bell canada: a lesson in abysmal customer service

bell_pantone301_smMy monthly bill with Bell Canada is almost $200. That’s a serious amount of scratch for a cell phone.

Recently when I spoke with one of their customer service representatives, he referred to me as a “preferred” customer because of my high bill. That’s nice, but it doesn’t seem to be buying me any cred with the company.

I’ve fallen behind on my bill a bit lately (working for peanuts at a day care centre tends to constrain one’s revenue stream), but I’ve been negotiating the situation with Bell and making regular payments. Heck, I forked over $400 to them the day before Christmas. So I was astonished that at midnight Sunday they shut down my account without warning.

Any call I make just results in a busy tone, and apparently any inbound calls are ringing busy too. Sheesh, at least they could have let the calls ring through to voicemail. Are they adding insult to injury through public embarrassment?

I’ve even tried to call their billing department to make a payment, but those ring busy, too, despite an email message from “Carl” at their customer service department that states: “I wish to clarify that even if you have a lock on your phone you can call our Client Care Accounts Receivable department from your mobile phone.” Whatever, dude.

Speaking of email, that’s the form of correspondence I’ve been using with Bell. Unfortunately, the turnaround time on responses from them is over 24 hours. 24 hours! I thought this was a telecommunications company. I get faster responses via email from the Body Shop.

What’s worse, I’ve been trying to use their web site to make a payment, but each time I attempt to enter their bill payment service, I get a blank web page that simply reads, “Unexpected error.” Nice. So 1993.

It’s been almost four days now without mobile service for me, and I have yet to even reach a point of being able to communicate meaningfully with Bell beyond their pre-fab customer service emails, which have just been a complete waste of time. I get the sense they could care less.

Besides a quick vent, I suppose what I’m hoping to accomplish with this post is to share an abysmally bad customer service experience. If I’m a “preferred” customer, then I’d hate to think how Bell treats their, um, “unpreferred” customers. Because I’m feeling insulted and unwanted. Bell’s the underdog of Canadian mobile telecommunications providers. Rather than pissing off and driving away the customers they’ve got, you’d think they’d work extra hard at retaining us.

2 thoughts on “bell canada: a lesson in abysmal customer service

  1. I just find it kind of odd that you expected anything else. AFAIK, that is the business model of communication companies in Canada. My theory is that the service is break-even, and they make their profit on sign-up fees and contract buy-outs.

    Sign o’ the times, too, I suppose. Nobody wants to extend credit.

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