Bloody Bell

October 27th, 2006 by Potato

So I just finished telling someone that I was going to stick with Bell rather than Rogers for my phone service because there just wasn’t any price advantage with Rogers for a basic line, and that I had excellent service/sales reps with Bell the last 4 or 5 times I had to call.

The process of moving my line however, is making me reconsider that.

For those that don’t know, I’m going to be moving out of my halfway-to-res (including food fights in the hallways and monthly fire drills!) apartment into a very nice looking house that’s closer to the hospital. That’ll happen around the end of November. I had heard rumours that you could get stuck with last-minute hassles if you don’t give the phone/cable/hydro companies at least 30 days notice of your move, so last week sometime I called and let them know.

The first call went smoothly enough: “Sure thing, November 27, we’ll move that line over for you and it’ll be operating at the new address around 8 am, guaranteed by 5 pm. Would you like wiring insurance for the new place?”

Then, they call back a few days later and were very rude to Wayfare (her summary “hey bitch, you called me!”), and demanded that I call them back without really saying why. When I called back I got a pleasant person who explained that there was a problem with my move order because there was a line already in use there without a move-out order. I said “Hey, it’s a month away, but trust me, they’re moving.” Then I kinda put my foot in my mouth just a little bit by giving them more information than their tiny brains can handle “They should be moving out on the 18th, and I’ll move in the 27th or so.” “Ok sir, I’ve changed your order to move the 18th now.” “Whoa! No! Bad phone monkey! Keep it the 27th of November [at this point I still wasn’t sure of the date we’d move, and figured later was better than early, since we’d probably have to spend a fair bit of time cleaning/painting/repairing the old place after we moved]” “Ok, November 27th it is…”

Sure enough, today, October 27th rolls around aaaaaaaand my phone’s been cut off. The message when I pick up says the phone can only be used to call Bell at 310-BELL, so I do. After dealing with “Emily” I get a tech who speaks very little english with a heavy Indian accent and a fuzzy phone connection. She says that it shows on her screen that my order to move is for November 27th, and also that my line’s been cut off. No idea why that might be, but she can’t do anything about it… I need to call back in the morning for the day staff.

Grr… what happened to leaving a few people on the phones at night with the power to actually do something?

Update: I phoned in this morning, and got a decent person. Turns out the move is November 27, but the cut-off date had been mistakenly entered as October 27. To turn it back on, all they have to do is flip a switch in the central office, which I’m told will happen today… but Wayfare’s having conniption fits because she’s got an important teleconference at 1…

3 Responses to “Bloody Bell”

  1. Netbug Says:

    Bell is bad.

    I work for Rogers so I’m biased, but… but.. but… BELL IS BAD!

    Whenever I have to call Bell for a client it’s a pain in the ass. They suck!

    Switch to Rogers. You’ll get a discount anyways because you have the net with them and you’ll get the line for $19.99 for the first 6 months anyways.

  2. Potato Says:

    I’m getting the impression that there are very different fiefdoms inside Bell. The phone customer service/long distance/billing arm is actually excellent, although only available 8-5. Their tech people though…

    We called every hour or so this morning, starting around 10 am. They apologized (though there wasn’t as much grovelling as I would have hoped) and started the slow process of getting reconnected. However, Wayfare was freaking out because of the conference call, so we kept calling back. At one point, an engineer said that we already were reconnected, and suggested I unplug my phones for a while (needless to say, that didn’t do anything). Wayfare called again and got a somewhat helpful person who got us reconnected about 10 minutes after that call (so we had phones again a little after noon). It was strange, the person Wayfare got was sympathetic to her upcoming conference call, and said she was going to call the switch people right away, and in the process just hung up on Wayfare. It worked though, so I’ll take a hangup :)

    I’m getting more faith in the Rogers phone service as time goes on; for a while I was really worried that Rogers couldn’t handle it (my cable and internet go on the fritz every month or two, and I wouldn’t want the phones to go with them). But it’s still just too expensive for a basic line: even the first 6 month introductory pricing is more than I pay (even with the bundling discount; if you add in the extra discount I’ll get for Internet and cable, it will be $2/mo cheaper for the first 6 months, then $8/mo more afterwards). Part of the issue is that Rogers has Ontario-wide uniform pricing, while Bell has different rates for different markets, and London just happens to be the very cheapest one. Toronto is a few dollars more, so it comes out pretty close (and since my parents have a few phone features, it might make sense for them).

    [My math, for the curious: my POTS phone line is $18.50 + $4.50 Network charge + $.19 911 + $2.80 Touch-Tone + $12 for 1200 evening/weekend LD minutes; total is $37.97 before tax. Rogers looks like it will run $29.95 + $4.25 System Access Fee + $18 for the exact same evenings/weekends long distance plan; total is $52.20 before tax. Bundling will get me another $4 off my current bill, plus 5-10% off the phone part. People who actually use add-ons like call display can save more, since Rogers is $2-5 less for each of those; the more you “need”, the cheaper Rogers gets. Personally, I’m a phone luddite: I don’t like call display because I always feel guilty and answer it even if I know it’s a telemarketer, and quite often it just gives me unknown name/number when people call and don’t leave messages, which drives me crazy. I’d rather not know anyone tried to reach me in the first place. I find call waiting annoying — I don’t like getting beeped and interrupted by telemarketers, and people who really need to get through to me can always email me or call my cell to get me off the phone. I perfer a real answering machine to call answer, both because it’s easier to change the outgoing message (though I don’t play around with that much any more because I’m a grown up), I can keep messages for more than 5 days, and it’s cheaper in the long run; as for messages while talking, see above.]

    I’ve heard stories about the switch that went bad from both sides: people who’ve gone to Rogers and had to wait months while Bell stone-walled the switch. Other people had Rogers come in for the install, plop the modem down in the middle of the family room, cut (not just disconnect) the Bell feed… Makes we want to train a carrier pigeon, just in case. I wonder how hard an aviary is to build in the attic…

  3. Robin Says:

    I work for Rogers home phone tech support…the exact people that you will call when you switch from Bell to Rogers and it doesn’t go smoothly. You would expect that a simple moving of a home phone account really couldn’t be that hard. But the thing is that it just takes one person to mess the whole thing up and make you loose service all together. My advise to you woul dbe to call Bell back again about a week before you have booked your move date, and just make sure that everything is still set up properly…it will save you time in the long run. But my over-al advise is get rid of your home phone all together, a few more years and eveyone will be using their cells as their home phones. (and never yell at tech support!!! we’re not bad people, it’s just stupid policys that ruin our job and your lives)