Bell apologizes for poor service

In a Montreal Gazette article, Bell Canada said it was sorry for the spotty service doled out to customers in the last three years. But things are better now, said Patrick Pichette, Bell’s president of operations, in a speech to an audience of MBAs in Montreal.

Luckily, reporter Roberto Rocha didn’t let Bell hijack the story and mentioned this blog (hurray!) and its opposing view that Bell is making little progress in its attempts to deliver seamless and smooth service. Other websites were highlighted, such as Boycott Bell Canada by an anonymous blogger and Randy Charles Morin’s web journal, where he urges people to complain to the CRTC about Bell (not that it helps in most cases).

Rocha also quotes a telecom analyst, Kevin Restivo, who says other phone providers also share a level of mediocre customer support. And while service may be improving, he said, the companies must battle a public perception that they don’t care about clients.

Demetrius K., a frequent email correspondent, told me after reading the Montreal Gazette piece:

I wonder whether Bell’s aplogy is an invitation to rectify unresolved disputes. I would love to get my $100 back for the cellphone airtime they refused to reinstate. Had their call centre been open after 5 p.m., I would never have lost the airtime. Furthermore, their refusal to reinstate it the next morning left me with no alternative but to leave the service.

In any case, I doubt that their apologies will change anything. It was their attitude that was a major part of the problem — something they will never recognize.

Author: Ellen Roseman

Consumer advocate and personal finance author and instructor.

47 thoughts on “Bell apologizes for poor service”

  1. Too little too late Patrick. As a recent immigrant, Bell could have locked myself and my husband up as customers for life. Their customer service is hands down the most appalling I’ve EVER endured. A year into our Canadian residence we’re on the “boycott Bell” train for life.

  2. While I don’t for a minute believe this Patrick guy…. having a run-in with Bell just over a week ago, I’m hoping the day will come when they’ll reap what they’ve sewn, and they lose customers en-masse.

    I have a little less than a year to go on my 3 year contract (which they’ve seen fit to alter unannounced from their side), and will be moving to another provider the day it’s up.

    I understand that Rogers and Telus customers also have their problems, but I’m tired of the holier than thou attitudes at Bell and am willing to give someone else a chance at my business.

  3. I am a Quebec resident. I finally cancelled my Sympatico service and went to a smaller ISP. Interestingly, the new rate is lower than what Sympatico offered on renewal and is UNCAPPED as well for the same service.

    I fired off an email to Mr. Crull with my reasons for leaving the Bell family after I had received a 2 cute beaver email saying how sorry he was that I was leaving and giving a number for the “Customer Loyalty Team”. Interestingly enough, this number seems to be overwhelmed and only takes voice mail and a comment that I should leave a message and someone would call back in 48 hours.

    My New ISP answered the phone in 15 seconds with a human voice and not Emily and in 12 secs I was talking to a tech support human in English.

    Suffice it to say, as soon as I can I will be moving my land line and my Mobility account in the next 5 months from Bell.

    Has Bell improved?

    No and it seems to be trying to self-destruct in its dealings with us pesky clients.

  4. My girlfriend was being charged $120/month for phone + internet (while Primus was offering phone + internet + unlimited LD for $70). I called up and politely told the rep that she was being charged too much and that we were going to move to Primus if Bell wasn’t able to offer a reduction.

    She said she would only take new orders and to call back tomorrow before 5. (My girlfriend and I both work, so calling before 5 pm isn’t convenient.) I said “Ok, I guess we’re switching to Primus” and she replied “Ok”. End of story, Bell lost a customer. I think she’d been with them 10 years.

  5. I have internet with Bell, not phone. On my last bill there was a charge for $1.33 for “charges not previously billed”. That was the only explanation. I find it impossible to believe Bell would not charge me for everything possible, as soon as possible, so I emailed them asking what the $1.33 is really for. A week later I got an email back saying they are removing that charge. Again, no explanation for what it was for. I guess if they overcharge a million customers $1.33 they will probably get a million dollars, since most people won’t complain about such a small amount.
    Also, I am in the process of switching ISPs. It was supposed to be done already. I called the new company who was in charge of the transfer and they told me that Bell told them that the user id I had given them was wrong. I got out my documentation and was told I had given the correct number. Seems like Bell will pull any trick to avoid losing another customer. Hopefully my service will be transferred soon.

  6. I actually don’t have any significant complaints with Bell; I’ve been using them for phone, cell, and internet for the past five years without a problem, but I do wish they would fix their disastrous customer-account area on their website. When I log in, I almost always have trouble accessing my bills and other details; it’s a rare day that everything displays correctly and I don’t get error messages. And I’m using their browser of choice (IE for Windows).

