I haven’t had much in the way of dealings with Wind Mobile, mostly because they’re not my provider. I’ve thought about switching, though, off and on. Particularly after my well-documented complaints about my current carrier, Rogers. However, this weekend has kind of made me reconsider Wind Mobile as an option for the day when I finally do get fed up enough to switch. Apparently, Wind has a policy in place wherein calls longer than 2 hours are rather abruptly dropped. Now, I’m not exactly one for spending multiple hours on the phone on a regular basis, but there’s times when that’s kind of required. Particularly in situations wherein the first hour is spent on hold and/or being transferred from one department to another–hello, CRA. Jess and I were on the phone with a Wind customer last night, and the night before. Both calls, rather abruptly, got hung up on thanks to Wind Mobile. It’s apparently written into their policies that they have that authority. Just what everyone likes to here, yeah? So after the appropriate amount of WTF, we got it in our heads to actually say something about it.
During the offending conversation in which we were introduced for the second time to the 2-hour cutoff, we pulled wind Mobile into the conversation and the one with the valid account filed a formal complaint. They also received warning there would be an open letter to follow.
In digging up info for a basis for that open letter, we found ourselves another, slightly more irritating, piece of information. Their terms of service, and their offending fair usage policy that was the original spawn for the letter to Wind, are in PDF files. I don’t know how much good or bad luck anyone’s had with PDF files, but depending on the day and which machine I’m sitting behind–hey, some of them aren’t entirely mine–the very act of trying to get into the offending files becomes the source of a whole new brand of headache. So now, Wind Mobile’s Ken Campbell, also known as its CEO, gets a dual-purpose email from me. That email, complete with the newest piece of irritation, finds itself below. Welcome to open communication, wind.
From: James Homuth [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: October 10, 2010 5:19 PM To: ‘email@example.com’ Subject: Re: Wind Mobile’s fair usage policy, and accessibility concerns.
I’d like to draw your attention to a policy of a somewhat questionable nature. That policy, being your “fair usage” policy, grants Wind Mobile the authority to intentionally drop calls without warning after approximately the 2 hour mark. As a potential customer who has at one time considered switching to Wind Mobile, this policy has served only to confirm that, in the event I am in need of a change of carrier, Wind Mobile will not be on my list of potential alternatives.
In the first, at present you are the only company who currently disconnects customers, with or without warning, for perceived reasons of fair usage. Given how little network resources are actually consumed by a typical call over a typical cellular network, the reasoning behind this policy fails to be anything more than a perception–and, at the moment, not one that has been viewed favourably. In the second, as this restriction also affects users on your unlimitted packages, I believe advertising those unlimitted packages in light of such a restriction is misleading at best, and extremely dishonest at worst. And in the third, you are aware of customers’ genuine disapproval re: the dropping of calls by the major networks, who claim those calls are being dropped accidentally. To then announce in a “fair usage” policy that you will be intentionally dropping those calls indicates to me, as a potential customer of wind Mobile, that you are either ignorant of that fact, or simply unconcerned. In either event, this policy flies in the face of what I believe to be Wind Mobile’s intentions are re: differing themselves from the major carriers. We don’t need a carrier intentionally doing precisely what the major carriers regularly receive criticism for. We particularly don’t need it from a carrier who spent most of its pre-launch marketting time advertising itself as not like the major carriers. I would strongly encourage you to reconsider and correct what I see as a policy malfunction, as I am aware of a growing number of your current customers who, in light of this, are presently reconsidering their decision to remain with Wind Mobile.
My second concern is re: accessibility of information available on your website. Currently, both your terms and conditions and your “fair usage” policy are available only as PDF’s from Wind Mobile’s website. From an accessibility viewpoint, that is simply unacceptable. It is no guarantee that those without disabilities will be able to open and view PDF files, thus rendering them unable to access the afore mentioned documents. It is even less likely that, in the event the system in use is able to open and display the PDF files, a disabled person will even be able to read them. Which, again, virtually guarantees they will not be able to access the documents in question. You are encouraged, strongly, to consider converting the PDF documents to a more readable format, such as HTML, or have an HTML document available–and easily obtainable–in the alternative. Failure to provide this accomodation may leave you in violation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, among other regulations.
Wind Mobile’s available offerings, these limitations notwithstanding, stand head and shoulders above Rogers, Bell and Telus–all of whom I have previously had dealings with. The removal of the restrictions outlined in this communication will, in effect, also remove the last of the major concerns I have re: possibly switching from my current carrier to Wind Mobile. I sincerely hope you will take this under advisement, and I will be available for further questions/comments on the issues addressed in this letter. Please also be advised that, due to the significance of the issues raised, this will be an open communication, viewable publicly at http://www.the-jdh.com. I will continue to address these issues on this website until such time as they are resolved. I look forward to further conversation with you on how best to resolve the issues in question.
Sincerely, James Homuth (Contact info removed–I hate spam)