Bell Blues

March 29 2007 by Ellen Roseman

Since I get many complaints about Bell Canada’s ineptness in dealing with customers, I did a recent column (March 24) asking readers whether Bell’s service was improving. The floodgates opened with complaints. I also heard from long-time employees who don’t like how Bell is evolving and who learned this week their retirement benefits were to be cut back. A demoralized work force can’t deliver great results.

Some common themes emerged:

* Bell needs an ombudsman or a central point of contact for complaints.

* It’s very hard to speak to a supervisor or get the names of anyone in authority. When Bell gives out phone numbers and email addresses for complaints, these often don’t work.

* Many customers can’t communicate well with outsourced Indian call centres. The people at the other end of the line have strong accents and don’t understand Canadian conditions or climate (often telling customers to go out on the roof in winter to check a satellite dish connection). Their technical knowledge is shallow, so they keep you waiting on the line while seeking answers to questions.

* Some call centre staff staff are courteous and patient, while others have an attitude of arrogance, insensitivity to customers’ time constraints and often just plain rudeness. Bell trains employees to talk about how much they care for customers, but the caring often falls apart in the face of strict rules that can’t be broken and an inability to resolve longstanding problems.

689 comments

  1. TJ

    Sep 26 2011

    @ Another Bell Scam

    Yes, that airport pay phone scam is a classic scam that lots of telephone operators in US have been doing.

    They wiil advertise in bold letters on the pay phone 50c per call or something like that. That’s the cash rate, if you put coins or bills into the pay phone.

    Somewhere in a very very small fine print, which you can barely read, they have the credit card rate.

    So if you make the same 50c or $1.00 call using your CC, you will get a ridiculous charge on your CC which is sometimes as high as $20 !!! Yikes !!!

  2. TJ

    Sep 26 2011

    Has Bell increased their basic home phone ( residential line ) rates from August 21 – 2011 ? I just noticed that on my bill ..the monthly rate seems to have gone up by about $ 2.00 . I never got ANY notice or anything of this inrease in charge . Aren’t they supposed to give you a 60 day notice or something before they increase your basic home phone rate ? Is this increase CRTC approved or is just Bell trying to pull a fast one on me & hope that I don’t notice the increase .

  3. Rosemary Hall

    Sep 28 2011

    Two questions:

    1. Who was the head of Bell Mobility at that time (“staunch defense of the head of Bell Mobility when the major billing problems occurred two years ago”?

    2. Do you have a newsletter?

    Thanks for your hard work and info.

  4. Yuxi

    Oct 12 2011

    Bell told me I would be charged $100 for early termination of my internet. After a lengthy argument, they promised to waive it after it was applied to my account.

    I called them once I received my final bill; Bell told me they wouldn’t waive the fee, then called me a liar and insulted my integrity for “making up” the promise about waiving the fee. They gave me the address to the Executive Office for complaints…and they purposely gave me the wrong postal code so my letter wouldn’t go anywhere, which I wouldn’t have found out about if I hadn’t googled for it just to double check.

    It’s not even about the money anymore.

  5. Ross

    Oct 25 2011

    For 10 years now, I have spent weeks, written hundreds of emails to Bell to fix a problem that they have caused, such as phone line dead, incorrect billing, incorrect service actions, etc.

    In the last month, I have spent over 100 hours on the phone trying to correct their errors to no avail…they just are unable to complete/carry out the most simple task, like cancelling my service.

    I am forced to spend another 5-6 hours on the phone doing the same thing.

    Bell should be penalized for their poor, inept, corrupt service.

    My advice…NEVER DEAL WITH BELL CANADA.

  6. Linda

    Nov 7 2011

    I am at my wit’s end with Bell. We have taken all our products away from them but my husband’s and my mobile phones.

    I recently got a Blackberry, in August. By Oct. 9th, I gave it to Bell to fix as it was overheating, not staying with a charge and a multitude of other issues.

    It’s Nov. 9th and I still don’t have my phone back. I called Bell last week and they said they would check into it and didn’t call me back.

    I called today to ask again, and they hung up on me. Then I called back again and they said they would look into it.

    The phone was just over a month old when it stopped working, but they wouldn’t replace it. They said they had to try to fix it.

    I am beyond frustrated. I signed both my kids up with Rogers and once this contract is up, I will not deal with Bell again. They have lost my business.

    I have no clue where to go to escalate this problem. Bell really don’t care. They have lost yet another customer and I will be sure to tell my friends not to use them. Their customer experience is horrific.

  7. Monty Labelle

    Nov 9 2011

    For Linda: Email your concerns to Bell Mobility’s VP of customer service, Nancy Tichbon. Her email address is nancy_tichbon@bell.ca

  8. peter astone

    Nov 24 2011

    Hi, I think that you’re a brave and honest writer and we need more honest helpful people like you in this world.

    Bell cancelled my internet by their mistake. I was on a 1 year contract and still am till Sept. 2012.

    When I contacted Bell, they apologized and issued me a new account. They have it documented that the loyalty dept made a error and should have reactivated old account, instead of opening a new account.

    The old email address I had worked with the new account they opened for me until 2 days ago. At this point, I contacted Bell. I was told that since they issued a new account, my email is now deactivated and not retrievable.

    I sent email to executive office with confirmation numbers and agent IDs. The last agent/supervisor assured me that by the end of the day of Nov. 21, my old email will be working and he would credit me for 1 free month of service.

    I have his iID number as well as a confirmation number. But when I called back to find out why it was not working, I was told my old email was unretrievable.