  7. I am currently looking into other landline, wireless and internet providers. Bell is the worst company I have ever dealt with, ever! Switching all of my accounts to a ‘One Bill’, which was supposed to be convenient for ‘me’, turned out to be a nightmare. I was charged over $400 for cancellation fees for switching to the One Bill. I called Bell right away, on hold forever of course, only to be told it was a computer error and nothing could be done. I was told to pay the amount and I would end up with a credit in the future!! I did not pay and it took over 9 months before my bill became normal again.

    I am so sick of calling Bell every month, due to errors on each and every bill, to listen to Emily. Then I’m on hold for never less than 10 minutes, while on break at work, because Bell doesn’t have the ability to remain available for their customers after 5 pm, only to be told by a person who cannot understand the English-speaking language that there is nothing they can do because it is the way the computer system is set up. Thank goodness for other companies!

  8. so you don’t believe that people who have names like ‘Steve’ and ‘Ron’ are really english?
    Ask for a ‘bilingual’ person and you will get a Montrealer, at least they are in Canada.

    “only to be told by a person who cannot understand the English-speaking language”

  9. I find the customer service at Bell lacking in every aspect imaginable. It takes forever to express concerns with your account and when you finally do connect with some customer rep they can never help and always pass the buck to another customer rep who is supposed to contact you in “2-4 business days.” But of course such a call is never received and you have to go through the whole process over and over again without any resolution. I do not recommend Bell service to anyone. The lack of concern for their customers is hideous.

    For such a well-known company that prides itself on communication, its “communication skills” are extremely disappointing and provide nothing to the consumer but frustration. They take your money and basically run away. If you have any concerns with their service, they just put you on a merry go round without any intent of efficiently providing help.

  10. One week ago, a Sympatico customer “service” rep said that my connectivity difficulties were related to a line problem and that I would be contacted by a “service” technician. Never happened. A subsequent call revealed that a few tests had been run and they were doing nothing. I was told that I would be contacted in 66 hours. In 67 hours, I will switch to cable.

    Funny thing, when I had trouble with my phone service 5 years ago, Bell replaced the outside line the next business day. Too bad the Sympatico outfit is not 1% as responsive. You’ll never know how useless they are until there is a problem. As well, I needed a crash course in pidgen English in order to talk to most of the reps.

  11. I received a phone call from a telemarketer way back in May. Lo and behold, I accepted, something I never do. I have had nothing but terrible service. You never get anyone to help you, and no one returns your calls. I have had a few men here with the wrong orders. Every representive I call has a completely diffenent story to tell me. I know what they do tell me is not true, as I have been doing research on things, therefore knowing they just pass you around.

    I am so frustrated by their service, I refuse to go on with them, I will be changing back to Videotron asap, and my sister also has plans to cancel as well. I have the 3 in one package deal and it’s definitely not worth the hassle. Also all their paperwork is in French, even though I have requested it numerous times in English.

  12. I’ve been scammed by Bell on offers they give you that will save you a lot of money. When you sign up and get your bill the next month, they charge you more than what they promised. They even tell you when you complain that no such offer ever existed.

    There are thousands of similar complaints across this country. How come our government – CRTC doesn’t stop this? Collusion perhaps.

  13. Bell should have a “Press 1 for English, 2 for French, and 3 for India” because I’m not pressing one to speak to people in India.

    I used to have mobile service with them,Sympatico, landline, TV.. I even had 4 mobile phones on my account. The bills were at least $1,000 upwards.

    Their customer service sucked. I moved.

  14. Bell’s “improved service” is to start charging for “bandwidth activity” It amazes me that they notify you about everything but what their increased charges are. I called to complain and was told “ok well we’ll just deduct that charge ($10.50)from this month’s bill, but now that you know….” Meanwhile I checked last months bill and it was $21.50 more and who knows how much this months bill will be. When I called it’s just a run around. I spent half an hour just trying to change my bank information. I get a bundled service of Internet, Phone and Satilite… not any more. I’m looking elsewhere!

  15. My 70-year-old father had to change his bank account number for his preauthorized payments since my mother’s death over 3 months ago and their joint account was frozen. He recently had it out with one of Bell’s reps and their response to him, when he told them it’s been over 3 months, was “3 months is nothing”! What !!??!!

    I wonder what Bell’s shareholders would think of all this? They can’t even collect the easy revenues! How much money are they losing out on just because of their own inefficiencies? Sell your BCE stock! There’s something really wrong with that company.

  16. I like the one bill setup because now I can see everything at a glance and how I’m being charged/gouged. I started looking closer at my monthly charges and how Bell justifies them: Network charge (a nebulous term for “investments to expand and enhance our networks”). This is a whopping $6 charge/month which is the sister of my First Rate TM 24 hours charge for another $6/month. Most of the time I don’t even do $12 per month in long distance charges.

