Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cognitive Dissonance

Taking umbrage at telecommunications providers is all too easy these days. Surveys show that they have long overtaken the likes of drug companies and used car lots as the public's favourite corporate nemesis. The telecoms don't seem to see the dissonance between their messaging and reality - what they crow about doesn't stand comparison with their real world behaviour.

In our household we have two of the three media majors in our lives, Rogers and Bell. Rogers has started running new and expensive adverts promoting something called "Share Everything Plan". This is great because everyone in your group can share 'everything' they have on their devices. Problem is it is only Father Rogers devices and airspace. Most families have a variety of wireless and cable-using equipment and may have more than one service provider. In past years whenever I periodically asked each telecom what they could do to improve cost if we consolidated all our phones onto them as a single provider, the answer was nowt. Now we can pay Rogers to link everything they can sell us but still not get a deal on multiple devices.

Reluctantly Ma Bell is stuck with still owning the phone wires around here. I recently dropped my business phone numbers that, as a retiree, I no longer find I use and this involved Bell shutting off the second line into our house. But for many months we have had a hum on both lines. This annoyance is called 'rural hum', and it is really too bad but that's what you get in the sticks if you use land-lines. But don't we hill-dwelling hicks also have problems with cellphone reception? Yep, but there are not enough of you to justify another tower. Anyway, now you only have one line to hum.

As I missed Bell's monthly billing anniversary by a day when they cut off the line, for another month I have to pay in full and wait for a credit. And if I don't make them what amounts to a month's interest free loan, their billing system will penalize me. So let me get this straight, Bell. Your TV commercials try to get me to buy lightening-fast connectivity and computational gizmos that dazzle, but you can't go into your billing system and set up a credit for me in real time? Heal thyself first, physician!

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