Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wy people go postal

I just got off the phone with Bell Canada. What a frustrating experience it was. Here's what happened.

I signed up for e-bills two months ago thinking it would be better for the planet.

My first bill notification arrived on February 4. I logged in and was astounded to find a charge of $185 -- double my regular bill. I had recently changed my service but had not expected an increase. I clicked on Bill Details to find out what the new charges were. I got a message telling me that no details could be found. I hunted around the site clicking on different options trying to get a detailed account of the charges. No luck.

I paid the bill so it wouldn't be late and nagged myself to make a call to Bell to get it sorted out. Why didn't I just make the call in the first place? Because I knew it would be a hassle. It always is.

March 4 arrived and I received my second email notification of my second e-bill.

Knowing I'd have to check into it sooner or later, I procrastinated till this morning when I sat down for the monthly bill paying exercise. Always fun in itself.

Same deal as last month. I logged in and still couldn't find a detailed account of the charges. I made the dreaded call.

I spoke with Molly or whatever they call the irritating voice that guides you through the automated menu of choices until I was finally connected with a real, live person.

I told her of my problem and that I wanted to switch back to paper bills.

She told me there would be a $2/month charge to get a paper bill.

Two bucks a month to get a bill to pay for a service I already pay more for than the rest of the developed world.

(Standing next to a woman from NY at a cell phone provider's counter one day I heard her tear the guy a new one when he told her how much her new Canadian service would cost. "I could make a mortgage payment with that!" she freaked. That was when I realized how much more we pay than US customers.)

She tells me the charge is to encourage people to go paperless. I wasn't happy and expressed that it was outrageous to pay for such a thing.

She explained how I could get help to access my bill. One of the options was to email Bell and have a techie walk me through the process. I told her that too was ridiculous. You shouldn't have to work to see your bill. It should be a simple and transparent process. Who should be expected to pay for something when they don't know what that something is?

Seriously Bell Canada?

I can't just create an online account, click on a link and see an electronic version of the old paper bill I used to get? I have to link accounts or call a help desk to get a bill?

If Bell was seriously trying to help the planet, this would be an easy system. As it is, it appears the company is trying to hide charges by making the process too cumbersome.

Get with it, B.C.!

(Or maybe those initials stand for something... like your antiquated way of providing service perhaps?)



  1. First of all, I'm shocked... shocked I say! BC's irritating voice has a NAME? Isn't the whole point of an automated call routing system to be anonymous and impersonal? Giving it a name humanizes it (if only a little). They can't even get that right.

  2. I just left your site to read another blog and came across a link to a site purely by chance, called: Get Human, a company by company guide to finding a pulse.

    Funny how life works sometimes.

  3. John: Yes, a name. Weird, isn't it? I'm going to check out Get Human.

  4. Good post. I am going through some of these issues as well.. chase live chat , chase customer care