    Can I do anything for their cancelling my account while on contract and their losing my email in which I have personal info. I have confirmation numbers, contacts, receipts, etc. that I can no longer retrieve.

    If someone emails me, it goes back to sender as no such email address. I can’t forward the messages to my new email, as the old email they cancelled by mistake doesn’t exist now.

    As well, I need to reprint cards with new email. I have to contact hundreds of people and state that the email has been changed..

    I spent three whole days on the phone with Bell, along with hours of emails.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  9. Deruo

    Dec 3 2011

    As bad I you hear Bell is, it’s never as bad as once you experience it firsthand.

    A simple move. One address to another. Here it is day 3 without a landline phone. I have voicemail out there that works, but no phone at home. I moved 10 houses down the street.

    Bell told me they’d send a technician out last night between 5-9 pm. Not only did they not show up, but when I called, I was told there was no order for a technician to go out.

    So no one even called the number I gave them to contact me. A supervisor promised me that someone will come today between 8-10 am. Guess what? No one came.

    You call Bell “repair” and get a bunch of people in India. The latest guy tells me that someone will be here within the next hour. Colour me doubtful.

    You get plenty of apologies but after a while they just make you even more angry because they are meaningless platitudes.

    Then “loyalty” tells me that if I cancel, I have to give 30 days’ notice. So… I have a phone number/landline that I CAN’T use, CAN’T get anyone from Bell to come out to fix it, and have to give 30 days notice to cancel it. Pretty expensive voicemail for a month, isn’t it?

    I doubt Kevin Crull, if he’s still in charge of this white elephant, ever lifts a finger to do anything on his own. But he really deserves to experience the hell they put their customers through firsthand.

  10. Deruo

    Dec 10 2011

    Just as a followup to my post above… no one did come on the day I was PROMISED that my phone would be working.

    I called them at the witching hour when my appointment window was up and told them I was going out of town as planned for a few days. I was on my way to the airport.

    You know what’s coming next, right? The next morning I get a phone call from a Bell technician who is outside my home wondering where I am as I had “an appointment scheduled”. Then a followup call from someone (sounded Canada-based) wondering the same thing. This, on a day that I did NOT have an appointment scheduled, and wasn’t even in the country.

    So finally, a week after my move, a technician finally showed up and fixed part of the problem. I now have my landline back (until I cancel it after this fiasco) but the DSL isn’t working properly. It was working before he showed up but apparently, he can’t do anything about it because it isn’t on the work order. Of course it isn’t, it wasn’t broken until he broke it.

    it’s amazing how screwed up Bell, and some other former great Canadian companies are. They farm out all the customer “service” calls to foreign workers, hide behind annoying technology like “Emily” and when you leave because you’re fed up… spend money trying to get you back as a customer.

    It’s pathetic.

  11. Edna Finch

    Dec 10 2011

    Can’t get satisfaction from Bell client care? For residental and wireless matters, email the exec VP, John Watson, john_watson@bell.ca

    John always strives to “Make it Right, Make it Personal, Make it Better”

  12. EX-Bell Tech

    Jan 11 2012

    Hello,
    I’m an ex-bell employee. I knew my support information when I worked there, and had nothing but great reviews from lots of different customers. It didn’t stop them from letting go of many other reps just like me. English speaking, hard working tech savy representatives who did not meet the companies defined stats. But would keep the frontline techs that did meet the stats that didn’t care about helping the customer or seeing the call through to the end. Why because they could get paid the same if not better as long as the stats where meet.
    Using whatever means of getting a customer off the phone as quickly as they answered the call. All I can say is 1 in every 30 employees in the tech department really did care about the service they were providing. Most others just coasted by trying to hit key stats.

    One of the worst cases of corporate greed, buried behind lots of corporate red tape came with one call I took that had to deal with a repair issue with a clients phone. Upon looking at the clients file, I could really empathized with what this customer was going through. He had sent a palm treo in for repair, and was left waiting for over 3months due to palm on the verge of being bought out, but not having any replacement parts for any existing users. Instead of saying this is crazy lets just send this user a new phone. I got told from the managers that there was nothing we could do for him, the problem is the policy, and there is nothing that we can do for the client. Why you ask without saying it directly, it was because he didn’t spend enough money/month.
    Examples like that happen so often you wouldn’t even believe how bad it really is there.

    Today I heard of some really Terrible news. Hundreds of Bell mobility employees let go today. A few lucky ones were brought into a fake training session, while the others that were being let go where herded like cattle away from there call center desks, into the lunch room, and advised that they were being let go.
    To give you some background……There has been an ongoing struggle with the corporate heads against a handful of brave frontline workers trying to get a union at the call center. Less then 6months after not getting the union. they let go of some 300+ employees today!

    I’m proud to be Canadian, and I’m even happier to support Canadian companies. But I will not support a company that doesn’t support Canada and Canadian families.
    I will be cancelling all of my services, and moving to Rogers, TELUS, wind or public mobile, or any other company not called/branded bell after today.
    (Please excuse my gramar, this was rushed)

  13. EX Bell Mobility employee

    Jan 14 2012

    My story isn’t much different from the one above. I, like hundreds of others in client care related positions, were called to a “meeting” at the doors adjacent to the elevators (never a good sign eh).

    As we arrived, a large group of other people came through the doors. They were from HR, an employee support group, and Bell security (these Bell security folk looked like bouncers. I guess they thought we might all go “postal”).

