Canadian National Do Not Call List..It’s Free~

It’s fairly straight forward a “Do Not Call” List but does the list actually work? Yesterday was the breaking point for me when I figured there has to be a way to stop these people from taking valuable time away from me, even if for merely seconds. If you add up all those seconds over the course of a year even if it adds up to one hour, that’s one hour I’ll never get back.  I’ve allowed these annoying phone calls to take that hour away from me. Sounds silly but at one point or another you have done the same. Who do you call with all these telemarketing complaints?

Who are these people calling that are trying to convince us we have a virus on our computer or to buy something we don’t need? Telemarketers and scammers, that’s who! Telemarketing is a means of direct marketing to the customers, similar to someone who comes right to your front door. The only difference is you can’t chase a telephone call like you can a front door salesman. Now I’m not suggesting that, I’m merely stating the obvious.

Telemarketers are people who sell or market products mainly through unsolicited phone calls from a list of phone numbers to potential customers. They can multi-dial so if you get hang ups at your house that’s because some other donut has answered the call and yours got dropped. (Be Happy)

There are 2 types of telemarketing Inbound which is when you call a call centre to place an order or ask questions about products etc, but it’s you making the call. Then there is the outbound call centres who contact you to convince you that you need to get your air ducts cleaned. (obviously you can read what type of company set me off)

Speaking of air ducts,whoever you people are…..bug off. What get’s me all confused is that here we have a company who is aggressively trying to sell air duct cleaning and have been for over 3 years (since we moved in our house).  They call us on average 4-5 times per week and most times we play around with them wasting our valuable time but also the company’s time. The company is “paying” these workers to contact the “same” people over and over who have “begged” them to stop calling. They “do not” want or need their services but what happens? They keep calling.  The obvious business plan and overall goals of this company likely exist as much as the wizard of Oz.. nil.  Who runs a company and pays employees to waste company time and wages to make $0 and they know they will make $0 because they’ve been told over and over by the same customer, NO!

Although we have call display that doesn’t solve the problem as they use various phone numbers to call. We do have an answering machine and sometimes we let it go to the machine but if we’re having a less than stellar day, we answer.  Sometimes we like to have a laugh ….. here’s one of many repeated conversations…

Mr. CBB- Yes, Hello

Air Dork Service- Hello Mr.CBB, I am (insert name) from Air Dork Cleaning Services and we are in your area (they have been for 3 years time to move out) and want to clean your Air Ducts for a cheap price

Mr. CBB- What? Ducks? No, no we don’t like Ducks only Goat… we eat goat.

Air Dork Cleaning Service- Still tries to convince me….

Mr. CBB-  Hang Up…

So, they keep on calling and yes I’ve flat-out asked them to stop calling, remove me from their list and I am not interested etc.  Last night I was told about this Free Service called the  National Do Not Call List (DNCL) operated by Bell Canada that I should register my phone number in to stop these calls. I thought, great I’ll check this out. Once registered on their list your number will be disclosed to Canadian telemarketing companies and clients of telemarketers so they no longer contact you. You can register all your phones including fax machines and cell phones but give it 31 days to fully activate the service.

This also includes callers from the US and other countries. They must follow the rules set out by the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). If you have a national do not call list complaint you should have it investigated. Violations are investigated and can result in fines of up to $1500 for each violation or up to $15,000 for corporations.

Registering your number does not mean that the calls will stop but they will slow down although some say to register every few months. Some of the places that can still contact you even though your number is on the list according to the DNCL website are:

  • Registered charities ( this I don’t mind for clothing drives)
  • Political parties and candidates (my favourite)
  • Polls and surveys by marketing firms (seriously… time is money unless they are paying me to do a survey and a silly draw doesn’t count… I don’t even know you)
  • Newspapers calling to sell a subscription (normally if people want them, they will call you although I’ve been suckered into a month free before then had to cancel on my own)
  • Organizations you’ve done business with in the past 18 months or that you had interest in and contacted with-in the past 6 months for products or services. ( this I can understand and doesn’t bother me)

They do warn that you may still get telemarketing calls and if you believe they are fraudulent you can call the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501. This reminds me of a call I received a few weeks back where a guy was trying to tell me that someone was stealing bandwidth from me and a technician that “I” ordered would be there in the morning. He wanted personal information from me until I told him to go spin on it.

If you really want to stop more calls you can ring up individual organizations and ask them to take you off their list. I’m not sure I’m prepared to invest that type of time into stopping them from calling though, buy you might.

