I just finished a phone call with one of the highly skilled employees of the Videotron customer service call centre (see picture, left). The sheer ineptitude of their billing department boggles the mind. It's as if they don't want my money. Hello, Videotron? You provide services, send a bill indicating the fee, and accept payment for your services. This is how commerce works.
Let me start from the beginning. I signed up for cable and internet from Videotron in September, and received monthly bills from them. I get a service, they send me the bill, I pay it. Everyone's happy, right? Then, rather abruptly, in January of this year, I stop receiving bills from Videotron. I call to inquire after a suspiciously long time passes between bills, and am told the invoice must have simply been lost in the mail. Unphased -- hey, mistakes happen -- I give them my credit card number to settle the balance from the mystery bill.
However, months later, I've still received no bills. I call again, checking my balance using their phone system and paying online whenever I remember. Given my memory, though, this results in me continually forgetting to pay, or forgetting that i've paid -- and paying twice. In April, fed up with this mickey mouse shit, I call Videotron and ask where my bills are. The sunny Gregoire did some detective work, and found out that I had been signed up for 'internet billing', and that my bills were being sent to some default @Videotron.com email address. "No problem, sir, I'll switch you back to normal mail delivery." A month and zero bills later, I called back. "It should be coming," they sighed. So, taking the initiative to ensure that I pay unto Videotron what is Videotron's, I ask them to sign me up for automatic billing. That way, regardless of what happens to my paper copy of the bill, it gets paid on time.
Nuh-uh, apparently. Further months and no credit card charges later, I get a curt notice advising me that my credit card (a gold card with a totally unused $5,000 limit) hadn't been accepting charges, and that my owing balance was now well over three hundred bucks. I call Videotron to inquire. Turns out they had set up the card incorrectly (wrong expiry date), and, of course, my actual bills were still going to some phantom email address. The only letters that get a postage stamp are apparently collections notices, so the new billing arrangement between Videotron and myself is that I only hear about my billing situation is when it goes to their deadbeat accounts department. Nice.
So, I have invested my faith, my billing address and a credit card number with the industrious Jean-Marc. Will I ever see a cable bill? Will I ever get to pay? Will an accumulating mountain of cable debt see my internet disconnected and disqualify me from ever getting a mortgage approval? Tune in next week to find out, dear readers.