I was a customer of 17 years with Bell Canada. I joined Bell in the early 1990’s coming right from my Parents house to my first apartment. There wasn’t much choice back there as Bell was a Monopoly of Canada. Excited to have my first number. Upon joining Bell, you needed a considerable deposit as I had no credit rating or history. People were great on the phone. However, it took me to call back and remind them my probationary period was over to get my refunded deposit back. It was part of the rules.
I moved several times throughout my life disconnecting and connecting. Getting dinged a moving fee. At one point, I cancelled my phone all together. Reconnecting a year later with Bell to set up a brand new account again. I was able to prove I had been with Bell before to avoid the deposit process.
I came to realize that having Bell Sympatico and my home phone was the best option. I’ve not subscribed to Television for years as I don’t use it enough to justify the costs of it. I’m happy with Bell, as long as I don’t have to deal with customer service. Pay my bill on time, and open the many ads that are sent to me… only to recycle them.
Over the years, the customer service has been depleting. Language barriers are now a problem. Excessive long waits for someone to help you.
I entered a relationship where the person had TV, Cell Phone, and Internet Services… I became a joint responsible holder for this account as time progressed and the seriousness of my relationship took shape. Being travelers with our jobs. We both had cell phones. It wasn’t unusual for our bill to be $600 – $800 in any given month. The cost of convenience paid a heavy price. My Bell Canada bill nearly hit levels of my actual mortgage payment to my home.
Life happens and I lost my travelling job. The free cell phone I received came with a price. A CONTRACT! The contract could be bought out, but it’s cheaper to let the phone go through it’s set up cycle. I decided to put my phone away on the cheapest plan and tuck it into my sock drawer. Keeping up with the payments with Bell was harder and harder. Trying to reduce cellular for my partner who was travelling. Cutting off the TV wasn’t an option to the kids in the house. I felt trapped within the Bell Canada System.
I made a huge mistake in BUNDLING my Cell Phone, TV, and Internet together. The money you save, appears to be great… but bundling comes with a contract fee. Again a contract that is unbreakable unless you want to buy yourself out. Again waiting it out is cheaper!
My relationship hit the skids. My partner and I had made arrangements to transfer everything to my name. Including his brand new cell phone that was put on a contract a week before the break up. My name was on everything, relieving him of the obligation. This move turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes I could have ever done.
There was confusion with Bell Canada on who owned the cell phones. I was receiving several bills, but all of it was mine. I thought I had been paying all my bills, but when I transferred everything to my name, it created a new account number. So here I think I am ahead of the game when in fact I was behind not realizing the two different bills weren’t the same. I figured one was different as changes were made. This wasn’t explained to me.
It became obvious that stuff needed to be cancelled as my partner took off. I didn’t need a TV connection anymore and I needed basic phone. Upon calling in, I needed to provide 30 days notice for each. Paying for another 30 days of something I didn’t need. How was I suppose to know my relationship collapsed so quickly.
I was unable to close my connection with Bell Canada due to the cell phone that was just put on a contract a week before break up. I was legally on the hook for 3 years over this phone. I could buy myself out… problem was… it wasn’t my phone, it was my partners. The guy had taken off to Alberta Canada. Phone records would indicate this but this is my responsibility.
The answer was simple and up until this point… I had been working fine with the Bell Canada Rules and Regulations. I had to simply switch the responsibility of the phone to my partners. It was done in Feb 2009. A request was made. My partner called in and assumed responsibility… so we thought… it didn’t actually happen… and when I got my bill a month later… the hole in the system which we fell into was apparent.
When calling into Bell Canada, the waiting period is obsessive… There’s a delay and there’s a day off work you need to schedule for it. On the phone for nearly 45 minutes going from a computer answering to waiting for the first representative. Only to get a rep that isn’t fluent in English. I like to give anyone a fighting chance and Bell Canada deems the person qualified… Upon trying to get answers… you are continually transferred from rep to rep… It’s not unusual to get 6 reps in the time you have been on the phone and no further ahead then when you call in. Bell Canada claims my partner never called in… but how was it possible that the address changed from me to his when I had no idea where he was living In Alberta Ontario. A question that was never solved.
A second request was made to transfer…
A month passes again to find another bill… now I am in severe arrears as I was expecting my partner to be paying for it. Failed to transfer again!
A Third request was made and depending who you speak with… the answers change every time. I was told after 3 months that the TV and Internet were cancelled that the new charges were for my TV SERVICE I am getting… or wait… the next rep says the BILL IS NOT MINE… or wait the next rep says You’ve never requested this… WHAT IS GOING ON????? Are they not reading the same screen?
Finally after the 4th Request… it was done….
On the fifth month I got another bill… and I cancelled my cell phone which had a contract finally end. I was so frustrated with Bell. Again the obsessive holding time and getting reps… I started crying on the phone with Bell Canada with a guy who spoke English. He wanted to help me but was bound by the rules of Bell Canada. Again… he was just as confused as notes are in place but he could see gaps and letting me know things… I told him I don’t know how to communicate with Bell because the language barriers are a problem.
My account was being forwarded to Collections now.
I finally resorted to BELL CANADA CORPORATE! I got a great guy on the phone. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough notes in the system for him to clearly see my point. I didn’t have the badge numbers of the critical people along the way. I wish I would have kept a folder on them. You need to start a notepad when dealing with Bell… I’ve come to realize that unless the operator makes notes, you are screwed.
The kicker of it for me was a simple line the CORPORATE QUOTED ME WAS THIS …It is the responsibility of the customer to ensure they get a rep that speaks english or communicates with you on a level you understand!
I explained to corporate that due to my time being trying to fix this up… I’ve been on hold for several hours and started timing it… One phone call I lasted 1 hour and 40 minutes dealing with this… the majority of time being on hold between reps or waiting for my first one. I waited 45 minutes one phone call for the first rep, only to tell me I had the wrong dept.
At the end… I became so frustrated with Bell Canada. I have realized that the company has ballooned to an enormous company where the people they hire are in foreign countries to save costs. The savings are probably outweighing the frustration and the people quitting from Bell Canada.
I resent more than anything lately is all the calls coming in from Bell Canada wanting to give me a cell phone for a contract exchange… or how about Internet services and ect… I am with Wightman where a person answers the phone. I can speak to a support agent or customer agent within a couple or so minutes of calling in. Even if I signed up for internet services with Bell… why would I want to go through the enormous scheduling system of being connected, and all the service fees associated with them that are in the fine print.
I should tell you… remember that Cell Phone that was tucked away… I asked the rep to put me on the cheapest plan… which they did… A 19.99 cheapy plan turns nearly into $35.00 each month. A cost of $840.00 over a two year period that my phone was tucked away. When I went to go cancel… I was told I wasn’t on the cheapest plan. I could have had a $9.99 EMERGENCY PLAN which would have only cost me $360.00 which would have saved me nearly $500.00 in the two year period.
In a 5 year period, I spent nearly $24,000 on BELL CANADA… not including the 12 years of services before that…
Bell Canada… ENOUGH IS ENOUGH…I know you probably secretly own services and other stuff which you are probably getting my money in others ways… YOU SHOULD KNOW… I am through with Bell Canada. Over my dead body will I ever subscribe to your services… and it would turn out each time I relay my story… I am not alone!
Eventually Bell Canada, your time will come and your entire operation will collapse when enough people say the sub-standard customer services, contracts, and more are no longer acceptable. I will be a happy man when I see that happen… it’s just a matter of time.