Some of the ways other’s handle these unwanted cold calls they are not interested in are:

  • They call me 5 times per day. Last night I handed the phone to my 5-year-old and told him it was Santa looking for his wish list.
  • I get those calls at least once a week. I like telling them dumb random *stuff* when they call.
  • I tell them to hold on and put the phone down and ignore it for an hour or so! Or if they call and I want someone to talk to I let them talk then say what ever I can think of.
  •  I have call display…if I don’t recognize the number, I don’t answer. If they don’t leave a message – how important could it be? Even the charities & political parties leave you a message.
  • I had one call years ago from some company that did lawn maintenance. They were in my area and wanted to look at my lawn to see what it needed from them to keep it healthy etc. Given that they called in February I asked how they planned to do that analysis given that the lawn was buried in a food deep in snow.

So if you want some of the calls to stop, take a moment to register your number today. One less call means more time to spend with your loved ones or doing something that you should be doing, like saving money in the budget! For more information on the National Do Not Call List click here for the FAQ’s.

How Do you handle telemarketers who call your home?

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Haggling the Best Deal with your Communications Company

Do you call your cable company annually to negotiate a better deal? If not, read this post to learn how you can save yourself and your family money each year with a simple call. Haggling with your communications company may seem like a pain in the back side but with high competition for services it’s worth the time it takes to talk to a customer retention agent.

Every year I shake my head when I do the yearly round-up of our expenditures with Rogers Cable. I must admit that I have lowered these costs over the years but am looking to downsize them. Sure I have some of the best Rogers retention plans going but sometimes they make it difficult to want to continue being a long time client of theirs.

The cancellation department also handles the retention phone calls for customers who have promotions coming to an end. Essentially all they are is a customer service representative with retention strategies to try and keep you as a customer. They are the people who can boost your savings depending on your needs and how well a customer you are.

Rogers client retention may not seem like a big deal when you are 1 customer but if everyone decided to move to another company that could put a dent in their earnings. Rogers is one of the leading communication companies in Canada with continued revenue growth up 3% according to their 2012 Quarterly report located on their website with adjusted operating profit up 7% and earnings per share up a whopping 33%.

2013 Rogers Retention Plan 

It’s that time of year where I make the annual call to our communications company as our Rogers promotions are coming due.  I like to update this post with what we were offered or what they call the best “rich offer” they can give us for all of you to compare your deals.

Our end of promotion total bill for the 2012-2013 year was $149.71. Our new bill will be $153.55 which is a bit more but last years promotions were far better than what they are offering today. I’m still not sure what we will do with this promotional deal they offered us. Below is what Rogers offered us for the 2013-2014 year of promotions.

Rogers Wireless Cell Phone Retentions Deal

  • Cell Phone $31.12 includes 200 Weekday and Unlimited Weeknight and Weekend
  • 100 Any time Canadian Long Distance Minutes
  • 6 pm Early Evening Calling
  • Call Fwd, Call Transfer, Call Answer, Call Display Bundle
  • Bundle Discount
  • Total $31.12 (this is apparently the cheapest cell phone plan with Rogers)

Rogers VIP Cable Retention Deal

  • VIP Digital Cable
  • 1 FREE PVR (Personal Video Recorder)
  • HDTV Channel Pack
  • Bundle Discount 20%
  • Total $66.55

Rogers Home Phone Retentions Deal

  • Change from Classic Plan which is no longer available to the Favourites Plus Plan $19.99 month plus tax for 2 year promotion not a contract. It will cost $45.00 a month when the promo is done (I’m sure this will change as prices always go up)
  • 500 North American Long Distance Minutes (it will cost $5.00 extra when the promo is done)
  • Loss of Rogers to Rogers switching from Classic to Favourites
  • Total $22.95

Rogers Internet Retentions Deal

  • Rogers High Speed Lite
  • Bundle Discount 30%
  • Modem Charge $4.00
  • Total $32.93
Previous Rogers Retention Deals

Here is one true example back in 2010 we were paying just under $200 a month for 4 services or $2400.00 per year. In 2012 I received the same 4 services plus more for $159.68 or $1916.16 per year by calling retentions.

In 5 years at the 2012 rate we could have put $9580.80 down on the principal of our home. In 20 years that’s a whopping $38,323.20 although we know this cost will increase over the years. It really puts it into perspective when you see the average numbers over the long-term.

