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“They’ve upped the amount they seek. They are polite, but consistent, and this gives me a feeling of being harassed. It’s been going on for over six months.
“It’s a mental burden when you get the sense that a whole organization is after you. I am thinking of contacting the CRTC and even suing Bell. What would you suggest?”
Hold off, I said, knowing my Bell media contacts would react quickly. And they did.
A Bell executive called Halmay within hours and said he’d look into the complaint. Two days later, Bell apologized and pledged not to bother him again.
“We discovered a system error that resulted in the customer being mistakenly billed for unreturned equipment after he had cancelled,” said Bell spokesperson Nathan Gibson. “We have cleared the account of all charges.”
RBC resolves a trade dispute
Frank Coppola felt livid about his failure to transfer an investment to his RBC Direct Investing account.
Last February, he decided to buy a deal from an Israeli pharmaceutical company whose shares traded on the U.S. over-the-counter market. He could buy them at a specified price if he kept them locked up for six months.
In August, he tried to arrange a transfer of the soon-to-be-unrestricted shares and supplied all the required documents.
But in mid-October, RBC Direct Investing told him it couldn’t accept the shares. Nor could full-service broker RBC Dominion Securities accept them.
“I think it is a disgrace the way that banks handle disputes, especially when dealing with seniors. I will soon be 70 and I probably have toenails older than the characters involved here,” Coppola told the bank.
His only options were to file a complaint with the RBC ombudsman, which could take months, or ask the bank to waive the fees to move his accounts elsewhere.
Two days later, the matter was resolved.
“We thank you for bringing this matter to our attention,” said RBC spokesperson Kathy Bevan. “RBC Direct Investing has spoken directly to Mr. Coppola and has been able to address his concerns to his satisfaction.”
LG replaces a faulty fridge
Maxine Goldstein had an LG refrigerator that fell apart after three years and could not be fixed. She was given a prorated amount of $ 2,200 to buy a new one.
A year later, the $ 4,000 LG fridge she bought at Sears had also stopped working. She spent weeks trying to get help and was given three options:
1) A replacement under an extended warranty (but she hadn’t bought an extended warranty).
2) A replacement from Sears (but Sears was in bankruptcy protection).
3) A prorated amount to buy a new LG fridge (but this would take another six to eight weeks).
“Please, can you help me resolve this?” she asked. “I am a 71-year-old who is running up and down a difficult flight of stairs at least 20 times a day to use my small bar fridge in my basement.
“I can’t afford to pay for another comparable fridge at this time – and to be without a fridge for the last five weeks has been very stressful. The horrible customer service from LG is having an effect on me.”
LG Electronics Canada, a South Korean manufacturer, has an A+ rating at the Better Business Bureau of Canada’s website – along with 31 customer reviews, two-thirds of which are negative.
However, LG moves quickly when the media are involved. It agreed to replace the defective fridge at no charge right away.
“Customer service is very important to us,” spokesperson Jennifer Elias said.
“LG is committed to finding fast and fair resolutions to any customer complaints. Unfortunately, in Mrs. Goldstein’s case, we saw an exception. We apologize for all the inconvenience and thank her for choosing LG.”
Have you faced a runaround when complaining about a product or service? Have you found any effective solutions, other than going to the media? If so, please share your experiences and I’ll use some of them in a future column.
Ellen Roseman’s On Your Side column runs on Tuesday in Smart Money. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.