Sunday, December 31, 2006

Rogers television playing money game with the poor????

Originally uploaded by Oldmaison.


It is my humble opinion that aliant/bell or for that matter any utility service such as Rogers or NB Power (A so called Public (meaning for the people Utility)) not charge people who’s income is less then what is currently considered to be the poverty level ( according the Canadian Council on Social Development current lists the poverty level for a single person at $17,895 per year in a city with a population of 100,000-499,999) miscellaneous charges for hooking up the service especially if a service call is not required.

Take for instance my circumstance: I live in a rooming house (do you remember the time you did a story on my being evicted from a rooming house for being gay?)


Well I found another rooming house to live in. In any case cable is included in the rent, however digital cable is not.

So I bought a digital box from Rogers hooked everything up and everything was fine. At the time I was working and I was able to pay the bill in full every month.

In October however I lost my job but continued to live in the rooming house; my doctor placed me on a medical as I suffer from GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) for a period of 9 months. During which time I was to take it easy and try to reduce my stress levels. In any case, my Rogers bill kept piling up until it reached a maximum of 115 dollars.

During Christmas I received in gifts enough to pay off the bill. So two days ago I went to my nearest Rogers Payment Centre and said here you go and handed them the 115; sure enough they said to me we are sorry Mr. Steele but because you were 3 months behind on your payments we have suspended your account and on top of the 115 that you owe us, if you want us to restore your digital service, you will have to pay a $25.00 “re-activation fee” .I said “Re-Activation fee”? What is there to re-activate?

I’m already getting cable as part of my Rent so what is there to “RE-Activate” they responded “if you want your digital cable channels (G4Tech TV, Discovery Health, and BPM) you will have to pay $25.00 in addition to the $115 you already owe us”. I said forget it and left. So now I owe Rogers 115.00 that I refuse to pay out of spite of their $25.00 “RE-Activation” fee.

See a service call isn’t required but I still have to pay $25.00 for someone to type a few commands into a computer . These are the fees and penalties I am talking about.

Chris Steele


Anonymous said...

I'm confused, what does this have to do with channel 10 (Rogers Television)?

I'm pretty sure this is a Rogers Cable thing. I highly doubt some button jockey on Trevor Doyle Live or TV Bingo has any say on whether or not re-activation fees are charged for delinquent accounts for an entirely different branch of the company.

It's like saying Steve Murphy should be blamed if someone has troubles with Bell ExpressVu.

Anonymous said...

Rogers TV and Rogers Cable are two DIFFERENT things.

Digital Cable is a luxury item. Why do you deserve any sympathy for that? If you don't pay your bills for 1/4 of a year, you have to pay a penalty. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

typical Rogers, that is the way they operate.and their policies suck.
however mr.steele, what about some personal responibility also? i mean you are the one that ran the bill up even after you lost your job. why did you not go back to regular cable when you knew you could no longer afoard digital? sorry but i can have some sympathy for you, but it only extends so far. we all make choices. you made yours. deal with the consequences. why should we feel sorry for your large cable bill? seems to me you were living beyond your means and it finally caught up with you. needs and wants mr.steele. you need to find out the difference.

Anonymous said...

Very confusing....

I gather that he did not pay his cable bill, for whatever explanation or excuse... and now is upset that he owes them money for the services he DID in fact receive.

He already stated that he did GIVE them the money he OWED.... but was upset that he had to pay a re-connect fee (because HE was 3 months late for whatever explanation or excuse)of 25 dollars... and then ended that he still owed the 115 dollars?

WELL.... did he pay them or did he not?

And if not.... well why?

And if not.... then why are you reporting such petty non sense.

So basically.... we should feel sorry for writer of letter because they did not want to pay their bill because they could not get cable again because of them being late in the first place?

SOOOO... who is sleeping outside in the cold tonight and does not have the chance to complain about not having cable?

At least you got basic cable ;)

Truth about Poor said...

I work all day 6 days a week, and I can't afford cable at all. A room that includes basic cable sounds pretty cushy to me.

You're not talking about the poor in this province--you're talking about lazy people who won't take responsibility for their own actions. I can't imagine running up a bill unpaid for 3 months and then expecting any pity at all.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but guys like this give the poor a bad name. Even my middle class friends cannot afford the insane prices for Digital Cable, and they aren't very good channels anyway.

I would totally sympathize if NB Power was charging stupid fees like this to the poor, for a necessary service such as power. But Digital Cable? Especially when you already have a free basic cable hookup which gives you 30-40 channels! Refuse to pay them and they'll throw your account in collections and you'll never get credit anywhere. Not the best way to get your way out of poverty in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I don't remember the poster asking for ANYBODYS sympathy, so why people feel the need to offer it or refuse to offer it is beyond me. I gues people just love to sit in judgement.