There are always price hikes with Rogers (most companies for that matter) for one reason or another so always keep in mind that your promotional price likely will go up over the course of the year. There is nothing they can do about it so you have to suck it up or leave which might mean you break a contract although their service agreement states:

If a change to a Month-Month Service of a Term Service entails an increase in your obligations or a decrease in your our obligations and if you do not accept such a change, you may terminate the affected Services without a Cancellation Fee by sending us a notice to that effect no later than 30 days after the amendment takes place.

So make sure you read the service agreement which you will find at the bottom of the Rogers Home page. It pays to stay informed because you can’t turn around and say you didn’t know if they offer it to you. If you are late paying your Rogers bill they will charge you a 2% late fee per month calculated and compounded monthly on an account that is not paid to the tune of 26.82% according to their service agreement.

Do we really need all those services?

Ask yourself the above question and if the answer is no cut out some of the services. We are looking at chopping some of the features we pay for this year such as a bundle pack on our cell phone.  We might cancel the VIP cable for Basic cable and find internet services elsewhere.

Before We Call Our Cable Retention Department

The first thing we do is sit down with our budget spreadsheet and look at our yearly total for our communications bills. Take the time to add yearly costs of your Cell Phone (s), Cable, Internet and Home Phone so you have the exact numbers. You can’t haggle a deal if you don’t know what you previously were spending. If you are a new customer you might have more ammunition for better start up deals so don’t be afraid to ask, they do want your business after all. 

If you have just completed this task I bet you are surprised to see costs in the thousands if not more per year for these services. In 2011 we spent $2030.09 for our Rogers services for the year. The next year in 2012 we paid$1807.25 to bundle our services with Rogers for the year through the retention department promotion pricing. That was a difference of $222.84 for the year which is better than nothing and for some a month of groceries in their grocery budget. So, we have home phone, cell phone, internet and cable with Rogers.

Your communication costs are all variable spending habits, meaning we really don’t need them at all. They are a luxury but one that shouldn’t break the budget in order to have them.

How To Negotiate 

If you want to learn how to negotiate with Rogers or whoever your communications provider is remember it’s a business. As a client you want to be professional and at least be prepared to make the phone call to haggle with them. Below is how I go about tackling my annual call to our communications company.

  • Write out your year to date totals for your communications bill and review your current bill for pricing.
  • Know when your service contracts are due and write this information down so you can prepare your negotiations ahead of time. ( I like to call the retention department one month or more before our promotions expire)
  • Keep junk mail from other cable and phone companies as you may need this information.
  • Search the internet for companies in your area that offer the services you need.
  • Call or Email these companies to get quotes on comparable items that you receive from your provider.
  • Tell them that your contract is coming to an end with your current provider and you are looking for the best deals.
  • Bundling your services with one provider may end in a better price but not always, research is best.
  • When you have all this information in front you then you are ready to do the next step, haggle with your current provider.
  • Typically there is a customer service number you can call to discuss your services. I like to call and ask for the Retention Department when calling Rogers or you can ask the cancellation department for retentions as they are the same people from what I was told from an agent today. 1-888-Rogers (7643)-1
  • When I reach the retentions associate I tell them I am potentially considering cancelling my services because I have found a better deal unless they are willing to negotiate with me. I am being honest as this will be my intention if they cannot match or beat a competitive quote that I have. It’s not a means of blackmail it’s just the way business goes just how they tell us there will be an increase in price for our services. Don’t just call and act like you are owed something, be considerate.
  • Be polite to the retentions agent on the phone, use their name just like they use yours as you are not aiming to cause a confrontation as they are simply doing their job.
  • Let them know what quote you received from a competitor comparing apples to apples(meaning for the exact same services) and for how much and ask them if they can meet or beat it.
  • If they say no you can either continue to negotiate, cancel your services or call back another day until you get the answer you want.

Almost 99% of the time these retention agents have given me better promotions than advertised or others have received. If you have been a long-standing customer with an excellent account use this to your advantage. Tell them how dedicated to the company you have been and wish to continue being although I’m pretty sure it’s obvious as they can see your account history. There’s nothing wrong with reiterating your commitment to their organization.

I also follow Red Flag Deals (RFD) “Hot Deals for Rogers Customers” at redflagdeals retention thread but I would also like our fans to post their internet, cable, home phone and cell phone deals here in our comment section so others can follow CBB Communication Retention Deals here!

Arm yourself with the best defence, in the end its your money, so spend it wisely.

Quote-Budget and Money

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