    Why are Bell’s web hosting charges so expensive? I see other Canadian hosting companies claim their service for a one fifth of the Bell rate. Is Bell’s web hosting any better than others? In any case, I don’t spend a lot of time on any kind of phone ’cause that’s not how I get my kicks.

  17. You would not believe my experience with Bell. I have all my services with them, wireless, internet and land line.

    My Bell one bill has been in a total mess since September. Two weeks ago, I got on the phone with them at 4:45 pm. At 5:35 pm, the land line CSR transferred me to wireless CSR and by 7:00 pm I had not even gotten to the internet CSR.

    I am appalled at the service and have not hesitated to say so. I am stuck for 3 years on a wireless account because my daughter went 4 minutes over the allotted 15 minutes on a new service package. (She had decided she did not need a phone package at university, since pay as you go would do. )

    I could go on and on. I know I need to transfer everything I can, but I have not gotten around to it yet. But I will.

  18. I just recently signed up with Bell and had the worst experience of my entire life!

    My brother used to have an account with Bell and then he moved out. Apparently he was having some problems with Bell, so I opted to get my own account.

    I signed up Friday afternoon. Monday morning someone called to say that they’d be coming to our house tomorrow for the phone. Tuesday no one came, so after work I called them, I was given the runaround with the last CSR telling me that my account had been blocked and that my brother’s account should be settled.

    I called my brother and as it turned out, he had transferred his account to my name. . .without my knowing it!!!

    I would like to talk or send a letter to someone in Bell giving them a piece of my mind. I think they have violated some sort of privacy policy by transferring someone else’s account (even though he was my brother) into my name without my knowledge!

    Unfortunately for me, I’m stuck with Bell for the next couple of years. Signing up with them was a very BAD IDEA!!!


  19. Bell DEFINITELY sucks!! I have been a customer for 16 years, but that is apparently of no concern to any customer representative that works for Bell Canada.

    My husband got injured, had surgery and was off work for quite some time, therefore our bills got a little behind. They were going to disconnect us because I need to pay the $300 (overdue) over the next 3 weeks, instead of all at once (we’ve been making consistent payments to get caught up).

    I just can’t believe after 16 years of a ‘kept up to date account’, it’s this drastic. I spoke with 5 different people over 3 days and each told me something different…”call back in a few hours to talk to a supervisor”, “there’s no supervisor, just us”, “not our problem” (when I said once this is dealt with, I was going to Rogers), “nothing they can do, it’s all in the computer” and some I just simply COULD NOT understand!! I had one fellow hang up on me, I think because he COULDN’T understand English!

    I can’t believe I didn’t lose my cool! Oh yeah, when I asked if there was a specific number to call to express my concern over the poor service I’ve had to deal with, one man refused and said I could express all my concerns to him and he’d be sure to follow up on them! I have all employees’ names and intend to contact the customer complaint line…how much ya want to bet the service is just as poor?

  20. So, I am not alone! Always had some nagging little problem with Bell or another provider, be it cell (never again), Expressvu or home phone. Always boiled down to feeling or being overcharged.

    Anyway, a note to all (and I’m sure anyone reading or posting here already knows) – CHECK YOUR BILLS. I confess, I don’t always analyze every detail of every bill I get. If nothing unusual stands out at a glance, it goes into the “to pay” pile.

    Just happened to look in depth at my latest Bell phone bill. Lo and behold, there is an extra charge of $4.51 for a directory assistance call allegedly made from home.

    I called Customer Service, and after wrangling through the system with “Emily” and then waiting on hold, finally had someone to talk to. I explained the charge, and that a d/a call was not made. I said I know there is a fee so we never use it. I do all my look-ups online. I was questioned about other members in the house. I was lucky it was a very specific time where I *know* I would have been the only one home. (Otherwise, I’m sure they would have said one of the kids did it, whatever…)

    I was insistent that I was the only one there and I did not use 411. The rep said because I was such a good customer (blah blah blah), he would issue me this one-time credit for that charge. He also said politely (but it still insulted me) that he’s not saying I’m lying, but he suggested that in the future when we make a d/a call, we write it down on the date on the calendar. Grrrr.

    I went on to ask that since it’s been *years* since I’ve used d/a, had the fee really gone up that much? He paused, then said it should have been 80 cents. He paused again, then said it was $4.51 because the call had been made through another carrier. I asked him what that meant, because we only use Bell. He could not explain. He only said our account would be credited for the amount.

    Unsatisfied, I tried to communicate with a rep on Bell’s website’s livechat. I went through the situation, what the 1st rep said to me, and that I had been credited so that specific charge was not my issue. I wanted to know what caused it to occur, if there was something I should know from a technical standpoint to ensure such a charge does not appear again. I just wanted to know what was meant by “another carrier” listed under the charge on my bill, as well as what the first rep told me as was the reason for the higher cost. I would not get an answer for that only the repeated statements “assuring” me that the call was made from my home phone, not another carrier. I was also assured I would not pay for any calls I did not make.

