Bell vs Rogers

March 29 2007 by Ellen Roseman

Bell logo
Is Bell’s service worse than Rogers? Some readers think they’re the same: bureaucratic, prone to mistakes, inconsistent and quick to send accounts for collection. Both use voice recognition systems that people dislike.

But there are a few differences. Bell outsources many calls to India, while Rogers uses Canadian call centres.

Bell’s home phone business is regulated by the CRTC, while Rogers’ home phone business is not. So, there’s a mandatory $55 installation charges for Bell clients when they move, but not for Rogers clients.

Rogers is distrusted because of the negative option plan for cable TV channels it tried to impose back in the mid-1990s. But Rogers learned from that experience and tried harder.

Bell earned customers’ trust when it was a monopoly, but in the face of competition it’s aggressively cutting costs and lowering the quality of service. So people who still admire the company are shocked when they run into mediocre and insensitive treatment from employees.

114 comments

  1. Harry

    Jul 24 2011

    I was a customer with Bell until 2006 and had to cancel, since their internet drops every so often and made so many calls and to no avail.

    Our phone line went down and we called CSR and they promised to send a tech daily for 8 days. The CSRs were in India and one asked me “Can’t you be w/out phone for a week?”

    I switched to Rogers and I got a bill for $75 for sending a tech. I can’t explain the pain going through another wave of phone calls to get that charge to be dropped.

    I switched to Rogers and their service have been somewhat reasonably reliable, but their pricing kept going up while the internet cap kept coming down.

    I am not a download hog, but I got stumped when they charged me $5 for extra MB after 2GB blow up. In order to get a decent bundle, I have to pay more than $140/month.

    Now I am shopping around for a new guy to do business with. As for Bell & Rogers, they are like your two ex. Neither is better.

  2. Lynne

    Aug 21 2011

    The general concept seems to be: Bell sucks, Rogers sucks – which is the lesser of the evils or is there a better alternative?

    We have Rogers cable TV (one TV with a digital box), Rogers Internet, 2 separate Rogers phone lines (one upper level, one lower level), 1 pay as you go cellphone with Fido (yes, Fido is now Rogers but I’ve been with Fido forever and love it).

    I had Bell for 12 years at my condo in Mississauga (TV was satellite provided by the building), 2 or 3 hiccups were solved remotely with no hassle. The building wasn’t cabled for Rogers but eventually they did it and we all got a decent package so I switched. When I moved here, I brought my package with me.

    On July 17th, Internet, TV (the one with the Rogers box) and all phones went out. Tech came July 19th, did whatever, installed a new modem. Just after he left, it all went down again.

    Called Rogers and they said someone would come back after 8 p.m. At 8.30 p.m., I called again and they said, “Well, we didn’t promise, just said we’d try. Sorry, but no one’s coming – the next available appointment is Thursday afternoon.” Thursday???

    Insisted on speaking with a supervisor, who said someone would be here the following day (July 20th) and would call first. At 12.30 p.m., I called and got the news that my appointment was Thursday between 2 and 5.

    Called back and was told, “Well, we said we’d try, but everything is booked so we’ll only get to you today if there’s a cancellation. Make sure you’re by the phone (all day???)”.

    The fact that I couldn’t even get in the shower or go to the bathroom without the cellphone doesn’t matter to them at all.

    On Thursday, July 21st, a tech arrived, did whatever, said all was fine and left. Since then, we have had intermittent phone, Internet and tv, a few more tech visits, a new modem and a new cable line.

    The last tech said all was great, then all the TVs on the upper level went snowy and the one with the Rogers box was totally out.

    Called and got an appointment for August 20, after noon. Made sure they had noted to call my lower level phone number and made the woman repeat it back to me twice. Sat home and waited all afternoon.

    At 5.30 p.m., I called and was told the tech had called at 2.17, no answer … THEY HAD CALLED MY CELL PHONE, which I use rarely!!

    Got a supervisor and (not surprisingly) I was quite unpleasant. To top it off, my mother is 85 years old and in poor health. Her TV is her only pleasure and she’s been without for days.

    He promised a 10 day credit (yeah, right!) and will have a tech here next Tuesday, August 23rd.

    Either it’s fixed properly once and for all or we dump all Rogers services and go elsewhere. Five weeks of this nonsense is unbelievable!

  3. alf gamble

    Aug 25 2011

    I have Bell internet and useless Rogers cable. The service by Bell is excellent. Rogers is disgusting.

