How Wind Mobile Took My Autistic Brother for a Ride

UPDATE:

I just received a call from Ayesha at Wind Mobile- from the “Office of the President”. She spent most of the call re-iterating their policies to me, and suggesting that i’m lying about calling in before the 14 day window.

She then mentioned that they had plans on beefing up the coverage in my brothers area, and if I was willing to come back as a customer, they would offer me a $100 credit towards my account.

I declined.

Hello Michael,

As a follow up to our conversation today, the reference ID for our conversation is CXXXXXXXX. We will be investigating further and I will touch base with you soon with regards to reaching a mutual resolution to this matter.

We sincerely appreciate your patience and cooperation with regards to this matter.

Regards,

Ayesha S Office of the President

My brother is autistic.

He’s pretty high functioning as far as autism goes, but he still struggles with his disability on a daily basis (whether he’s fully aware of it or not). He can do a lot of stuff on his own- he can navigate the transit system better than most, he can feed himself (for the most part), and do many of the things average people do.

My brother moved from Vancouver to Toronto to come and live with me after our mother passed away in 2009; there was really nowhere else for him to go, so in one of her last lucid moments, I promised my mom that I would take care of him.

A large part of taking care of him was getting him registered for ODSP (Ontario Disability Services Plan), and with DSO (Development Services Ontario) in the hopes of getting him moved out on his own so he could be as independent as possible. Part of that independence was developing a budget that he could stick to, so that all his bills were covered, whether I was around to help or not.

One of his monthly expenses is his cell phone. The only other person my brother talks to besides me, is our sister in California- but they talk a LOT, and it’s good for both of them, as his autism makes it hard for him to connect with people, so family and familiarity is really good for him.

So I started the research. I considered Rogers, Fido, and Wind Mobile- Wind immediately stood out because they had unlimited plans for voice, text, and data, and they had a $10/mo add-on that would let my brother call my sister in the US. Unlimited is good, because my brother isn’t going to remember to limit himself, and he can’t afford to get stuck with crazy over-usage charges at the end of each month- he HAS to stick to his budget.

According to the Wind coverage map, they were well covered in his area (as well covered as the Toronto downtown core), and the “Windtab” option sounded great, because he could get a “good” phone without having to pay for the whole thing up front. So we decided Wind was the way to go- and so he started saving up. My brother only has an extra $50 every month, so it took him five months to save up enough to get the phone he wanted, and to pay for the first month of service.

coverage_area

Finally the day came where he had enough saved up to get his phone. I went in on a Saturday (March 9th) to the Wind Mobile store on Queen St., and set up the account for him using my credit card (as he doesn’t have one of his own). The total came out to $254.37- every cent he saved up, plus I kicked in the $4.37. The next morning I met him for breakfast and gave him his new phone; he was entranced- completely taken by his new Droid- and I got to take a breather, and check one more thing off my list of things I needed to do for my brother.

The problems started immediately.

By Wednesday (March 13th) we realized that whenever he tried to make a phone call from home, the calls would drop; and when I would try to call him, I’d just get a message about the subscriber being unavailable. At first I thought it might be temporary; or maybe he turned his phone off for some reason, or the battery died. But it persisted for several days, despite the fact that he had 3-5 bars the whole time.

It also took us a few days to figure out what was going on, since the phone worked perfectly fine when he wasn’t at home; my brother would call me from Dundas square or from a Starbucks somewhere closer to the downtown core, and we’d talk without issue. It was only in his area that the calls would drop.

Call #1- So I called into the Wind support for the first time on Friday (March 15th) - 7 days after buying the phone. I explained to the support person what was happening; she confirmed for me that their coverage in his area was well within the support zone (which backs up what their website says), and that he should have NO network issues in that area.

We ran through all the “normal” troubleshooting issues, and then she said that she would “reset the phone on her side” because sometimes the connections get “stuck” on certain cell towers.

“Stuck”.

Now, I’m not an idiot; and I was a technical support rep myself at one point in my career- so I understand what a blow-off sounds like- but she assured me that this would solve the problem, and everything would be working fine now. Rather than argue with her about what “stuck” means, I thanked her for her help, and got my brother to reboot his phone and try again- obviously there was no difference.

Call #2 – Saturday (March 16th) I phoned back in and I relayed to the new support rep the entire story, and about how the last rep “reset” something on their side. After going through all the same thing as the first rep, I started to lose patience, and requested to speak with a supervisor; not because she had done anything wrong at that point, but simply because her ability to help me was clearly limited- and I just needed to get this problem fixed.