    I’m still left stunned. I’m not a suspicious person by nature, but this whole thing feels fishy to me. I know it was *only* $4.51, but as another writer above said, if the charge wrongly appeared on hundreds, thousands, or more other bills and went unnoticed, think of all the money Bell would pocket.

    I was going to try the CRTC next. Is it true that would be pointless? I’m really miffed right now. And it’s not the first time I’ve felt so angry with Bell, their service and unfounded/unreasonable charges. (Not to mention the round and round head-banging with Customer Service dead ends.)

    Are there any other options for home phone service (not just long distance, we’re okay with that, but the whole service itself) other than Bell? I’ve already pulled our cell off them. I can’t stand the idea of supporting a company that strikes me as crooked.

  21. I have been using Bell Sympatico for quite a few years. Their internet service seems going from bad to worse. I’ve had three long down times in the last 4 weeks. Called the “HellDesk” – “No Sir” we have no problem, so I was a liar.

    “Please disconnect the router and re-engage the Sympatico logon manager!” they said.

    Hello, this is year 2008, wake up and smell the coffee. Who doesn’t use a router these days? Just as at this moment, the only reason I can leave this message was to use the dial in line. Thank goodness, the modem line is still working. Well, not for long because I will be cutting the Bell land line too. The Rogers cell phone works just fine.

    Good luck for the rest of the Sympatico friends.

  22. I was comparing the cost of bundles here in Canada and in France.

    Everybody knows that the cost of living in France is much higher than in Canada, but how come an ISP provider from France can offer all of the following for CAD $47.80 ($29.99 Euro)/month, TAX included):

    1) ADSL Internet (NOT the LITE one)

    2) 100 TV channels free (250 channels available)

    3) Home Telephone, including FREE LONG DISTANCE to 70 countries (North/South America, Europe, Asia & Australia)

    4) High Definition Freebox, giving access to Internet and telephone

    5) Watch TV on any computer

    6) Free digital recorder for recording programs of your choice

    7) and much more….

    Even Rogers’ bundle “The Works” at $185/month (Canadian) doesn’t even come close, at more than 4 times the cost.

    Therefore, I concluded that Rogers and all other providers are taking advantage of all Canadians by gouging them.

    Speak up! More competition is needed. Boycott is the only language they understand.

  23. I had an interesting experience when setting up my father’s internet service. He’s 65 years old, and a farmer, so he lives in the boonies with no knowledge of computers. I bought him a computer and internet service to keep him in touch with the world, and he’s learning how to use it.

    So, I contact Bell and set up his internet service. A bit painful, because he has one of those odd farm addresses that doesn’t look like a normal home address. And, of course, if you say the postal code “N-oh-A” instead of “N-Zero-A” they don’t “get” it.

    I explained the situation of being a grown daughter living in the city with an elderly father in the country. I tell them I’m paying, it’s my Mastercard, I’m setting this all up.

    Yesterday, a bill collector called him. Told him he was overdue 90 days on his account. He explained that his daughter (I) paid, and she told him to CALL THE POLICE. Of course, he thought this was ridiculous and called me instead.

    I called Bell, thinking that they either a) messed up in putting down my Mastercard information from the start or b) I may have received my new “paypass” card and forgot to inform them. Of course, if that was the case, you’d think they’d contact ME, as it’s MY card.

    My father doesn’t even have a mailbox; any notifications they may have been sending him would have been “return to sender.”

    So, I contact Bell. I know very little about my father’s account, other than his client ID and his own home phone number on which the service runs. Apparently they need his address. Which I don’t have, because what do you send a man with no mailbox? I didn’t keep it written down after setting up the service. And I fail to see the relevance when I just want to give them my money.

    I call my dad, get his address, call them back. First they try to deny me access because, again, I say his postal code is “N-oh-A” and not “N-Zero-A”. I catch myself and they let me proceed.

    A few minutes into the call and they don’t see my name on the account. I can’t do anything. I say “*I* set up the account. The Mastercard information you have is mine and I can tell you the number because I have it in my wallet!”

    The guy apologizes that I can do nothing because it’s not my account. He asks to speak to the “account holder” but I repeat that I’m his daughter, at work, and he’s my dad on a farm 2 hours away.

    In short, I’ve now had to call my dad – who frankly is a bit of an anti-social hermit – and had to throw him to the Bell Customer Service wolves. I told him what to do – add me as a co-account holder – but I’ll be amazed if he manages to get them to do what needs to be done.

    How in the world they let me set up service to begin with is a mystery. I can set it up, but I can’t edit my own payment information?