    The past 5 weeks we’ve had stoppages in the service. I do not know if this is weather related.

    We live in Mr. Rogers neighborhood, namely Scarborough. I suggest that Mr. Rogers rolls up his cardigan sleeves and
    fixes this problem.

  4. Michael

    Oct 21 2011

    The problem is that both Bell and Rogers suck. The service is variable from area to area and you often have to try both to see which one works better in your area.

  5. Brenda Lee

    Oct 26 2011

    I’m currently on Rogers and hate it — $400 a month, come on. The representative said, “I got a better deal for you. More minutes an long distance.”

    I replied, “I’m online lots!” He replied, “No problem, this plan will work best.”

    Well, the phone is great for a teen (free Facebook). I’m in my 40s and I do a lot of emailing.

    My plan was $70 a month, now $400+.

    Grrrrrrr, how come they just can’t be reliable and give you what you ask for? So stupid.

  6. ChelseaTrackedHer

    Nov 28 2011

    Bell is beyond ridiculous. I had phone service with them for years, never had a problem.

    Even when we got our internet and satellite TV, all was well…until we bought an HD TV and had a tech come out to install a new HD box.

    He charged us for two TVs (we only had the one) and it took eight or nine MONTHS of calling to finally get them to realize that yes, we only had one box, and to stop charging us for two.

    Towards the end, we actually got an honest rep who told us that our account was opened, but no changes were ever made. We were simply fobbed off with assurances that it would finally be fixed *this* time.

    Then our phone and internet started going out. Our neighbour had recently cut down some trees and the phone line must have been going through the branches, because afterward (around the time our service was going out frequently), we noticed a line visibly sagging.

    Maybe it wasn’t a Bell line at all, who knows, but the company wasn’t at all interested in fixing it.

    We’d already made up our minds to leave Bell, at least for TV and internet, but my boyfriend had been told by a Bell rep that he qualified for a new smart phone, and was interested in seeing what they had. It had been three years since his last upgrade and he was ready for a new phone.

    We walked into the Bell store and he told the rep that he was eligible for a full upgrade. The rep actually *sneered* at him and said something to the effect of “Oh really? We’ll have to see about that.”

    His attitude was condescending and very resistant to actually helping us at all. I wound up dragging my boyfriend out by the arm because I was afraid they were going to come to blows.

    We walked a few doors down to the Rogers store and walked out a short time later with two new phones (we switched our numbers over), a substantially lower bill and a good feeling about the company. We haven’t had any problems with them since.

    That was the Bell store at the Kingston Centre in Kingston, Ont., btw. It was not the first time we had received abysmal treatment there, so be careful.

    That was well over a year ago, and as many people have found out, Bell reacts like a crazed stalker once you succeed in leaving them.

    We get flyers and cards, which go directly into the trash, but more annoying are the constant calls (I’d say 4-6 a month at least) from reps trying to sweet-talk us into returning.

    Frankly, I would resort to two tin cans tied together with string before I would go back to that company. Is there any way to make them stop?!

    I have asked them, nicely and not-so-nicely, to just leave us in peace, and have actually considered changing our home phone number (which we also took to another company, although not Rogers), just to get them to stop calling.

    As for the CSRs…I do appreciate that Rogers is in Canada and hires Canadians. Bell obviously does not.

    Someone above me mentioned that there are a lot of new Canadians hired for the call centre jobs. I have nothing against new Canadians; neither my parents nor my boyfriend were born here, in fact.

    However, the people doing the hiring ought to realize that the ability to speak English clearly and fluently is a bona fide occupational qualification.

    Requiring that skill is no more discriminatory than hiring an able-bodied person to work in construction (rather than a quadriplegic).

  7. maria j,a, wennink

    Nov 29 2011

    i am thinking of changing over to Rogers after being a customer of Bell for 51 years.

    When i turn my laptop on, i can’t get through to the articles i want to watch on the internet, whether they are photos or videos.

    They cut me off in the middle of whatever i am doing and i just thoroughly dislike that! i see, oops, it’s gone!

  8. Joan Hazelwood

    Dec 8 2011

    I was fraudulently charged $2.50 by Rogers for a 411 call that I did not make. After calling a service representative, I was told there was no way I didn’t make the call (even though I’m 100% certain that I didn’t).

    Rogers would not reverse the charges. I wonder how many other people they are silently robbing each month in this disgusting way.

    No way will I be renewing my contract with this deceitful company.