She immediately got defensive, and insisted that if I really wanted to talk to a manager, that it was going to be a 4-6 hour wait, and that they might not even be able to call me back that night. When I insisted that I talk to somebody right away, and that I’d wait on the line, she put me on hold, and then hung up on me.

Call #3 – Monday (March 18th) I phoned back in; I waited a day because I simply could not bring myself to call back in right away- I wouldn’t have been able to refrain from taking my frustration out on the reps, and despite the poor performance so far, I’m sure i wouldn’t get the same person, and they don’t deserve that.

This time I get a rep named John; I recapped everything for John, including the initial solution of resetting the “stuck” connection- which he literally laughed out loud about- he insisted that the level 1 tech support have no such ability- and he confirmed that we’ve already worked through every possible trouble shooting option available to him, and that the only thing left was to talk to a level 2 rep.

John was the man; he got there in less than 5 minutes of talking to him, and he assured me that he would “take care of it”- the only downside is that the level 2 rep would only be able to call me back in the next “24-48 hours… but sometimes it takes longer”. So John put in the ticket, gave me the case number, and then I waited.

And then… nothing.

Call #4 – Friday (March 22nd) This call was short; I gave her my case number, she looked it up, and quickly told me that the reason I didn’t get a call-back from a level-2 rep yet, is because my buddy John didn’t submit the ticket correctly. I wasted four days waiting for a call that was never going to come.

She re-submitted the ticket, and told me that I would need to wait another 24-48 hours before hearing from the level 2 rep.

** At this point we reached the 14 day return policy that Wind provides; my brother would need to pay out his Windtab if we decided to cancel the account- so another $250+. **

Call #5 – Monday (March 25th) - three days later- I received the level-2 rep call-back. Of course, they happen to call at the exact minute I’m in the washroom, so I missed the call. The voice mail message was weak- no direct number to get back to them, no attempt to re-dial me, no effort at all- they simply said “sorry we missed you, please call us back at our main number”.

Call #6 – Saturday (March 30th) - I called in, but the hold time was soooo long- I just couldn’t do it. At this point I’m already so nauseated at the thought of talking to Wind support, that i just needed to take a day off.

Call #7 – Sunday (March 31st) I called back in and talked to a level-1 rep, and I told them that I missed the level-2 call-back, and that I’d like to be transferred right away. He said the only thing he could do was put the ticket back in, and I’d get a call-back again in another 24-48 hours. I asked to speak to a supervisor, and he said “sure”, and hung up on me.

That’s twice I was hung up on!

Call #8 – Monday (April 1st) I spoke with Spencer and I explained to him that I missed the level-2 call-back and that I’d like to talk to them right away- and I would wait if needed. Spencer gave me the same line about putting in a ticket, and how I’d get a call-back within 24-48 hours- but I refused. I said that’s insane. I said I would wait.

He didn’t want to let me wait on the line, so I finally said that he should simply pass me to their cancellation dept., as they seem to be unable to resolve my issue. I was transferred to their loyalty dept. so I could cancel, but the rep insisted that I speak with a loyalty supervisor, so she transferred me; the loyalty supervisor insisted I speak with a level-2 support rep, and she immediately transferred me to Matt- level-2 support.

Now, I understand that the level-1 reps have limited abilities but I shouldn’t have to threaten cancellation, only to be transferred to the very person I called in to talk to- this is terrible support.

Matt insisted that the calling area was well covered, and that it must be my phone or my SIM card. That answer seems suspect to me, given that the phone works perfectly fine in other areas, and that the SIM (along with the phone) is brand new- but he insisted that this is where they need to start, before talking to anybody about the cell coverage in the area.

So I agreed to jump through their hoops, in the hopes that something will solve the problem. I took the phone in to get a new SIM card, and gave the phone back to my brother to take home so we could test- no difference at all.

At this point the conclusion is obvious; it’s been obvious from the beginning- the coverage in the area is poor, and there’s really nothing they can do about it.

Call #9 – Monday (April 10th) the level-1 rep looks up my account, and sees a note to transfer me right away to a level-2 rep. – no questions asked. I’m not sure why they didn’t do this all the other times instead of insisting that I wait 24-48 hours for a call-back- but whatever.

I spoke with Mimi- I explain everything that’s been done, and she reluctantly admits that the service is poor in that area. She said a couple things that blew my mind:

1) She said that my brothers’ address is “right on the edge of their coverage area”. Now, when you look at their coverage map on their website (I took a screen shot above), my brothers address looks like it’s well covered, and not at all on the “edge”. But she says that she has access to a “better map”, and on her map, he’s right on the edge.

