Canada’s communication oligopoly requires integrity

After spending over an hour on hold listening to the quiet whispers of unfamiliar music between the blaring interruptions of computer recorded voices reminding me of all the wonderful deals Rogers has to offer and, at rare intervals, an actual person reassuring my patience, my call is lost.
The tedious process must begin again; there is no way of reaching the woman that was “diligently” fixing Rogers’ error.

I now must explain the entire situation yet again. But alas I am too busy to stay on hold; I have to work, run errands, maybe even use the bathroom, so I admit defeat and pay for the incorrect charges – who needs any more hassle in their life?

Last year, I gave Rogers three chances to screw me over before I would relieve them of their duties and switch to Bell.

I think they have surpassed their 10th chance at this point.

I began to wonder why I would let a company treat me this way?

I pay my bills promptly in full month after month and have purchased all my media from them.
The thing is that Rogers and Bell both completely… suck.

Both Rogers and Bell are utterly incompetent at dealing with their customers; their call-in customer service is incomprehensible, one often spends more time dealing with computer-recorded directories or having their calls being redirected than actually talking to a human being.

Canada’s oligopoly on communications through Bell Canada, Rogers Communications Inc. and Telus – who control the access to cable, wireless, land-line and Internet all over Canada – makes these businesses immune to much consumer control.

Rogers and Bell argue that they are recently “victim” to customers pitting either company against the other for better prices but, true to their colors, the companies have been known to cut deals to keep clientele loyal.

This isn’t the issue, though.

A seedy street shopkeeper who barters with their customers does not make a respectable shopkeeper.

I believe in a capitalist society – where people allow corporations to make important decisions and control much of their lives in hopes of achieving the optimal lifestyle – companies have a responsibility to their people.

The simplicity of respect and integrity to customers by companies and vice-versa is priceless.
A good company, providing solid customer service, would not be witness to their customers playing games for better prices.

Neither Rogers or Bell offer a positive customer service experience, so resorting to the best price is the only option to retrieve any sanity.

Small wireless companies have popped up such as Vonage or Virgin, which offer an open window to a closed door, but they are not enough to challenge the monopoly Rogers has on Canadian media (90 per cent of cable in Ontario) or Bell’s control of home phone (4.15 million users).

There are very few Canadians who have not had a bad experience with Rogers or Bell. Their insensitivity to their customer’s problems is a sore spot for many individuals – and that is putting it G-rated.

There is certain hopelessness in this country when it comes to communication and media; people do not know where to go or what to do to change the reality of our inept media monopoly, and there is little any individual can do.

But next time you are faced with those lovely customer service people, try to play the honest card in the nicest possible way (their jobs are basically the worst jobs ever), and inform these companies of your disappointment.

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