  9. T Patrick

    Dec 15 2011

    Just had a Rogers salesman at my door offering me 1-87 channels for $10+tax. Seemed like a great deal after cancelling with Rogers 2 years ago.

    My cable went from $40 per month to $80 plus tax. A 100% markup — isn’t this illegal?

    The salesman looked me in the face and told me three times a lie. Didn’t tell me that the 87 channels were scattered all over, so the channels I expected I didn’t get.

    I called Rogers and told them to come get their box a week ago and still waiting for them to pick it up. I cancelled within 1 hour of getting the service.

    More people need to stop giving their money to corporate greed. Bell is just as bad and if you are on disability Bell doesn’t want anything to do with you.

  10. Peter Lesperance

    Jan 4 2012

    I have read the above and am shocked to be honest. I can agree with everything said about Bell.

    I called them when I first moved here and they gave me all these fantastic deals for satellite TV, but when it came time for the install no one showed up.

    I called and they said there is no order for such a thing, there is no order for a phone line etc. They ask do you have a reference number. To my loss, I had called from a motel room and lost the damn reference number.

    I gave up and called Rogers. They came when they said they would and they installed my phone cable and internet all in one.

    When I want to talk to a person through customer service, I go through a couple of menus and then talk to any person I want with no troubles at all.

    In fact, since Rogers found out I am on disability, the customer service agents have been all to kind every year. They do their best to give me all my services in the budget I have set.

    I have told them that if it goes over the limit, I can’t pay, so every year they find deals to keep me with my digital box and internet service and I am not talking basic stuff here.

    I have the VIP movie and the 100 GB internet service. This year, I got a faster modem and more GB added and I am still under budget.

    I have nothing but nice things to say about Rogers. Whenever I have had problems, they have always been quick to fix them. I have never been cut off for missing a bill here or there.

    SO some of the so called horror stories I have read about Rogers really surprised me.

    In any case, that is my experience with these two companies. The fact that Bell is also twice as expensive for phone service, it surprises me that they have any customers left.

  11. Martin

    Jan 4 2012

    I’ve never been more taken advantage of, ripped off or held hostage by any company other than Bell. They will never see my business again!

    Ordered a Bell business internet line and agreed to a contract that required me to commit to 12 months of service, otherwise face an ‘early cancellation penalty’ — fine.

    After 2.5 years of no issues and on-time payments, I no longer required the service and phoned to cancel. I was informed that I am only able to cancel within 30 days of the anniversary of the contract, regardless that I have already fulfilled the 12 month commitment.

    In fact, that commitment is automatically renewed, unless I cancel within that 30-day window every year.

    I swallowed that pill and waited 6 more months, continuing to pay for internet that I didn’t require just to avoid paying the exorbitant penalty.

    Finally, the anniversary date arrived and I phoned on Jan. 2 to cancel –closed!

    Waited until the next day (business day for all businesses) — Bell Business Services are still closed!

    Called on the 3rd day and at long last got through. Explained the ordeal to the rep, who had the audacity to ask if I’d care to subscribe to any other Bell services (who trains these people?).

    I was kept on hold, with the intermittent ‘we’ll just be a few moments longer’ for THIRTY minutes before the cancellation was processed.

    The final, and perhaps lowest, turn: After all this, I was informed that the cancellation would take 30 days, so I would still be charged for another month’s service!

    What a despicable way to do business. As I said, I’ve never felt more taken advantage of by a company in all my decades of dealing with thousands large and small businesses!

    Good riddance to Bell!

  12. KaDE!

    Jan 12 2012

    Hey guys! Check this out:

    [Switching to Freephoneline.ca? ” FREE and NOT A SCAM “]
    http://hardlyworkingtoronto.blogspot.com/

    I switched from Rogers Home Phone. They were charging me $32/month for a home phone without even Caller ID. Get freephoneline.ca it is absolutely free. It cost me $157 (one time fee) to get set up, which is equivalent to 5 months with Rogers. Check my link above- I provide details of my switch, or go to freephoneline.ca directly to read up.

    Peace,

    KaDE!

  13. Shrivasha

    Mar 17 2012

    Where do I begin to articulate the feeling of disappointment, regret and disgust with having a wireless phone with Rogers?

    I’ve lived in Toronto for some time and, against the advice of many I bought a phone from Rogers using a pay-as-you-go plan. Several months later, after considering the plans advertised at the time and the advice of a Rogers Customer Service Representative I took a 3 year plan which should have considerably reduce my monthly bill as the plan was “tailored to meet my particular calling need”. This was my first mistake.