So basically the Wind Mobile coverage map on their website is a lie- they’ve exaggerated their coverage area to look bigger than they actually are. This isn’t really that surprising, given how new Wind is to the mobile market, but coverage was a deciding factor on choosing them in the first place.

2) She also said that they have more cell towers scheduled to be installed in that area “at some point in the future“. I’m not sure if that’s really true or not, but if it is, it means they KNOW that the area is not well covered- which means their reps are lying to their customers, telling them the coverage in that area is good, when it’s clearly not.

She also couldn’t give me any dates of when the area would be upgraded; she said it “could be years” before anything in actually installed.

At this point, I’m done- the service is unusable; there is no other recourse other than to wait to see if/when the area is upgraded, which could take years, not to mention the weeks I’ve lost working through this, only to be repeatedly lied to and hung up on.

I asked Mimi to transfer me to the loyalty dept. so I can cancel my brothers’ account. I spoke with a rep, who eventually transferred me to Candace- a loyalty supervisor. I explained to Candace why I was cancelling, and that I was happy to pay for the usage on the account so far, but I’d like to return the phone and cancel the account.

Candace informs me that because it’s been more than 14 days since I signed up, my brother needs to pay out the remainder of the Windtab (a total of $226) - they won’t take the phone back, and they’ll refuse to cancel the account until the Wintab is paid- so it will keep incurring monthly charges for a service he can’t/won’t use.

I was BLOWN away.

First off, the service doesn’t work; and hasn’t worked since day 1- they can SEE all the dropped calls on their side- that should be more than enough right there for a company to accept that they screwed up, and eat the costs.

Secondly, the ONLY reason we were past the 14 days is because THEIR tech support took longer than that to try and resolve the problem. I spent time working through the support steps that they themselves had engineered, not to mention their mistakes, them hanging up on me, them lying to me about the area being covered, and the time it took for them to call me back.

If your support process is padded with 24-48 hour call-back windows, and requires multiple calls to resolve issues, then you need to stop the clock on your return policy until a conclusion is come to- and the consumer can make an informed decision on whether to keep the account or not.

But it’s very possible that this is intentional; if you keep a half-assed support system in place, then it creates a scenario where customers could get pushed past the 14 day window, and are forced into a decision of paying out the Windtab in one lump sum (which for many people like my brother, is months and months of saving), or they just put up with the poor service and keep the account (because Wind refuses to cancel the account unless the Windtab is paid)- either way Wind wins.

So where are we now? After paying Wind Mobile over $500 for a service that never worked.

charges

My brother needs to save every penny he has for the next six months to pay off the Windtab, and he’ll end up with a phone that he may or may not be able to use with another carrier. Meanwhile, he’ll have no phone, since he can’t afford a plan with another company until the Windtab is paid off.

He won’t be able to call our sister. I won’t be able to get a hold on him to check in on him; to make sure he’s taking his medication; to make sure he’s “ok”. And he’ll have no way to call me in an emergency- or if he just wants to tell me about his day.

He’s autistic, so he doesn’t really understand why this happened, no matter how much I try to explain it to him. He feels ripped off, and he’s confused, and he feels abandoned by his family; and Wind Mobile did this to him for money.

84 thoughts on “How Wind Mobile Took My Autistic Brother for a Ride

  1. colin d

    I baught a huawei flip phone on sale and tried the service for a few months. Before getting into a wintab deal with these guys. Had a friend who baught a broken phone from these people and wind screwed them around. He ended up getting the phone fixed on his own and selling it on Craigslist before going to fido

  2. Craig

    Better Business Bureau should be informed about this, that is disgusting service.

  3. saul

    That’s funny My Huwaei broke too. OK get this -It’s a 50 dollar deposit to send your phone in for service. BUT if it’s not software related they keep $25 . Do they fix your phone? NOPE. They give it back to you broken. That’s their warrantee. When I laughed at this the girl told me I was the only one who every handled this news with humor and that she herself was shocked when she learned the about the policy. The fact that I knew it was Wind kept me from getting angry -they are cheap but a horrible company -so you get what you pay for. They are basically the North Korea of cell phone companies -empty promises and 3rd world quality.

  4. RC

    I am not sure if you have Mobilicity where you are but they are fantastic. Sure you’ll get some small problems but support staff has always been helpful and they always always always follow up which is so nice. All of my sisters are with them and they love it- they haven’t experienced any problems (I found out later my device was the problem).

    However, I left them a while ago because I needed a wider cell range for work (it can be patchy in some parts of the city but it never bugged me as it would recover quickly) but I highly recommend Mobilicity for its price and customer service. I was paying 14 bucks a month for unlimited everything! Bonus: I made daily long distance calls with no problems.

