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.