Rogers, a Canadian communications company providing services like Cellular phone coverage, internet, Cable TV and Land line phones experienced an outage recently on two of its services, Cellular and Internet. I was personally affected as Rogers is my internet provider, but thankfully not my cellular service provider.
I reset my modem, then reset my router, which are the normal procedures that an individual customer can take to ensure the problem isn’t local.
Since that failed to fix the problem, a service call was placed to Rogers’ support line. It was impossible to get through. If you did get through, you received a message: “Sorry, due to unforeseen circumstances right now our offices are closed… goodbye”.
Rogers clearly was not prepared in its support facility to handle the volumes of calls. But for those who got through, Rogers could have used the Voice Response Unit that front ends their support line to inform customers that they were having difficulties with their cellular and internet services and that they were working on it. If they had some idea of the expected time frame for it to be fixed, they could have provided that information as well.
But the Voice Response Unit, if you could get through to it at all, had no information for customers that could have reduced their anxiety.
Twitter became my source of information. Customers who could access the internet through their cell phones (IE they had another cellular provider or another internet provider) were informed that there was a wide spread outage – from other users. But there was no communication from Rogers for quite a while on what the issue was and when it might be fixed.
@Rogerhelps finally sent out this tweet.
Look at the language used. They don’t describe the problem in user terms. The cellular service and internet services were down. Rogers used the term ‘wireline’ as if customers are supposed to understand what it means.
They promise to provide updates but I didn’t see any until they posted another tweet several hours later:
In this tweet, Rogers refers to Internet issues and again they use the term wireline.
In the intervening time frame, the Twitter universe was lambasting Rogers. It appears that some customers had no service for over 5 hours
One tweet was re tweeted over 800 times
I personally engaged Rogers’ twitter support with the following tweet, asking Rogers to provide an update to their status and an estimated time for restoration of service.
In fairness I did get a response from Rogers but it was the next day, about 16 hours after I tweeted my request. Here’s what they sent back to me.
What Rogers should have done.
1. Invest in a more robust telephone support system that can accommodate calls in a crisis.
2. Rogers should have announced its outage at the outset using Twitter and any social media it communicates with, and updating its support line voice response unit.
3. Updates should have been frequent.
4. Responses to requests for support tweets sent to RogersHelps should have been more timely.
Outages will happen and customers expect them to be fixed quickly.
Lack of communication makes a company look like it is hiding something.
Over communicate at times of crisis.
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