Tuesday evening I received a call from Rogers about my daughter's account. I was a bit shocked when she said the bill was over $900. After I finished hyper ventilating, had a very focused discussion with my daughter I sent out this tweet.
The truth is the bill over two months as over $900 of which $764.13 was texting. She's had this account for 2 years and when we set up her account we used Rogers My5 plan where you select 5 numbers and get unlimited texting and calls to those numbers. For many teens 5 may not be enough but my daughter only has a few friends that she texts with so this was fine with her. I rarely look at my bill but simply pay online. During the fall, she made a few new friends and a couple of others changed phones. She never gave it a second thought and neither did I. That was a mistake.
Bill from November:
Bill from December:
While I certainly admit this was our fault, everyone would agree that texting and data charges in general are a bit out of whack. At least 20 others were willing to Retweet my concern. Here's a few of them:
Rogers were made very aware of my issue and responded this morning with a message for me to leave them a phone number to call. Within an hour, a nice man named John called me for more details. He said he'd call me back in a half hour and he did. While we both agreed that technically Rogers was not at fault, he seemed to recognize the absurdity of the amount. Rogers showed good faith in crediting my account all her texts from November and December.
So what have we learned here? Besides my own learning to increase communication with my daughter, the power of twitter as a super charged communication tool is growing. I can't say for sure that calling customer service wouldn't have had the same result but my gut says it would have been way more difficult, if not impossible. There are lots of stories about how companies are leveraging twitter but customers as well. My questions are:
Is this scalable? Given it appears Rogers has about 3 people monitoring twitter, are they able to provide customer service to all their clients? I purposely did not call customer service to deal with this issue because I had had some contact with Rogers on twitter earlier and they seemed quite responsive. I thought I'd wait and see if they would respond which they did. I still don't know if this is scalable.
Do those with social media experience have better social skills? I don't know about you but if you've ever called customer service it seems most of those who answer the phone either have limited ability to have conversations that stray outside their scripts or have little authority to make decisions and you enter a game of phone tag and hand offs. Many times, it's just not worth it. In this case, not only were the people I interacted with quick, they did not pass me off but were able to deal with my issue intelligently and efficiently. John wasn't able to make any decision at the moment but promised to call me back in 30 minutes and he did. The issue was resolved very quickly.
Are there any lessons here for educators? Okay, I realize that may be a stretch and that I might be overstepping my right to compare everything to education but the immediacy of handling a issue, the availability of support and the personalization of the problem seem to be qualities that might make schools better. I'm trying hard to resist the temptation to make grandiose parallel to schools but I suppose I couldn't help myself. Sorry Dan.
Anyway, it's a good story with a happy ending.