    Anyway, we were all told (about 30 of us at that moment) that our jobs were being terminated and that we had to pack up our things, give back our work passes, and be escorted out.

    Little did I know at the time, but not only was our group being let go (we were a client care support department), but they were closing down the entire client care department along with tech support in the 5099 Creekbank campus. Yikes!

    I had asked my manager point blank last week if our jobs were still secure. She replied that she didn’t have any more information than I did and that we should all just continue to be as productive as possible. Talk about a bold faced lie!

    She was conveniently not around at the group dismissal. She obviously knew more than she was letting on. She was not let go, by the way.

    A lot of people are saying that this round of massive layoffs pertains to recent attempts to organize a union at this location. While there may a bit a bit of truth to that, the primary reason is outsourcing. 80% of client care calls were already being handled by non Bell Mobility employees. You can bet even larger percentage of calls will now be shifted to places like Manila, Philippines.

    This was John Watson’s modus operandi when he was with Telus. He is now taking the same approach now that he is at the helm at Bell Mobility. Talk about a Canadian job killer!

    It’s a real shame. Bell’s products and services are excellent. The engineers (the real brains in the company) know what to deliver. The problem is management methods when it comes to the marketing, suppplying, and support of the things they sell. They’re clueless.

    The Creekbank campus was an extremely disfunctional place to work. The front line managers, although they were nice people, were totally useless at managers. Making things worse were the terrible customer service practices that everyone was forced to carry out while on the phone.

    Ellen Roseman has been writing about Bell’s terrible customer service for years. Trust me, it wasn’t always easy being the ass on the other end of the phone, trying to enforce Bell’s moronic policies. My sympathies to all those who’ve endured “Bell Hell”!”

    It’s not unions killing jobs, it’s Bell’s infatuation with outsourcing! I don’t know how John Watson sleeps at night.

  14. arabianknight

    Jan 15 2012

    Bell Mobility has stated in many newspapers and websites , including Toronto Star, that they are increasing jobs in Montreal and Vancouver while letting go of “some” employees in Mississauga.

    The truth is that they let go of EVERYONE in tech support, client client, help desk, and escalation in Mississauga. That’s almost everyone in the site. More than 800 jobs are lost in that site. They are letting go of employees in “waves” , so within the next few weeks more jobs will be lost.

    The addition of jobs they speak to are to outside call centres in Vancouver and London, ON that are third party contact centres. NO NEW JOBS WERE ADDED TO BELL MOBILITY.

    The rest of the jobs are transferred to Manila and Bangalore (according to Management sources in Creekbank campus).

    I have stated in my blog almost a year ago that this will happen and it is currently happening.

    To all bell mobility customers, bell mobility will become again a NON-CANADIAN employer. Even the third party contact centres that are in Canada are getting paid $11 /Hr and have no experience in technical support or customer care.

    I was one of the employees who handled supervising and training those “employees” and they were a shame to Bell Mobility, as they had no desire to learn and were slacking off alot.

  15. arlene martin

    Jan 19 2012

    I am currently with Bell for home internet service. I have Bell’s portable internet. I am paying about $30/mth for 10GB/month.

    Bell is discontinuing this service and replacing it with a service that gives me 3GB/mth for the same amount. How can you replace a plan that offers 10GB/mth with one that offers 3GB/mth?

    I tried contacting George Cope (Bell’s CEO) and was contacted by someone in the Executive offices. I was told that this is all that Bell has to offer me and others in my situation for now.

    Apparently, Bell has no way of giving its loyal customers a better deal than a customer just off the street.

    How is that for saying Thank you for choosing Bell?

  16. Jonah

    Mar 2 2012

    I actually have gotten better service from “third world nations Philippines and India” than I do from supposed born and bred Canadians.

    Problems that have been ongoing for months and months and stuck with management were resolved by the Indian call centre.

  17. Sheila

    Mar 8 2012

    Hello: In Dec. 2010 I contemplated moving my long distance to another carrier.

    I called Bell and was talked into the Home Phone Light because I was told that it included 1500 minutes of LD.

    I knew I would be paying a bit more for home phone light over my residence line, but I was told it did include the long distance, so I thought the increase fair.

    I was also told I could revert back to my residence line. This was important to me in the event I chose not to have long distance with Bell.

    Well, the information I got on the phone was incorrect. They basically use deception to attract you to these other packages where there is no regulation.

    I did not realize that the residence line was regulated and Home Phone Light was not.

    In January of this year, I called to revert back. My basic services without long distance went from $23.93 to $27.92, plus now there was a charge for long distance and network fee … So much for the long distance being included in the Home Phone Light.

    They said I could not revert back. I talked with Dione Tomlinson in the executive office, who said she could give me $5 off, but a reversal to residence line was not possible.

    My bill for February had a $5 credit, but they then increased Home Phone Light by $2 and added a $2.95 charge for long distance (so much for the credit).

    So now minus the long distance & network fee, I am paying them $9.03 more?? That is in one year.

    I don’t mind an increase, but 37% is too much – and that includes no long distance or fees associated with it. I didn’t like being told I would get a $5 credit and then having an additional $4.95 put onto my bill.

    I was ticked off and asked to revert to my old residence line. I had been told this was possible when I changed over to Home Phone Light, so I should be able to do so.

    Dione Tomlinson emailed me, saying that she would revert me. But since my request, I have had no response … it is like a dead zone.

    Next step CRTC? They are using deception to get people to take these packages and I think they should have to honour their word.

