Moving-Related Goodness: Why Bell Sucks

Last Updated on: 24th November 2012, 09:19 am

So yeah. Hi there. Ya miss me? I’m still alive, although my brain feels like it’s been run over, squished and pounded into new and creative shapes. I’m starting to settle in…which feels good after the last little while we’ve had. Here are some things Steve and I have been thinking about to do with moving/getting used to our new home.

If you’ve been talking to us on Twitter, you know our move…pretty much honked. We’ll write an epic post describing our “professional movers” (yes those quotes are there for a reason) that we had the misfortune of hiring, but that’s it’s own post. Even if we didn’t have that royal mess, our settling in period wasn’t exactly what you’d call smooth.

Let’s start with Bell, because Bell also needs a burial. When we got here, and found our jacks didn’t work, we called them. The soonest they could send someone was Tuesday. Tuesday! This was Sunday when we called, and Saturday when things were supposed to be activated. So, we had to use our cellphones as our only phone, and could not activate our buzzer until 3 days after we had moved. You would think, when someone’s moving, you want to get their services up and kickin’ as soon as possible.

Bell was all sure that they could activate the jacks remotely. Hahahahahahahhaa! It’s hard to do that when the previous tenant in this apartment has switched to Rogers Home Phone, and when you do that Rogers cuts the Bell line so they can put their own stuff in there. Pretty sure you’re going to need to send a dude there, fellas.

When dude showed up, he was a nice dude and got our phone up and working…which was a relief. We thought we were all happily done with trouble with Bell.

How about no?

A few days later, we noticed that that part of Call Answer that lets you pick up the phone and listen to people as they are leaving a voicemail, or intercept their call to voicemail and talk to them, wasn’t working. I figured this was just a simple fix.

How about no?

I called 310-Bell to listen to the help for calling features, thinking I just had to dial a * code and turn it on or something. I immediately noticed that something wasn’t right. Somehow, when we had gotten this number, the person who had given it to us hadn’t fully released it from belonging to its previous owner. So, Emily, the chirpy automated service bot, kept asking me if I want to make payments on a final bill. Final…bill? Then I noticed that when I would dial *611, which is Bell Repair, I would just get transferred to some random department. Sometimes credit, sometimes new service activation. And sometimes, even though I would specify I need English, I’d get dumped on the head of a French only agent!

When I would get the proper person, they didn’t know what the hell I was talking about. I had to resort to reading from their own user’s guide before they’d believe me that this was a service that Bell offered.

While I was waiting to call Bell, I got a call from our old super. “Excuse me, we’re still getting mail for you, from Bell!” Uh? Another thing to ask about. It seems that ever since Steve moved to that basement apartment years ago, they’re a fan of leaving that address on the bills, as well as the next address…and they had continued doing that even when we had moved from that apartment, even though we had kinda told them where we were going since we wanted phone service.

I lost count of the number of calls I made into Bell to fix the eency weency problem we had, and verify that in fact we weren’t going to lose bell service or that they had our correct address to send our phone bills. I don’t think I’m exaggerating if I said I made 25 or 30 calls. This wasn’t helped by agents randomly hanging up on me when trying to put me on hold, refusing to talk to me even though I’m authorized to talk to them, or not calling me back when they said they would. When they did call me back, allegedly to test the message manager feature that was broken, they would test the wrong feature! Or, another agent, realizing how frustrated I was, would explain my whole problem to another agent, at which point the second agent would respond with a totally different problem.
Agent a: So…people call in and she can’t listen to their message as they’re leaving it and intercept their call. Got it? Ok, bye.
Agent b: Ok, so the other agent tells me you can’t retrieve your voicemail?


This brings me to yet another question I’ve had for years. Why the hell do a lot of tech support people even bother with tickets? The way I understand tickets is this: Tickets allow you to track the progress of an issue. You can see the steps previous techs have taken, you can read about the problem so the customer doesn’t have to explain it for the million jillion trillionth time. Not with these individuals. I would read my ticket number, at which point the tech would say “What’s the problem?” and proceed to do the exact same steps that the last 12 techs had done, even though it was written up in the ticket!

