Inconveniencing your customer.

I have a problem with my digital cable television. My provider is Rogers, a Canadian telecommunications company.

They have several numbers on their bill for different services, so I call the Rogers Cable 24 Hour repair service – 1-800-738-7891. But I don’t get the 24 hour cable repair service. They have an interactive voice response system and I am asked to tell them if I am calling about internet, wireless, phone, or cable service. Then I am led on a merry chase through several phone prompts, including entering my phone number, as they’ve clearly never heard of call display and incoming number capture.

In fact, no matter which specific Rogers number you call you are led through the same phone prompts, which are clearly their for their convenience, and not mine. They want to make sure that I don’t waste the time of a real person. Or perhaps they hope that I’ll just get tired and give up. And I know they don’t care because the first think I do every time I call them is complain about the frustration of trying to get through their system. They always apologize but nothing ever changes.

This is a company clearly that doesn’t care about me as a customer. But they don’t really have any competition, so they really don’t have to. They exist in a market space essentially protected by the government. By law Canadian residents cannot purchase cable or satellite service from anyone ouside the country.

It is companies like this that fear competition the most because they won’t be able to fight a decent service. I can imagine a day when I can get my television via the internet and I can deal with companies that actually want my business.

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