    Before this incident, I was happy with Bell. I’ve been with Bell 30 years and I scratch my head trying to understand how they think their tactics make good business sense. I just want to go back to my old regulated residence line.

    They have the billing in a way now where you have to phone to request a discount or you pay a ridiculous increase. It is a waste of the customer’s time and their time, one would think.

  18. Buwaneswaran

    Mar 11 2012

    I must say that Bell Canada has been improving tremendously.

    I hope that competition and frequent complaints have made them realize that customer service and good practices are essential for a solid long term relationship with their customers.

    I, for one, am staying with Bell as they have proved to me in the past few months that they are responsive to customer concerns. Well done, Bell.

    I have two services with you and may consider two more (TV and mobile).
    However, that does not mean that I will be passive or let us be taken for granted. Respect us and we will reward you back.
    Regards,
    Ben

  19. John and Nancy

    Mar 12 2012

    Hi friends,

    Please be aware that Bell is now fully active on Facebook and responding to customer issues in almost real time.

    If you have a customer service issue that cannot be resolved through customer service over the phone, be sure to drop a note on Bell’s Facebook page and leave a message under any thread or e-mail directly facebook.support@bell.ca

    Hope this helps!

  20. Anonymous

    May 16 2012

    A chat representative will be with you in about 0 minute(s). Thank you for waiting.
    Chat representative Sandy has joined the session and is ready to help. To start, please provide your name and home phone number.
    Sandy: Hello, thanks for visiting bell.ca. How can I help you today?
    You: I was contacted by a Bell sales rep two days ago regarding becoming a Bell customer (again) and, although Bell’s internet website states that my address qualifies for 50/50/250 internet, she told me that according to her information it doesn’t. Which is correct?
    Sandy: If you check in web site and it says 50/50/250 Internet available.
    Sandy: Then you can get those speed and package in your area.
    You: Why can’t the sales rep offer it?
    Sandy: I am sorry, may be they didn’t check properly the service availability in your address.
    You: She did check it more than once and with her supervisor who confirmed that, according to their information, it isn’t available from them/the telephone sales rep.
    You: Can you check it? My address is XXX XXXXXXXXX…
    Sandy: Just a minute
    Sandy: You can get up to Bell Fibe Internet 25/10 package in your area.
    You: Then why does Bell’s website state that my address qualifies for all 5 speed levels?
    Sandy: Click here to check it.
    Sandy: Keep check on Verify with your postal code to see the services available in your area.
    You: I already did check it, many times, with the same results. There’s something wrong with either the information you and she are getting or Bell’s website. Which is it?
    Sandy: I am sorry about that
    Sandy: If you checked from your end, then it would be right.
    You: OK, then how do I get the speed level 50/50/250 from the sales rep? She has offered me better terms than the website does such as reduced fees for a year, not just 6 months, and waived the connection fees and has offered Basic satellite with a Select package which doesn’t appear on the website.
    Sandy: If you do not have a Bell home phone, you can access Internet with the help of Dry loop.
    Sandy: Dry Loop is a virtual phone line wherein you won’t be able to make or receive calls. It’s dedicated only for Internet access.
    Sandy: You need to contact our dry loop department at 1 – 877 877-5080 (Ontario) to get Bell Internet service.
    Sandy: Our colleagues in that department would be in better position to help you with your request.
    You: That’s not what I am considering. I am considering Phone, Internet, and TV, 3 services. That doesn’t require a dry loop.
    Sandy: Good!
    You: My question is: How can I get the internet service speed level from a sales rep although the sales rep can’t offer it because they have the wrong information for my address about the highest speed level available?
    Sandy: I am sorry, you need to check it with Sales rep. As we do not have authority to talk to them. If you wish, you can call us at Your area code +310-BELL (2355) (no charge) and order for three services with fibe 50 plan
    You: I phoned that number but a voice message stated that it isn’t available because I don’t have a Bell phone.
    Sandy: Please enter any contact number in it.
    You: As well, even if I do get through, they won’t offer me the better terms that I was offered by the sales rep who contacted me. This is very frustrating. If Bell wants new customers, it shouldn’t be so difficult to become one.
    You: Do you have a phone number for a higher level of contact than just the standard phone number? Such as one for someone in sales management?
    Sandy: From anywhere else in Canada & U.S: 1 800 668-6878 (no charge)
    You: What is that number for?
    You: It looks like a phone number for existing customers.
    Sandy: Nope.
    Sandy: It is for new customers.
    Sandy: Please call us at 1 800 668-6878.
    You: But at what level?
    Sandy: Any level can call the above number.
    You: That’s not what I asked. This conversation is futile. bye

  21. For Anonymous

    May 19 2012

    Regarding your webchat, e-mail john_watson@bell.ca and cc: Ellen Roseman.

  22. Allen Vodi

    Jul 4 2012

    I know from reading your articles that you like to keep abreast of the personal side of financial wizardry. So in case you’re not a Bell client, they once again increased their fees by sneaking in a small change to their “bundle” savings credit by lowering it from $5 to $4 per month (sneaky).

    They do indeed make mention of it in the previous month’s bills, but you only spot it if you happen to look at the detailed pages and not the summary pages of the bill.

    For online clients, there are no “flags” made available (even though they have a section for that purpose) to warn of the change.

    Sadly, this large corporation keeps doing this just to make a buck the easy way, as they have done for many years with all their services.

