Breaking Wind



Here’s the story. I’ve been a subscriber to Wind Mobile, one of Canada’s cell phone service providers, for many years now. My current phone is the Samsung Galaxy S4, which is old, but which has served me well.

This past summer, Wind sent me an email offering a $50 discount if I upgraded my hardware to a new phone by Aug 31. So on the evening of Aug 31, I went to the Wind website and bought a brand new Samsung Galaxy S7. But wait… there was no option to put in the coupon code they had sent me! No worries, I thought to myself. I would deal with that when the phone arrived. I would contact customer support and provide the documentation proving that I was owed $50. I reasoned that ordering a new phone off the Wind website would be easier, faster, and more integrated with my services than if I bought one through a third party or through a physical retail store. Since I would be spending close to $1000, I wanted the transaction to be as painless for me as possible.

Some weeks passed and I found a note left on my front foor by FedEx, claiming that they had tried to deliver a package but that I was not home. Bullshit. I work from home, and had not gone out once that entire day. The next day, same thing: FedEx leaves a note saying I was not home, even though I was. At that point, I had to drive to some Zod-awful place in the suburbs of Ottawa to get my package, which of course was my new phone.

Imagine my surprise when I opened the box to discover a Samsung Galaxy NOTE 7, not an S7. If you’ve been following the news, you know that the Note 7 has been pulled from shelves, is being recalled, and is now forbidden from being sold anymore… because of its tendency to EXPLODE.

So I emailed Wind Customer Care with my issues. A day later, I got an email saying that they attempted to phone me, but that I did not answer. My Wind phone log showed no such call attempt. So I phoned back, several times. Each time I waited online for some time before giving up.

Last night, I tweeted Wind with my concerns. There was no answer. This morning, a friend tweeted both me and Wind, questioning why they had not responded. At that point, Wind did reply to my tweet and asked me to DM them.

But today I decided to solve the problem the old fashioned way, by visiting a physical store. Why mess about on the phone, email, and social media anymore?

So I visited a Wind store in downtown Ottawa, my boxed Galaxy Note 7 in hand, and explained my problem to the pleasant customer care fellow. He replied that since I did not buy the phone from that location, that they would not be able to help me, but that I could phone customer care using the store’s phone.


So I phoned customer care. The following is a very close approximation of our exchange:

Customer Care: “This is Wind. How may I help you?”

Me: “I bought a new phone from your website and there are two issues. First is that I did not get the $50 discount that was promised to be in an earlier email. Second is that the phone I received is not the phone that I ordered. How can this be resolved?”

CC: “So let me get this straight. Your phone is not working?”

Me: “Sigh. No. There are two issues. First is that I had received a coupon for a $50 discount on a new phone, and that coupon was not honoured. Second, and most important, is that I received the wrong phone.”

CC: “You know you can access all your billing needs right on our website.”

Me: “I know. This is not a billing issue. It’s a hardware transaction issue. I need to exchange my phone, since you went me the wrong one.”

CC: “You can also update all of your account details on our website.”

Me (trying not to get mad, even though at this stage I am miming shooting myself in the head): “Sigh. That’s great. What do I do about my phone? It’s not the one that I ordered.”

CC: “Please hold.”

Some minutes pass.

CC: “Sir, you will need to return the device to a store.”

Me: “I’m in a store right now. They said that they can’t do that.”

CC: “Oh. Okay. You will have to return it to a store.”

Me: “Uh, I’m in a store right now. They said they can’t do that.”

CC: “Um.”

Me: “Yeah. Let me pass you to the store guy.” So I give the phone to the body standing in front of me. They converse for a few seconds.

Store guy: “I have no idea what she’s saying.”

Me: “Me neither.”

Me (to customer care on the phone): “Okay, so these guys can’t accept the phone?”

CC: “You have to take it to where you bought it from.”

Me: “I bought it online.”

CC:: “Then you have to call the website from which you bought it.”

Me: “You are the website. I bought it on your website. If I call the number, I get you.”

CC: “Yes you will have to call the number on the website.”

Me: “Is this not Wind?”

CC: “Yes this is Wind.”

Me: “Well I bought it from the Wind website. And you are Wind. So I’m talking to you.”


At this point I turned back to the physical guy in front of me, who by now was joined by his manager. “Listen,” I said. “Can I just return it and get a refund? I don’t even want a new phone at this point.”

Manager: “Sure. We’ll figure it out.”

So I hung up on the useless Customer Care and handed the store manager the unwanted Note 7. He processed the return transaction then said, “I’m going to have to see the email that was sent to you when you bought the phone online.”

“Okay,” I said. I then went to my Wind-powered phone…. and could not get online!

“Um,” I said. “Wind 4G connection sucks. I can’t get online. Do have wifi I could use?”

Manager: “Yeah, but’s Wind wifi.” He rolls his eyes.

“Okay, can I use one of your terminals?”

Manager: “They’re also using Wind wifi. It’s down.”

At this point, my friend Chris pipes up: “I can give you a wifi hotspot via my Telus phone.” Which he did. And I used it to successfully find the email with the needed information.

My credit card audibly sighed in orgasmic relief as a large refund was stuffed back into it.


So to summarize:

  • Wind did not honour the coupon they sent me
  • Wind sent me the wrong phone
  • It was nearly impossible to reach any kind of Wind customer care
  • Wind phone-based customer care was, at best, confusing and, at worst, useless
  • Wind social media (Twitter) did respond, so kudos to them (no pun intended)
  • Wind in-person customer care was great, inasmuch as they tried to do everything they could, and eventually solved the problem
  • Wind 4G and wifi was ironically pathetic, considering it was in an actual Wind store.  I had to use a wifi hotspot from a Telus-provided phone in order to complete a Wind transaction.

Bottom line: time to look for a new provider. Who can offer me a deal?