I just discovered a payment practise of Rogers which may result, and probably does for many people who don't know this, in paying double for Pay As You Go cell phone service. As well, another practise, that of having an amount other than $10, $20, $30, $40, or $100, such as $9, in a cell phone account may be lost because there is no ability to "Top Up" anything other than a full $10, $20, $30, $40, or $100.
Here is what happened to me.
For the past few years, I purchased a Rogers $100 Pay As You Go voucher which didn't require topping up for 365 days to use Pay As You Go. Those vouchers are not available through purchase on Rogers Pay As You Go website, they must be purchased at a Rogers outlet. Every year, on the expiry date, although I had a substantial remaining balance ($85 the first year), I was required to Top Up in order to not lose that money. I tried to Top Up to $100 by adding whatever would cause that so that I would not have to top up for another 365 days but was told that I had to purchase another $100 voucher to do so. Although I didn't agree with that policy I had no choice and purchased another $100 voucher which established a balance of $185 at the beginning of another 365 Top Up free period.
I submitted that voucher, as I had with the other $100 vouchers I purchased, to Rogers, through their Pay As You Go website. I had always Topped Up on the expiry date which established a new expiry date 365 days later which, the last voucher payment established as July 8, 2010. This year I have a balance of just over $49 remaining which was due to be lost on July 8, 2011 but, instead of purchasing another $100 voucher, which would have established a balance of approximately $149 for another 365 days, I decided that I would Top Up monthly so that I could eventually use up the approximately $49 balance. Last week I received a text message stating that I should top up before the current balances expiry date in order to "roll over" my balance. The required monthly top up is only available in $10, $20, $30, and $40 amounts, there is no other amount available.
Yesterday, July 6, 2011, I paid a $10 Top Up by credit card through Rogers Pay As You Go website then discovered that the new expiry date became August 6, 2011, not August 8, 2011, which is a month after the expiry date for the 365 day voucher payment I paid on July 8, 2010. There was a loss of two days which I had already paid for which I was charged again. If I had Topped Up last week, when I received the first text message regarding Topping Up, it would have established a new expiry date a month from then which would have resulted in being charged double from then to July 8, 2011. When I discovered this loss of two days which I had already paid for and the double charge for those days I thought it was an error so I phoned Rogers.
The Rogers customer service representative explained that it wasn't an error that it is Rogers policy and practise to establish the expiry date as of the date of the Top Up payment, not a month after the current period's expiry date. I objected to that practise and, because this was the first time this had happened due to my ignorance of it, she reset the new expiry to August 8, 2011 instead of August 6, 2011 but stated that in order to avoid losing already paid for days I should Top Up on the expiry date, not before as the text message had instructed. I told her that the Top Up expiry date change policy was robbery and that the text message instructing to top up before the expiry date was misleading and that there wasn't any information in the text message about how the Top Up would change the expiry date to the date it was paid. She stated that she would pass the information on and we ended the call.
After that, I thought further about what had occurred and that, eventually, I would have a remaining balance of less than the $10 minimum top up which couldn't be added to increase it to $10 because there is no ability to pay anything other than full amounts of $10, $20, $30, $40, or $100. This means that I could never use that remaining balance or any other balance which was between any of the available full Top Up amounts. Again, I phoned Rogers and spoke with a customer service rep, a different one, who stated that, if it were him I spoke to when I had less than $10 remaining, he ould make an exception and allow me to pay whatever would bring that balance to the full $10 Top Up. I stated that was nice of him but that's not guaranteed because I might get someone else who is not so understanding when I need to do that. I asked him if there is anyone who I can contact regarding these policies and have them changed. He told me to access "Contact us" on the Rogers.com website.
Rogers is ripping off its customers through its billing and payment practises. What can be done to stop them and establish fair practises which don't rip off the customer?