Bell Canada WTF!



  •  This is a long one.

     I must tell a little bit of backstory to start this off. We've had Bell internet and phone service for a long time. They used to be on separate bills, but we eventually got them consolidated. Then, three years ago, my mom and dad got divorced. The internet and phone accounts were in his name, but he moved out. He never bothered calling to get the name changed on the bill.

    My mom eventually called and got the name changed on the bill. All was thought to be well. Now, today she noticed her bill was a little high. The reason for this is that Bell just raised the monthly fee for their "grandfathered" Internet plans. We were on a 5 Mbit/s plan, and it had unlimited bandwidth because that's what we signed up for, but of course no ISP wants to give unlimited bandwidth anymore, so the new plan they offered is about $20 cheaper, and 7 Mbit/s, but has a monthly bandwidth cap of 60 GB. We can live with that.

     This new internet plan also comes with a free wireless ADSL2+ modem/router. We received it today, and this is where the trouble began. My mom called Bell to inquire why my dad's name was on it. The rep my mom talked to suggested that my dad must have opened an account with my mom's address, citing recent account activity with his name and her address. Now, I found this a little suspicious, since the date he supposedly signed up was just two days ago, which happened to be the date on which we signed up for the new plan. My mom called my dad, and sure enough, he's still happy with his Rogers phone and internet. My next course of action was to sign up for Bell online self-service, and to my dismay, I discovered that the name associated with the internet account was still my dad's name. So, in case you didn't catch that, the reason the rep thought my dad signed up recently was because we upgraded our account which was still under his name. One should like to think they'd be able to tell the difference, but the billing department has no idea how the internet department works. I can only assume that they thought since they'd changed the name on the bill, which includes internet charges, that the owner of the internet account would have been changed as well.

     Of course, this didn't really matter too much, but it was foreshadowing for what was about to come. I can only assume that the two major events in this story are connected.

     Shortly after getting off the phone with Bell, my mom received a phone call. Well, not really. Her phone rang once, and when she picked it up, there was nothing at the other end. She hung up, and a few seconds later, it rang again. I told her to wait for more rings, but it only rang once. She was mystified, but continued her day otherwise normally. When later she tried to call our land line from her cell phone, she heard rings on her end, but I, being at home, heard nothing. So it was confirmed that nobody was getting through to our line. It was at this time that my mom phoned my grandma. My grandma then said something very strange. She said that she saw a number of someone she didn't know on the call display. She answered it and my mom was on the other end.

    So now, we have our number crossed with somebody who lives one street east and one street south of us (I love reverse phone number lookups).

     Baffled, my mom phoned Bell (again). The service rep seemed to barely understand, and first offered the suggestion that we unplug all our phones and plug them in again. After we barely managed to suppress our laughter, my mom said that the problem was not with the phones themselves, so the rep told us they'd be sending a tech to our apartment, and that support was free unless it was found to be our fault, in which case we would be charged $80. I really don't know how this could be our fault unless, in a drunken blackout, I climbed a telephone pole and switched the wires.

     

    Update:

     I ended up unplugging all the phones anyway since I got a couple of phone calls meant for somebody else. Sure, I could've just taken one of them off the hook, but I thought I'd try the suggestion. Now that I plugged them in again, they all give me some kind of morse code when I pick up the receiver, and the number still isn't ours (verified with my cell phone).

    The next update will come after the tech arrives tomorrow. I don't know how he's going to be able to solve the problem by coming to the apartment, but who knows what wonders can be accomplished in this daring age.



  •  Yeah, that's a screwup indeed. hope you get it fixed.



  • @shill said:

     Baffled, my mom phoned Bell (again). The service rep seemed to barely understand, and first offered the suggestion that we unplug all our phones and plug them in again. After we barely managed to suppress our laughter, my mom said that the problem was not with the phones themselves, so the rep told us they'd be sending a tech to our apartment, and that support was free unless it was found to be our fault, in which case we would be charged $80. I really don't know how this could be our fault unless, in a drunken blackout, I climbed a telephone pole and switched the wires.

    This isn't a stupid suggestion, as I'm sure you found out when you unplugged all the phones and plugged them back in to find a different situation than when you started. By unplugging all the phones on the line you're basically floating it, which the telco's equipment will detect. Then when you plug it back in you reconnect the circuit. Who knows whether this will cause their system to reset some status on your line?