Since 310-bell was so epically broken, I eventually resorted to calling the Bell executive customer service resolution centre…a number that didn’t come easily. I had heard that if you call that number, they will make sure they resolve your problem in one shot.

How about no? This is becoming a theme, eh?

I think I had to call that number 4 times…but when the woman on the fourth call saw how many agents I had been through, she understood why I was damn near going postal. I told her if they couldn’t fix this, because of the mountain of incompetence I had experienced, I would be looking into alternative phone companies. She said this *would* be resolved, and she would follow up with me.

How about…well…?

A couple of days later, without any calls back, our services worked! Yeah, ok guys, that bull crap about this service only happens if you have a built-in answering machine, total garbage. You can go back to school now. But I never got a call back from this woman, and last time I checked, Emily’s still telling me to pay my final bill. So until that all resolves, I’ll be kinda nervous.

So…if you’ve been around and around with 310-bell, here’s a nice happy number for you to try. 1-866-317-3382
Don’t call that right away, definitely give the regular reps a shot. But it’s nice to know that this one was here…because in the end, I think that’s what got our stuff resolved. But I never got a call back.

Oh my! I do have more to say about the move, but I think this Bell thing has just morphed into a post of its own. The moral of the story is we’re still thinking about a new phone company. I really don’t want Rogers Home Phone, but I wonder about other options. This isn’t our first go-round with Bell’s incompotence. There’s this one, and this post and this masterpiece from 8 years ago. They’re only getting worse, and they need to stop feeling so complacent.

So yeah, I’ll put this up…and then continue with the rest of my moving thoughts. Sheesh! This is a monster!

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  1. “Steve, the Bell guy wants to talk to you. they say they need the primary account holder.”

    “Why? Your name is on the account as an authorized person.”

    “I don’t know, the guy just says they want to speak to the primary account holder.”

    “No, they don’t want to speak to him. They may *think* they want to speak to him, but believe me, they don’t.”

    Steve walks towards the phone as Carin goes back to tell them I’m coming.

    “They mustn’t want you that badly. Idiot just hung up in my ear.”

    the one phrase that will stick with me forever from this ordeal is “If need be, I authorize you to kill some bitches.

    1. Oh and many many bitches were killed. French bitches and English bitches and credit bitches and new business bitches and repair bitches…and…bitches! There was much bitch-death that Friday. I think my phrase out of this, spoken to the executive resolution centre was “Bear in mind, before we begin, this is my fourth call in to the Bell Resolution Centre. I am seriously contemplating switching phone companies if this soon isn’t resolved.” Oh yeah, I guess executive customer service resolution centre bitches were also killed.

      1. Forget contemplating. When we find a good alternative, there will certainly be a phone company switch. I’ve had enough. I’m at the point where I’d almost be willing to pay a little more to not have to deal with such a high level of incompetence. It’s not worth it anymore. But I bet we can find something cheaper. Even with the sweetheart deal they gave us one of the other times they fucked up, we’re still paying about $100 a month with all the price increases they’ve laid on us since then.

        1. If you’re looking to save some $, go TekSavvy. Yeah, okay, so they’ll still be using either Bell’s or rogers’s equipment–depending entirely on which phone infrastructure you plan to use. But it’ll likely end up cheaper. Then the only poor saps who’ll have to worry about trouble tickets and moronic bell techs are the poor TekSavvy employees.

          Sadly, either going with Bell/Rogers or going with a company that resells Bell/Rogers services is gonna be your only real choice. Bright side, though? You guys are in driving distance of the TekSavvy call center. So I mean, if you really had to force the issue…

          1. Interesting. I didn’t know TekSavvy offered phone service. I’d only ever heard their name as an ISP. And far as I’m concerned, they can resell the shit out of Bell’s infrastructure. Those aren’t the lines that usually have trouble. the biggest problem is the line between my mouth and the ears/brain of the clue desert on the other end when I do want or need something.

            Thanks for the tip. I’ll look into that.

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