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dillyhammer
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join:2010-01-09
Scarborough, ON
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reply to peterboro

Re: [Burloak] Usage Based Billing Nightmare

said by peterboro:

I anticipate if the account details are forwarded a large broom descends and the rug lifts.

For me, it makes no never mind how they deal with it. I'm cutting my Cogeco ASAP. My company has a stellar reputation. I can't risk being seen to be doing business with a company like this. It would be bad for my business, plain and simple.

$2500 man. That's groceries for a family of 4 for 6 months. Seriously. I can't get over this. It's bloody criminal, or should be.

Mike
--
Cogeco - The New UBB Devil


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
reply to peterboro
said by peterboro:

I anticipate if the account details are forwarded a large broom descends and the rug lifts.

Exactly. We can't let Cogeco sweep this one away.

Gruesome

join:2007-10-18
Milton, ON
reply to ancodia
said by ancodia:

submitted story to slashdot. Anyone else we should send this to?

ars technica, maybe boing boing


dillyhammer
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reply to ancodia
said by ancodia:

submitted story to slashdot

Good one. I see it's in the queue. Waiting for my password (bloody forgot it) - I'll mod that puppy up.

Mike
--
Cogeco - The New UBB Devil


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
Love the avatar, dillyhammer.


Farchord
Lost somewhere.

join:2004-08-28
Shawinigan, QC
kudos:1
reply to OhNo2
I'd probably quit cogeco too after seeing this, but all I could get is 5megs.....


dillyhammer
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said by Farchord:

I'd probably quit cogeco too after seeing this, but all I could get is 5megs.....

Really? In Shawinigan? Wow. I trust you've checked recently.... that's tough.

Mike
--
Cogeco - The New UBB Devil

peterboro
Avatars are for posers
Premium
join:2006-11-03
Peterborough, ON
reply to Farchord
said by Farchord:

I'd probably quit cogeco too after seeing this, but all I could get is 5megs.....

I can get Nexicom's ADSL2+ with no cap or throttle but I haven't been hit with an overage yet so I am still on the fence as Cogeco has a rock solid connection and my reluctance to put one penny in Bell Canada's pocket.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
reply to dillyhammer
said by dillyhammer:

Really? In Shawinigan? Wow. I trust you've checked recently.... that's tough.

Welland can't get anything faster than 6Mbit as far as I can tell, and there's 50,000 people there, and that's roughly the same size as Shawinigan.


Farchord
Lost somewhere.

join:2004-08-28
Shawinigan, QC
kudos:1
said by Gone:

said by dillyhammer:

Really? In Shawinigan? Wow. I trust you've checked recently.... that's tough.

Welland can't get anything faster than 6Mbit as far as I can tell, and there's 50,000 people there, and that's roughly the same size as Shawinigan.

There's a small wi-fi connection company here but... I am weary as to the stability of the service. Their site doesn't look professional and shit, doesn't inspire trust. And my internet is very important to me.

But like Peterboro said, cogeco hasn't screwed me over yet, although I do get horror stories every so often from friends around.

*sigh* gotta love our duopoly!

jfmezei
Premium
join:2007-01-03
Pointe-Claire, QC
kudos:23
Mr Dillyhammer:

I would suggest that you do not cancel your cogeco subscription right away. It is easier for them to come to their senses if youa re still a customer.

I would not pay any ETF, especially if this brings Cogeco more money than a dormant account. But cut off all services and options from your account which wont attract the ETF. (aka: pay bare minimum for remaining months).

But by all means, give them as much bad publicity as you can and go to the CCTS, the issue of them not having send a letter to advise of this change is important.

EdmundGerber

join:2010-01-04
kudos:1
reply to Asawulf
said by Asawulf:

Flipped a PM to the OP for account infos for review because... we do care.

Awesome? But not every cogeco customer knows about this place, and the occasional help one can get here. So lets keep this going in the open as well, so we can try and eliminate this BS from ever happening again!

said by Gone:

said by Asawulf:

I'll stay away from the storm for now till we get account's infos

Right, and I trust you won't take it personally when I advise that the OP does not provide you with his account info to fix it for him, as we need to get as much exposure on this issue first before it is corrected. We know your intentions are good, we just have a little shit to kick up over this first.

