The devil is in the details and why I will never go back to Bell

They say that the devil is in the details and it sure is when it comes to customer-service-blind, cash-grabbing Bell Canada.

Years ago, after a previous frustrating experience with Bell, I actually went back to the telecommunications company that Canadians used to affectionately refer to as “Ma Bell.” (note that we rarely hear this term anymore).

I stuck with Bell, perhaps out of a loyalty born from affection for an enduring Canadian icon and because I didn’t want to lose my long-time email address. But these days, my family watches most of its video entertainment through our Internet connection. Often, our Bell connection was slowing and our movies were becoming unwatchable. At the same time, we were having to pay Bell more money seemingly every few months so that we could extend our data usage limit to match our increasing needs.

A simple service bell: Bell seems to have forgotten the meaning that this bell symbolizes.

A simple service bell: Bell seems to have forgotten the meaning that this bell symbolizes.

Naturally, I called Bell to upgrade to a bigger bandwidth, but I was told that Bell doesn’t have the infrastructure in my neighbourhood to boost my data download speeds.

Disappointed, I reluctantly switched both my phone and Internet to cable Internet provider Cogeco. Cogeco provides blazingly fast speeds and very high download limits as well as unlimited long distance phone calls in Canada for a price that is a lot more reasonable than Bell and its increasingly expensive bills.

Despite losing my email address of the last 15 years, I was very happy with my decision—until this morning. That’s when I found out that the small print on my Bell contract stipulated that I must call Bell to cancel my services 30 days before doing so. Indeed, it’s not enough to have Cogeco make the switch for the customer. Customers must also call Bell and cancel.

Bell has sent me a notice that I now owe it almost $300 for services that I did not use. And I have to pay up or ruin my credit rating. I could it fight it, but I’m sure I’d lose—because I didn’t read the fine print on the contract. Sure, Cogeco didn’t warn me that I had to cancel with Bell (or at least I don’t recall it doing so, but I’m not going to shift the blame to that fine service provider).

It’s my own fault. And I will pay up. But I will tell you this: I will never switch back to Bell and I will share with as many people as I can my awful experience with Bell. Before this incident, I was with Bell for the better part of 20 years.

As I had done before, I might have gone back to Bell. If Bell had exercised some prudent customer service sense, the company might have eventually, as it has done in the past,  recouped by 100-fold or more the nearly $300 it has demanded from me today.

But not now. Not ever.

Goodbye, Bell.



About teachingteacher

Business communications instructor, journalist, corporate communications writer and media trainer ... and Masters Candidate M.Ad.Ed.
This entry was posted in Bell Canada Complaints, Conflict Resolution, Internet Service Provider Complaints and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The devil is in the details and why I will never go back to Bell

  1. sageflowers says:

    Bleurg, sorry you got caught by that bullshit small print! I’m currently up to Bell shenanigans trying to get back a $200 deposit… which they deposited to someone else’s account and then “couldn’t find.”

  2. Good luck in your quest, Sageflowers. Hopefully, your battle will be more winnable than mine.

  3. Lorraine Godden says:

    Yep. I hear you about Bell. We paid $200 deposit too. They are still refusing to accept we paid, even though we have presented them with a copy of the bank draft showing their bank stamp on the reverse from the processing and their cashing of the cheque! Our options to move are a little more limited as we live in the boonies, but the minute we move to an area with an alternative provider…Bell will be toast. We will never go back either!

  4. Lewis Jones says:

    I have had very similar experiences, they require you (the customer) to do much of the work to actually cancel a plan, or switch the owners name on the account. For the biggest provider in canada, Bell sure has made it’s customers hate them. Yet it protects itself with these fine print fees!!

  5. Harvey Armstrong says:

    Good for fighting back. I am with bell for several services, but I am completely happy with them either. Good on you as the Aussies say.

  6. James Potts says:

    Anyway you could use your past experience as a writer to leverage them into not going through with the charges? I’m sure you could stir up enough shit with their publicity, certainly 300 dollars worth – if you were inclined to. These contracts are disgusting, usually pretty ironclad though, which is unfortunate. On the mobile end their termed plans are a nightmare, my old flip-phone from 2007 (which I had until this summer) was costing me as much as my current smart phone plan (with Koodo). The “internet service” I was paying for on the flip had led to a defunct website anytime I tried to use it during the last two years.

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