  24. To me, Bell is a the worst company I have ever seen in my life. I wish they’d go bankrupt and disappear totally from the public life.

    Bell has a strategy how to take your money, but never how to satisfy their customers. It spends a lot of money for marketing and promotional propaganda, and if they get one customer they will declare war until that customer gives up and decides to leave the company.

    The employees, assisted by their supervisors, will make sure that the customer is unhappy, disappointed, frustrated and ready to leave.

    I will never ever buy a service from Bell Canada, just to listen to the name gets me sick.

  25. I want to comment on “Sandra’s Feb.19 2008” experience with Bell over the $4.51 directory assistance call she was wrongly charged for.

    Her experience mirrors mine exactly with Bell. The same $4.51 d/a charge, and virtually word for word, the same dialogue between me and the Bell rep when I asked what, how and why it happened.

    The wrongful charge has since been credited back to my account, but after reading Sandra’s comments, I too am suspicious, and have to wonder how many other people got wrongly charged and never realized it because they didn’t check their statements properly?

    I am a relatively new customer with Bell, having opened my account in Nov. 2008 (landline phone, internet and t.v.) I had the “Bell HD Starter Kit” which promised free 3 HD Themes for 3 months and free HD Receiver Rental for 1 year.

    All these so-called “free” services have been appearing on my statements with “full” charges levied, and I have spent hours on the phone with Bell trying to rectify the situation. Each time I call, I am assured I will receive back dated credits for these charges on my next bill.

    My 26 Feb/09 statement has just arrived in the mail, and surprise, surprise, the same old charges are still appearing! I am just so sick and tired of dealing with Bell and want to change asap.

    This is what led me to checking out what other people’s complaints have been with Bell, and I certainly see I am not alone!

  26. Can anyone help me? I have 411 charges on my Bell bill.

    It’s happened a few times. I never made them, and there is only me and my husband at home, we weren’t even home at the time of the supposed calls.

    The reps claim it was dialed from our land line. This is both scary and confusing. There is absolutely no one living at our home but the two of us and we did not mis-dial as the rep claimed, and again, we were not home, nor did we give our number via the internet for some 411 inquiry. We know better than to do that because we use for all our look ups.

    Pls help (Toronto).

  27. Dealing with Bell and their service looks like going to hell to me. I am having a huge headache whenever I call Bell service.

    I switched my business phone and internet service from Rogers to Bell, because Rogers didn’t have service in the area where I was moving.

    Bell agent promised me low pricing and sent me email that shows how much they will charge and they will waive all extra charges (installation and activation etc.).

    I received my first bill and I got all of the charges and extra, extra and extra.

    Even though the Bell technician didn’t do any wiring inside, they charged wiring, installation etc, etc.

    I took 8 months to resolve this issue (I had to pay half of the charges).

    After I resolved that issue, I had to change one of my phone numbers. Their agent promised me he wouldn’t charge $55 for changing the number (I was getting too many fax messages on the phone, a number Bell gave me in the first place).

    I got billed to my invoice $55. Called Bell, she said she will look into it and call me back end of the day.

    I have waited 2 weeks, but no one called me back. I called them again. A person named Nadia said she will call me back at the end of the day. She never called me back. I called her back, waited on the phone 15 minutes to get Nadia, then someone hung up in my face.

    I called back and talked to another agent, who said Nadia was helping another customer. I told my story again and again. She said she would credit that amount to my account (I WON’T KNOW UNTIL I GET MY NEW BILL).

    I am asking Bell, what is your problem? Why do your agents promise and supervisors say they can’t promise, because they don’t have that power to do that?

    Why are Bell agents lying to you to get you as a new customer, then you have to deal with these stupid issues?

    Why is Bell trying to make more money this way, instead of giving good, reliable and promising customer service?

    I hope they will educate their agents and improve their service to give Canadians what they deserve.

  28. I am counting the days until I can wave good-bye to this incompetently run, arrogant company.


    1) My contract has been changed repeatedly since I signed up. My free minutes have fluctuated; 6pm-8pm “free calling” has disappeared for months until I called.

    2) I tried to take over payment for my daughter’s cell from my ex. After several attempts, repeating what we wanted to do over and over again and getting the CSR to repeat back to me what we wanted to do…”Voila! Eureka!” they did it.

    Hmmmm… I seem to have an extra cell phone charged to my Visa account. I phone Bell and ask about the extra charge. “I’m sorry sir, you are not authorised to receive information on this Bell Account.” One suggestion offered was “cancel your Visa Account to stop the payments.” Luckily my ex, after several phone calls, was able to get it changed.

    I wish someone had the resources to rent several large billboards:

  29. Fed up? Yes I am.

    After 36 years of being what I thought was a valuable customer, I realized how insatiably greedy the large corporations have become.