    This is what appears after one selects “Other information” on the bottom of the ONE BILL summary:

    Bulletin board FYI message

    +++As of June 2012, a $1 reduction will be applied to your monthly bundle discount for each applicable service. Bell continues to offer the lowest bundle prices on the market for home services. If you have any questions or wish to modify your bundle as a result of this change, please call 310-2355.

  23. James B.

    Jul 10 2012

    We left Bell after a serious billing error which they refused to resolve to our satisfaction. The CSR was unfriendly and unhelpful. Likewise the supervisor.

    When I asked in frustration, “Do you WANT to lose me as a customer?” the supervisor replied coolly, “No, but that decision is up to you.”

    I explained what needed to happen to satisfy my concern and keep me as a Bell customer. The supervisor said, “I’m sorry you’re unsatisfied, but there’s nothing more I can do for you.”

    At the end of my contract period, I called to cancel. Bell suddenly became very friendly and helpful. Profuse apologies were made for the previous bad service I had received. Increasingly generous offers were made to retain me. Where was this level of customer service when I was experiencing difficulty?

    My response to the retention offers was, “Too little, too late. No thanks.”

    A month after my switch to a competitor, I started getting “We want you back!” mailings and marketing calls. The calls became so aggravating that I called Bell and demanded to be put on their Do Not Call list. I said I was tired of the sales pitches and would not return to Bell under any circumstances.

    I was transferred to a different department. When I explained again that I didn’t want any more calls from Bell, the man on the other end launched into another sales pitch. “I see here that the reason for the call was to inform you of a great offer if you’ll consider switching back. We’d like to offer you…”

    I’m calling to ask for no more sales pitches and he launches into a sales pitch? Really? How thick can you be?

    I had to interrupt the sales pitch to remind him that I was calling to get on the Do Not Call list.

  24. Liz Underdown

    Aug 5 2012

    I read your column for this weekend’s Star and from other columns in the past. Our neighbourhood has a problem that started 40 years ago when the Bell lines were run through the back yards instead of at the street. I it encompasses 4 different streets in this older subdivision. I’ve had many Bell technicians come and check our lines over the past 40 years and have now been told by two Bell Techs that the lines should never been run through the backyards with the Bell boxes hidden in the back of people’s properties, but in the front at the road as all the newer subdividions are. It came to a head when Bell introduced high-speed internet to our area and everyone found out that it is virtually impossible to get good quality internet service. I’ve had many issues over th years with Bell service and equipment and have had to deal with their “India Division” and can only say to Bell, shame on you…with all the Canadians needing jobs, how could you take important customer service out of the country!” I resent it thoroughly and have been seriously entertaining the idea of switching to another company. I know from listening to other people that they also have issues, but at least they employ Canadians. thanks for letting me vent. Liz Underdown

  25. Tammy

    Aug 23 2012

    I have been with Bell Mobility for 6 months now and I hate it. And the kicker is I’m on a 3 year contract!

    I have a $200 credit limit, which is fine by me. but to my surprise every single month that’s how much my cell phone is.

    I’m 22 years old and I don’t make a lot of money and $200 a month for a cell phone is crazy.

    I call Bell all the time asking why my cell bill is so high. They tell me that I call people that are not on my 10.

    I’m like are you high? That is all I ever call since they are on my 10.

    They charge me extra for long distance, since I’m in Saskatchewan and most of my friends live in Alberta.

    And when I do call Bell, I get someone in India that doesn’t understand me. I will call back and I will have a really rude woman.

    I called this one time because yet again my bill was so high. The lady was like because you’re calling an Alberta number and you talked to them twice on two separate days for 45 minutes and it cost me $85.

    I said all the people I call are on my 10. And the woman was like well, obviously, you make that call since you called them from your phone.

    Why is it so much? I really hate Bell. I can’t afford a $200 a month cell bill. I cry at night because they are scamming money out of us.

  26. Angie

    Oct 26 2012

    I do agree that for a big corporation, Bell does not really care about their clients. The customer service reps are totally inexperienced. Customer service skills and interpersonal skills are lacking. Maybe it is the lack of training, knowledge of products, etc.

    I have been a client of Bell for a long time and now because of the problems I’m having with them, I am seriously thinking of changing my ISP and phone provider.

    My main problem right now is, I’m supposed to get my online bill every 19th or 20th of the month. It’s already the 26th, and I still haven’t gotten any e-bill lately. I called them twice to do a follow-up. Bell told me that they’re having some kind of billing delays, so it’ll take around 5 days for the bill to come through. It has been over 5 days. And my problem is, they want the bill to be paid on or before the 9th of the next month. How can I pay a bill when I don’t have any documents to refer to? And if I request for a paper bill, they want to charge me $2 for it?

    It’s not my fault, but knowing how the bill is automated, Bell will still put the late payment charges in my file. It is so incovenient to call back for them to revert the charges.

    This is not the first time that I have this specific problem, this is ongoing.

    The small companies that offer the same services seems more attuned to the customers. Once my contract ends, I am definitely searching for another provider.

  27. John-Boy

    Nov 3 2012

    I have a host of stories like the ones listed. I am trying to forward your link to the executive office@bell, but the email comes back undeliverable.

    So, I tried to forward to the CRTC for their reaction, but the server is failing to load the page. Hmmmm?

    Thanks for sharing. Misery loves company, I suppose.

  28. John-Boy

    Nov 3 2012

    This one was in regard to a cheque cashed by Bell for one invoice. Even after I got the stamped cheque from my bank and sent it back to Bell, I was guilty until proven innocent (16 weeks)!!!!

