Category Archives: Bell Canada

Posts related to my dealings with Bell Canada.

Bell TV soliciting already!

I recently posted about our decision have no more Bell ExpressVu TV. Everything has been fantastic since ditching the dish.

Ironically, yesterday in our mail was an envelope from Bell. In that envelope was an offer to, you guessed it, sign up for Bell TV and get a “fantastic” deal for new subscribers.

Uh, Bell, I guess you missed that I just canceled our Bell TV service. I don’t want your product. Anyways, after I laughed for a split second I promptly put the letter in the shredder. Done and done.

I’m a little slow at times but I did finally learn my lesson – No more Bell TV for me.

On a related note – I had a comment from Melissa on my Bell Canada Still Sucks post and she was having problems with Bell TV and returning her receivers. Apparently Bell “never received” them and now she is getting dinged even though she has proof of them being sent by Canada Post.

I’m a little concerned by this because I haven’t received any confirmation yet that they indeed received my PVR that I sent back via the same method. I know they received it because I have the tracking number which shows it was received. I’m really fed up with having to fight with Bell for everything. Here’s hoping that this really is the end of the Bell TV era for us.

No more Bell (ExpressVu) TV

As of tomorrow we will no longer have Bell (ExpressVu) TV. We finally pulled the plug on the dish and I don’t think we’re going to miss it.

We’ve been giving Bell $80 a month for something we barely use anymore. That’s almost $1000 a year! Other than watching most of the NHL playoffs (much of which I watched on the second TV that only has rabbit ears!) I think I’ve watched a total of maybe 20 hours since Christmas. The Boss has watched more but not by much. We just don’t have time anymore. Well, that and I’m still pissed with Bell and have been putting this off for far too long. ;)

Now, don’t get me wrong, we’re still planning on watching TV. We can pull a surprising amount of stuff Over The Air (OTA) with our little rabbit ears. All of the major Canadian networks come in. I’m tempted to cruise the garage sales and spend a couple bucks to get a better antenna that I can put up in the attic to see if I can improve the reception. Supposedly I can get some US stations too if I get a digital box and a good antenna. Not sure if I’m ready to try that though.

If we had an HDTV, I’d already have an antenna setup to get the CBCHD feed. A lot of people I know are doing this, even though they already are paying big bucks for Bell or Rogers HD. Why? Because the CBCHD OTA feed is apparently uncompressed which means there are none of those crappy digital artifacts. Both Rogers and Bell compress the hell out of most of their channels, HD or not.

Anyhoo, another thing we’re doing is we’ve joined Zip.ca (on the basic $11/month plan) which is a DVD rental thing all done through the mail. They have thousands of DVDs, including kids stuff and TV shows. Since we’ve missed nearly every popular TV show in the last 4 years, I think we have a good selection of stuff to watch to “catch up” with the rest of the world. ;)I think we should be able to get 4-5 DVDs a month. Our first arrived yesterday – only two days after signing up. If you’re thinking of signing up with Zip.ca, let me know and I’ll send you a referral email. That way you can give us a little kick back and help our TV viewing. ;)

Also, we’ve had great experiences with downloading and/or streaming stuff from online. We actually started doing this a while back because the stupid Bell TV PVR stopped recording certain shows for some reason. I don’t know if Bell blocked them intentionally or not but shows like Survivor, Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy never recorded properly in the last year. We’d end up with an hour long show but it would just freeze if you tried to play it. So, I turned to the net and we were able to watch the episodes we had missed.

If we decide that Zip.ca isn’t really working out, we could also put some of the $80 a month we’re not spending on Bell TV towards buying full seasons of TV shows and movies, or just renting DVDs from the local DVD place. We can also turn to the iTunes Music Store as they have TV shows and movies you can purchase and download.

Finally, we may cave yet and get basic cable from Cogeco (the cable TV provider where we live). Their basic package offers up nearly all the channels we want for around $35 a month. And the channels it doesn’t have, well, we’ll just get used to not having them. ;)

Bell Canada Still Sucks at Customer Service

Bell Canada Still Sucks!

Bell Canada still sucks, even with a new logo.

Bell Canada still sucks, even with a new logo.

I know, I know, everyone knows that Bell Canada still sucks.  There’s nothing new about this statement.  I’ve bitched about Bell Canada 611 before and I’ve complained about ExpressVu and Mobility also.

Well, after receiving my latest bill from Bell Canada, I was painfully reminded yet again that Bell Canada still sucks.

Background of the Problem

In mid-December I decided that I had paid too much for my Bell Internet for too long.  It was time to can their ass and move to Primus.  Bell was charging me $47.95/month while Primus was/is offering pretty much the exact same DSL Internet for $34.95/month.  Oh, and I would also be able to purchase the modem so I wouldn’t keep paying that damn $2.00/month “modem rental fee” that mysteriously showed up on my bill one month a while back.

The Offer

Yeah, so I didn’t actually dump Bell Internet like I should have.  I managed to get to the “retention agent” pretty quickly and that’s where I got conned.  I was offered a deal – $36.95/month for 12 months and my home phone would be reduced to $9.95/month for the first 6 months and then go up to $14.95/month for the last 6 months.

Damn, that’s not a half bad deal considering I was just calling to cancel so I could get a better rate for high speed internet with Primus.  I figured that staying with Bell would save me the hassle of actually switching and I could put up with one more year of their crap.

The agent even went the extra mile and emailed me a confirmation number with a summary of the offer. Swell.

What Went Wrong?

I wish I knew!

I received my Bell bill today and popped it open to check and see what my new monthly charges would be.  Well, when I saw a bill for almost $250 I nearly lost it.  I didn’t even have to look at the bill to know they had really screwed it up considering my “normal” bill is less than $150 and with the new offer, it should have been very close to $100.