    Hope that helps for next time :)

  5. Sean

    I took a job with Wind immediately after getting out of college in Calgary. I was there with the company before the stores launched. Their frequency, which their shady Egyptian parent company purchased during a CRTC auction, was a problem from the hop. I’d say 1 in 2 ppl who signed up would come in with some kind of problem you described. A tech told me point blank the frequency doesn’t penetrate solid walls very well and/or many high buildings. Wind also doesn’t have their own towers, they piggy back on Rogers towers where I suspect all their traffic is somehow downgraded (or the less-skilled installation guys are doing something wrong).

    I didn’t give a shit about the corporation’s mandate, so I would refund people and say the phone was defective (even if it wasn’t). Eventually, I got a gig in my field and got the hell out of there…just in time I thought. I’m actually surprised the company is still operating. Their spectrum is shit, employees are basically trained to give people the run around until their warranty runs out, and they’re owned by a company that made their fortune w/ the Mubarak regime…oh, and they helped set up telecom systems in North Korea.

    Really sorry to hear about your brother’s luck. I was really hoping Wind would somehow turn it around after I left 4 years ago…but I’m not surprised when I hear this type of horror story.

  6. Merle

    Hey there, I just read this peice of bullshit luck you have. I can’t help but personally feel so angry I could burst. I have a disability akin to autism named Asberger’s Syndrome. How much money does your brother need to get his calling back?

  7. eni

    cant believe this! but thanks for the heads up? have you tried downloading fongo as long as hes in a wifi zone he can use his phone for calls to u and your sister.

  8. Chris

    I worked in the cellular industry for 8 years, i am damn near positive what they have done to you is illegal,purposely trying to run out a return policy by avoidance in this way is against the buyers remorse laws in Canada, you should contact the CRTC about this. they have a complaint process on their website you will need to go through first and a representative will contact you in a few days for information regarding the issue, the BBB 9/10 is useless as a butthole on your elbow. I’ve registered complaints through them many times over the years and have never had any sort of resolution come from them, they can only act as a mediator to try and resolve an issue for you as a customer of the company and no real power to force compliance of the company and in all honestly threats of contacting the BBB are considered a joke to most call center employees.
    OpenMedia.ca is another source you should look into the are a consumer protection group fighting to change the wireless oligopoly in Canada and may be able to give you advice or help you in your situation

  9. chall2k5

    I have had service with Wind for 3 years now, and live in a suburb outside of Ottawa (Stittsville) Even to this day its not inside the “Official” Home Zone My service has been rock solid, only having issues when walking inside a walk in fridge.

    I have some friends who went with Wind, and for the most part they have all stayed (one left cause he wanted an iphone), I have learned that many android devices dont have the best reception, RIM devices seemed to always have better signal reception (I compared a bold 9790 to a google (LG) nexus 4, and found that the nexus seemed to have a weaker signal)

  10. Ciindy

    I’m glad that you took time to write this I know how you feel I as well have medical problems (epilepsy and anxiety and a tumour in my head) and I need my phone to have a number that my doctor can reach so when I called In they gave me the run around and didn’t help me At all and told me there was NO supervisor they don’t have respect they’re rude too I give you respect for keeping calm specially with your situation I’m sorry that this had to happen to you , you seem like a nice person and you did a great thing by sticking up for your brother I hope you get what you deserve and that they get what they deserve .

  11. Ciindy

    I’m glad that you took time to write this I know how you feel I as well have medical problems (epilepsy and anxiety and a tumour in my head) and I need my phone to have a number that my doctor can reach so when I called In they gave me the run around and didn’t help me At all and told me there was NO supervisor they don’t have respect they’re rude too I give you respect for keeping calm specially with your situation I’m sorry that this had to happen to you , you seem like a nice person and you did a great thing by sticking up for your brother I hope you get what you deserve and that they get what they deserve .

  12. Adam

    Mike,
    Contact the CCTS not the CRTC. This is not a CRTC regulated issue based on the first sentence on the CRTC webpage. I know this takes time from your day and is wasteful of your time but they will force the situation into resolution that should satisfy the needs of your situation. I have dealt with them in regards to Bell before and lets just say I had an executive office representative contact me and ask specifically what I wanted to resolve my concern. I won’t get into the entire set of details but I spent 24 hours on my cell over a few days at 30 cents per minute trying to have my home phone connected over christmas holidays as Bell refused to correct their mistake. I would possibly suggest that if the CCTS claims any unability to resolve the concern contact the Ontario Ombudsman to have them ordered to do so, again this takes time but that costfor the service or lack thereof is quite ridiculous. I cannot stress that it is going to take up much time and research on the issue but its the best chance you have for resolution. Hope this helps, Just keep making noise about it everywhere you can I found this from a friend on facebook thats the right track, as they say the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Good luck and if you wish to relay how things worked out drop a line to kingadam252@gmail.com.