    One month I received a bill for over $600. I called Rogers and, after navigating the seemingly treacherous labyrinth of options and waiting for what seemed like an eternity to actually speak to someone, I was finally able to explain my reasons for shock and confusion over my bill and asked for, at a minimum, a reasonable explanation and adjustment to these charges. To the CSR’s credit he did make what I considered a just and fair adjustment to the bill. However an explanation could not be provided as to many of the charges, only apologies, and a modification to my plan which should “prevent a re-occurrence” and would allow me to see “even more cost savings in my monthly bill”, to which I accepted. Mistake number 2.

    Months later I moved to Northern Ontario for work purposes taking my phone and, off course, my Rogers plan with me. I soon noticed an increase in my monthly bill and upon closer inspection discovered that I was being charged long distance fees for incoming calls. I also discovered that my ongoing plan, for which I was paying an additional fee for early evening calling, was already a part of the original plan and I was paying for this additional add-on unnecessarily. This was immediately corrected, although no refund was forthcoming as the CSR’s are apparently not authorized to make those adjustments. A long distance plan was recommended that would correct this problem as it would allow me to keep my 905 number while living in a 705 area, which is for the moment temporary presently my preference, to which I agreed. Mistake number 3. You would think that I would have learnt my lesson by now. I’ve also discovered that whenever you make a change to your plan during the course of your billing cycle you also have to pay month in advance, for reasons which are still beyond my comprehension. Now comes the proverbial straw.

    This month I received a bill from Rogers for over $760. Over $360 were long distance charges for incoming calls, over $100 for my original plan, and the rest were for outgoing long distance charges where “Roaming” fees are attached.

    I called Rogers on Sunday night, 11th March, seeking an explanation and a resolution to this bill. To her credit, the CSR was quite understanding, pleasant, knowledgeable of the details of my present plan and even expressed shock at my bill. She explained that the long distance plan I had (which was recommended by the Rogers Customer Service Representative) only covered Rogers-to-Rogers cell phones. It also did not address the charges for incoming long distance calls. She, however, couldn’t not explain why I was being charged roaming fees for outgoing calls as I assured her that my apartment building (where I was when I made those calls) was certainly stationary at the time. After over an hour and a half she indicated that she shall send a “note to the back office” and that someone would call me within 48 hours to update me as to the status of this bill. She also recommended changes to my plan which included:
    1. A long distance plan which was considerably more expensive than the original but I was assured would definitely the correct one, which we activated immediately and deactivated the original long distance add-on plan.
    2. Changes to my calling plan going from 300 minutes to 200 minutes with a My-10 as she was able to determine that based on my calling history and my present and foreseeable needs would be more than sufficient and ensure that my overall Rogers bill would be less than $100 per month. This was put in a note on my account to be activated at the beginning of my next billing cycle to avoid the additional ‘one month in advance fee’ that Rogers charges when making changes to your plan during your billing cycle.

    I called Rogers on Wednesday night (14th March) having not received any call from them within the promised 48 hours. The CSR indicated that according to her files a decision was already made, that the bill and the charges “were legitimate”, and though I was required to pay it in its entirety, she was willing to make some reasonable adjustments. I told her that I was both shocked and disappointed by the decision, particularly after outlining my conversation with the CSR of the 11th March, and immediately asked to speak to a Manager to which she acquiesced.

    The manager greeted me with “Hello Mr. Ramnasibsingh, I am told that you are not willing to accept a %50 adjustment to your bill?”. I immediately attempted to correct his error by informing him that no offer of made. After my second attempt to correct him and after putting me on hold he apologized for his error but then reiterated that my bill was indeed legitimate. I attempted to explain to him what my concerns were and my conversation with the CSR of the 11th to which he insisted that he already understood the circumstances of my bill and needed no further explanation. Despite incorrectly outlining my calling history and the conversations I’ve had with Rogers CSR on several occasions during our 30 minute conversation, he still could not give an explanation as to why such exorbitant charges were attached to my bill. Despite being, in my personal view, insistently argumentative and somewhat arrogant, said that Rogers are not responsible for these incoming charges as the Rogers CSRs only gave me ‘advice’ and it was my responsibility to accept it or not.