Exactly.


elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
Reviews:
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reply to Gone
said by Gone:

said by ancodia:

We need to get this out to the media. Something like 'Canada's new UBB rules net customer a $1000 Internet bill. Customer complains, Cogeco says pay up'

Does anyone know of any contacts at CTV or the Toronto Star? Citytv used to love stuff like this, but they're owned by Rogers and I'm not sure how much a company owned by another cable company would want to paint their brothers in arms in a bad light.

Sent it to a buddy of mine at Global News.
--
No, I didn't. Honest... I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake.......


Gone
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join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
said by elwoodblues:

Sent it to a buddy of mine at Global News.

Perfect. I knew you had contacts, glad you forwarded this off.


dillyhammer
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reply to elwoodblues
said by elwoodblues:

Sent it to a buddy of mine at Global News.

Good stuff.

Mike
--
Cogeco - The New UBB Devil


Farchord
Lost somewhere.

join:2004-08-28
Shawinigan, QC
kudos:1
reply to OhNo2
Cool, you changed your avatar!

So, I can switch to bell now? XD

peterboro
Avatars are for posers
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join:2006-11-03
Peterborough, ON
reply to OhNo2
Remember people he doesn't have to PM his details the amounts on the bills can be searched and identified.

Then on the auspices on a follow up call to his earlier inquires a manger will contact him to make everything "ok" and we will never hear from him again.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
said by peterboro:

Then on the auspices on a follow up call to his earlier inquires a manger will contact him to make everything "ok" and we will never hear from him again.

I just really really hope that if someone in the media does make contact with the OP after Cogeco fixed it, he doesn't say "everything is fine" and they drop the story. I hope he rants and rants and rants about how much this screwed him over no matter what Cogeco may have done to fix it in the interim. The media loves a juicy story, and this has the potential to be a real juicy one.


warning

@cgocable.net
reply to jfmezei
Did the OP ever acknowledge the e-mails that are sent out that notify us that we are reaching our cap?

peterboro
Avatars are for posers
Premium
join:2006-11-03
Peterborough, ON
reply to OhNo2
said by OhNo2:

The following letter that has been sent to Cogeco and a few others are the accounts of my current nightmare with Cogeco. This situation has shown how little they care about my business. It seems like they are more concerned with short term gains than customer retention. I sent this letter in hopes of having my problem solved and influencing the way they operate.

quote:
I have been a loyal Cogeco client for the past decade. In recent years, I have spent upwards of $4000 on a yearly basis with your company. A negative option billing scenario will have me owing Cogeco over $2500 for a 3 month period.

At the end of June 2010, a Cogeco salesperson called me to change my service based on my usage. It would cost me less money and in return I would receive faster internet and an increased data transfer capacity. The Ultimate 30 plan would allow for 125Gb of data transfer capacity and additional bandwidth would cost $1.00/Gb to a maximum of $50. I of course changed my service to get the increase in bandwidth for less.

I realized on December 22nd 2011 that Cogeco had withdrawn $891.40 from my account on December 15th. That is triple the amount I usually pay. I promptly called Cogeco to investigate. They let me know that as of October 1st, 2011 they had changed my service without my knowledge. The extra bandwidth would no longer have a cap of $50 and was now an unlimited charge. I inquired as to how a fundamental part of my service could be changed without my knowledge and with no call to verify that I would agree to such a change. I was told that a letter was sent. I let the customer service representative know that I had not received such a letter nor had I received my bill from the month of October and November. The representative told me that letters were sent out to all of their customers. When I asked one of Cogeco’s customer service representatives why calls were not made so they could get actual verbal confirmation from their customers, rather than assuming a letter had been sent and received, she told me Cogeco does not have the manpower for such a feat. I spoke to multiple representatives and not one could provide me with some sort of guarantee, receipt or proof that the letter had even been sent in the first place. Cogeco also has no way of confirming that, if the letter was in fact sent, the customer was in actual receipt of the said letter. Every time I inquired about the reliability of such a system the Cogeco customer service representatives would default to a scripted response of, “Cogeco sent the letter to all of its customers” or “customers throw it out or don’t read it”. One of your representatives went as far as to call me a liar. Only one representative would even toy with the idea that customers do not get the letters delivered. This representative credited my account $50 as a “one time customer service gesture” because I had not received the letter. Only one representative admitted fault, although she did not credit my account properly. My last conversation of that particular day with a supervisor had her admit that some customers do not receive the letters but then she immediately tried to rephrase herself.