  13. Lori Ryerson

    1. Contact the CRTC. http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/INFO_SHT/t1021.htm
    2. Contact Ellen Roseman at the Toronto Star: http://www.thestar.com/authors.roseman_ellen.html
    3. Contact your federal member of parliament (telecom = federal jurisdiction) http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parlinfo/Compilations/HouseOfCommons/MemberByPostalCode.aspx?Menu=HOC find your member there
    4. Wind Mobile Administration team: http://www.windmobile.ca/en/pages/ourteam.aspx, send this file to the president/CEO
    5. Post this on their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/WINDmobile
    6. Post it to their Twitter https://twitter.com/WINDmobile

    Eventually, if you get this in enough public space, you may get some action from them. This is small comfort, I know. And I shake my head every time I see these complaints, because I worry about seniors and kids like your bro, who don’t know about “escalating” a call. I ran into some BS recently with Rogers (after moving off of 12 years of service with them) trying to charge me $500 for early cancellation of a cell phone contract that had expired 18 months earlier. You have to watch every step of the way, and be prepared to give up hours of your own biz time to solve these issues. EVERY cell phone provider in Canada is dreadful; the trick is the find the least dreadful of the bunch, but you’ll still pay through the nostrils. I steered clear of Wind because they had such a dreadful rep for coverage outside of a small area in downtown Toronto. So sorry about what you’ve been through; that is just one step shy of illegal and abusive, really.

  14. Justin Credible

    Not to play the devils advocate, but, every single cell provider states that service areas are a general representation and nobody promises INDOOR coverage whatsoever. True, the customer service was bad, but the reason for the 14 day window is to allow time to return and cancel. All customers on any network should go home, see if it works where they need it to and decide to keep it or not.

  15. mike Post author

    I don’t disagree with you Justin,

    But when I phoned in for tech support, they insisted that the coverage in that area was great- and definitely not the problem; this is from them, not the map.

    and then it took over the 14 days for them to finally admit that the problem was in-fact because of poor coverage; the only reason I waited around was because they insisted it was fixable- if they admitted day 1 that there was a coverage problem, I would cancelled right away.

    Mike

  16. Gordon

    This is disgusting, wind mobile should be ashamed of themselves. I too thought they were different..

  17. Pingback: Wind Mobile Support Nightmare for my Autistic Brother | mike pultz

  18. Franklyn

    Hey Mike,

    I read that story and felt absolutely horrible for you and your brother. What a disgusting experience. Someone on here mentioned that you should contact the better business bureau, and I agree. I’d like to add that you should also contact the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services, as well as trying to get your story in the media. If you’re familiar with Toronto news you may recall a reporter by the name of Peter Silverman. He used to run a weekly report called Silverman helps, where he would expose stories exactly like this on the 6 o’clock news (cp24), track down the people responsible, and shame them publicly for the way they heartlessly take advantage of vulnerable consumers. He got results, and I know that he is still doing it. What’s more, I believe that his services are still free. Mike, I urge you to contact him at the website below with your story:

    http://petersilvermanhelps.com/index.php/contact

    Your experience is the type of story that people NEED to be made aware of, and that it would happen to your brother is truly heartbreaking and infuriating. I hope that you and him get the results that you deserve – I’d love to see you on the news.

    Your friend,

    Franklyn

  19. Sam S

    This broke my heart. I have an autistic brother as well and I could not imagine going through that. If there is anything you need in the interim please ask. I have an extra phone if that helps. As far as your brother goes…. I could not picture my brother not being able to communicate without my family. Check out public mobile. I believe they aree 10c a minute calling usa.

  20. Pingback: Thinking about getting a WIND MOBILE account? Think again. at Jason Pultz

  21. Jim

    Hi Mike,

    There are a couple of holes in your story which I think you should get straight before taking this further. You said he was dropping calls despite having 3-5 bars the whole time. Later you said Wind admitted to not having service in that location. Well, do you have 3-5 bars or no service? Because 3-5 bars sounds like pretty good service to me.

    Also, you keep harping on how tech support dragged the issue causing you to miss the 14 day return period. But the return period is 14 days or 30 minutes of talk time, whichever comes first. Thirty minutes just barely enough to try the phone in the places you need it to work. The most obvious place is home. You never mention when you past the 30 minute mark, which from how you describe your brother, it was probably on day 1. So before you made that first call to tech support, you were probably already past your return privilege.