    I never did get a satisfactory resolution.
    =====================================

    Good day,

    I appreciate your continued update on this matter, but I’m afraid the gesture from Bell is substantially disappointing.
    I’m afraid Bell does not fully appreciate the level and duration of the stress & frustration this gross negligence of this situation has caused me.

    I earn over $50 an hour and have spent at least 1.5 hours at a time for each time I had to get on the phone and start from scratch each month when the new invoice came in, or when I had been left a message with no return contact name or coordinates, or trying to respond to notices of cancellation!

    No, I don’t think Bell understands at all. I refuse this insignificant gesture of trying to sweep the dirt under the rug.

    Please forward my notice of dissatisfaction to whomever you deem fit.

    This has taken somewhere in the area of 15 weeks so far and I do not consider it settled.

    From: “c.warburton@bell.ca” [c.warburton@bell.ca]
    Sent: 17/06/2011 19:19 AST

    Subject: RE: acct# ##########

    Dear John,

    I will be assisting you today as Christine is unavailable. I’m very sorry for all the inconveniences that this issue has caused you. I can certainly understand your frustration.

    For your satisfaction, we have applied a $25 credit to your account.

    I’m so pleased that we were able to resolve this issue for you and I apologize again for the system error that has occurred.

    Thank you for patience and understanding and have a wonderful weekend.

    Yours truly,

    Allyson

    ——————————————

    Good day Christine,

    If my acct # appears on the chequw, it is not important whose error it is. The compensation I am seeking is from the manner in which I have been treated, even after I performed Bell’s groundwork into the problem, since Bell should already have a copy of the stamped cheque on file as well.

    I have been hounded, not by automated reminders but people who won’t listen to reason to the point of rudeness, or take the facts of the matter on this case back to their superiors.

    To merely explain this as a bank error after 12 weeks of horrible customer service will be an insult.

    I would urge that although you are not in a position to do or say anything, if you could run this ‘up the chain’ or to the ‘proper department’ for consideration, as this will not sit well without what I would consider ‘appropriate measures’ from Bell.

    DO have a great weekend and I do appreciate your involvement.

  29. Chris

    Dec 4 2012

    I have to join the never ending list of Bell complaints.

    I cancelled all my Bell services (Internet, TV, home phone and cellphone) on Oct. 15. I was prepared to pay my outstanding balance of $257 until I got another bill, charging me for another month of service.

    So I called Bell again and got the usual runaround. They said they would send me a credit if I paid the new bill. I asked why I would pay a bill for services I don’t have.

    Still, the runaround went on again. I refused to pay the bill until a correct bill was issued!

    They transferred me to the loyalty group and then they transferred me to India. They told me not to pay until my next bill came in.

    I just received my next bill for services I don’t have and they charged me for another month of Internet, which I have with another provider. Now my bill is up to $550.

    I have to say this is totally unlawful and something needs to be done. I have sent e-mails, letters and phone calls. all to no avail.

    These people are NOT LISTENING! What can someone do? Who do you contact when nobody listens and keeps sending you bills for services you don’t have?

    Please, let’s help each other. This is scandalous and shouldn’t be allowed in Canada or aynwhere else.

  30. Shawn

    Dec 5 2012

    Count me in as another disgruntled customer of Ma Bell.

    As others have stated, the techs are (usually)good. My problems are Bell TV and Billing.

    I had a PVR that malfunctioned quite often. After about a year of complaining about it, Bell finally replaced it with a rebuilt one! Occasionally the problems appear again and I have to manually correct them – not a problem unless a favourite show gets cut off before or during broadcast. All I want is a new replacement pvr – is that too much to ask for?

    Billing.

    What else can I say? Ma Bell is a thief!

    I just spent 40 minutes arguing with two customer service reps that I am being over-charged. I keep precise records of billing/payments since January of this year (due to billing disputes last year).

    Was Bell rude? You betcha. But in the end, I proved I was right, however, I won’t wait with baited breath for the upcoming bill. Talking with someone from another country and Bell’s computer billing machine are two different worlds.

    One day down the road, when I have time and money, I will go to Toronto and give Bell’s upper management the bashing they so richly deserve.

  31. Shannon

    Jan 16 2013

    I renewed my contract with Bell after being offered an amazing deal (too good to be true actually) from a “Corporate plan specialist” in the loyalty department.

    I requested she record the terms of the agreement and the cost to me on my file, so that when I went to the Bell store to pick up my new phone, I wouldn’t face the hassle of renegotiating.

    I signed a contract for the agreed upon amount over a 36-month period and immediately began using my phone.

    Two weeks later, I received my first bill, which was over 7 times the agreed upon amount.

    When I called Bell, they apologized for the “misinformation” but said that there was no way they could honour the terms of the contract.

    When I told them to then terminate the plan, they said they would have to charge me $600.

    I still have not settled this issue with them and don’t know what to do.

    I am locked into a contract that I would have never agreed to in the first place, one that is not in line with the terms as stated in writing in my contract with Bell.

    I have refused to pay the $600 and they have basically threatened me with debt collectors banging down my door.

    I’m not sure what I did wrong here and why I have to suffer for Bell’s error.

  32. Lydia Austin

    Jan 20 2013

    Hi Shannon (re above post),

    You should request a copy of your account notes / memos. Normally you have to write to Bell’s head office for them.

    Assuming the loyalty rep did actually memo the offer you were promised, Bell will have to honour the offer. Upon getting the notes from Bell, fax them to Ellen Roseman along with a brief letter explaining the matter.

