Last week I had a completely horrifying experience related to my cellular service provider, Fido.
All 48 of my saved voice mail messages had been deleted, without notice, or warning. Some of my messages were up to 5 minutes long, and many of the saved messages were many years old.
You see, I used my VM box more as a storage box of nice memories, happy messages, even a couple of messages just saying 'hi' from now deceased friends & family members.
I've been with Fido as a customer since the very beginning, when they were known as Microcell. My current account has been active for 10 years with them. I've had the same Voice Messaging option (Business messaging) for about 8 of those years. It used to include a separate fax number too, which was recently removed by Fido, but with plenty of warning, with a notice printed on my bill 2 months before it happened. Because of this, I was able to make alternate arrangements to both preserve the number, and keep it active for the rare occasions that I do need to receive fax messages. While not ideal, I was at least warned, and provided time to act accordingly. With the voicemails, there was nothing.
After I settled down from the initial shock of losing all my messages, I placed a call into Customer Service, in hopes that something could be done. But most of all, to understand why this had happened with no notice. I also took the time to look in on Howard Forums Fido Forum, but didn't see any reports of other customers who had similar experiences.
Well, I can honestly say that after that phone call, I was seriously considering taking my business to another provider. The CSR would only say that I had to have received both SMS and VM notifications of the upcoming 'system update' to the voice mail system. I insisted that I hadn't, but he would not hear of it. He also felt that it was MY fault for not having backed up the VM elsewhere. Why would I ever feel that was necessary, when in 8 years of having Fido Voicemail I've never lost a message?
In frustration I vented on Twitter, and it was seen by @RogersMary who said she would look into the situation for me.
Several days later I had a phone call from someone in Fido's executive office. This call was much different. I was not being blamed, there was clear empathy in regards to what I had lost, and most of all, they accepted responsibility on Fido's behalf. He admitted that after investigations on their end, it was clear that for some, very strange reason, my account did NOT receive any advance warning, or notification of the changes that were happening to the Voicemail system. Perhaps due to the tenure of my account, and the age of the particular Voicemail option. I may even be the only Fido customer who is in this position.
This may not seem like much, but for me, it was pretty much enough to make me reconsider my plan to abandon Fido as my service provider. I am really unsure whether I'd receive such an honest response from another provider. Especially without tenure as a customer like I have with Fido.
Another thing that the gentleman from Fido's executive office and I could agree on, is that it's very hard to put a price tag on something like this. It's so much more the messages with high sentimental value that hurts to have lost. He suggested to me a way that Fido could offer to make it up to me, financially, as that's really the only recourse at this point since the messages simply can not be retrieved. It was a fair offer, but as I stated, it's awfully hard to put a price on something like this.
I thought about it for a few moments, and an idea of my own came to mind. One not so much financially motivated, but moreso based on some lost peace of mind due to my own doing. His response was that he would have to see if it was possible, and that he would get back to me with an answer after the weekend. This was Friday, almost at 5pm.
Today, Tuesday morning I received a call back from the same person in Fido's executive office. What transpired then, was probably the single best customer service experience I've ever had. Not only was he able to replace the peace of mind that I cost myself, he went well above and beyond what I had been expecting. Heck, he even went above what I was hoping to have happen!
So, I want to thank the great person from Fido's executive office for taking the time to look into my unique situation. I'd also like to thank @RogersMary for taking the first interest in my issue and seeing that it was escalated through to someone who could help me. And finally thank you to Fido, for being the best service provider I've ever had. In 10 years of being a customer I can count the number of complaints I've had on one hand. Thank you Fido for your honesty in admitting an error was made. And thank you for helping replace the peace of mind I lost. I look forward to being your customer for another 10 years.
That said, I'll probably not rely on your Voicemail service anymore, I am thinking a switch to my Google Voice acct may be in order soon. Especially since my voice plan includes minutes to the US.