    I called Bell to cancel all my services and was shuffled to a cancellation representative, who began to tell me about their new 24 month contracts, which would save me approximately 30% off my monthly bill.

    Assuming this was for 24 months, as it was presented by the quick tongued individual I was talking to, I agreed not to cancel and go with the new program.

    I was told to expect a contract, which would be sent via email. I would have to agree to the terms and send it back.

    After reviewing the load of crap they sent, I realized that the reduction was only for one year, but the contract had to be in force for two.

    In other words, I would have to agree to remain a Bell customer for two years in order to receive the discounts for one year only.

    The icing on the cake was this. If I realized what was going on when my bill returned to the normal overpriced amount after one year and cancelled, I would be charged $100 to break the contract. “Up yours, Ma Bell”.

    I only wish I could take this more public. I gladly signed up with Cogeco. For how long, nobody knows. Until there is an honest company that rises out of the filth of this industry…

  30. If you are called by Bell’s sales Department trying to sell you a better internet deal, Never agree to it unless they can send it to you in writing….. It`s a Scam !!!!!!!!!

    I’ve been fighting with them for over a year now, Calls are always re-routed to countries where people have no clue where Canada even is, much less about anything else you are asking them. Bell’s game is that most people will get tired of waiting & being given the runaround and passed from 1 agent to another, so they end up paying the Inflated bills.

    Every time you take a service from Bell, they will tell you ………this is a Contract. But along the way they will add hidden or inflated fees to your bill. That is Ok to them when the higher fees are in their favour.

    I was sold a service at a set price, but never had 2 bills come in with the same amounts on them. You can spend hours trying to rectify the problems, but the idiots pretend they have no clue about what you are saying, even if you called them the month before, they lost all records of it.

    Bell are among the worst there is out there, BEWARE ! Keep all your past statements, cuz if you don’t they will rip you off even more.

  31. Unfortunately nothing has changed at Bell. I am receiving bills form them for $1700 regularly for service that I canceled more than a year ago because of the following problem.

    Dear Mr. Cope,

    I am sure you do not have time to read letters from the masses like me, but I hope you read this one before it is published in the Globe or the Post.

    I am one unhappy customer, and I am not the only one. Almost every person I have told my story to has had one similar where they had endless frustration, were charged incorrectly and were treated very badly to boot at all levels and in all service areas of your company!

    My situation is like this. I moved to BC in July 2008 and was told by MTS where I had a wireless contract that I had to move my account to Bell. I did this in good faith and went to the Bell store to see about a phone. I was helped by a young woman. She provided me with a plan that I thought would work and I told her that I needed to have it cost about $100 per month including some long distance. She said that there was a free three months with the plan and so I signed up.

    After the three months were up, the cost seemed to be more than what I had asked for, so I tried to make changes to my account and did but they didn’t work properly, so I later called and spoke to someone who didn’t speak English very well who changed my plan to something I clearly didn’t understand, because the next bill I received was for $1000. That’s right one thousand dollars for one month’s service. I called to figure it out and eventually spoke to a condescending fellow who, after crediting $700 to my account patronizingly said…”Look I have already given you a great deal here.” A great deal? It was your fault in the first place that this happened. At that point I told him to forget it and that I would like to cancel my account. He explained that I could not cancel my account with him and told me of the hoops I would have to jump through in order to cancel. Within a short period of time I wrote a letter explaining my circumstances and returned the phone and with a cheque for $200 with a letter (attached) saying that I would like to cancel my service. I explained in the letter that this was my final payment which after all of the other payments I had made meant that I had paid about $100 per month for the six months of service (even though the first three months were supposed to be free).

    You did not cash the cheque, you did not cancel my service, and you continued to charge me for the service even after I had clearly stopped using it! Just a few days ago I got a NASTY call from a collection agency, and a couple of days ago I got a letter saying that I owe $1705!

    The other part of this story is the inefficiency of the process. Bell was supposed to send my new contract to MTS so MTS would stop billing me. Well you didn’t do that either, so I was paying for my MTS service AS WELL as your service, while I was living in BC. After countless more phone calls on this issue and months of time, this finally got worked out, but only after the MTS folks started to threaten me.

    Lastly, when I tried to get my e-bill on line it took three phone calls and hours of waiting before I got to speak with condescending, patronizing service people who were impatient with me about my inability to get into the system.

    And, in conclusion, the last person I spoke to about my experience with your company was the teller at my bank today and, incredibly, she had almost exactly the same story and you are STILL billing her as well.

    It seems to me that Bell’s customer relations, customer service staff and billing systems need a major overhaul.

  32. I was so frustrated with Bell, I started to cry on the phone. If this company makes customers cry, it is time to leave them.