The Ministry of Consumer Services states that no supplier may demand payment or suggest that a consumer must pay for any unsolicited goods or services even if the consumer is under contract with the company to receive other goods or services. The company must have the express written authorization from the consumer to bill for extra goods or services. The service I had agreed to was 30 Mbps, 125GB monthly data transfer capacity and a usage overage charge of $1.00 per GB to a maximum of $50. In this case you have substituted an agreed-upon product for another or have “upgraded” my subscription by giving me “more” – and charging more for it. My service was changed and you have not received written authorization to do so.

Ignoring the negative option billing, I do not understand what your customer service team thought my motive was for lying about receiving that letter. Had it actually been received, knowing what my average bandwidth was in a month, I would have stepped down to the Turbo 20 package that has a maximum of $50 for usage or the Business Ultimate 50 package which is unlimited data transfer. Either option would have saved me hundreds of dollars. The representatives would not change my service and backdate the bandwidth usage. If your company had let me change and backdate the usage, you would be more likely to retain a customer and make more money in the long term. This entire situation appears to be a cash grab. Once you have my money it does not seem that you are willing to help anymore. This seems to be completely contradictory to the claims of your “Highest Customer Satisfaction” award.

Internet usage based billing is flawed. The methodology and devices that determine the bandwidth are not certified or regulated by Measurement Canada. There is no recourse for your customers to ensure the integrity and accuracy of the bandwidth measurements. Cogeco customers must rely on the ‘Internet Usage’ meter Cogeco has on the website. The meter is not always up to date and has frequent outages. The metering Cogeco uses does not distinguish between wanted and unwanted traffic. This means that a customer would have to pay overages if their modem was the victim of a malicious attack. Cogeco charges exact overage charges without having a flawless metering system in place.

I have tried to be very reasonable throughout this entire ordeal. I would like to tell my family and friends that this matter has been concluded in a mutually agreeable fashion. After being a long time customer and having spent tens of thousands of dollars with your company, I do not expect to be treated as second rate. I have every intent of pulling all of my services from Cogeco within the month if your company continues to deal with this situation in the manner shown to me up to this date. Loyalty works both ways; I look forward to your response.

Regards
As I did not recieve numerous bills, I had to copy the attached bills from the MyCogeco site. Due to technical difficulty it would not allow to copy page 1 of my December bill.

Saved for future generations to look back at a dark time in the evolution of the internet and marvel at the greed of corporations.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
reply to warning
said by warning :

Did the OP ever acknowledge the e-mails that are sent out that notify us that we are reaching our cap?

He is probably among the many thousands with more and more being added every day who do not use Cogeco's email addresses at all, and instead uses Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail or his own online service for email. As a result, he probably never got the notices. I, for example, use my first name @ my last name.com for an email address hosted on Google Apps. I haven't touched Cogeco email since the early 2000s.

Cogeco should be forced into providing a method to supply an alternate email address to send these notifications.


dillyhammer
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said by Gone:

Cogeco should be forced into providing a method to supply an alternate email address to send these notifications.

That was the BS excuse they gave me when they first started billing UBB and burned me for 2 months overages, in months 1 and 2. That cost them a year+ of my business. How did I find out? A bloody phone call on New Years Eve.They refused to use my personal email as the notification for billing issues, stating that it raised privacy concerns. Total bullshit.

I've never used Cogeco email at all - and still don't, not even their smtp servers - AFAIC totally unreliable.

Mike
--
Cogeco - The New UBB Devil


ruddypict

join:2010-03-24
kudos:2
reply to cog_biz_user
said by cog_biz_user:

sorry to hear about your mix-up, but how did you go through a terabyte in a month?

This is really not hard to do if you have multiple people, business or power user needs.


ruddypict

join:2010-03-24
kudos:2
reply to wowzers
said by wowzers :

The CCTS is free. Why not file your complaint along with all the dates/times you have called cogeco or communicated with them?

Half your complaint is already done. include this latest complaint in your formal complaint to the CCTS.

It's free for you and binding on cogeco.

»www.ccts-cprst.ca/

The OP should do this -- in addition to, not in lieu.

We need to bring lots of attention to this, this is why usage based billing is BAD, especially when there are no caps on overage!


ruddypict

join:2010-03-24
kudos:2
reply to dillyhammer
said by dillyhammer:

This absolutely belongs on the front page as headline news.

It's beyond ridiculous. Beyond obscene.

I was made aware of this beforehand, but had no idea of the amounts, which are... well, there's just no words to adequately describe what this is.

