When Matteo Romans visited the Fido store in Calgary’s Southcentre mall, he was hoping to renew his wireless plan and upgrade his phone.
Instead, the 25-year-old transgender man says he’s faced bureaucratic hurdles that he says amount to discrimination.
“They took my phone number, and they looked it up on the computer. He came up as Jennifer Cunningham. They said, ‘That’s not you’? And I said, ‘No, that the east”. . And they said, sorry, we need a photo ID that says ‘Jennifer Cunningham’ on it,” Romans said.
“I said, I can’t give you that. Because that’s not who I am anymore. I showed them my old health care card and my SIN number which both have my dead name on it, it was still not enough for them.”
Romans’ girlfriend, Jori Magee, accompanied him to the store and said Fido store staff refused to accept his legal name change, further insulting Matteo by starting to use female pronouns after learning that he was transgender.
“We tried to explain that he had the documentation of the legal name change through the Government of Alberta. That he can provide two pieces of identification with his dead name, two or three others with his legal name. Plus his driver’s license that puts him as male how much they told me it was political, he was transgender, they didn’t get involved in politics,” McGee said. which says employees have also started using female pronouns. speaking to and about Romans “They started calling us by both her and her pronouns, that was changed seconds after we explained he was transgender.”
Fido, which is owned by Rogers Communications, markets itself as an ally of the LGBTQ2S+ community, but Magee says store staff didn’t seem aware of what that really entails.
“We pointed out that on their bags in the store they had the gay pride flag inside their Fido symbol,” Magee said. “One of their co-workers literally said, I don’t know what this is. So if that’s not screaming that Fido and Rogers need to educate their staff, I don’t know what’s going on.”
A Fido spokesperson said the strict photo ID requirements are necessary to prevent so-called account takeover fraud.
A statement emailed to CTV said: “The fraudsters tried to take advantage of customer accounts by adding themselves as an authorized user and performing the fraudulent hardware upgrade transactions at retail stores, typically targeting high-end devices. “
Fido said it has procedures in place for those who change gender to change their names on accounts, but this must be done through their call centers, which use different measures to ensure compliance. identification.
The statement also reiterated Fido’s support for the LGBTQ2S+ community, saying:
“Fido provides ongoing support to organizations like PFLAG, runs campaigns like Off-Mute to promote conversations between LGBTQ2S+ artists, provides peer-to-peer support to LGBTQ2S+ communities, and sponsors Pride festivals across the country.”
In its statement to CTV, Fido says the interaction Romans had at its Calgary outlet fell short of company standards, writing “The experience this customer had in the one of our stores does not reflect our commitment to providing the best customer experience in every interaction, while maintaining a culture of alliance within our organization, and we sincerely apologize to this customer for failing to meet expectations .”
After reading Fido’s response, Romans remains dissatisfied, telling CTV “That’s not a sincere apology.
“It’s another way of sweeping a problem under the radar and fixing it. It’s not right,” adding, “I’m here to make sure something gets done and to make sure that doesn’t happen to anyone else in the community that FIDO ‘supports’.”