    I had a phone with Aliant for years and when Bell took over, customer service was out the window. When I call them, they say they do not have the authority to fix the problem and “that is why they are having so many problems”.

    Why bother calling them if they do not have the authority to fix anything?

    I have had a cell phone for years and when the contract was finished, I was charged for everything individually. They told me I had to go into another 3 year contract.

    Well, I had my phone and I was happy with the package, but they would not let me keep it. So each phone call to try to rectify the extra billing was 2 hours long. I was frustrated and sickened with their service.


    Keep up this kind of service and see how many more disconnect.

  33. Client I.D. so my cheque can go to the wrong place, I repeat people don’t get paid 25$ no hour, after dropping out of school in grade eight and paying what a tenth of the taxes? to get my horoscope, weather, get notified of emails, and take phone calls That ain’t no 200 pounds of apples in one day after spending all day and 6 weeks to get my phone back. Have I had sh*t that I don’t need rammed down my throat since I was in grade six? And the whales probably feel the same way, children pick 8 quarts for 3.00$ and what He probably gets is about 9 flats to the hour out of most of you. And look at how people collect garbage for 10$ an hour rain shine sleet snow and hale. Why is it that the youth are not getting the shares that they need to keep on keeping on, are they getting paid enough, and do you think they hate me for what I am to them? 310 move, the number I just called for next time! Bell’s bells. You probably don’t know what I give when I give to them my number. but I do. Remember I have had 25$ tranquilizers, for my work history, I wouldn’t do anything that I would have done myself, or I would go as far as to say, I wouldn’t have anyone do anything that has not been prescribed by a doctor. Cross me, but some people believe in justice and my path is always most righteous. poor people for president.

  34. Bell Canada is no longer “Canada” and should call themselves Bell India.

    I am so sick of their Indian customer service that doesn’t understand most of the things I say to them, nor do I understand them half the time. How dare they call themselves Bell Canada?!?!

    I also receive LOTS of phone calls to sign up for $0 down cell phones (as if that’s something new), and the same person will call me over and over. Sometimes they call me at 10-11 at night.

    Don’t give this company any of your money. All they have done was take work out of your own country and you are now supplying a different country with money that should have been paid to someone that lives in Canada.

    They can take their services and shove it. I’m switching to Cogeco.

  35. Can someone tell me WHY people just don’t BOYCOTT Bell. I can’t even begin to tell you what Bell has put me through. I am in a remote rural area and even then I went with another company.

  36. Get with the program, people. Bell runs a monopoly no different than Rogers. They own the cable and telephone lines coming to your house, as well as the air waves to your cellphones.

    If you don’t believe it is a monopoly, then why are they limiting the speed of your internet and why is your cell phone bill the same amount of money since the 1990s?

    If people are using too much bandwidth, then Bell and Rogers should spend more of their profit to increase the quality of the service and quit pocketing more profit.

    They are no different from the sports clubs that sell more memberships than they have tennis courts with which to accommodate the players.

    What can you do about it? Reduce your need to use the services they have to offer and get out and enjoy the world.

    Most importantly, get your kids off the cell phones or they will be in worse shape than you.

    Hopefully, they will not lose their phones with all that confidential data. Some fellow is dying to steal your identity and in the end you, the parent, will pay for your children’s mistakes, as you are the ones with all that saved money that your own parents worked so hard for years ago.

    Happy holidays and all that cheerful stuff and keep smiling. Christmas will come again next year!

  37. After an issue with customer service over my home telephone line, I also decided to cancel all my Bell services.

    I asked for a final bill to be mailed to me and not to debit my bank account. I was never issued a final bill and found that Bell did go into my bank account, not once but twice, and debited funds.

    When questioning a customer service rep, I was told that I would not be credited, as the billing cycle is different than the usage of service cycle and they were entitled to keep the money.

    When a company can help themselves to your bank account, it becomes a scary world. I am on board to boycott these thieves.

  38. Three times in the last month, I have been unable to dial out on my home land line. I am sick of having go out into the cold of winter to make a phone call to complain about the problem that just keeps re-occurring.

    First in October, they promptly fix the problem the same day and tell me that they are responsible for causing the problem. The next two times the problem occurred was in the last three weeks. I finally could call out again last week after not having had service for I don’t know how long, but then I found I couldn’t get a dial tone when trying to dial out.

    They said it would be fixed by 10:00 p.m. that night, a Friday. Guess what? It wasn’t. I went at least three days without service after I reported the problem by making a special unscheduled trip out into the cold of winter to the nearest Bell Canada centre.

    The day after that, I find the Bell \Contact Us\ site and I make contact. They send me an email propagandizing that they are \second to none\. They tell me they have re-scheduled the repair for Monday, again by 10:00 p.m.

    I am home all day Monday and Tuesday. No one knocks on my door. For reasons unknown to me, later in the day I decide to check my phone. To my surprise, there’s a dial tone.

