Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dealing with Bell Canada is Like Having Broken Glass Ground Into My Eyes

I notice that Bell's Internet television service is advertised more and my blog post on it gets a fair amount of traffic.  We've had Bell Fibe service for over two years now.  In addition, we have our Internet, home telephone, and voicemail services.  I used to also have my mobile device plan with them, but left them as soon as my contract was up due to the inflexibility of their plans, their highest in Toronto (if not all of Canada) rates, and their poor customer loyalty rewards.

Having been a Bell customer for years, I have dealt with their customer many times.  For years my dealings with them were fine.  I had heard that their customer service was poor, but had not encountered. I even participated in a focus group for Bell and was the only person in the panel that didn't end up using the session to gripe about the Bell's many service crimes.

It was only once we got Bell Fibe, however, that my dealings with Bell's customer service were so horrible that indeed dealing with them is like having broken glass ground into one's eye balls.

My prior blog post on Bell's Fibe TV covered how they fraudulently promised me one price for two years and then failed to honour that agreement.  In my experience with Bell, they never put their pricing promises in writing, so even though I had notes on their promises they refused to honour them.  They did, however, offer me a new (much less good) deal, so I stuck with Bell.

I also had problems with the Bell Fibe remote which has never worked properly. After 3 calls to customer service to try and get it working and no resolution, I finally gave up on this comparatively minor issue.

But my dealings over the past few months are so horrible that I truly believe there couldn't possibly be a company with worst customer service in Canada than Bell.

When we moved homes recently, we simply wanted to transfer our services from one place to the next.  I've done this in the past and I'm sure Bell must encounter this daily, yet it seemed just too much for Bell.

I'll shorten the epic horrible saga of my Bell woes. Granted, our home had some
unique challenges (as every home must) but really nothing that should have provoked such an ordeal.

To condense the problems, we had to have Bell crews come to our house four or five times. In almost every case, they didn't come at the time they said they would (earlier or later) even though they give themselves a big hours-long window.  Almost every technician had something different to say and none of them followed up on their promises to connect our service.

So this required me to call endless times to try and get our service up. I had to call at least 1-3 times every single day for 2 straight weeks.  Each call took anywhere from half and hour to 3 hours.

Almost every single would be transferred.  Every time a call was transferred, the person transferring me would not inform the person whom I was being transferred to of my situation, so I would have to repeat my story.  Apparently, Bell is not capable with all their apparent technology and significant employees numbers, to able customer information into a computer file either as every other company in most of the Western world has been able to do for about 30 years now.

Also Bell, once a leader in telephone services, seems to not be able to put people on hold or transfer calls without disconnecting. It happened so many times that Bell's customer service agents would hang up on me that I made the agents promise me that they wouldn't do this again.  Another promise, of many, that Bell didn't keep.

Considering that vast amount of time it takes to get a hold of anyone that has a remote clue on what to do, getting disconnected is not only incredibly rude but wastes even more of my time.  But truly, unless they were hanging up on me on purpose rather than dealing with my case (a distinct possibly) it means that Bell hasn't perfected the technology handling telephone calls.  Rather unbelievable but from my experience a daily occurrence.

Escalating problems to managers did no better.  Although they would claim to solve my problem and to follow-up on my behalf - they dropped the ball just as much as their call-centre employees. They were just more conciliatory in tone.

After an incredible amount of frustration, we finally got one very-nice and intelligent service agent that solved most of our problems rather quickly.  We also got a manager that did give us a small rebate as a gesture of their many errors.

The Bell Fibe service, although expensive, is rather good.  It does can out for hours at a time every couple months or so. But otherwise, it is a cool service.

Considering the living hell Bell put me through over months (and this is a condensed account) however, I can't wait to switch to another service. But I have heard that the only alternative available, Rogers, isn't much better.

I'd love to hear from anyone that has advice on television, Internet, and home telephone service that offers comparable products and at least slightly less horrendous and disdainful customer service...

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