Bell is a lot of things, many of them not overly positive. One of those things, and you can take this however you’d like, is consistent.
Today, I finally did it. I cancelled our Bell service. It’s been a long time coming, much longer than the date on this post would suggest. It feels pretty good to finally have the deed done…or mostly done, I should say. They still have to turn it off at the end of today and I still have to pay the final bill once they tell me how much it is, but that’s all that’s left.
But as good as it feels, I’m still a touch angry. why? Because Bell is consistent, that’s why. They just couldn’t help being Bell. They treated me like an asshole on the way out, because it’s tradition.
The agent I spoke to was a complete tool. I wish I had the call recorded, because if ever comes the day I need to master a talk down to somebody like a dink voice I’d have myself a perfect audio tutorial. Before him I don’t think I’ve ever heard somebody sound quite that condescending, angry and pouty at the same time, but this guy nailed it. He took what should have been an unavoidably negative yet still simple situation and tried to turn it into an argument and a guilt trip.
It started out the way you’d expect. He asked me why I was wanting to cancel. I responded honestly by asking how much time he had, because I had a lot to say if he’d like to hear it. He said he was interested, so I told him one of the many stories we’ve gone over here. It was then that things began to fall apart. He said “I’d like to help you if you’d give me a reason for your wanting to cancel.” I responded by telling him another story, which he answered by saying that he’d definitely help me out if only I’d be specific. So I told him yet another tale of woe similar to the previous two, the moral being that I’m tired of being jerked around by awful customer service at every turn and paying for the privilege. He still didn’t get it, so I kept going. Then things really got interesting. I told him about that time they screwed up our service activation and kept routing our calls to the wrong department, complete with the part about how we’d keep getting sent to French agents from the billing department when we were after English tech support. I was not prepared for his response.
“So you’re cancelling your service because you have something against French agents,” he asked?
“Um…no. That’s not at all what I said,” I replied, dumbfounded.
“Because those agents are bilingual and would be happy to speak to you in English,” he continued.
Oh really,” I asked, sensing the opening I needed. “Then why did they yell at my girlfriend when she was repeatedly transferred to them through no fault of her own? That I do have a problem with.”
A few ums and uhs later, he was quick to drop that line of reasoning and return to his old specific reasons deal. A good plan, since outright calling a customer a racist probably isn’t in the manual.
Finally, I’d had it.
“I’m sorry if I’m not being specific enough for you,” I told him. “But it’s hard to be specific when you’ve been through so much. If you need to put something down, I’m just done. I’m done with the general incompetence of this company. I don’t even care that I’m about to save $1250 a year. I can afford it. But I don’t need to deal with this anymore, and I’m not going to. I’m finished.”
Realizing even his superior level of wienery wasn’t going to talk me off this ledge, he gave me one more specific reasons, then finally proceeded to ask me when I’d like the service deactivated. And true to form, even that he had to be a peckerhead about.
“When would you like the service cancelled?”
“As soon as possible.”
“Would end of day today be good enough for you?”
And that, fortunately, was that…unless they still have a goodbye surprise up their sleeve, something you can’t rule out what with Bell being so consistent and whatnot.
So now that Bell is out of our hair for good, you might be wondering what we’re doing about the one buzzer, two phones problem.
After the first post I linked above, somebody sent along a nice little Google Voice trick. Nice, aside from the part where you can’t get a Google Voice number in Canada without jumping through a bunch of hoops. I jettisoned Bell in the hopes that my hoop jumping days would be over, so going through what I read that I’d have to go through with Google Voice just to get a stupid buzzer to ring two phones wasn’t going to happen.
There has to be a better answer to this, I thought. And I was right. Enter the fine folks at Easy Buzzer. For around $50 per year (a little more if you need/want to be able to do it with more than 2 phones), they’ll do exactly what we need.
And I can’t say enough nice things about Daniel, the creator and CEO of the company. Since me finding the service happened so easily and the description of it was so perfect, I thought I’d better send him the dreaded screenreader accessibility email before I got my hopes up too high. Generally, when you send one of those, one of three things happens. You get somebody who doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground but would like you to think otherwise, you’re sent a very corporate non-answer answer or you’re ignored entirely. But this time, a fourth thing happened. I got a response the same day, honestly admitting that while there were a few issues, he was actively looking to improve them. And he didn’t even try to pretend that he was all over it and already knew everything there was to know. He asked for feedback, help and resources to teach him more about accessibility. and so Carin and I are now giving him a hand. We’ve spent the last few days exchanging emails, and we’re now about to have a look at the changes he’s been working on. Basically, he’s the anti-Bell, somebody I look forward to doing business with.
One of us will hopefully have more to say about the Easy Buzzer experience soon, but for now it’s time to raise a frosty one in celebration of Bell’s removal from our existence. Cheers!