Tag Archives: 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. ;)

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.

Bell Canada Update

It’s been a relatively quiet couple of months now since my major headaches with Bell Canada. Both my Bell ExpressVu and home phone service problems have been resolved. So here’s a little update on my Bell Canada woes.

If you recall (or if you read about it from the link above), I had to argue with the Bell ExpressVu agent just to get them to give me the programming I wanted. In the end, he did as I asked. Low and behold, when my bill came it was exactly as I expected. Heck, I was almost disappointed to see it correct! ;)

They credited me for the correct number of days I was out of service and the best part was that they actually re-adjusted my Sympatico start date to be the day I was finally able to active my account and not the original date. It’s sort of hard to use a DSL internet connection if you have no phone line. ;) At least they realized that automatically.

Now I’m just waiting for the programming credits I’m supposed to get with Bell ExpressVu. We’ll see how long that takes.

The only other amusing thing is that Bell ExpressVu has recently increased all their pricing. For once, being in a long term contract is working to my favour! They are going to keep my bill the same for the duration as long as I don’t make any changes. That’s easy enough to accomplish – I don’t think I want to deal with getting Bell to do anything to my account anytime soon!