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.
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.