$350 Saved, But No Service Improvement

An update with my Internet service troubles …

My Bell Sympatico Internet service is still cutting out periodically, so I called them today to cancel my Internet and phone service. I ended up with talking to someone in the “Loyalty Department” and managed to get my monthly bill for Internet and phone service cut from $ 78.82/month down to $49.39/month. That’s a savings of over $350/year. Assuming I stay with Bell, which may or may not happen. lol.

Before I called, several friends told me I should talk to the Loyalty department. If you want the best deal possible on your phone/Internet/mobile service, you definitely should call the Loyalty Department too. Unfortunately you may need to put them on speed dial, since it sounds like the “deals” change constantly. The lack of transparency disappointments me. I wonder if Bell Sympatico should change the name of their “Loyalty Department” to “Disloyalty Department”.

Here’s the painful part …

The loyalty lady could not tell me when the optical fiber upgrade was coming to my house, so she passed me to a “Senior” second line support person. His first response to me about when I when I asked when I will have fiber to my house was that it would be “soon”. I admit his vague response triggered a little anger because my original service complaint experience. I mentioned to him that his response is a poor way to run a business and then asked if he could get me more detailed information. When he came back the second time, he told me that the service is expected in my neighbourhood at the end of the summer. Hmmmm, this meant the information I received just a couple weeks ago has changed, or more likely that I was not told the truth on the original estimate in the hopes they could delay my decision to cancel their service. It always bothers me when companies hide the truth from their customers. It’s like aren’t mature enough to deal with reality, or more likely they prefer to lie to their customers to keep the money rolling in. Oh well, it’s not my problem if they want to destroy whatever level of trust I had with them .

Bottom Line:
1) I continue to have crappy service from Bell Sympatico.
2) At least the crappy service might not cost as much while I look into changing service providers.
3) My level of trust with Bell Sympatico continues to drop. Funny the more I interact with them, the less trust I have. lol.

When will these companies learn this is not not the best way to treat a customer? It’s simply bad business in the long run.

In the meantime, I’ve had reasonablely good Satellite TV service from Shaw.ca, so I may switch to them. Unfortunately, they don’t offer phone service in my area, so I’ve been looking at ComWave. I’d have to swtich from POTS (Plain Old Telephone Switch) technology to VoIP, but the savings could add up to $100/year.

Internet Service Insanity

I had another run in with my Internet Service Provider, Bell Sympatico, a few weeks ago.

We had been regularly losing Internet service for 5 minutes a day for about a month or so. I finally had time to complain a few weeks ago. I try to avoid calling large companies unless absolutely necessary, because of the pain and suffering I typically receive at the hands of their so called “customer service” process.

I was not disappointed this time.  The 30 minute wait on the phone just to get a first line support person who wants me to reset my modem again is always an annoying start. Ten minutes later I’ve followed her script, and I’m allowed to talk to a second line support person. This is where the amazingly bad service starts. The second line support person wants me to wait for him to test the DSL line. I said PARDON? Why do you want me to wait on the phone while you do your work? Get this … His response was that if I hung up the phone, another call would come in and he would not be allowed to work on my issue anymore. 😮 It’s hard for me to understand how long Bell Sympatico expects me to wait for them to fix a problem with their service. Being annoyed with the additional delay, I kindly asked the second line support person to wait for a few seconds while I wrote down what he just told me. This is the funny part. He hung up on me!!! It appears Bell Sympatico wants their customers to wait for them, but they don’t like it when their customers ask them to wait a minute while they report about the bad service on the Internet. It was at that precise point when I decided I needed to start looking for another provider. Unfortunately the search would have to wait, because after an hour and fifteen minutes into the call, I ran out of time. I needed to take James to a lacrosse game. Life must go on.

The good part of Bell Sympatico’s customer service is that they called a day later to find out if I still had a problem. Of course, I still had the problem. Unfortunately, their second effort didn’t turn out much better than the first attempt. They decided to send someone out to my house to look at the wiring in my house. I had to wait at home from 8am to noon the next day to find out the verdict. Guess what, the technician didn’t find anything wrong. He then told me I had to wait for four weeks until a new fiber optic network is being installed in my neighbourhood. I like the idea of upgrading to the fiber technology, but I have no confidence that they won’t try to boost the price for my Internet service rather than just fixing the original problem that I called in about.

I’m still investigating about switching to another Internet provider. Does anyone have an Internet service provider that they like, or do they all have the same bad customer service?

By the way when I was complaining to my friends about the bad service experience with Bell Sympatico, a few of my friends told me about talking to the “Loyalty” department at Bell Sympatico to get the best price. It sounds like a secret club. I’m not sure “secret” deals last very long in the modern shopping age, but maybe I’ll look into it while I’m still with Bell Sympatico.