Rogers gives away blind woman’s phone service for 9 days

Click to play video: '81 year old blind woman loses Rogers phone service for 9 days'
81 year old blind woman loses Rogers phone service for 9 days
WATCH: 81 year old blind woman loses Rogers phone service for 9 days – Nov 10, 2022

Rogers Communications is apologizing to a legally-blind Toronto-area woman after she was left without phone service for nine days in October.

“They really throw you to the wolves, don’t they?” said Joan Connolly, who says she’s been a Rogers customer for about 45 years.

The 81-year-old had no access to 911 service for more than a week during which time she could not place or receive any calls because her phone line was shifted to another carrier, without her consent.

Connolly received a phone call from a Rogers customer representative on October 21 asking her to confirm a request to move her phone service to another carrier, a process known as porting.

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But Connolly hadn’t asked made any such request and told the Rogers representative as much, in the presence of her daughter, Barbara Ammendolia.

“I said no, I don’t,” Connolly explained in a television interview in the backyard of her home.

A couple of days later, Connolly and Ammendolia discovered the Rogers home phone had no dial tone. Initial calls to Rogers yielded few answers, according to Ammendolia. Eventually she got some useful information.

“My mother’s phone has been given to Telus,” Ammendolia explained.

At one point, she said a Rogers representative said that her mother would have to contact the other carrier to get the phone line returned to Rogers. Ammendolia went to a Rogers office and used social media channels to bring attention to her mother’s case.

Connolly has home phone, internet and television service with Rogers. Her most recent bill was $228.

“There has not even been an actual explanation of why or how it happened, and took so long to get back,” Ammendolia said.

Contacted by Global News, Rogers accepted responsibility for the loss of Connolly’s service.

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“We sincerely apologize to Mrs. Connolly and her family for what happened,” said Sarah Schmidt, a Rogers spokesperson.

“We know how critical it is for our customers to stay connected and we have been working with the family while bringing back the telephone number to re-connect Mrs. Connolly’s service,” Schmidt added in a written statement.

She explained that the company’s fraud department believes a fraudster obtained Connolly’s information from a third-party source that is unknown to Rogers and contacted Koodo to port Connolly’s landline number.

The Rogers representative who contacted Connolly failed to follow procedures to cancel the port, so the line was moved against Connolly’s wishes, the company acknowledged.

“I can’t understand how they can take your phone down one day, and take nine to get it back when it’s their mistake,” Connolly said.

Rogers told Global News it failed to act quickly enough and Connolly’s case should have been prioritized.

The Rogers spokesperson emphasized to Global News that as a result of the emergence of illegitimate wireline porting cases, the company is working with its competitors and the CRTC to strengthen measures to reduce unauthorized telephone number porting from landline to wireless.

Connolly asked Rogers for a billing credit to compensate for the company’s mistake. She initially asked for a year of phone service and for Rogers to make a charitable contribution to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.

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Her daughter says a Rogers representative offered three months of free service, one year of credit monitoring, and no charitable donation.

Connolly has not accepted the offer.

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