NCF, here I come

Good news! I signed up with the National Capital Freenet for their DSL service. So instead of $51.07 from Rogers, I pay just $31.75. While it is true the fee Rogers charged me included the cable modem, the modem rental added just $3 each month. This afternoon I returned their modem and will enjoy the almost $20 savings each month. The call I made last night to cancel the service only reinforced my determination to get rid of their service. Let me take you through it.

I called and the automated system took me through language selection, determined what I wanted, and then requested my phone number, so my call could be routed directly to someone who could help me. I keyed in my number and was connected in short order.

The guy who answered sounded like I just woke him up. The first thing he did was ask me my number again. It’s not 1952 … surely they can pass the number along with my call, right? And for that matter, why not shell out for call display, you cheap bastards! This guy was sloooow. The first thing I said was I wanted to cancel my high-speed Internet service. There was a too-long pause. He then told me he would pull up my file. Again there was inappropriately long pause. I was tempted to ask if he was still there, but I got the feeling he was playing with me so I said nothing. I don’t know where I got this feeling, but it may be from the long periods of sensory deprivation while I waited for him. It was like he was doing something else, like trying to get to the next level in Tetris. We went back and forth with questions and answers, and with his long pauses, this took easily over five minutes. At the point where I expected him to tell me I was good to go, he instead said he could not complete my request and would pass me along to someone who could. Stunned, I mumbled, “ummmm, okay.”

I knew the automated system was screwing with me.

In a stark a contrast as you can imagine, the person I next talked to sounds like he was hepped-up on Red Bull. The first thing he asked was my phone number. For the third fucking time, I recite it. Then, in about 40 seconds, we went through the same conversation I had with the first guy. That’s more like it … except hyper-guy then told me he couldn’t actually edit my file because the first guy still had it open. In the interim, he regaled me with all the advantages of Rogers Home Phone. Thanks, but no thanks, I insisted. He then asked, if I didn’t mind, why I’m cancelling the service. Was it because of the service or the cost, he suggested. I said it was elements of both. He asked if there was anything he could do to make things right and keep me as a customer. Feeling vaguely uncomfortable, I told him it was too late because I already had another service installed and running.

The first guy still had my file open so hyper-guy promised to enter the work order as soon as he started the next day, and although they normally require 30 days notice, he would short-circuit this requirement so the service will be absent on my next bill. While I did appreciate this, I thought to myself, “I’m still not staying, hyper-guy.” I returned the modem well before the start of the next billing cycle, so I’m golden.

My only entanglement with Rogers now is cable television. As much as I dislike the company, there’s not much they can do to screw up cable.

When I started this attempt to cut costs, my Rogers bill was about $105. My next bill will be just $31.34. The amount I spend on cable and Internet access totals about $63 so I can (and will) claim a savings of $40 each month on those two things alone. This is $480 per year I will enjoy saving, thank you very much!

Initial speed tests are encouraging. I’m getting the impression of faster speeds than I had with Rogers cable. Unfortunately I didn’t do any measurements on the cable connection before returning the cable modem. The top speed I’ve measured with the Speakeasy speed test is 4295 kbps download and 633 kbps upload. While I wouldn’t swear to it in a court of law, I recall the fastest speed I ever saw with my Rogers connection was about 3500 kbps, and this was a test limited to their own network. In contrast, the Speakeasy figure was to a server in Chicago. The 4295 kbps translates to 536.9 KB/sec, which is certainly respectable even before considering the low cost of the connection. A megabyte every two seconds!

Suck it, Rogers.

Update

This evening, I received a telephone call from a survey company. I normally tell them I’m not interested as soon as they tell me who they are. Really, they’re getting paid to get my opinion. Why should I give it for free? Where’s my cut? This time however, they wanted to know how I felt about my call to Rogers Customer Service. You can bet I answered the questions! I didn’t simply give the poorest rating to every question they asked … but I was honest in my answers. If my answers paint an unflattering result (and they do), it’s a reflection on Rogers, not me.

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