    At about the same time, I get an email asking if I want to reschedule for Tuesday. As I think my phone problem is fixed, I decline.

    I go out my door on Wednesday on a trip that has been scheduled for three months, and what do I find? A \record of work completed\ rolled up in my door handle claiming \Access is required. Please call 310 BELL/611 to advise when when we may return \See Inside Work\\.

    If they can come to my door and roll up a piece of paper and put it in my door handle, why can’t they knock on the door? At this point I do not know what is going on any more.

    I think the problem is fixed. Then yesterday I pick up my phone to dial out and once again I can’t because there is no dial tone.

    Again I contact the \Contact Us\ site. I get an email back saying they will fix the problem by Monday. I don’t see any light at the end of this tunnel. Here we go again.

    I am now into my second day with no telephone service. Now I can’t do something I planned to do because once again I have to sit home and wait for a knock on the door that probably won’t come.

    Get this. They suggest a site for getting the wiring fixed. They haven’t proven to me there is a problem with the wiring. I can’t believe a word they say. I even wonder if this isn’t all deliberate on their part to try and get free money out of me.

    In October, they tried to get me to buy insurance so that I wouldn’t have to pay a hundred dollars for a repair that in the end the repairman told me was caused by them, not me or my equipment.

    In January, I received a letter from Bell saying I was going to be receiving some money back from them for overcharging me or charging me for something somebody, possibly the CRTC, told them they had no right to. They wanted me to run out and not only give them the money back, but then some, for service I probably wouldn’t give a thought to. If they have been ordered to give back money they took from me that they had no right to, they have no right to expect me to be stupid enough to hand it and then some back to them. And if I remember correctly I was expected to jump on that deal by Jan. 15, 2011.

    God gave me an I.Q. of 160. Recently when I went into my account, I found a notice informing me that my internet contract was about to expire, please contact them. Not a chance. I’ll see what transpires with my home land line, and when, not if, it goes down again, all my money, all my business, and I are going to kick Bell Canada to the curb just like I kicked Rogers to the curb at least ten years ago. They’re still thrying to woo me back.

    I don’t believe in this “paying more and getting less” philosophy the world wants us to buy into. I have been with Bell Canada, or should I now call it Bell India, since I was a teenager–that’s nearly forty freaking years ago. They claim they are \second to none\! Ha!!! They are not even second in my book any more!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. Bell has been a nightmare for us! Sold us warranties that covered nothing. No customer service to speak of and endless problems.

    Went to Wind Mobile and have been extremely happy with them. Bye Bye, Bell.

  40. Pulling out of Bell one service at a time. Every three or four months an interest charge on late payment appears on our phone bill even if the bill is always paid two weeks before it is due. After the customary frustrating phone call to Bell, a rep says that it was a mistake and it will be corrected on the next bill. Imagine this “mistake” appearing on several million customers and many millions of dollars collected this way. My complaint to CRTC was not even answered.

  41. So Apparently Bell Has Hard Time Graspin The Meanin Of “I Want Ma Damn Services Terminated Means” Whom Do I Have To ……To Get Rid Of Bell?! Bell Is Like A Cancer, Once U Get Involved With Them You Can’t Get Rid Of It. Like Cancer No Matter How Aggressively You Do Chemotherapy The Cancer Stays!

  42. For me as well, it is too little too late.

    My sister still is receiving phone calls from a collection agency for a bill not paid 5 years ago. She never received the bill in question and asked for it many times.

    She said that without a bill, she cannot pay. All she needs is a bill. What is the problem with giving her an invoice?

    Today, she doesn’t want to have anything to do with Bell as a TV-internet provider. She would go with any company as long as they are not affiliated with Bell.

  43. I finally had enough of Bell about 7 years ago and swore to myself that Bell would never get another cent from me. I’ve been keeping my oath ever since.

    The reason? On two occasions, they charged me for a bill that I already paid a few months earlier.

    Imagine you are in September and you suddenly receive a bill that says you owe them for the month of July. You paid it already.
    Now imagine the hassle it would take to prove to them you did pay for that month.

    If, like me, you are not the most organized person, it would be complicated. This happened to me twice. And that’s not mentioning the extremely poor customer services.

    On the day I called to cancel my subscription to Sympatico, I spent nearly 2 hours on the phone, talking then waiting, then talking to a different person, then more waiting. Repeat. It seemed like it would never end. Like they wanted me to hang up and not cancel my subscription.

    But I hung on until it was done and that’s when I knew for certain: Never again in a million years would I go back to this hellish company.

  44. I forgot to mention that recently I’ve been getting calls from Bell 3-4 times a week. Even though I told them I don’t want anything to do with them, they keep calling me. It’s harassment, is what it is.

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