Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wind Mobile


Back in December, the 18th to be exact, I decided to become a member of the newly introduced Wind Mobile network. Now for visitors to this site who might not know, even though we Canadian consider ourselves capitalists, our telecommunications companies are protected by competition through the governing body referred to as the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission. You would think the CRTC, being a division of the government, would do what the people want, instead they seem to be doing only what the big corporations want, by restricting free competition, and setting up monopolies, so that certain companies can charge whatever they want and offer whatever little service they want. I could go on and on about the corruption in Canadian government, but this article is about my experience with Wind mobile.

So Wind, recently got inducted into the exclusive Canadian mobile phone providers monopoly, and decided to shake up the industry by providing a limited time introductory offer of unlimited voice, unlimited text messaging, unlimited data plan, and unlimited Canadian long distance for $40 a month. Nine years ago FIDO offered a similar promotion of unlimited voice when they were also inducted into this elite monopoly. I already had the FIDO plan and love it, but the thought of unlimited data was really appealing. Lucky for me, my mother was interested in getting a mobile phone, so I decided to give her my FIDO contract and get myself a new Wind contract. I was eligible for a new phone, on re-signing my FIDO contract so I gave my mom a new phone for Christmas, and kept the FIDO contract for her.

I decided to purchase an HTC Maple mobile phone to accompany my new Wind plan, and for the first few days I spent most of my time texting and calling contacts to inform them of my new number. A few days after having the phone I ran into a problem where the microphone stopped working. I went to the Wind website and it suggested I upgrade the firmware on my mobile phone, by following the directions from the HTC website. Which I did successfully and the phone was once again functional, that is for another 3 days until, the microphone and speaker stopped working. So I did a hard reset, and wiped out all my contacts again, but the phone was working. That is for another 3, days then no sound again. At this point I was fed up, and headed to the Wind kiosk, where I bought my phone.

At the Wind kiosk, the sales manager there, was really helpful, and offered to exchange my phone, with no hassles. So now I had a new phone, and was so happy. Well that happiness was short lived, because the new phone I got, dropped calls every 2-3 minutes. In the first day of having the new phone I had over a dozen dropped calls, but thats not all, I also got tons of interference on the line, and volume fluctuation from super low to normal. I decide to seek some help online, and emailed customer support about my problem. The next day I get an email back, saying blah,blah, call customer service. 

Why do all big business do this, they advertise online customer service, and then send out generic answers that doesn't help anyone!

So I call customer service, and I get through in less than 3 minutes, I'm impressed. The CS guy is confused, and can't understand why my phone is making all kinds of weird noises, so many that he can barely hear me, I explain to him, that he's not the first to say this and that I need something done to correct this. He agrees, and files a case for tech support to investigate, he assures me they will contact me in a few days. A week goes by, and still no call for Tech Support, and obviously no resolution to my problems. So I call CS again, but from my other line, and get through to CS (15 minutes), then speaking to them for a few minutes I'm then transfered over to another person (5 minute wait). Then a Technical Support guy answers the phone and rudely tells me there is nothing he can do about my phone, because the number I used to call isn't registered to Wind. I explain to him that if my Wind phone worked for longer than 3 minutes I would have used it, but it doesn't and thats why I waited for 20 to get someone to service my phone. He asks whats wrong and I explain everything , and he says "thats normal reception in you're area", so I ask him, how he knows where I am? If he didn't even know my account? he says "Well, that sounds like normal interference when you're outside a Wind Zone", I say thats awesome, but I'm in the middle of your Wind Zone. He's speechless for a few minutes the asks for my account information, and says he's going to located my phone and see where I am. Like I'm going to lie about this, I got nothing better to do, but call Tech Support, and play games. Are there really that many people playing these types of games? So he does a track on my phone (real CSI shit going on here) and then tell me "you're in the middle of the Wind Vancouver Zone, an area with great reception", so I ask then why is my phone always dropping call, and all the interference? After I explain to him, thats his first diagnosis was wrong, he gets really mad, and says "well there is nothing else I can do." I say yes there is, issue me a new phone, you know its not a reception issue. He says he can't issue a new phone, he can only issue a new sim card. Whats that going to do, I ask? He says "Probably nothing, but thats the steps that need to be followed"

So I get off the phone and I'm super p*ssed. I got this useless phone that I bought outright ($140), one and a half months of paid service (that sucks) ($60). Little to no help from Customer Support.

So in my state of altered emotions I send a nasty letter back to Wind's Customer Service, explaining how rotten they've treated me. How TS was no help, and I've been given the run around for another week.

The next day, with a cooler head, I go back to the Wind kiosk to replace the sim card, as per the proper steps to follow. But I'm getting more and more upset as I think about the situation. I've been driving back and forth to this dam kiosk so many times, it's like they're playing some game with me, and I have so many better things to do.

The poor guy at the kiosk, replaces my sim card, and can see I'm totally p*ssed. He apologizes that there isn't anything more he can do, but It's falling on deaf ears. So I head home dreading the thought of having to sit on the hone again, and go through this whole ordeal again.

On the way home I get a call on my new phone, and it doesn't drop the call? I'm like WTF, and I haven't had a dropped call since (one week). I can't believe it, my phone is working so good, even the GPS is working which never worked on either phone. I almost feel sorry for my nasty letter (um nope). So for all you out there on Wind mobile, if you're experiencing poor reception, I strongly urge you to run out and get a new sim card. 

Now was it worth switching, I'm not sure, having unlimited data is pretty sweet, but I could have probably done without. For those of you thinking about joining Wind, well I suggest you go to a Wind dealer (actual stores), instead of a Wind retailers (mall kiosks, blockbusters, London Drugs), because the dealerships have more ability to help. Had I know this in the first place I wouldn't have bought my phone from a kiosk. 

Wow that was lengthy, I was really upset, and I still am...






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