First things first. I would think the following people need to get a hold of this:

Guy Caron, NDP industry critic
»guycaron.ndp.ca/

Geoff Regan, Liberal industry critic
»www.geoffregan.ca/

André Bellavance, Bloc industry critic, just for the hell of it

Steve Anderson, Open Media
openmedia.ca

Charlie Angus, NDP
»charlieangus.ndp.ca/

Michael Geist
»www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/767/157/

Rosie DiManno, Toronto Star Columnist
»www.thestar.com/news/columnists/···no-rosie

I would certainly bring it to the attention, just for completeness, to Christian Paradis, Industry Minister, and the PMO's office.

»www.christianparadis.com/contact/
»pm.gc.ca/eng/contact.asp?featureId=10

Here's what I would do.

All services with Cogeco would be cut. Today. Everything. Their equipment would be removed from my property. It would be the last day I do business with them, and I would make it my personal mission in life to proactively take away as much business from Cogeco as humanly possible.

I'd call Shaw Direct for television, and TSI or some other indie for DSL - unlimited. I wouldn't even wait for the new stuff to be installed, I'd go without until it was. Whatever the hell is going on, you and your finances are in extreme danger.

Next, all access to bank accounts or creditr cards by Cogeco would be terminated. I'd be doing that both by phone, and by faxing a letter to their legal offices terminating any previously granted access to direct withdrawal etc.

Next, I'd package this all up and send it off to CCTS as a formal complaint, as a matter of principle. If you search "inaccurate meters" in this forum you get all kinds of crazy anecdotal information, with some meter screen grabs, of just how broken the meters are. I'd put that in too, just for the hell of it.

»www.ccts-cprst.ca/

Next, Id be calling the Lawyer Referral Service and asking for a referral to a lawyer to discuss this with. Preferably a litigation specialist.

1-800-268-8326

That'll get you a 30 minute consultation at no cost to you.

Holy shit.

Mike

Wow that's a great lineup dillyhammer!


dillyhammer
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reply to peterboro
said by peterboro:

Remember people he doesn't have to PM his details the amounts on the bills can be searched and identified.

Then on the auspices on a follow up call to his earlier inquires a manger will contact him to make everything "ok" and we will never hear from him again.

You know what? That's a tough call. We're not talking a couple hundred bucks here. We're talking $2500+. That's a lot of bread and butter.

If I got a call saying "wipte the slate clean and we'll reverse all $2500... man.... I dunno.... I got a family to feed and bills to pay, a lot of which won't happen with that $2500 missing.

All that said, this can't help but me a major PR black eye for Cogeco, notwithstanding any amicable resolution. It's just too bloody ugly. In either official language.

--
Cogeco - The New UBB Devil

OhNo2

join:2012-01-17
Burlington, ON
reply to Gone
No joke, I'm signing for my mortage of my first place this Monday.


ruddypict

join:2010-03-24
kudos:2
reply to dillyhammer
said by dillyhammer:

said by Gone:

This was only a matter of time. Lord god almighty.

Word.

I can't get over it. I'm making arrangements next week for DSL, chopping Cogeco, $75 ETF be damned. I can't do business with a company like that. Fsck that. Never thought I'd say it, but... worse than B#ell.

Net loss to Cogeco for my lost business in the next year - $1593.

Mike

I have been waiting on some IISP's to finalize costing. Now I might not wait.

People, think about it. Even if you are in a situation like me (6m max on DSL), consider indie ISP's that offer MLPPP. Whether you take a data cap or go unlimited its going to be way cheaper than Cogeco.


ruddypict

join:2010-03-24
kudos:2
reply to Gone
said by Gone:

Does anyone know of any contacts at CTV or the Toronto Star? Citytv used to love stuff like this, but they're owned by Rogers and I'm not sure how much a company owned by another cable company would want to paint their brothers in arms in a bad light.

I would submit it anyway. Either they'll cover it, which is good -- or they won't and we can point out how cable owned media won't cover the story.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
reply to ruddypict
said by ruddypict:

People, think about it. Even if you are in a situation like me (6m max on DSL), consider indie ISP's that offer MLPPP. Whether you take a data cap or go unlimited its going to be way cheaper than Cogeco.

I'm surprised more people aren't playing the "I run a home-based business and need a business account" card. With the way regulatory environment surrounding business accounts and the competition concerns, it is highly unlikely Cogeco will ever start charging overages on business accounts, and on the very super tiny remote off-chance that they do, the limits will be huge compared to what they are in residential.