    And why would an obvious technology geek like yourself even have to call tech support to realize that you are in a poor signal area? Do you not understand how wireless signals work? It’s really unfortunate that you received such poor support, but honestly anyone can get poor support if you have the right “attitude”. Any one can get hung up on.

    I’m not excusing Winds support or return policies, but you should have been aware of the return policy and tried the phone in the places that it needed to work before committing. Now you just paid $500 for a phone. You can sell it to recoup most of the loses, though it sounds like you are going to make your autistic brother pay for your mistake. Shame on you. And shame on you for using your brother in what appears to be your own personal vendetta against Wind.

    Sorry for being brutally honest, but this story just doesn’t add up.

  22. mike Post author

    Jim,

    I had 3-5 bars AND the calls were dropping after a 10-20 seconds- which is why it took a while to figure out, because that doesn’t usually happen. Since the calls kept getting dropped, we never reached the 30 minute mark.

    Why did it take so long to figure out?

    1) to some degree, I was relying on my brother to tell me what he was experiencing- which doesn’t always work.
    2) every time I talked to wind, they insisted that it wasn’t the area, and must be the phone- and given the 3-5 bars, seemed plausible.

    and it took longer than 14 days for them to work through all the possible issues on the phone.

    The state of customer service is pretty pathetic if I, as a customer, am supposed to ASSUME that the company I’m talking to lying to me, and that should have preemptively returned the phone before 14 days was up- before they completed all their troubleshooting steps to try and make it work- just so I don’t get stuck with the phone.

    I *wanted* the account to work- it was an ideal phone/plan for my brother, and it’s not offered by rogers/telus/bell- which is why I stuck with them and tried to work through the issues, following their process.

    RE: shame on me? you have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m not nor have I ever “used” my brother- you know nothing about us- nor do I have an vendetta against wind.

    The only mistake I made, was to trust wind to either make their service work, or own up to the fact that it doesn’t.

    Mike

  23. Pingback: The Decline of Customer Service – and How It’s Mostly the Consumers Fault | mike pultz

  24. Dave Van

    You’re saying that Wind kept insisting the problem wasn’t the service, it was the phone… yet you kept the phone? What did you think they were going to do to fix it? If the phone isn’t working it’s your responsibility to take it back within the return period.

    Also, you said the phone worked perfectly fine when he wasn’t at home. Yet we’re supposed to believe you didn’t go over 30 minutes? That just doesn’t seem likely.

    I have to add… I have a son who is high functioning autistic, and I would *never* get him an expensive phone (especially on credit), due to the high likelihood that something might happen to that phone. It sounds like this was a $450 phone, that’s just way too expensive of a phone for an autistic person to be carrying around. There are many adequate phones available for around $150.

  25. mike Post author

    No, if you read my post, I said they kept insisting it wasn’t the service, and that they could fix the problem, whatever it was. They also said that if it was simply a phone “issue”, they could always just give me another one- but as it turns out, there was nothing wrong with the phone- it was the service- which they insisted wasn’t the issue since day 1.

    and no- he didn’t go over the 30 minutes.

    I’m sorry to hear about your son- but as I’m sure you’re well aware, the autism spectrum varies HUGELY- while you’re son might not do well with a new phone, my brother is fine- plus, I didn’t buy it for him- my brother paid for it out of his own money, and that’s the phone he wanted- so why would I stop him from buying it?

