Despite all that crap, one of them caught me off guard last week. He was very good at selling.
Ula & I have been using about 100 gig per month of bandwidth, so when this guy offered to give us faster internet, an actual landline, and 100 gig of bandwidth (versus Rogers’ 60), for roughly $25-30 less per month than we had been paying… we agreed to switch.
Bell came and connected us on Monday.
By Tuesday evening we were back with Rogers.
Yes, we actually disconnected our brand new Bell Internet after just 1 day of service.
The Bell Salesperson who sold us on switching back from Rogers promised us two things:
1) That we would have a dedicated fibre-optic line to the home
2) That because of Bell’s system architecture, our connection would *definitely* be faster than our Rogers connection.
I explained that I didn’t know how this was possible, since Bell’s was 6megabit, whereas Rogers was 7, but he said the direct non-shared line made all the difference, and I should trust him.
After talking with him for about 45 minutes!!!, I agreed to switch our phone & internet over to Bell.
This is not something I take lightly, because I am an internet programmer who works full time from home, and I need the best internet access I can get, within my $70/mth budget.
Before that happened, I ran 3 internet speed tests with 3 different providers (cogeco, allisp, and backblaze).
With Rogers, my average download rate was 8749 kbps, and my upload rate was 416 kbps.
A few days later, the Bell technician arrived, and connected our phone.
Later in the day another arrived and connected our internet.
I ran the same 3 internet speed tests.
With Bell, my average download rate was 2506 kbps, and my upload rate was 648 kbps.
So, while uploads were 56% faster, downloads were 71% slower.
Everyone downloads a LOT more than they upload, so this is a pretty severe difference.
1) The line was not dedicated fibre-optic, but standard twisted-pair copper
2) The Bell connection was not faster than Rogers, but *significantly* slower.
I called customer service, and they connected me with a very friendly & helpful technician named Bob.
He said the system could take 24 hours to get fully up to speed, and that he could call me back the following day to check in.
He called back, and said he had discovered that I was setup for the 3 megabit internet, not the 6 megabit internet, and that he had fixed it for me.
He asked that I run the speed tests again, so I did.
My average download rate was 5891 kbps, and my upload rate was 644 kbps.
So, while uploads were still 55% faster, downloads were still 33% slower.
Bob asked me to humour him and run Bell’s own Speedtest, so I did, but the results were the same:
My average download rate was 5991 kbps, and my upload rate was 673 kbps.
I said that based on Bell’s sales pitch, this was unacceptable, and that if something couldn’t be done to give me the speed I was promised, I would switch back to Rogers right there and then.
Bob asked if he could call me back in an hour, after talking to his superiors, and I said “sure”.
He called back and said “I’m afraid there’s nothing we can do. Based on your location, the fastest speed we can get you, even with a dedicated fibre line, is 6 megabit, which is what you have now”.
I said that if he could tell me that by looking at my location, then the salesperson could have known that, too, and shouldn’t have pitched me a lie.
I said that I didn’t appreciate being lied to in order to buy a service, and I asked how I should go about canceling Bell and switching back to Rogers. He explained what I’d have to do BUT said that 1 month of service would be invoiced by Bell.
I asked “Are you serious? Even though it was your sales person who misrepresented your service, and I’m canceling on my 1st full day of service, I have to pay for 30 days of use?”
He shyly replied “Yes, I’m afraid that’s company policy.”
I said that was completely unacceptable, since the only reason I switched was because Bell had lied to me, and I certainly wasn’t going to pay for Bell’s lies.
Bob was in an awkward position, but was polite, and offered to connect me with “Customer Loyalty” to see about canceling the fee.
He transferred my call, and I was happy to find that he had already briefed the Customer Loyalty person on the situation.
She canceled the fee, and apologized for the inconvenience.
Bye bye forever, Bell.
I then called Rogers and explained the situation.
At one point the Rogers person asked “Why are you switching back so soon? We haven’t even processed your cancellation yet!”
I replied “Because Bell’s internet service is complete bullshit”.
They laughed and within 5 minutes I was completely re-connected with Rogers.
Then I noticed that Rogers had a new plan with a higher bandwidth limit and higher upload speed, for $20 less per month than I had been paying (due to overage charges), so I asked if they could switch me to that, and they said “Sure, no problem. It’s done as of now.”
Quick. Painless. Fast.
I never thought I’d say this, but I actually had a good experience
with Rogers and a bad experience with Bell.
After I hooked the Rogers voice & cable modems back up, I ran Bell’s own speed test again.
9760 down and 997 up.
Better than ever.
I grew up with Bell. My Dad worked for Bell for 30 years.
His voice was the one you would hear when you dialed a wrong number anywhere in Southwestern Ontario: “We’re sorry. The number you have reached is not in service. Please check your number, or dial your call again. This is a recording.”
When my Dad was at work, and I missed him, I would dial a wrong number and listen to his voice.
Bell financed my youth, but I’m not paying them back with my adulthood.
Now it’s only a matter of time until a wireless provider knocks Bell on its ass.
They don’t need a line into the home, and they don’t require you to sign up for insane contracts.
Wi-Max can deliver 50 megabit, which is WAY faster than Bell’s fastest connection (16 megabit).
Someone will roll it out nation-wide sooner or later, and then Bell will be in real trouble.
Free Skype calling will be everywhere (it almost is already thanks to people leaving their Wi-Fi open).
Best of luck, Bell — you’re gonna need it.
Now, please put me on your Do Not Call list.