The Nightmare of Koodo Mobile

Posted: October 26, 2011 in Rants & Reviews
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I think one of the best things about the Internet is the fact that it holds companies accountable for their actions, or at least – it should encourage that being done. Who knows when poor customer service is going to engage the wrath of some angry blogger? Well, in this case, that’s exactly what it has done.

I have been thinking of starting a blog for a while and congratulations Koodo Mobile, you are the straw that broke the camels back.

Here’s the story.

A couple of weeks ago at work we decided we would need to get a mobile phone for our new employee. Now this was going to be the company’s first mobile phone so I had to do some research in what provider to go with. Wind Mobile had by far the best prices but I also found some pretty negative reviews for them online so they were out.

The major players Bell, Rogers and Telus had more expensive rates so they were put to the side.

But Koodo Mobile had some pretty decent long distance rates and they used Telus’ network, unlike Wind who has fairly poor reception from what I read online. That’s who we decided to go with and so far it has been a pretty bad choice. Here is why.

Problem #1: Their Online Store

So I headed over to Koodo’s online store where I found a cheap refurbished Samsung phone for $0. Not a great phone but it was Bluetooth compatible and all we needed it for was making calls so the price was right. I punched in the company credit card information online and – WAIT!

Your credit card has been declined? Okay I guess I must have punched in the numbers wrong… I’d better try that again.

Arg! I can’t just fill out that last part of the form? I have to create the account from the beginning again!? Alright…

Furious typing as I fill out the online form a second time… “Your credit card has been declined.”

Now I’m starting to get annoyed. I KNOW I typed it in correctly and the credit card is definitely working anywhere other than the Koodo online store.

I redo the process putting in my own name for the account profile rather than the company name and I get the error again. I go through the process of refilling out the form about five more times before I finally arrive at the conclusion that the name for the account and the credit card must match up exactly (it was the President’s company credit card, not my own). Would an error message stating something other than “your credit card has been declined” really have been too much to ask for?

Problem #2: Registering the Account

I get a confirmation that the account has been set up for $25/month with one hundred minutes of Canada wide long distance. Plenty enough for the phone’s needs. I am told to pick an activation pin that I will be able to use to register a phone number with when the phone arrives in the mail. I’m told that all I have to do is call in with the pin and it will be set up. As simple as that.

Several business days later the phone arrives, it’s in good condition and all the parts are present. So far other than the online store annoyances there are no problems.

I pick up the phone and call the number to have it registered.

“Hi, thank you for calling Koodo Mobile. How can I help you?”

“Hi, I just received the cell phone we ordered through your store in the mail, I’d like to register a phone number for it now.”

“Okay great, can I just get the number on your SIM card?”

“Umm okay…” shuffling to take a look for… “Uh, I don’t see a SIM card here.”

“What phone did you get?”

“The refurbished Samsung U410.”

“Oh that phone doesn’t come with a SIM card, you’ll have to go our Kiosk and buy one for $10.”

“I was told I just needed to call in with the pin I was given…”

“Sorry sir, but I can’t do anything without the SIM card.”

In frustration I head on over to Sherway Gardens, an extremely confusing mall in Etobicoke where the nearest Koodo Mobile kiosk is. A long story short, the girl running the booth there is able to tell me that this Samsung phone doesn’t actually use a SIM card. Also, for some reason the account which we created online was never actually created and she had to redo the entire process there on the spot. She registered us using the company name and got a phone number working. So far she seemed to be the only Koodo Mobile representative who had any idea of what they were doing.

Problem #3: On Hold

Today the final problem (so far) has happened that set me off on this blog post. Since visiting the kiosk and until now the phone had been working as intended, however today our new employee was working from home. I decided to call his cell phone (the Samsung one) and see how he was doing.

The number you have dialed is not in service.

Err what? I must have dialed it wrong. Let me try that again.

The number you have dialed is not in service.

Okay I must have the wrong number written down, I’d better call his personal cell.

“Hey, what’s your business cell number? I must have written it down wrong because it’s telling me that the number I’ve dialed isn’t in service.”

“Sure, it’s 647-***-****.”

“Strange, that’s the number I have… let me try calling it again.”

The number you have dialed is not in service.

You have GOT to be kidding me… I’ll call you back later. I need to get in touch with Koodo Mobile again.

After a brief phone call with one of their customer service reps (actually I had to be transferred, the number on their website listed as “customer service” apparently put me through to their accounts department), I was told that an account representative had decided to put a hold on our account because their was no individual name listed with the account. Only a business name. He told me that they had called our office number (he read the number to me and it matched our office number) to verify a name but they couldn’t reach us. Personally I call BS on this as there are only ever 4 of us in the office and if they had called. We would most definitely know.

I’m told that I have to go to one of their licensed dealers, either Future Shop or Wal-Mart and present two pieces of ID. Then the store representative can call Koodo Mobile and have the hold taken off of the account. I am told that there is “nothing they can do about it from their end”.

Very annoyed (especially because it was a Koodo representative who had put our company name down as the account name in the first place) I head on down to Future Shop. Once there I am told by the store representative that they can’t do anything like that and I have to go to the Koodo Mobile kiosk.

It was near 5:00 pm so I went home. Tomorrow, this misadventure shall unfortunately continue. Right now I wish we had gone with Bell.

UPDATE (November 21, 2011):

Originally this post was called “The Nightmare of Koodo Mobile (Part 1)” as I had fully expected the troubles to not end with where this blog post finished. However, the next day I went to the Koodo kiosk and got everything straightened out (although the Kiosk manager was very confused until I had fully explained the entire situation). Since these extremely frustrating start up issues, there have not been any further problems with Koodo Mobile.

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