Is it no longer possible for SHAW Customer Service and other front line staff to handle anything beyond the most basic and simplest of transactions?
Firstly, some background. My 88 year old father lives in a high-rise condo. Basic SHAW TV service is included in the condo fees. He also has SHAW High Speed Internet (the old classic 7.5mbps service) which he pays for monthly ($45 plus taxes). His billing cycle ends on the 5th of each month.
Now the chronological sequence of events ...
In early September 2012 Dad has a fall and is admitted to hospital. October 19th he is 'paneled' for admittance to a nursing home -- he will be permanently going to a nursing home as soon as a room becomes available somewhere - he will not be going back home.
At that time a decision is made to sell his condo, but that will not happen until the end of this month (January 2013).
On December 5th 2012 he receives his regular bill and on Dec 6th it is paid in full via pre-authorized debit from his checking account which has been in place for many years. The current balance on the account is zero.
On December 10th Dad is finally admitted into a nursing home. On December 12 I call SHAW to order new internet service for him in his nursing home. I make it very clear during that call that I do not want ANY of his existing services at his old condo stopped/cancelled or changed in any way whatsoever.
At this point here's my train of thought. I'm not worried about TV at all because it's included in the condo fees. I want internet service at the condo to remain intact because my sister (from out of town) will be visiting and using the condo and will need internet services. She plans to arrive Jan 1st and stay until Jan 19th.
On December 12th, the same day I ordered the new service, his account history reflects a $78 charge for un-returned equipment (the TV digital box - we own the internet modem a Motorola SB5102).
I actually notice this new charge online on the 19th of December and fearing they have cancelled service and that my sister will not have internet available when she arrives I place another call to Shaw on December 19th.
Sure enough they have cancelled all services at his old condo as of the 12th. I tell them this is not what I asked for - I don't really care about the TV but I need internet service until Jan 19th. As today is Dec 19th and being aware of the required 30 days notice to cancel services I officially tell them to cancel service on the 19th of January, but for now to re-establish service.
So now, his online account history still shows the $78 charge for un-returned equipment plus a $30 Reconnect Fee along with the associated taxes. Also amongst the charges shown is a fee for one month worth of TV -- WTF, TV was never billed, it's included in the condo fees which we are still paying.
On January 2nd I visit the SHAW offices in person to try to straighten this out. I am told there is nothing they can do about the un-returned equipment fees - it is policy to bill this and issue credit when the equipment is returned when cancelling service. I point that I never requested cancellation of ANY service to begin with. I ask about the other fees - a month of TV billing and the reconnect fee on the Internet. A senior person comes over and looks at the computer screen and after several minutes declares she cannot give a valid reason for the charges -- they relent and refund all fees and including the $78 un-returned equipment charge.
Don't forget that this is Jan 2nd, the billing cycle ends on the 5th and pre-authorized debit is scheduled for the 6th. While I'm there they assure me that the current $231 bill will be reduced to $71 and that that is all that they will debit the account.
On January 6th $231 is debited from my father's checking account. I decide another visit to SHAW is in order ...
So yesterday, January 9th, I visit again in person. I bring the digital box for the TV. They accept return of the box, they assure me we now have a credit on the account and that this credit will be applied to Dad's new internet service at the nursing home. Before I leave I ask them to confirm that internet service will remain available at the old condo until January 19th -- ten days from now. They say "Yes - of course!"
Half an hour after I leave SHAW's offices my sister calls me and says internet at the condo has stopped working.
My sister call SHAW, they have shut off the Internet and the account is completely closed. She points out their error to them. The CSR admits this was an error and that internet service will be restored, but they can't do it immediately, she might have to wait an hour or so. Finally they call her back and advise internet is restored. The icing on this cake? The CSR insists they will have to charge a $20 reconnect fee, no ands ifs or buts.
Meanwhile I have a receipt in hand, after returning the equipment yesterday, that clearly shows the account is paid in full UNTIL Jan 19th.
I have no more patience to deal with this now -- I will wait until the end of the next billing cycle (Feb 5th) to deal with it. But I fully expect that this sequence of events is not yet over.