Christmas time is over for representatives at Bell Aliant and Rogers. Back-to-school is described as the “holiday season” for internet sales, but Rogers saw a decrease in student sales while Bell could barely keep up with students’ demand. Off-campus students say cost is the key selling point, but customer service is often troubling and leaves students questioning how much they‘re really valued.
“This year was horrible,” Michael MacDonald, a sales rep for Rogers said.
“The biggest [student value pack] was our cable-internet package which didn’t actually come in until a week after students got back.”
MacDonald said their predicted busy season didn’t go as expected, with business picking up two to three weeks after school started.
“Students settle in and then they decide,” he said.
But Esther Danforth, the Regent Mall store manager for Bell Aliant, said students know when they’re returning and call for internet immediately.
“We just kind of finished up our busy time for back-to-school, students are usually really proactive which is nice,” Danforth said.
Both representatives said they increase staff this time of year to assure students are taken care of.
St. Thomas University fourth-year student, Elizabeth Harrison, said there’s no comparison on customer service because Rogers does it better.
“Anytime we have to talk to them on the phone their customer service is very friendly, helpful, and seem to know what they’re doing compared to Aliant.”
Harrison was with Bell Aliant for over a year and says the internet frequently cut out. After repeatedly calling, she memorized every trouble-shooting solution. She said she felt disrespected when she was stood-up twice by an Aliant technician.
“We were wasting our money on a service that wasn’t good,” Harrison said.
Danforth said the number one complaint they get from students is on the wait time to get their internet installed, but she stressed that in her store customer service is priority.
Unlike Harrison, fourth-year STU student, Kathleen McCann, says Rogers service “is extremely frustrating.”
“If I had a choice, I would go with Bell, but unfortunately Rogers owns the rights to my building.”
McCann said she called Rogers when her internet was down and was told the surrounding three apartment buildings were all disconnected, which McCann said is “outlandish.”
Harrison argues that after having both internet providers, Rogers handles student concerns better. MacDonald said the top complaint from students however, is the bandwidth limits. Students are charged if they go over their download limit with Rogers, while Bell Aliant is credited for giving students unlimited internet access.