That communication companies like Tellus, Rogers and Aliant provided the worst customer service in a recent study of large companies is worth a smirk for the irony of it but that’s as far as it goes. On top of this a recent article in the mainstream media questioned whether or not the exurbanite fees charged by cell phone companies are hurting our economy.I’m sad to say that I have had to deal with both of these issues first hand. I currently manage a small business while in school and have run my own before. It is time to question the impact $300 or $400/month phone bills have on small businesses which are the true engines of our economy. Last week the process to listen to messages on my cell phone changed. It took a week of calling, being on hold for 10 to 30 minutes, and giving up to finally get a real person and find out how to get my messages. Given that Aliant provides my phone and internet it wouldn’t seem too much of a stretch for them to be able to communicate these changes to me. As a result of this I missed the message telling me my father was having an early birthday dinner not to mention the other messages I couldn’t get for a week.The largest inconvenience of late is that we decided to get rid of our house phone but keep internet. I was assured that all I had to do was install a disk and enter in a password. Sounded simple and I was game. Almost three weeks later I don’t have internet. I have had two appointments for tech people to come by, which as you know require you to stay at home for large amounts of time, with no one showing up. They did show up once when I didn’t have an appointment. Because I wasn’t there I got bumped forward another week and even treated with attitude by a tech person for not being home at the time. Like most people in this day and age the internet is an integral part of my life. I have a full course load at school, manage a small business and have various volunteer and other projects on the go all of which are based on communicating through the internet. Besides such things as missing an online test it is taking six days a week, 10-14 hours a day at school to get everything done. When services such as the internet and cell phones become so integral to individuals and the economy overall their proper delivery is fundamental. If these companies can’t provide or abuse the services we need to function than it is time to open the market up more to competition and regulate a minimum level of service. I have learnt that the term “industry standard” when used by a large company who exists in a pseudo monopoly of just a few competitors is really saying “suck it up because we have you by the balls.”
Iaian ArchibaldHalifax, NSiarch@hotmail.com
* I wrote this letter at home this morning waiting for the tech again and after three and a half hours I got a call saying he had fixed the problem without having to come inside and it took about ten minutes to solve.
By Iaian Archibald