Fido + iPhone Fail.

July 7, 2009

A while back I compared the big smartphones available in Canada. I decided I wanted the iPhone 3GS. Then I compared Fido to Rogers for my needs and found a Fido plan that I liked. This seemed convenient because I’m already a Fido customer, which I thought would make things easier.

On June 19 I went to the biggest Fido store in Toronto to buy one, but they were out of stock. I called around and all the other Fido stores were also out of stock. I thought this was silly, because they had been advertising the phone heavily and this was the third iPhone—they should have anticipated the demand better.

The next day I called Fido to order one over the phone. I waited 25 minutes on hold before my phone went out of service and the call dropped.

The next day I called Fido to order one over the phone. The woman on the phone told me it would probably be shipped to me in the next week or so, but in the worst case it would arrive July 7th. She wanted to activate my new plan right away, but we agreed that it would be silly for me to pay for data and visual voicemail and other features until I had a phone to use them with. So, I would receive my new phone, call Fido, and activate my new plan to give Fido lots more money.

About two weeks later I called to check on the order. I was assured the July 7th deadline was still good.

Today is July 7th. I called to find out what had happened.

The gentleman on the phone told me the phones were out of stock and backordered, but there was a waiting list.

I told him that I had already been promised a July 7th delivery, and asked him why I didn’t have my phone.

He told me he would check to see if it had been shipped yet. It hadn’t. They had no shipping tracking number.

I asked him when I could expect a new phone.

He looked into my file and told me that as a matter of policy they could not give me a new phone at agreement price and that the back office had blocked my order.

What?

I asked him to clarify since I didn’t understand.

He said that as a result of my phone plan change in November which included a system access fee I could not order a new phone.

What just happened?

I asked him what happened on June 21 when I ordered my phone and it was to be delivered July 7th at the latest.

He said the woman I spoke with had made a mistake.

I asked him why I had been allowed to order a phone then. I also suggested to him that it was strange that the back office would block my order due to a policy I had never heard of without notifying me.

He left to check with his supervisor. When he came back, he said that my plan change in November made me ineligible for a new phone, even though I didn’t get a new phone at that time.

(In November, I changed plans. I was already a Fido customer, but on an old plan. I switched to a new, better plan and paid a $35 activation fee. I’ve always used my own unlocked phone and I’ve never signed a long-term contract.)

I told him that this didn’t make sense, because if I wasn’t already a customer, I could walk into a Fido store, give them money for a new phone, and sign up for an agreement. I asked him how we could solve this problem.

He said he couldn’t do anything about the policy.

I asked who I could talk to who could solve this problem and clarify what the hell had happened here.

A few minutes later, I had a supervisor named Oliver on the line.

We talked through the situation. Oliver made some exceptions that I don’t fully understand to work around the Fido system. As of now, I’m on a different (worse) plan, but, if I can find an iPhone in a store, I’ll be able to buy it without the system throwing up some error. I’m also on a waiting list if the central Fido gets some new stock.

I called the biggest Fido store in Toronto. They are out of stock. I called around and all the other Fido stores were also out of stock. I thought this was silly, because they had been advertising the phone heavily and this was the third iPhone—they should have anticipated the demand better.

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3 Responses to “Fido + iPhone Fail.”


  1. While I agree that the whole story is silly (and sadly typical), the blame isn’t really on Fido that Apple can’t manufacture enough phones to meet demand. I’m trying to find one too. =(

  2. Reynold Xin Says:

    I had a similar issue with Rogers. I have never been in a contract with Rogers – always month to month plan. I walked into a Rogers store to order an iPhone and found out they would charge me $299 instead of $199 for a new customer in order for me to keep my existing plan.

  3. George Says:

    Everything about getting a cell phone in Canada sucks. When I first got here, I assumed it would be better than in the USA for some reason, but I was very wrong (it isn’t that good in the USA, just not as bad as in Canada).


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