  •  Yeah, but it involved somebody else's line too. Anyway, now our outgoing number is the same as somebody else's, but our incoming number isn't connected to anything.



  • @teqman said:

    @shill said:

     Baffled, my mom phoned Bell (again). The service rep seemed to barely understand, and first offered the suggestion that we unplug all our phones and plug them in again. After we barely managed to suppress our laughter, my mom said that the problem was not with the phones themselves, so the rep told us they'd be sending a tech to our apartment, and that support was free unless it was found to be our fault, in which case we would be charged $80. I really don't know how this could be our fault unless, in a drunken blackout, I climbed a telephone pole and switched the wires.

    This isn't a stupid suggestion, as I'm sure you found out when you unplugged all the phones and plugged them back in to find a different situation than when you started. By unplugging all the phones on the line you're basically floating it, which the telco's equipment will detect. Then when you plug it back in you reconnect the circuit. Who knows whether this will cause their system to reset some status on your line?

     

    When I had trouble with my Internet connection (using Win XP), I used to call cust rep and they'd recommend I remove the network cable from my computer and plug it in again. If that didn't work, I should re-enter my user/pass in the connection dialog. If that didn't work, I should delete the connection and recreate it. If that didn't work, I should disable TCP/IP. If that didn't work, I should wait 24 hours. If that didn't work, I should call them again and tell them I've done all of the above and I'd get a complaint # and wait for someone to fix it.

    I still don't know how much of this is XP's fault or their fault, but I only had to wait for 24 hours a couple of times in two years. Weird stuff happens with this dang electronic contraptions.



  • This isn't a stupid suggestion, as I'm sure you found out when you
    unplugged all the phones and plugged them back in to find a different
    situation than when you started. By unplugging all the phones on the
    line you're basically floating it, which the telco's equipment will
    detect. Then when you plug it back in you reconnect the circuit. Who
    knows whether this will cause their system to reset some status on your
    line?

     Well, it didn't help a bit. The tech came to our apartment, and discovered, to no surprise, that the problem had nothing to do with our end and needed to be reported to the CO. Of course, today is a Saturday so nobody's there.



  • Just get Teksavvy.  Bell Canada is a horrible company--you know that they are throttling wholesalers as well now, right?  And that they managed to get carte blanche to do any sort of "network management" from the CRTC last month, as long as they give 30 days notice?  It is expected they will slap 60 GB caps on all DSL internet across Quebec and Ontario.  These are the sorts of reasons we went to rally on Parliament Hill.  Sadly more Ontarians care about teenagers being able to drive packs of other teenagers around than they do about our internet being worse than that you get in third world countries.

    Either that or get Cable, although, hoestly, it's difficult to believe, but it's absolutely true:  Canada's cable co's have managed to get the CRTC to form agreements so horrid you find virtually no wholesalers.  So while you'll be avoiding hard caps and just paying a flat monthly overage fee, you'll be supporting the same type of companies.  And you won't be able to run servers, and you'll have port blocks, and, and, and...  :(

     And for those who think "Just run your own damn wires!" think about it:  Bell Canada got so many tax incentives and other bonanzas from our government to run telephone cables, we the people should basically own the wires.  Disgusting,  There's no other reasonable way to compete at this point.  sigh

     Welcome to Canada, where all media is governed by the CRTC.  We're presently having hearings about whether we need to tax the internet for a lack of Canadian content (seriously!) and whether we need to force all websites to have 50% Canadian content (Also seriously... if that goes through I plan to put a copy of the US constitution/Bill of Rights up and encourage the government to prosecute me.  It would certainly make an interesting newspaper article!)



  • Wholesaling from Bell is a bit of a pain, my dad owns a small ISP, and it's easier for him to get access through another company that then goes through Bell. Also, Bell is finding all sorts of excuses to raise prices, they called my home a few weeks back and they said we supposedly weren't paying for the call waiting and caller id functions, and we've had those charged since the beginning... Also, they tend to slap random charges as they see fit, espcially for Internet connections, so the bill goes up quite a bit (according to some friends anyways).

    Wholesaling cable is feasable, but it's a bit expensive (my experience is with Vidéotron here). So, there is no way we can compete with their all-in-one deals, but we can still be a decent alternative to standalone cable Internet (+VoIP phone if the customer wants phone service too).


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