    Once the offer is memo’d, there’s no getting around it.

  33. Mike Watson

    Feb 26 2013

    I was a Bell customer for over 30 years (just home phone).

    My problems started when I got their internet service, I won’t get into my story because it resembles all the stories I just read.

    So I canceled my phone and internet service with Bell last October. Best move I’ve done in a long time!

    This month, I tried sending Bell a letter as a favour, so they would know why so many customers like me are leaving Bell. I also wanted to speak with a Bell Supervisor.

    But they transferred me to Valdimir St-Cloud, who doesn’t even work for Bell. He works for NORDIA.

    So to make a long story short, leaving Bell is the easiest way to stop having problems.

  34. Mike Williams

    May 8 2013

    A few years back, because of work, we moved three times in the space of 4 years. Bell did not manage a single one of those moves smoothly as far as transferring our phone service.

    Moving is stressful enough, but Bell made it worse. With one move, a Bell Rep entered the date wrongly into their system. They refused to admit it was their mistake, and suggested I may have given them the wrong date (I didn’t), and said, “I guess we’ll never really know how this miscommunication happened.”

    For the second move, we were supposed to get Internet set up at a discounted rate. The technician simply failed to show up at the appointed time.

    Bell seemed unconcerned as to the reasons for the no-show and cheerfully tried to reschedule the appointment. When I complained about having waited around for the no-show, they only offered an insincere apology.

    The worst was the third move, though. Even after the switch was flipped (or whatever), we had no phone service. Bell originally wanted us to wait another week for a technician, and I had to push to get a next-day service call.

    We were told there would be “no charge” for the Sunday call, since the service wasn’t working.

    The technician arrived and discovered that the problem was that the previous tenant had had Rogers home phone service. Rogers had cut corners (literally) and somehow short-circuited a Bell wireline. He said providers aren’t supposed to mess with the existing wiring, so Rogers had screwed up. He fixed it quickly.

    Two days later, we got a call out of the blue from a Bell supervisor. He said, “I really apologize for any confusion, but the representative who waived the charge for your last service visit was not authorized to do that. I just wanted to let you know that I have re-entered the charge, and it will appear on your next bill.”

    What? I just about hit the roof. He said Bell does not waive service charges when “the problem is inside the house,” only outside. Since the problem was the wiring inside the house, the previous rep made a mistake by waiving the charge, and it would be reinstated. I was furious.

    The problem had been caused by Rogers, not by us, and I said he should take it up with Rogers if they had cut Bell’s line by mistake. The Bell supervisor was unmoved and said it’s a hard and fast rule that Bell is never responsible for problems that occur inside the house, and we were not entitled to have the service charged waived.

    He apologized for the rep’s “error” but refused to waive the charge.

    The supervisor actually said, “Sir, I understand why you’re upset, but look at it this way. If a package addressed to someone else were delivered to your door by mistake, you wouldn’t keep it, would you? You’d return it. Well, a mistake was made here, and you were given a discount you weren’t entitled to. The mistake needs to be corrected; I apologize for the inconvenience.”

    Only after escalating the matter did I find out that in cases where Rogers (or another phone provider) has messed up Bell’s lines, Bell is supposed to fix the problem at their own expense and file a complaint with Rogers to seek reimbursement for the repair.

    Hence the supervisor erred when he claimed the rep erred.

    What sort of business practice is that? Agree to waive a charge and then change your mind after the fact and tack the charge back on… Absurd.

  35. Shannon

    Jun 20 2013

    I am not a Bell customer but almost became one. My story is very long, but here is the short(er) version:
    A door to door agent came to my house and convinced me to switch my services to Bell and that they would cover all of my cancellation fees with Rogers. I agreed and we set up an installation date. The tech did not show up for the appt. I called Bell and after many conversations with many unqualified people, found out that Bell DOES NOT cover the cancellation fees for Rogers. I cancelled the installation with Bell.

    Then I got a call from the agent who came to my door who had no idea that the installation did not take place and wanted to know how the service was. I blasted her for lying to me and this is when she informed me that she doesn’t work for Bell, she works for a 3rd party marketing agency. She told me she already called Rogers and cancelled my account with them.

    When I called Rogers, they told me that someone who said she was me called and cancelled all of my services because I was moving to Vancouver. Since Vancouver does not have Rogers service, Rogers had no choice but to waive the cancellation fees.

    These are the techniques Bell is using to get more customers!!

  36. David

    May 25 2014

    I am a retired IT professional. Therefore I hate Bell Canada on SO MANY levels!
    I have 0 issues with Bell now. There is NO Bell wiring to our house. I removed about thirty feet of the access wire, and have informed them I will call the police if ANY Bell employee enters our property. The result has been huge reductions in our phone and internet costs, and much better QOS.
    I regularly help my friends and neighbors throw of the yoke of Bell corruption.

  37. Wayne Paton

    Jun 9 2014

    Warning: Bell (Enterprises-TV-Internet)

    I have just spent the last 2.5 hours on the phone with Bell accounting services.

    This is in addition to 6 hours from previous calls (divided into 2 calls) with respect to new installation and accounting adjustments presumed to have been applied.

    It is in regard to a promotion back in Febraruary for switching to Bell Fibe.

    I had the unfortunate experience of dealing with agents who tell you one thing and never leave notes or make corrections or adjustments, as per the conversation. THEY STATE THEY DID AND THE ADJUSTMENTS WILL APPEAR ON YOUR NEXT BILL.

