Bell Canada / customer service
Since the day I called Bell Canada to advise we were moving I have had nothing but bad service and experienced one mess up after another. I called to 1.report an address change, 2. cancel my land line and 3. find
out how much it would be for internet only. My first call began at the end of
August. When I called to change my address I went through an automated system and waited for a representative for almost 10 minutes. Since I work everyday cannot be on the phone all the time so I had to try back later. I called at different times of the day, but the wait times were always very long which made it very annoying and difficult to do what I thought was going to be a simple phone call. This happened several times over the first couple of weeks in September. When I did get to speak to someone she said she updated my address, and then said she had to transfer my call to someone else responsible for cancelling our phone line. After waiting and being transferred I was asked the same information over again and had to repeat the address change because I was told the first representative didn't update it properly. The representative asked why I wasn't keeping the phone line, which I explained to him. We have cell phones and only had the land line because we lived in a secure apartment building. The apartment building had intercom access which required a land line. Once we moved on Oct 1/08 we wouldn't need it. The representative told me my phone would be disconnected October 1/08 when we moved, but I'd have to pay for the service until October 18, 2008 because I hadn't called 30 days in advance. I explained that I had repeatedly tried to call but couldn't get through. He said that was unfortunate but it was Bell's policy and I should have tried to call back until I spoke with someone, therefore I would have to pay for the service until October 18/08 regardless. I asked him if I had to pay for a reconnection fee at the new address if I kept the land line. He said I wouldn't, so I requested that the phone line be transferred to the new address and then disconnected at the end of 30 days (October 18/08). He told me the phone line would be switched over on Friday October 26/08. He confirmed that there would be no interruption in the service and that we would have internet and phone access.
On Monday October 29/08 we still had no phone at the new address so I began the bothersome task of trying to get through to a representative again to find out what happened. When I finally got through, the representative apologized because the phone line was still set up at the old address. I was annoyed because the previous representative screwed up, but also concerned because there were new tenants moving into the old apartment. I was worried about any possible charges to my phone number. I talked to the representative about this and he assured me that I wouldn't be charged for any calls and that I could check my bill when I got it. He said my phone would be transferred in 5 business days. I asked if they could do it sooner since it was Bell's mistake, but I was told that wasn't possible. I also asked if I had to pay for service for 5 days when I wasn't receiving it, and he said I had to. I told him that didn't make sense because it was an error on behalf of Bell Canada. When I asked if there was someone else I could speak to I was told there was nothing anyone else could do either. I was very irritated and began obtaining quotes from other companies to switch our internet service.
Again I had the onerous task of calling Bell. I was sick of dealing with the company so I decided to have the internet cancelled on October 18/08 in addition to the phone line. If the representatives couldn't process simple requests like change an address or arrange connection/reconnection then I didn't want to deal with them. At that point none of the representatives showed an initiative or interest in trying to retain business. I just wanted to pay for the 30 days of poor service and cut my losses.
Within a couple of days after requesting cancellation of all services at our new address I received a call from a very rude Bell representative asking when I was going to pay my bill. I told him I would pay it when I received my bill. He persisted in telling me my bill had to be paid which I assured him it would be once I received a statement. (I later found out that on Oct. 24/08 my statement had been sent to the wrong address.)
It wasn't very long after that I received another call from a Bell
representative who said he was from Bell Loyalty. I actually thought it was a joke considering the service I had received up to that point. I couldn't
understand why I would be harassed by someone trying to collect payments before the bill was issued and then receive a call from someone trying to retain business. I recounted my bad experiences and how much time I had wasted on the phone over this. The 'Loyalty' rep apologized and said Bell valued our business. I asked if there was anything he could do about reversing some of the charges, since we had gone without services due to their error. He said that wasn't possible, but he offered us faster internet, discounts on our bills and a number of other services which I hadn't asked for. It's incredible that many Bell employees are unable to reverse charges when services were not provided. It's unbelievable that they don't assist customers in speaking to someone who can assist them in order to keep their customers. I would think it easier to retain an existing customer, than try to obtain new ones. I compared the prices the 'Loyalty' representative provided which came as a package if we kept the land line and internet. It was comparable to the quotes I had obtained and he assured me that I would have no further problems with our service. Based on that I agreed to keep the land line and internet. During our conversation I told him about the representatives I had dealt with prior to him and that I had requested the internet and phone be disconnected on the 18th. He said that request was cancelled and he promised me that there would be no interruption in the service.
On Oct 18th I was unable to sign on the internet. I wondered
if it was my computer so I made a trip to the library after work to use a
computer. When I tried to check my email, I received the message that my account had been closed. I started calling Bell again, but couldn't get through. Then I drove to a Bell store and the employee directed me to a self service phone to get some assistance. After being on hold for almost 20 minutes and speaking to a representative she disconnected the call. I was in disbelief that this was happening again. Before I hung up I asked another employee (Sandra Beresh) to check the line to determine if it had really been disconnected. She confirmed that it had been. Not knowing how angry I was at this point with every interaction I had experienced she suggested try again. At that point I had to leave the store before I exploded in anger. I have been in customer service for over 20 years and had higher expectations than this from a company that claimed they wanted to keep my business.
When I returned to the store Sandra apologized to me for the problems I have experienced and arranged to have the internet reconnected. Somehow the 'Loyalty' representative who promised the internet and phone line would not be cancelled and offered me the great deals, managed to keep the phone line open but the internet was still cancelled on the 18th.
Out of all the employees I had dealt with she somehow managed to have the
internet and email up again within 3 hours. How is it she could do that, but
other employees cannot change addresses correctly? Arrange to disconnect/reconnect services when they say they will? Transfer calls without disconnecting the customer? Reverse service charges? Harass customers for payment of bills before the bill is even received?
The time spent dealing with Bell was ridiculous not to mention frustrating. This is all because of a simple move. Customers do this everyday. It should be routine, however I had to make repeated phone calls, the frustration of being disconnected on several occasions, the inconvenience of driving around using other computers because of Bell, having to visit a store to try and get better service...the whole experience is very frustrating.
I emailed Sandra Beresh and asked to speak to a Manager or someone with some authority who could provide some meaningful compensation for the lack of service Bell's employees in general have provided. She responded to my request, stating that she forwarded my email to her manager. After one week I hadn’t heard from anyone so I sent her another email to find out how long it takes for someone to respond to a customer enquiry. She stated that there is no set timeframe, but assured me that she had sent her manager the email and also let her manager know that I was expecting a call. After a couple more emails and no response I made arrangements to switch all services to another company and called Bell to cancel service. Within, two business days I again received a call from collections threatening to suspend service. Once I asked the collector to not only suspend it, just cancel it immediately…he wouldn’t. He said I had to call a different number. I refused to call and wait on the phone for another ½ hour so I asked for a manager. He told me I couldn’t speak to one. When he realized he wasn’t going to get anywhere with me, he put a manager on the line. The manager was rude and disconnected the call.
I have been a customer with Bell Canada since 1988 and always paid my bills in full and on time. Until October 2008 I had never had an overdue account. They are unwilling to provide any compensation and it is impossible to even speak to a manager who will assist. If anyone knows who to file a complaint with that will get me anywhere with this company, I’d love to know about it.
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