    Mike

  26. Daniel

    Hi Mike,
    I’m sorry to hear about your situation and I feel your pain. I’m also a technology professional. My parents have had Rogers phones almost since Cantel launched in the ’80s. I’ve been with Rogers for 15 years myself. My whole family pretty much is with them for cell service (parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, etc.). For most of the time we have had good service and at times great customer service, but we have had some frustrations. I even work in the Richmond Hill call centre for Rogers doing level 1 internet tech support, I even did a little chat support occassionally. So I know what it’s live on both sides of the phone as you do. Our biggest issue relates to our Rocket Hub/Stick service, which we’re stuck with as the only viable broadband option where we live.
    Four years ago we moved from Thornhill to Newmarket, and I was working for Rogers, so I knew what to ask and such. We bought rural property in Newmarket and long before we bought, I called and confirmed that cable service was available as it was almost a deal breaker if there was no wired broadband available. I was assured it was available, despite the previous owners saying only dialup was available. Before we made our offer a few months later, I called again to confirm cable service was available, I was told there was no concern at all. So we made our offer, and bought the house, 30 days before our moving date, as per Rogers policy, I went through the move request process (I had to go through a different process to most customers as I was an employee). This was where the problem started. I was told by the employee discount department that service wasn’t availble at our new home. I explained I had checked twice on the phone, and in fact checked the website also. The rep investigated, and found out that of about 20 properties in my postal code, some have service and some don’t. I asked her to check on getting service connected. A few days later she told me the cost was in the 100′s of thousands of dollars to connect our property (it has since come down considerably, but not enough, and until it does, there are no plans to bring cable service here, despite properties within 2Km both north and south having service). So now less than 30 days before moving, I scrambled to find service, got Primus for land line phone and they said I could get DSL but Bell said no. I knew Bell was right, but since Primus does have their own DSLAMs, maybe they did have service. Went with Bell TV over Shaw Direct for TV as we could rent the equipment since we didn’t want to shell out over $1500 for multiple HD PVRs. So we move in, and Primus got the modem to us and activated the DSL as quick as possible, it didn’t work, and they took 2 weeks to figure it out. Thankfully they credited all DSL costs. Now what? Rogers cell coverage wasn’t great, but we could get HSPA+, there was no way I was getting satelite as it has way too much latency, and the only fixed wireless is XploreNet, but they are expensive, slow, and throttle based on usage in a 24hr period and then you got dialup for a while. So I got a Rocket Stick, the max overage charge was $100 including the plan fee, so with my my discount, we were paying less than $100 with tax for unlimited service, and I got a $300 3G router. This worked ok, and I upgraded from the HSPA express card to the HSPA+ USB stick a few months later when it came out and bought it outright. Service gradually got better (now we get great LTE speeds and reliability, basically land line service on cellular). Anyways, the max overage was changed to $500 over and above the plan fee, ok not such a big deal with my discount. I then left the company late in ’09, and our bills skyrocketed, although we knew it would happen. We then found out the Rocket Hub service was a max $100 overage. So we switched to that, but the hub sucks as a router, and a few months later they changed the max overage to $500. Now we had be trying to get our usage down, but it was a challenge to stay below 30GB when we routinely used 200-300GB in Thornhill on cable. We would hit the max at about 25GB of usage no matter which plan we were on. We had contacted Ellen Roseman, and she suggested we continue to try to resove the issue directly before she would try to step in. Eventually I escalated the cost issue up the chain from level 1 customer service to a supervisor with no results. So I sent a request to the Office of the President stating that we were ready to go to the Rogers Ombudsperson and failing that the new CCTS, and then the media after that. About a week later I get a call from a rep in the OOP, and she had already credited all the overages on the Rocket Hub account (which was separate from the Rocket Stick account) for nearly 6 months and she’s applied unlimited usage to our account for 6 months, and she agreed to exchange the HSPA+ hub for a new LTE Rocket Stick for free eventhough the plastic hing on the 3G antenna on the Hub was broken (it still worked ok though). Six months later, she has renewed the unlimited usage for another 6 months and she has told us we’re not the only rural customers in this situation but they have no plans for rural customers (i.e. meet certain eligibility requirements such as no mobility (can only use 2-3 closest towers) and no cable/dsl available) with reasonable usage caps (which is all I asked for, didn’t ask for unlimited, we could live with 40 or 50GB if we had to). Apparently a rural plan is now available through OOP but we didn’t qualify and it wouldn’t work for us, but the OOP has made the request for reasonable plans to be made available, but nothing yet. I assume this to be true if they are willing to offer 6 months unlimited and renew it for us (I have been told if no new plans are available it will be renewed in December). Anyways, be polite but persistent and do not hesitate to escalate the issue up the chain, and tell them you are willing to go right to the CCTS and/or the media if you have to. With the CCTS, Wind is obligated to participate and obligated to respond within a short defined time period, or I believe they face fines from the CCTS.

    On another note, I face challenges stemming from OCD and ADHD every day, some are worse than others, but I function and am able to run my own business (although at much greater challenge than most people without the challenges I face. Recent studies now show ADHD are related. So I have some understandting of what your brother goes through. There are situations where I simply do not understand, no matter how it’s explained to me, and I’m a 31 year old adult most people wouldn’t know has any issues like ADHD or OCD. These situations tend not to occur in work or social situations, mostly in family settings. I have friend who is probably similar to your brother in terms of his high functioning autism, and I see myself in him to a degree, but I know what to look for.

    Please keep pusing this issue with Wind and I hope you get it resolved. I’m sure your brother appreciates all the help you give him.

    Wind should not behave in the way they have.

    Also, if Mobilicity or Public mobile are not options, your cell provider may have family plan options that may save you money and give you enough minutes at a reasonable cost for your brother, although I’m sure you probably looked into this already.