    Which of course they do not, thus causing the next agent to claim those notes or adjustments are not on the file. Thus making you explain the whole situation over again.

    Of course, they say they can’t make the adjustments as per previous conversations because there are no notes. Causing you to ride their merry-go-round all over again. And creating new adjustments that don’t show up on your next bill.

    Then, you wind up calling back again.

    Here is a major corporation that can’t apply adjustments to bills with 15 days advance notice prior to billing dates. (This is supposed to be a top notch computerized company.)

    Here is a hugely profitable corporation that has the worst service record I have ever experienced.

    Their reps give you so much malarky (promises, assurances) and don’t make notes. They don’t apply adjustments as stated and they have an antiquated accounting system that has no interactive cooperation with respect to billing and adjustment.

    Service reps can’t send you confirmation of credits or adjustments via email, saying they don’t have the ability. “????? You’re kidding me, right?”

    So you have no proof the conversation even took place or what was agreed to.

    If you spend an hour on the phone and get disconnected, the rep can’t call you back or doesn’t or won’t. You have to call back in and speak to a new rep, who has no notes on file from the call you just spent an hour on.

    The rep you just explained the whole thing to – another hour passes by – says they will transfer you to the Loyalty Department (hahaha). They will explain the whole thing to them and then you all get on the line together and straighten it out. “Ya right.”

    You wait 5-10 minutes on hold and then they transfer you to the Loyalty Department. Do they know all about this? They say, “I don’t know anything. What is your account number?” What!!!???

    You spend another 1/2 hour on the phone and they have no notes from any of the previous conversations you have had with them from all 3 times you have called in.

    I have 20 pages of notes. They have nothing.

    Should this company have so much control over phone, internet and TV service? Does this company actually train staff to SERVICE CLIENTS?

    No, this company doesn’t care about its clients. Doesn’t keep its promises. Can’t service its clients. And is only interested in squeezing $$.

    If you ever have the misfortune of having to deal with Bell, I highly recommend YOU RECORD ANY AND ALL conversations and tell them you are recording them.

    They say they are recording your conversation, but don’t always. In one instance, the rep said they checked the !RECORDING! order and made adjustments. The next one said there was no recording.
    And it goes on and on and on.

    BOTTOM LINE – when dealing with Bell, do not believe what you are told. They will not provide documentation on adjustments.

    I think it’s time to deal with the CRTC. Any bets they are in the pockets of Bell?

  38. Brian Adrian

    Mar 6 2015

    Here is the best one yet.

    I phoned Bell customer support (first mistake) for an issue with my PVR. I kid you not, the customer support person advised me to check Youtube for similar problems…and that was from tech support on the other end.

    I rest my case.

  39. Chrys

    Feb 9 2016

    I dropped my Bell services for all the same reasons as everyone else. Nothing new to report here.

    As one last middle finger gesture to Bell, I googled ‘dropped Bell’, I suppose, looking for a place to post my ‘leaving experience,’ which went in typical Bell fashion. In doing so, I came across this post of yours from 2007.

    It struck me that I had absolutely made the right decision. Why? Because here we are in 2016 and things with Bell are no better than they were back then. Bell has managed to somehow make your post as relevant today as it was almost a decade ago.

    So for anyone who is considering leaving Bell (and perhaps getting an earful of how they are working to make things better), take this lesson with you. They are changing nothing other than their pricing. Even if you end up paying a bit more with someone else, for quality of service it’s more than worth it.

    Back to my leaving experience. Feb 9, 2016

    Called to cancel my services with Bell. Got passed to the ‘Loyalty’ department. I recorded the conversation… (condensed)

    Rep: This is ******* with Bell Loyalty department how can I help?

    Me: Yes, good morning. I’m calling to cancel my Bell services.

    Rep: Really? Well, we can help you with that. *short pause* So why are you cancelling your services today?..(not enough time to respond even if I wanted to)…Have you gone with another service provider?

    Me: I just want to cancel my services today.

    Rep: Yes, I know, but I’d like to know why you are cancelling and who you have gone with.

    Me: I don’t think you have a legal right to ask me that do you? I just want to cancel my services.

    Rep: Oh, sorry, I didn’t know this was a legal conversation.

    Me: Would you be so kind as to put me through to someone else, or a supervisor?

    Rep: Uh, yeah, I can’t do that. There is no supervisor and if you want to talk to someone else you will have to call back.

    ******I hung up and called back*********

    Rep: Good morning, This is ***** thank you for choosing Bell, how may I help you?

    Me: Hello, yes, I am calling this morning to cancel my services.

    Rep: Sure, we can help you with that – May I ask why you are cancelling your services with Bell?

    Me: I don’t want them anymore.

    Rep: Have you gone with a different service provider?

    Me: I don’t understand why you would ask that.

    Rep: Well, we always ask. Most people don’t have an issue telling us.

    *awkward pause* (I’m waiting for him to get on with my request.)

    Rep: So, can you tell me why you are cancelling?

    Me: I’m not really sure how to make it any clearer. I quite simply no longer want these services.

    Rep: Ok then – we can take care of that for you…

    As a side note: I found putting the phone onto ‘speaker’ during the 2nd rep’s opening line not only produced am immediate change in his tone, but also yielded me far better/faster results.

    ————————————————————
    No prorating allowed even though I’m cancelling in the middle of a billing period, but I don’t care. They are gone and I am finally free of Bell.