The issue is about reactivation fees, not 'personal responsibility'. As somebody who has worked for Rogers I can tell you that is the tip of the iceberg. A reactivation fee for a service that has never been inactive should sound alarm bells, not condemnation.

To add something constructive, always always always read contracts that you sign with utilities. Always. Sometimes there are occasions that if you lose your job they will defray deactivation so long as they KNOW what has happened. They get a lot of 'disconnects'.

But digital cable is the biggest scam ever seen. Who would pay more money for the rubbish that is on television? Do yourself a favour and get high speed internet and download all your shows. Anybody who would pay those prices for that crap is just out of their minds. I laugh at Rogers when they try to sell me their rubbish. You can go to "" and its more entertaining than television.

Anonymous said...

No, you're right this person didn't ask for pity. But excuse me for not feeling "outraged" that this individual have to pay a 25 dollar fee because he went 4 months without paying a single bill.

There are people who sleep in the streets at night who can't even scrape together enough spare change to get a hot meal and I'm suppose to be outraged that this fellow can't get digital cable in his rooming house and now has to pay a reconnect fee?

Cable is not a basic necessity of life. What a petty thing to complain about.

Anonymous said...

I am a single mother (not on welfare) who moved into a 2 room apartment. No cable included for my kids to watch.

I was told that the electric bill for the month would be about $120. I got our first winter bill of $360 for one damn month and can barely afford to feed my kids after paying it.

I can not afford basic cable, or any special channels for that matter, for my children to watch. They get one static channel without kids shows.

It really saddens me that you would rather write about some man on welfare that is complaining that he has to sit on his ass at home and collect welfare and watch tv instead of working.... BUT ONLY GETS BASIC CABLE BECAUSE HE CAN NOT AFFORD IT ON WELFARE HANDOUTS?

Poor poor poor person... makes my problem seem so small now!

Glad that I pay my bills on time! My children might not have cable but they have heat this winter!

Who is going without heat this winter while some poor man in St John goes without his specialty channels!

Anonymous said...

$360 for one month of heat in an apartment? Something sounds wrong. You should call NBPower and get them to send over one of their energy usage analysts. I believe it's free and if they find something, it should lower your bill. Are the appliances old? Do you have a washer and dryer in the apartment? Is it a corner apartment, what floor? There's no way the bill should be that high for an apartment.

Charles LeBlanc said...

11:43 AM??? The guy sent me an email asking me to investigate this issue?

I told the guy to write his concerns and I'll blog it.

I knew it would attract a lot of feedback but it's his view.

Many people are confronting me with stories and I give the same answer.

I'm not paid to do stories. So therefore write the stories or concerns and I'll blog it.

The only stories that I will write about is the ones that interest me.

If I was paid for this? I'll be here 24 hours per day and I'll be a Millionaire!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't think he asked for outrage either, he was just telling a story. Many people will go without food for TV, that's their business. If somebody is paying over 300 dollars for heat, it's sad that it took outrage for somebody to post it. Charles posts all kinds of stories and often many are poverty related.

It's partly BECAUSE people will take all this crap on the chin and not complain. When somebody complains they are shot down for it, as Charles often is. Perhaps this guys argument isn't to people's liking, so what?

Take a look at how easily the film "Supersize Me" got McDonalds to change their policies.

Got a gripe-let Charles know!

Anonymous said...

I sympathize with Mr. Steele because I have also had GAD (and overcome it with a lot of hard work), but there are worse things in life than having no digital cable!

Rogers has no responsibility whatsoever to provide cable services to ANYBODY and they have the right to have policies to deal with these situations. They are not a public utility and they are not publicly funded.

Mr. Steele: avoiding responsibility is only going to make your illness worse. What will make it better? Get outside, get into the fresh air, walk, run, and forget about TV for a while. The negativity from it will make you feel more edgy and nervous anyway. Many studies have proven that physical activity is as effective or more effective than medication in dealing with GAD.

Anonymous said...

Actually that's not true, Rogers, like most large corporations gets extensive government funding. Cable was installed initially by government contracts and were paid for by taxpayers. Today Rogers benefits by having a virtual monopoly on cable services, in defiance of the countries Competition Act. They also get benefits in the form of government funding for programming to develop canadian 'talent', and R&D funding for cable enhancements. Canadians have paid far more into Rogers Cable than they have for most utility companies.

Anonymous said...

Take your 115 and buy a satellite dish. For goodness sakes, if your greatest concern is cable, shout to the skies in joy and celebration. Those who are sick, homeless, hungry, unemployed, poor, have sick children etc. are much more concerned tahn about their cable.

Really, take on a cause for good. Volunteer, exercise, write, read a book. There are so many other things that can make life a joy to live...find one of them and forget about Rogers cable.