Business

Rogers customers grow increasingly frustrated on 3rd day without cell, internet service

The federal government has ordered a meeting with Rogers' CEO and other telecom leaders, as some customers remain unable to make calls, send texts or get online more than 48 hours after a major outage disrupted the company's services.

Ottawa calls in telecom industry bosses for meeting; some users remain unable to use phones or internet

A man walks by a Rogers store in Toronto in this file photo. Rogers said on Saturday that service has been restored to most customers following a Canada-wide network outage the day before, but some customers are still reporting ongoing issues using their phones, internet and cable services. (Galit Rodan/The Canadian Press)

After waiting hours on hold to speak with a Rogers representative, Rosanna Minicucci was still no closer to finding out when her landline, internet and TV service might be restored.

"I stayed five hours on hold, on the line. People are obviously calling — there are obviously a lot of people out there still with no service," Minicucci, who lives in Vaughan, north of Toronto, said.

Her service was restored on Sunday night — more than 60 hours after it went out — but it remained glitchy, she said

Minicucci was one of a number of Rogers customers who told CBC News they were still struggling to use their phones, internet and other Rogers services more than two days after Friday's nationwide outage caused major disruptions, including to 911 lines and banking services.

Is your internet or phone still not working following the Rogers network outage? We want to hear from you. Send an email to ask@cbc.ca

In a statement on Sunday afternoon, Rogers said its networks and systems were "close to fully operational," with service restored to "the vast majority" of customers.

"We are aware that some customers continue to experience intermittent challenges with their services," Rogers said.

The company did not answer questions about how many customers were still facing issues. It said its technical teams were working to resolve the remaining issues, and affected customers would receive credits on their accounts. Rogers has not said what the amount of the credit would be.

Earlier, it blamed the outage on a maintenance update that caused some of its routers to malfunction early Friday morning.

WATCH | Outage stemmed from maintenance update, says Rogers CEO: 

Rogers CEO says maintenance update responsible for Canada-wide outage

3 months ago
Duration 2:19
Rogers says a 'network system failure following a maintenance update' is responsible for a major, Canada-wide outage that left millions without internet or cell service.

Some Rogers customers who have been waiting more than two days for service restoration say they are unhappy with the company's lack of communication and are now considering switching providers.

With her internet down on Friday, Minicucci was unable to work from home as she usually does.

"Will I stay with Rogers? How can I? I don't trust their service," she said.

Jen Dieleman, a DoorDash driver in London, Ont., said she was unable to work on Friday or Saturday because her Rogers cellphone couldn't connect to the app that drivers use to pick up and deliver orders. Her service was still spotty on Sunday, she said.

"I'm out trying to work right now, and it's still glitching and having issues," Dieleman said, adding that she had missed out on picking up orders due to issues with her cellphone data.

In Whitby, east of Toronto, Justine Creagmile and her parents are still waiting for their home phone, internet and cable to resume working — even though service has been restored for their neighbours.

"It's absolutely frustrating, honestly," she said. "We're all connected to the same wiring. How is theirs working and ours isn't?"

Creagmile said her family has had "absolutely no luck" in trying to troubleshoot their issues with Rogers via phone and social media, and their future as Rogers customers will "depend on what Rogers is going to do to rectify the problem."

Friday's outage left businesses across the country unable to process debit card payments, including this coffee shop in Thunder Bay, Ont. (Matt Fratpietro/CBC)

Service resuming but patchy

Other customers told CBC News that their service appeared to be returning on Sunday afternoon, but it remained patchy.

Adriano Burgo said the Wi-Fi at his house in London, Ont., had "slowed down immensely," while his cellphone calls were dropping intermittently and he was unable to send texts.

He described Rogers' communication with its customers about the ongoing issues as "very poor," but he was unsure if he would switch providers.

WATCH | Rogers CEO apologizes for massive service outage, blames maintenance update: 

Rogers CEO apologizes for massive service outage, blames maintenance update

3 months ago
Duration 1:52
Rogers CEO Tony Staffieri apologized for a lengthy network outage that affected customers across the country and blamed it on a network system failure following a maintenance update in its core network.

"My problem is it's such a monopoly market, especially in London," he said. "We don't really have many options when it comes to internet and cable."

Rogers' issues were also affecting other companies that rely on its network, including internet provider TekSavvy, which was advising its customers in Ontario and Quebec of ongoing issues on Sunday afternoon.

In a statement, TekSavvy vice-president Andy Kaplan-Myrth said thousands of customers were still reporting slow or intermittent internet speeds, or were having difficulty connecting to the internet at all.

The company recommended customers try rebooting their modem and contacting TekSavvy if problems continued.

Ottawa orders meeting with telecom bosses

Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne is to meet with Rogers CEO Tony Staffieri and other telecom company leaders on Monday "to discuss how important it is to improve the reliability of the networks across Canada," according to a statement from Champagne's office.

The statement did not provide any details about which other companies' executives would be attending the meeting.

Champagne called the outage "unacceptable" and said he had expressed that view directly to Staffieri, his office said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Laura McQuillan is an online journalist with CBC News in Toronto. She covers general news, social issues and science and has a special interest in finding unexpected answers to unusual questions. Laura previously reported from New Zealand and Brazil.

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