Outsourcing

I don’t understand why so many companies are outsourcing work to other countries just to save a few dollars. The people who handle our calls are not all competent enough to assistant us. They take too long to answer on simple questions. And the procedures that they have in place are somewhat redundant.

I received an invoice for $146.37 for a couple of month of internet service. Upon further inspection of the bill, I noticed that they were charging me for this month and next month. That seemed a little strange because I’ve already paid for this month. Right at the beginning of the invoice it says that I’ve already paid and they’ve received it. I should be paid up until March 22, 2008 but apparently they threw in another charge.

I don’t know what it is but with phone companies, they like to charge you for this month and the next month even though you haven’t done anything for next month. It’s like they know how much you’ll be using the internet next month before you even used it. I don’t think that it’s fair but that’s how they run their business so we can’t do anything to change that.

Normally I wouldn’t make a big deal out of an invoice but for this one, I have to say something. I’m only taking notice with this one because my coworker was speaking with Bell and they messed up his invoice as well. He was on the phone with someone for a good hour before hanging up and even then the issue wasn’t resolved.

I had to contact Bell a couple of months ago because they messed up on my bill. I was charged $130 for canceling my service prematurely. I wasn’t aware that I was on a contract so they resolved it in a timely manner and cleared the $100 early termination fee which left me with a bill of sixteen dollars and change. Those sixteen dollars shouldn’t be there in the first place but I don’t have time to dispute those charges.

It seems like Bell likes to send me invoices on a Friday so by the time I get the invoice, their offices are closed and I’d have to resort to chatting with someone on the internet who’s probably in India somewhere. Those guys can’t resolve everything so I’d have to wait until Monday to speak with someone in Canada.

Today, I had to speak with three different “agent” over online chat. And the chat was a cheap version of the AJAX shout box that I have. Before the chat starts, they tell me “In case we get disconnected, which rarely ever happens, is there a number that we can contact you at?” I give them my phone number but they never called me when I got disconnected. I was disconnected twice and both times I did not get a call back. And every time I initiate a chat, that’s the same thing they tell me. Sadly enough, I find it hard to believe that disconnection “rarely ever happens.” When I initiate the chat a third time, I didn’t bother giving them my information. Why bother since they’re not even going to call me.

All I wanted to know was why and how my service plan changed, why I was on a two year contract and why I was being charged so much. But every time I posed that question, they couldn’t provide and answer a requested that I send an email to assistance@sympatico.ca. Obviously, these guys aren’t able to help me as much as I thought.

From what they’ve told me, my account was accessed and changed on February 3, 2008 which was the time when I was in Hong Kong. The service was change from a regular DSL to a DSL Performance service which is about fifty dollars a month. When the service was upgrade, the modem was upgraded as well so an additional charge of fifty five dollars was applied for the upgrade and shipping of the month.

The only time that my account could have been changed was when my dad called in for Tech Support because the internet was down. The tech guy could have helped him with his connection problem but I don’t think he would have changed my account. I don’t think anyone has access to my account other than myself and I did not add an authorized user who can speak on my behalf.

I know that my dad’s name shows up on the phone bill but the internet bill is under my name. Even if he is the person who’s the number is registered to, the invoice is under my name so he shouldn’t have access to it unless I say so.

The person that I spoke with online didn’t have a clue as to why the changes were made to the account. From what he could tell, I was the one that upgraded the service. Any questions that I asked that he couldn’t answer, he would suggest that I send an email. I don’t want to send an email to someone when I’m already speaking with someone. I’m sure that the answers are available right in front of him if he looked hard enough. Every call gets recorded in some way so I’m sure that the previous person logged the important information.

Now, I have to wait until Monday to call and get in touch with someone in Canada to get this straightened out. I don’t want to be paying more than $50 a month for a performance internet service when a $30 package will be sufficient. I have a feeling that they will charge me for terminating the contact but it wasn’t me who agreed to the contract in the first place.

I think that these big companies should stop outsourcing their customer service to third world just so they can save a few dollars here and there. There are perfectly good people in Canada who are willing to do the same work. I know that they want to make profit and everything but outsourcing is causing a lot more problems than it’s fixing. I’m getting to the point where I’m going to cancel my service because the customer service sucks. Why should I support a company that doesn’t care about my needs?