past two weeks and the 3 months of unlimited calling for the original four days.”. “Well…”, he said. Oh shit. So it turns out, the three months of unlimited local calling that I was told was only available to new customers is actually something that everyone gets – upgrades and new customers. Sigh. So then, I asked the guy what he was going to do for me? I was now compensated for the past two weeks of trouble but now I needed to be compensated for the original four days of hell. Three months of unlimited data usage ought to do it. My rage compensated, my phone activated, I happily ended the call. It felt good to have it all behind me.
I brought my wife her BlackBerry and we started playing with our new toys. Even with two email and Internet-enabled smartphones, we were eager to try out text messaging on the new devices. Lindsay and I have been texting each other incessantly almost since the moment we met…but that’s another story for another saga. I entered her phone number and the profound message “hi” into my iPhone and hit send. Just like in iChat there was the little woosh noise of a sent message and the other woosh of an arriving message. I had sent the message to my wife’s number and it had been delivered to my phone. Sigh.
Dark Side Descent Part IV
After the events of this episode and the rewards I had gained by being demanding and persistent, I started to see some opportunities elsewhere. I had heard through a former colleague that by calling Bell and demanding a better rate it was possible to actually get a better rate. You just needed to ask for the Customer Loyalty department. Prior to the beginning of this saga I probably would not have actually called up a company I was doing business with to demand a better deal. Now, however, it was a different story. I called Bell, asked for the Customer Loyalty department and after 20 minutes on the phone I was rewarded with a 30% reduction in my monthly bill. Just because I called them, and demanded something better. If you are a Bell customer, give them a call and see what you can do!
The Score So Far
This episode has seen some significant gains in the compensation being offered to me for having to put up with all of the crap Rogers serves up, here’s where things stand:
- Three months unlimited local calling.
- Three months unlimited data usage.
- $10 credit / phone / month for 36 months.
- $50 goodwill credit
I figured that the magical reassigning of SIM cards had not actually happened but I wanted to be sure – the guy had said something about the reassignment ensuring that the right data plan was on the right phone so I wanted to make sure that we would both have what we needed. I dialed again. I spouted again. Phone number. Name. Postal Code. Date of birth. I explained the situation. I was told that a SIM card cannot be reassigned to another number. I was further told that the data plans are assigned to the phone numbers, not SIM cards. I was told to swap the SIM cards back and try things again. I did. I texted. Messages arrived where they were supposed to be. The new guy asked if there was anything else he could do for me. I said nope, unless he wants to give me more free stuff. He said sure and put a $50 credit on my account.
So, I had my phone and a few credits on my account. Unlimited data usage for three months to get a feel for my data usage requirements. It seemed like things were finally coming together and now all I had to do was enjoy my phone, right?
Update 01/21/2009: Episode 5: The Empire Bills Back has been released.
Update 02/10/2009: Episode 6: Return of the Mad Guy has been released.
Update 07/06/2009: Episode 7: Seeing Red has been released.
Update 07/13/2009: Episode 8: Resolution has been released.
Update 07/27/2009: Roger’s Wars Epilogue has been released.