Rogers customer overpays by $21,000 on mobile phone bill

WATCH: Marla Kay of Vaughan made a small but costly mistake while paying her mobile phone bill. The result? She handed $21,354 to Rogers, instead of the $213.54 she owed. As Sean O’Shea reports, Kay was told it could take weeks to get a refund. So she turned to Consumer SOS. 

Marla Kay pay her utility bills on time. But a recent online bill payment for mobile phone services with Rogers Communications is a lesson in the importance of putting in all the right numbers.

“Instead of the zero being ‘zero zero,’ I put 21, it came out 21, and I didn’t notice it,” said Kay, explaining what she did when she paid the Rogers bill using the Scotiabank website.

As a result of one extra digit, Kay didn’t pay the $213.54 owed to Rogers. She paid $21,354.

The owner of a banquet hall and catering business in Vaughan, Kay uses the same account to pay salaries and expenses, which is why the balance was so large. She didn’t notice the unsual payment until she received her next Rogers bill. She says she called the company to get a refund, assuming it would be a simple matter.

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After two customer service representatives told Kay they couldn’t give her a refund, she spoke to a manager.

“His best scenario was this is going to take five to eight weeks to refund (the) money,” said Kay. Shocked that a refund would take so long, considering consumer bill payments to Rogers are processed immediately, Kay called Global News hoping the telecommunications company would take another look at her file and speed things up.

“You’re holding $20,000 ransom,” Kay said about Rogers’ stated delay.

“I need my money!”

When Global News contacted Rogers, the company immediately apologized.

“Clearly, this customer did not get the services she deserves. We will make this right and ensure she gets a prompt refund,” said Jennifer Kett, a Rogers spokesperson.

Within minutes, Kay was contacted by the executive office at Rogers. Less than four hours later, the company had processed a refund, which Rogers said should be in Kay’s account within 24 hours.

Overpayments using telephone banking and online banking are not uncommon. Rogers said it has a clear policy intended to get consumers their money back in as little as 24 hours. Rogers said Kay should not have been told the delay would take so long. As a result of Kay’s conundrum, Kett said customer service representatives and managers will be updated on the policy.

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Kay is delighted she won’t have to wait almost two months to get a refund over a simple keystroke error.

“I appreciate all your help,” she said.

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