The Woman in Purple (rainbow_goddess) wrote in bad_service,
The Woman in Purple
rainbow_goddess
bad_service

Bad service, followed by good service

I have a Fido prepaid cell phone. I pay $10 a month for prepaid service, and if I don't refill my phone before the deadline, I lose all the minutes I've built up.

Anyway, for the first time in a year and a half, I forgot to refill my phone before the deadline. I did the refill at 1:42 a.m. and the deadline is midnight. I lost $90 worth of saved-up minutes. (I rarely use the phone.) So I went to the cell phone store and asked the sales person if she knew whether there was any way of restoring those lost minutes. She gave me customer service number and told me that if it was the first time this had happened, the company would probably credit me half of what I lost.


First, I called the customer service number during the hours specified on the Fido website (before 7 p.m. local time weekdays and before 5 p.m. local time weekends) only to discover that my local time is apparently not their local time. Each time I called, they were closed, even though I was well within the time specified on the recorded message and on the website. (The message says, "Please call back before 7 p.m. local time on weekdays or 5 p.m. local time on weekends," and I called at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.)

Customer service rep was completely clueless. He had no idea what I was talking about. "I don't normally handle prepaid service," he said. "We have a prepaid service centre for that." Did he transfer me to the prepaid service centre? No, he did not. Did he give me the phone number for the prepaid service centre? No, he did not. He kept putting me on hold while he relayed my questions to them.

"You didn't refill your phone until 48 hours after the deadline passed," said the customer service rep. Excuse me? I refilled one hour and 43 minutes after the deadline passed. "No you didn't," he told me. "You refilled on February 25, and your service expired at 11:59 p.m. February 21."

"Look, mister," I said,"today is February 25. I refilled at 1:42 a.m. on February 22." "Well, that's still 48 hours!" he insisted. "Actually, it is one hour and 43 minutes," I told him. "From midnight until one a.m. counts as one 24-hour period, and from one a.m. until two a.m. counts as another 24-hour period," he told me. Huh? Your logic is not the same as our Earth logic.

Then he told me, "You said you refilled at 1:42 a.m., but our records show you refilled at 4:42 a.m. That's three hours and 42 minutes, not one hour and 42 minutes." I pointed out to him that I live on the west coast. "Well, we're on Eastern time, so on our system it says 4:42 a.m. Eastern time, and your minutes expired at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time." Um, no, my minutes expired at 11:59 p.m. my time -- Pacific time.

Anyway, he told me that they would credit me with a whopping 20 bucks on my account. Yay.

I emailed the "contact" address given on the Fido website and explained my situation, ending with, "A $20 credit is really a lot less than I had hoped for. Is there something we can do to resolve this situation?" About a half hour later I got an email in return saying, "Your account has been credited." I checked my balance and to my surprise, almost the entire $90 I had lost was back on my phone, along with the $20 credit.

Why do I say "almost" all? Because I discovered when I checked my balance that they charged me for the customer service call and it cost me two dollars.
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