They are at it Again!
Yes another rant about Cell Phone costs, my apologies to those who think these are getting repetitive, but I do have a good twist on the story at the end.
I was unhappy to see that Bell Mobility has found yet another way to get under my financial skin, and it will most likely make all the tree-huggers happy, but not me.
I checked on line about my Bell Mobility balance would be (after the previous month’s shenanigans with extra charges, I am now sufficiently concerned that I check my on line bill balance quite often), for this month, and was again greeted, by yet another mystery charge for $2.00, which was not explained on line. The only way to be sure was going to wait until the paper copy of my Bell Mobility bill arrived, delivered by Canada Post.
Was this like the $2.80 “Touch Tone Phone” fee that I pay for my home phone (this fee is just a cash grab, as you can’t have a rotary dial phone any more, and you can’t dodge this fee (and the phone switch I connect to, won’t work with a rotary dial phone, it only works with a touch tone phone) but I digress)? Nope, and the irony of me finding out about it by Canada Post, was not lost on me.
$2 Paper Bill Fee
Now, since I receive my Cell Phone Bill from Bell Mobility via Canada Post, I must now pay $2.00 for this privilege. I found out about this by reading my paper bill, as I couldn’t figure that out from the On Line bill that Bell puts up on their web site (I feel the irony of that is exquisite, but then again, I enjoy cold sores as well).
For you tree-huggers out there that think that Bell is being a Good Green Corporate Citizen, think again. A paperless bill saves them postage fees, and better still administrative overhead (i.e. employees), because the whole system is automated (in other words you get an e-mail (hopefully) informing you your bill is there) and thus there is no paperwork to be followed.
The added plus is, that if your e-mail gets eaten by the Spam Folder or worse your computer crashes (or it gets lost in an e-mail Tsunami), you can then be charged late fees for a bill you never really received (but then again you can’t prove you didn’t because the sender can simply say, “I sent it, it’s in my Outbox”). This can happen with paper bills as well, but a lot less likely.
Bravo Bell Mobility for creating more Shareholder value by adding more fees to your customers, you are starting to rival the banks in your ability to create new income streams.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a BCE stockholder, a Bank Stockholder and unfortunately a Bell customer, so I am very torn about this whole thing (i.e. part of me is delighted, and part of me is irate).
Welcome to the Paperless Society (a phrase I heard coined in 1979, so it has taken a while!).
I was persuaded to go for electronic brokerage statements with incentives from my bank. It seems that Bell is going in the other direction. Instead of offering an incentive to you to receive your Bell Mobility bill electronically, they quietly added a fee for paper statements. This is consistent with my experiences with Bell over the decades. Why try to make customers happy when you can anger a subset of them?
While improving Shareholder value, it’s a WIN WIN for them!
Why don’t you set up an e-mail account strictly for bills? Doesn’t your ISP give you something like 5 e-mail accounts with your plan? Don’t give it out to anyone and make it some random string of characters so that you won’t get spam at all.
That makes the assumption that the folks you give the e-mail address (i.e. Phone Company et al) won’t sell this mailing list to someone else, which then defeats the purpose of it. Good idea though, the SPAM part is more that the BILL notification might be treated as SPAM by your mail reader.