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Declaring Support for Fair Telecommunications

I'm sure this is no surprise but I'm not a fan of big media or big telecom.  This is why I am throwing my support behind OpenMedia.ca and their efforts to make our communications fair, private and ours.  After all we are the paying customers... not the other way around... and our communication providers and media needs to remember this.

Let me tell you two experience I had with the Big Two; Bell and Rogers.

Ten years ago I had a Bell account.  I bought a cell phone from Bell, as well as home service, satellite service and internet.  Well, wouldn't you know the cell phone's screen broke and started to leak.  This is a manufacturer's defect.  Bell's response?  It was water damage and they refused to deal with the phone or the warranty.  I took the phone back to LG and their response?  "It was clearly a manufacturer's defect" and to take the phone back to Bell where the phone was purchased and they would honour the warranty.

Obviously this didn't happen.

Okay, fine, bought another phone--this time directly from LG--and never had another issue.  Contract ran out and I went to Rogers for my cell service.  At the time I was still a home customer of Bell.

A few months later I was displeased with the price of the service and the twitchy service of the satellite, and the fact my landlord didn't want a satellite dish on their building anymore, and went to cancel services for favour of cable.  Bell's response?

You're on a contract, you must pay the cancellation fee.

All right, no problem... this I knew when I signed up for the dish... but then I learned I had ANOTHER cancellation fee with the home phone (not the internet... they cancelled that with no issue) because I wanted to cancel because of price a few months prior.  I should mention that at no time was a contract ever breathed on that call... but, alas, there's no fighting Big Telecom.  Especially if it's Bell.

A few years later, after being a Rogers customer for nigh on forever, Rogers and I got into an argument over billing.  It seemed like the bill would creep up for no reason, I would call, ask why... and they would have no answer except for one--to raise the bill each time I called.

Yes, seriously.  Without fail every time I called Rogers to ask why my bill was so high the next month it would be higher even though they kept changing it to 'save me money'.  Hmm... something rotten here.  Needless to say I voted with my wallet again and cancelled back in August of last year.

Only, apparently, I didn't.  I continued to be billed well into November even though the service had been cut off... at my request... and then they dinged me with not one, but through on a cancellation fee which means now I have a total bill of just over $1000 from Rogers for services I never even received, and the two cancellation fees.  Obviously I'm refusing to pay it because I don't owe them a dime.  If anything they owe me for those three months of service (all three sitting at $250 per month, plus that cancellation fee).

The real punch line?  I called in to cancel my services because I was moving to someplace where Rogers doesn't service.  That was my reason to cancel, not just the overcharges, but, contrary to their own policy Rogers refuses let that go and wants me to pay for the three months of service plus the cancellation fee... which I shouldn't have to pay for.

Many would consider this a form of theft.  In fact, to be technical it's fraud... and every day they get away with it and I'm not alone in my experiences with Big Telecom.

Enough is enough.

It's time to remind Bell, Rogers and other companies that Canadians are their customers and we pay them for services rendered.  It's a privilege they are abusing and we need to stand together to stop it.  And we can... OpenMedia.ca has been fighting for this for years and they have made great strides in protecting our rights.  But they can't do anything unless there are people like you and me standing behind them...

... I am choosing to take my stand.

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