    After insisting he did not need any further input from me and that he was more than acquainted with the facts of my case, made an ‘offer’ to give me an adjustment to my bill for the next 6 months based on the details of ‘my plan’ which he proceeded to outline incorrectly. After several attempts I was able to explain to him his errors after which he proceeded to make a ‘final offer’ which, in totality, was less than the original. He claimed that he does not have the authority to make any changes to my present bill (a contradiction to my history with Rogers as well as his opening statement to our conversation). Upon request he also explained to me the cost terminate my plan with Rogers in its entirety so that I could switch to another service provider, which together with my bill, was simply unaffordable. I am now faced with this ridiculous bill with what seems like no option for recourse and no fair or just solution to my present predicament.

    All I request from Rogers is that they:
    1. Take ownership and responsibility for their poor advice which contributed to over $360 in long distance charges for incoming calls
    2. Provide an explanation as to why I am paying Roaming fees for long distance calls
    3. Provide an explanation why, all of a sudden, CSRs and Managers no longer have the authority to adjust the bills of a Rogers customer, but can seemingly negotiate only some charges to future bills for only a limited time, contradictory to even the conversation between myself and the Rogers ‘Manager’ on the night of the 14th March.
    4. Provide an explanation as to why, after my numerous attempts over the last year to work with Rogers, be reasonable in solution finding, trusting the advice to trained Rogers Representatives I am yet to receive a bill which remotely resembles my official wireless plan.
    5. Investigate my conversations with agents of Rogers on both the 11th and 14th March to determine the validity of my claims (all calls are recorded for ‘training purposes’), review my present bill and billing history to determine the validity of my concerns and that my present bill be reasonably adjusted prior to my stated bill date.

    Since I have been with Rogers I am yet to receive a phone bill for less than $100. It is my opinion based on my experiences to date that when someone is locked into a contract with Rogers, the service seems to mirror the formal definition of extortion (Illegal use of one’s official position or powers to obtain property, funds, or patronage; An excessive or exorbitant charge). Because of the cost I am being required to pay now and the stated cost of terminating my plan ($500 plus tax) I simply cannot afford to switch to Bell, where I have been assured by many present Bell customers is exceedingly better and free of the experiences I’ve had over the last year.

    I am seeking any assistance that can be rendered in finding a solution that would see the next couple of years not reflect my wireless experiences of the previous year with Rogers.

    I have since written a letter to the office of the president through Rogers’ website but based on my experiences to date I do not expect a resolution to my present situation nor a solution going forward.

    One thing’s for certain, I do not recommend Rogers wireless ‘plans’ to anyone. The actual phone service is, in my view, reliable. It’s everything else that has me feeling trapped, abused and in some respects violated after my last conversation with one of Rogers representatives. Believe me when I say it is simply not worth it. There isn’t a day that goes by that I do not regret my choice in wireless service providers. Can anyone say that they’ve had similar experiences with Bell?

  14. Thanh

    Jun 1 2012

    I finally gave up Bell about 1 year ago and made the nightmare switch to Rogers. Soon after, only when you leave, did Bell come with unbelievable concessions to keep my business. They don’t seem to make the effort to keep you once they have you as a customer.

    Rogers initally bungled the internet part of the billing, not honoring the 50% off for 3 months and would not fix the problem. They gave me a 20% discount for 12 months. This adjustment would come back later, upon terminating my contract, to haunt me.

    One month before the contract expired, I contacted their customer service # and was reassured of contract expiry dates for phone and net services. One month after the contract expiry dates, and after their new 2$ increase fee for EACH service you held with them, I decided to switch back to Bell. It was in my building and offering great deals.

    I waited a FULL month to terminate with Rogers to avoid any cancellation fee, as well coordinated the termination on my billying cycle to wrap up with a clean slate.

    I have numerous emails, phone calls and rep names, with reference numbers for all the interactions made with Rogers from inception to my intent to cancel their service.

    After, they sent a ‘final bill’ – inplying “contract breach.” Their rep would have mentioned to me when I made the arrangements and spoke to him about going on month by month billing, and that condition would have appeared on my first bill after expiry, which THEY automaticaly reinstated, regardless of my noted details.

    The 2nd escalated customer rep give me an ID # but never told me to speak to a manager next. After I contacted the office of the president, I’m told that is the procedure! that I would have to follow next time (as if I plan on going back to Rogers)! She offered a $30 goodwil settlement, which I absolutely refused to accept.

    Now I wait for a further escalation as of 1 June,’12. I plan on going all the way to the CCTS with this if I have to.

    http://www.ccts-cprst.ca/complaints