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Locked: Baited and Switched by Bell

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  • Oct 21st, 2005 6:14 pm
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Deal Addict
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Feb 4, 2004
2807 posts
21 upvotes

Baited and Switched by Bell

Yesterday I called Bell to cancel my sympatico service. The CSR asked why and I told her I had received a less expensive offer. She proceeded to offer me the same deal the competitor offered for 6 months. I had to refuse as the competitor's price was still less after the 6 month introductory period. She then offered to beat the competitor's price after the initial 6 months if I signed a contract for 1 year. I told her that the competitor didn't require me to contract and there was no penalty for early cancellation as with symaptico. She then told me she could offer me the discounted price without contact for the period of one year. This sounded like a good deal so I accepted these terms. She then gave me a verification number and thanked me for choosing bell.

Last night I received an e-mail which was a standard one year contract with bell which included a $100 penalty for early cancellation. This was not at all what we had agreed to on the phone.

I called today and asked to speak to a supervisor. He told me that if I just agreed to the contract that was sent that they would credit me the difference monthly. When I explained that I had agreed to the deal because the CSR explained I would not have to contract he said that this was the only way they could offer the service to me. Needless to say I promptly cancelled my service with them.

This is not my first experience with shady business practices by bell. I would like to report this matter to the BBB and the federal government agency that oversees unfair/fraudulent business practices. How do I proceed from here?
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Deal Fanatic
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May 1, 2005
7385 posts
69 upvotes
Don't be surprised, crap like this happens all the time with Bell and Rogers, especially Rogers.
Banned
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Apr 25, 2005
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Center of the univer…
almostfreeman wrote:How do I proceed from here?
call the police
[OP]
Deal Addict
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Feb 4, 2004
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Yaowsers wrote:call the police

You sound like you work for bell.
Deal Expert
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May 10, 2005
24557 posts
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Ottawa
Is there not a law in Ontario that allows you to cancel any contract within 72 hours without repercutions, no matter even if the deal indicates a penalty for early cancelation?
Just a question but I thought the law was there to prevent Bell, Rogers etc from this negative billing kinda stuff.
Deal Addict
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Sep 26, 2005
1910 posts
Toronto
Pete_Coach wrote:Is there not a law in Ontario that allows you to cancel any contract within 72 hours without repercutions, no matter even if the deal indicates a penalty for early cancelation?
Just a question but I thought the law was there to prevent Bell, Rogers etc from this negative billing kinda stuff.
Are you getting charged the $100 cancellation fee?
Sr. Member
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Nov 14, 2003
861 posts
3 upvotes
Your experience would just turn me right off of Sympatico!

Try the Minstry of Government Services (I think this was Consumer and Corporate Affairs before).

http://www.cbs.gov.on.ca/mcbs/english/consumer_info.htm

Plus you could also file a complaint with the CRTC as Sympatico is a division of Bell which is regulated by CRTC.

A letter to the president of Sympatico is also a good idea.

I've switched from Sympatico over 18 months ago and just recently discontinued my phone service. I use the internet via a wireless router installed at my neighbour's apt. She still have a phone line and internet (not Sympatico!) and I pay for the Internet service. A good deal all around!

I'm curious, what service did you get a better quote from and what would you have been paying?
[OP]
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Feb 4, 2004
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batcave wrote:
I'm curious, what service did you get a better quote from and what would you have been paying?
MNSI $19.95 for high speed DSL 1st 6 mos. .... $39.95 thereafter, no contract.
Deal Addict
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Sep 30, 2003
3897 posts
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Toronto
unfortunately this is pretty common. it's the "say anything to keep the client" syndrome.
Deal Guru
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Mar 17, 2004
11327 posts
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Mountain View, CA
That's why for things like that, I've developed a habit to ask for a reference number for the call. It holds a lot more power (even just by asking a reference, sometimes), and the CSR knows that you know what you are doing
Deal Addict
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Sep 26, 2005
1910 posts
Toronto
I only signed up for bell sympatico because it was not a contract (I don't sign contracts they piss me off). They had a special promotion where it was free first month then $20 for the next two with Basic symatico. (I was told by the clerk it was high speed ... didn't realize till I call up for explanation that it was only basic).

The first bill .. had a $25 charge for the internet service ... Okay .. I let it go thinking it was connection fees.... second bill the same $25 charge shows up.

I call up customer service and I wasn't in the mood to be a hard a$$ so I simply asked then to explain the charges on my bill. She notices I had already call inquireing about my promotion and simply says It takes time for any credit to go through. (That was annoying the she just assumed I called perviously complaining). I played along and simply said if I was suppose to be issued a credit, wouldn't if have gone through by now? ... So I was on the phone of 15mins well I hear a girl mumble and punch numbers into her calculator. She Magically discovers that I should get a $40 credit and explans the details to me.

This was two weeks ago ....

I'll give them a month before I call back and inquire about the $40 credit.

What was annoying was she was confused by the charges as much as I was.
[OP]
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Feb 4, 2004
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NDman wrote:That's why for things like that, I've developed a habit to ask for a reference number for the call. It holds a lot more power (even just by asking a reference, sometimes), and the CSR knows that you know what you are doing
..
She then gave me a verification number and thanked me for choosing bell.
They do record calls. I guess I should too.
Deal Guru
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Oct 14, 2003
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Ok, I don't think I understand.

So the only way to have the 1 year with the low rate is to do the contract.
The way around this is to initially do the contract, be charged the $100 (not necessarily having to pay, just having a 100 charge on your account), then be credited back the $100 (essentially just removing a charge that you never had to pay) after they cancel the contract for you.
Then they are able to somehow continue the service without the contract for the 1 year time.
So in the end you get one year of service at the low price with no contract?

I guess I'm just missing something.
Science
is the new
rock 'n'
roll.
[OP]
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Feb 4, 2004
2807 posts
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Ojam wrote:Ok, I don't think I understand.

So the only way to have the 1 year with the low rate is to do the contract.
The way around this is to initially do the contract, be charged the $100 (not necessarily having to pay, just having a 100 charge on your account), then be credited back the $100 (essentially just removing a charge that you never had to pay) after they cancel the contract for you.
Then they are able to somehow continue the service without the contract for the 1 year time.
So in the end you get one year of service at the low price with no contract?

I guess I'm just missing something.
now your confusing me :confused:
Deal Addict
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Mar 1, 2005
3858 posts
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Toronto
same **** happened to me when i called to cancel.....i didn't go for the deal (8 months $29.95 no contract) then they offered me to put my service on hold for 6 months and call me before it was reactivated and they never called, never called.....got charged for a month of service i didn't use then got charged again for a modem rental fee.....

this is why i'm getting rid of anything bell for my home and my parents business.
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