I immediately grabbed the phone and called 310-India.  Oh, no, I mean I called 310-BELL. While swearing like a trucker at automated Emily to get to a real person, I discovered why my bill was so high.  For some reason Bell had decided to active the second phone line that goes to my house. I’ve never had that second line active since we bought the house and I have never made a request to activate the line. Now I’m paying for two phone lines and the activation charge to setup that second line.  On top of that, they had changed my internet so I was now paying $50.95/month!

Needless to say, the offer I was given by the retention agent didn’t quite show up on my bill.

I spent almost an hour on the phone with three different agents getting dicked around.  Even with my confirmation number, they couldn’t figure out what I was talking about. They were able to see when I made the call and everything but apparently they couldn’t figure out how to read the numbers on the screen in front of them.

I did finally manage to get the second line removed and apparently I’m going to get a retroactive credit for it.  Unfortunately I have to wait until next month to find out if that actually happened as Bell is apparently unable to generate new bills on any day other than your billing date. In the mean time I’m supposed to over pay due to their screw up this month.

As for the offer I was given, I still don’t have that.  I’ve got an “investigation” number though and supposedly I’ll receive a call within 5-7 days to inform me of the results of the “investigation”.  I think I already know the response I’m going to receive. Something like:

The offer that you were provide was not properly documented so we are unable to extend that offer to you.  Instead, we’ll give you a token $5 off of your bill for a couple months to try and keep you happy. Oh, but we’ll still charge you $52.95/month for internet that you can get elsewhere for $34.95/month, just because we think we can. Oh, and for making us look bad we’re going to say that you agreed to a 3 year contract at some point too.

Here’s hoping they don’t end up canceling both phone lines at my house.  That would be just classic Bell Canada.

What’s Next?

Once this is fixed, I’m switching to Primus. Bell Canada still sucks and I don’t want to give them any more of my money.

It’s Official: Bye Bye Bell Cell Phones

It’s official, I told Bell yesterday that we are canceling our cell phone service with them. The count down is now on!

I had to go through the whole retention rep process again and I figured, I’d let the rep do her thing and try to find something that would work to keep me as a customer. The best they could do was to offer me a 10% discount on my current plan and a couple new phones if I signed a new contract. The other option was a new plan at $20/month per phone with only 30 minutes of airtime. Oh, and they would toss in call display for free.

No deal, no good, I’m heading to Virgin Mobile.

Oh, the sort of funny part of the call was when the rep tried to tell me that Virgin didn’t use the same network as Bell.

BCE Press Release: Virgin Group and Bell Mobility Announce Partnership to Bring Virgin Mobile to Canada

Oh, and yes, I realize I’m not really getting rid of Bell completely as Bell will still get some of my money since they partially own Virgin Mobile Canada. Yes, it sucks but Virgin is my best option.

Cancelling Our Bell Cell Phone Service

The time has come for us to cancel our Bell cell phone service. We’ve been on a 3 year contract that is almost at the end now, just over a month left. The service has been pretty decent for the most part. We have good coverage in most areas (one of the reasons we switch to Bell for cell phones 3 years ago) and overall it’s been a relatively good experience.

Now, we’ve drastically changed our usage patterns over the three years and we no longer really need to have two phones. Our total usage is probably less than 10 minutes a month now as we only use the phones on a random occasion and all calls between the two phones are free. With the contract we were locked into having service on two phones with Bell. Unfortunately, that’s one aspect of the contracts that can be a pain in the ass. At $50 a month for the two, it’s been annoying since my phone has been dead most of the last 6 months as the battery is shot.

So I called Bell up the other day as I wanted to find out our actual contract expiry date. After getting that, I chatted with the agent for a bit and she said that it was possible to setup my cancel now, even though I still had more than 30 days (bnut less than 60) left in my contract. She said it wasn’t an issue and I wouldn’t have to pay any cancellation charges. Hey, fantastic. Of course, she couldn’t actually setup the cancel, I had to talk to a Custom Retention Representative. Oh yeah, woo-hoo! Deal time! ;)

Anyhoo, I waited on hold for a few minutes and got the second rep. She was quite pleasant and asked a few questions about why we wanted to cancel. Then she said she had an offer because we were such good customers (damn straight, other than my mortgage and car payments, Bell gets the most money out of me every month). So, she goes into her spiel. For only $35 a month she’ll give me basically the same service I have, plus call display on both phones. Oooo, Ahhh. That’s not a bad deal. $35 instead of $50. OK, keep talking but wait a sec, is that $35 for each cell phone or $35 for both? She goes on and explains the deal and I sort of tune out for a second but tune back in when she says: “…for a total of $54.40 a month before taxes”. Huh? Where did the $54.40 come from? I thought is was $35? Turns out it’s the $9+ system access fee, for each damn phone! I quickly ask why I would pay more than my current rate and she can only come up with “well, you’re getting call display for free”. Wait a sec, I don’t care if I get call display, I’m still paying more for service I don’t really want to keep.

Anyhoo, needless to say I ended up telling her, no, just setup my account cancellation. Uh-oh, nope, can’t do that. If I cancel now I’ll pay $299 cancellation fee for each phone because my contract hasn’t expired. WTF? Anyhoo, after I re-iterate what the first agent stated, she just keeps saying they can’t cancel more than 30 days before the end of the contract. Blah Blah Blah.

So, I said, fine, I’ll call back in 12 days and cancel (12 freaking days) to which she then asked, “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”. So I told her “Yes, you can set it up to cancel my service 43 days from today.” Nope, no such luck. She kept pleading that the system couldn’t do it, etc., etc.

One more reason on the growing list of why I am getting rid of Bell Canada services and taking my money elsewhere.