As most of you know I do tend to rant about bad customer service, or customer relations, and Bell has done it again. For the sake of full disclosure, I actually am a BCE share holder.
My latest phone bill arrived and it put me over the top in terms of costs, there is no way I should be paying $88 a month for a home phone, with a lousy long distance plan and visual call display (i.e. call display for calls and call waiting), so I decided it was time to be a good consumer advocate and phone bell about this.
First I went to a Bell Store and was told by a young gentleman (I use that term only as a courtesy) told me in no uncertain terms they did not deal with billing issues. This store sells home (wired) phones, and you can switch your service there, but you can’t talk about billing there. STRIKE ONE!!!
Then I called 310-Bell and got the run around, and when I asked to talk to the customer retention folks, I was on the line, on hold for 25 minutes, I finally hung up. STRIKE TWO!!!!!
I finally called and got a lady (I mean that in a complimentary way), who seemed to understand that as a customer service representative, she should treat the customer with a degree of politeness. I was taken aback for a moment by her positive tone and willingness to help (perhaps it was a clever ruse to trick me into some incidious contract trap), but no she genuinely seemed to understand why I was peeved by the whole situation.
To sum up:
- I was paying $11.95 a month for a long distance plan that gave me 100 minutes “free” during off peak hours inside of Canada.
- I was paying $24.95 for Call Display, Call Waiting Display and Call Waiting, on top of the existing $25 I was paying for phone service (don’t get me started on the Network Access Fee and Touch tone fees, or we will be here for a week).
I pointed out that I had gone to the Bell web site and these charges seemed a little high given there is a long distance package that costs $10.95 for 500 “free” minutes for all of North America (any time of the day), and a Visual Call Display package which was $11 or so. Did this rattle my agent? Nope, she agreed, did some juggling of numbers, and got me the cheaper packages. I did have to “amalgamate” my Bell Mobility and Bell phone bills, but that ended up saving me more money, so the call ended with me happier. I also got Visual Call Display for a lot less as well. OK Bell you got away with it this time
I am Happier, but not delighted by the fact that Bell treats existing customers like indentured servants not telling us about new, money saving ways to lower our bills. I have been overpaying for a long time, but I guess more fool me to not constantly phone up and ask for more?