    Good Luck!

    Sorry for the long comment.

  27. Lior

    OMG. I was infuriated reading that post. I’m with WIND myself.

    This reminds me of a situation I’ve seen where PayPal blocked an account of someone who makes a living online and he recruited thousands of his customers/fans to tweet PayPal’s CEO and customer support accounts. There were hundreds of tweets and finally they gave in.

    Is there any way we can help?

  28. Nancy Klein

    Hello,

    My name is Nancy and I run the content department here at PhDinspecialEducation.com. My team has just published a really useful resource titled: 101 Noteworthy Sites on Asperger’s and the Autism Spectrum. To view our article follow the link provided: http://phdinspecialeducation.com/autism-aspergers/

    Our mission at PhDinspecialEducation.com is to help educate people on the needs of children and adults enrolled in special needs education classes. We want to share our resource with you because your readers may benefit from it, and we believe it would make great content for your site.

    Feel free to share the list with your readers. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks and have a wonderful day.

    Regards,

    Nancy Klein
    Content Editor
    PhDinspecialEducation.com
    nancy@phdinspecialeducation.com

  29. Natalia

    I just hate WIND. I had a similar situation, my phone broke. When I went off to Samsung to repair it, they didn’t want to fix it because the phone had different parts. In other words, it was refurbished. I was sold a refurbished phone that no one wanted to fix. The location I got it from avoided me, hung up on me, never returned my calls, and mocked my accent. I paid 149 plus 200 WIND tab for an old phone. I don’t want to pay 170 to leave so Ill leave when my WIND tab is done. I bought a new phone and somehow I have to pay for a months service that I didn’t use. Im done with trying to call, WIND is not here to fix but avoid.

    At the end of the day, would I recommend them to anyone? No way in hell.

  30. Mag

    I’ve been a loyal customer for the small, friendly newcomer. But now, I too can attest to:
    – terrible network reception
    – terrible customer service

    The way I and others have been treated, has me on the look out for a trustworthy service provider.

    In summary, of my many frustrating calls, Wind technical support has not been cable of keeping track of my (their) problem to provide an effective solution. Regardless of my level of effort to repeatedly reach Wind, and to articulate the problem, the Wind support service has always been evasive.
    The frequent instructions for me to wait, and receive a call back from technical support, have NEVER been followed with results. I’m back on hold to talk to support, to get put on hold, to be transferred to technical support who will tell me to wait for a call back, at which point I’ve been ask if I still have a problem. Cute. Like maybe the wind changed direction and I’m happier now.

    This technical support service has been about as difficult to grasp as the wind. Granted, they are working indoors, and I’ve only had Wind Mobile work reliably outdoors, but maybe they could also work indoors at breaking some Wind. Hopefully sending the whole Wind customer service department outdoors where they can realize wind is something that actually exists. Even as they may not see it or feel it – they will know wind is there. They will have heard something, and paying customers who’ve been asking for wind, will be understood. Wind Mobile may be something that you do not see or feel, but at least you will be able to hear it! Hopefully indoors too!!

    To all previous posters, I appreciate your diligent records and call logs! I haven’t the patience but do encourage you to go outside where ‘Wind’ is more reliable. If it isn’t – just break a little wind. You’ll feel better, especially when you’re full of Wind, and all that customer service hot air about the wind you’re supposed to have, which you paid for but can’t see, feel or hear!

    Matt

  31. Ammar Reza

    I have just recently signed up with WIND Mobile here in Ottawa, Ontario. It literally has only been about 14 days.

    I can honestly say that, so far, I have had absolutely no issue or problem with them whatsoever.
    I got the $50/month “unlimited everything” plan.
    The service, so far, seems to be absolutely wonderful, and the customer service I have received (both at the store physically and on the phone) has been flawless.
    Even when I actually had an “issue” (the issue being that my phone-charger for the SAMSUNG ACE that I bought from them was malfunctioning), the clerk at the store to which I took the equipment back to promptly took care of the problem (by replacing the charger).
    I am posting on here just to relay my own personal experience (so far, that is).

    Previously, I had been with FIDO, and I finally got fed up with how quickly the charges seemed to accumulate for services that I could get for half the price (and UNLIMITED) with WIND.

    So, thankfully no problems so far, and I would recommend WIND to friends.

    I will definitely keep this page in my bookmarks to keep everyone updated about my experience with WIND.

    Hopefully, any future posts I may post about WIND will continue to be positive.

    I will keep you guys posted.

  32. JT

    Was considering Wind until I read this. The experience you had was unexceptable. Maybe Wind can take this message and learn something from it.

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