Ongoing Deal Discussion

[Bell] Bell land line discount

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 7th, 2017 9:23 am
Tags:
None
Jr. Member
User avatar
Jan 18, 2010
128 posts
17 upvotes
Montreal
krs wrote:
Feb 8th, 2017 4:51 pm
I just came across this thread on google.

Thinking of doing something about my Bell phone service as well - question for Apple IIGS:

What is the speed of your DSL connection?
My current DSL speed is 10 Mbit with 1 Mbit upstream (approximately 1,250K/sec downstream and 125K/sec upstream).
Mine is only 3GB or a bit more - I wonder if that is fast enough for VoIP as well as internet use.
That should work, in fact some providers claim the minimum required for their VoIP is 1 Mbit (and even less for the upstream). The question is what is your upstream speed? If you're uncertain of either, go to speedtest.net and run their test.

There are also different quality codecs to consider, the higher quality ones use more bandwidth. For example G729a uses about 24 kbps/sec, while G711u uses about 80 Kbps/sec. I wouldn't worry about that though. You just want to make sure you have a solid and stable Internet connection, and I'd recommend as close as 1 Mbit for your upstream as possible (the test above claims mine is about 0.92 Mbit). Your 3 Mbit downstream should be more than enough, so long as you're not doing a lot of heavy streaming, downloading or sharing the connection with others.
Jr. Member
User avatar
Jan 18, 2010
128 posts
17 upvotes
Montreal
ricedion wrote:
Feb 8th, 2017 5:11 pm
Hi. does Bell always bill us one month in advance for all services? I cancelled my Bell phone and Internet on Dec 5, 2016, but received a bill on Dec 14 for both services. In Jan, home phone charge was reversed (I believe the reversal is done correctly), but there's no reversal done on internet. I spoke to the Bell agent just now, and she claimed Bell charge different services differently. I'm confused, and unsure how to argue with her. Can you provide some insight on my dispute please?
What is your billing cycle date? Look at one of your past invoices, you should see something like "Monthly Services (start-date to end-date)" (i.e. Dec 14 to Jan 13). Bell's billing system works on a 30 day window, though its different for each customer. It's not difficult to calculate what you actually owe once you know that window.

In a nutshell though, unless your Internet runs on a different billing cycle, Bell must prorate your unused days and refund you the difference.

On a side note, looks like Bell is no longer advising customers of price increases. Most people are only just now finding out about the February 1st $2.51 increase for their phone service. So glad I'm not a Bell customer any longer.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 10, 2003
4670 posts
597 upvotes
Toronto
Apple IIGS wrote:
Feb 17th, 2017 1:29 am
What is your billing cycle date? Look at one of your past invoices, you should see something like "Monthly Services (start-date to end-date)" (i.e. Dec 14 to Jan 13). Bell's billing system works on a 30 day window, though its different for each customer. It's not difficult to calculate what you actually owe once you know that window.

In a nutshell though, unless your Internet runs on a different billing cycle, Bell must prorate your unused days and refund you the difference.
Thank you. I have reviewed my Dec bill and now understand how they calculate my bill. Also when I called them, the agent had no issue to give me the prorated amount for my internet. She told me the phone's prorated amount was already being calculated systematically, but the internet amount needs to be calculated manually.
Jr. Member
User avatar
Jan 18, 2010
128 posts
17 upvotes
Montreal
ricedion wrote:
Feb 17th, 2017 2:24 pm
Thank you. I have reviewed my Dec bill and now understand how they calculate my bill. Also when I called them, the agent had no issue to give me the prorated amount for my internet. She told me the phone's prorated amount was already being calculated systematically, but the internet amount needs to be calculated manually.
I was told by their agents, after you've canceled, phone billing is not automatically calculated and prorated by the billing system. Sure enough, that appears to be the case. My service ceased 9 days before the end of my billing cycle in November, yet the system never did recalculate my bill.

I had to call in and have an agent manually calculate and credit what was owed back. Interestingly, because of that small credit balance on my account, the system has continued processing bills as recently as mid-January this year (even though my services have ceased) and I never saw the system attempt to prorate my billing. Maybe it only calculates if it's a certain number of days you overpaid? No idea. I just know you have to be vigilant when it comes to getting a refund from Bell. Also worth nothing, for refunds under a certain dollar amount, the system will not automatically mail out a check. You have to call back again, after a few weeks have passed, just to have that done! It's basically a whole lot of bureaucracy designed to make getting a refund difficult. Most people just won't bother, and to Bell, that's to their financial advantage.
Deal Addict
Dec 6, 2006
2067 posts
497 upvotes
I finally got rid of Bell and ported my home number over to OOMA. Now instead of paying $40.00 a month for a basic home phone I pay $4.50 a month for CRTC fees and taxes. I wish I would have done it sooner!
Member
Aug 4, 2006
285 posts
80 upvotes
GTA - Gwill
Lot of people. But with the increases ... more and more are leaving. But they are still making a ton of cash. I'm at the point to find someone to get me a "free" dryloop in a DSL package so I too can leave. Tired of begging for an annual discount. To paraphrase ... better to die standing up then live on my knees.
Jr. Member
User avatar
Jan 18, 2010
128 posts
17 upvotes
Montreal
ScottMiddleton wrote:
Mar 13th, 2017 9:45 am
Does anyone even use a landline anymore?
Landlines are still common among senior citizens.

Two of my elderly neighbors do not have Internet, and have no knowledge of modern technology. They still use a Bell landline because that's what they've had most of their life and it's dead simple to use. There's the option of switching to a cellular service (either a cell phone or home phone adapter-box) but the voice quality and reception can be poor, and there is no 911 protection.

I'm in the process of trying to get my mother off her Bell landline and onto VoIP, but she likely won't do that unless I pick her up a UPS power strip to keep her phone working during power outages (especially for 911).
Newbie
Nov 23, 2010
65 posts
27 upvotes
webworm wrote:
Mar 12th, 2017 7:10 pm
I finally got rid of Bell and ported my home number over to OOMA. Now instead of paying $40.00 a month for a basic home phone I pay $4.50 a month for CRTC fees and taxes. I wish I would have done it sooner!
Do you need to buy their hardware? I'm newbie and looking for a VoIp for my parents as I'm sick of Bell too
Deal Addict
Dec 6, 2006
2067 posts
497 upvotes
Yes you need to buy an OOMA device and very simple to setup. I bought it on sale for $100 at Staples which normally sells for $130.00. I ported over my number from Bell which was $39.00.
Jr. Member
User avatar
Jan 18, 2010
128 posts
17 upvotes
Montreal
There are other VoIP options with no set up costs, but the trade off is a slightly higher monthly fee.

Teksavvy for example will allow you to use your own ATA box (I'm using an old Linksys SPA-2102), and there is no activation fee or cost to port over your Bell number. The monthly cost for basic "TakTalk" service is $9.95 + tax. If you don't have your own ATA, they sell the Grandstream for $50. I'm still trying to convince my mother to switch from her Bell landline to this.

And there's Freephoneline.ca which not only lets you use your own ATA, but you only pay a one time fee of $50 to port your number and then the service is free going forward. No monthly fee! I'm still curious about it myself, what I pay with Teksavvy is reasonable, but free is always better. :)
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 3, 2002
7770 posts
2219 upvotes
Apple IIGS wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 1:34 am

And there's Freephoneline.ca which not only lets you use your own ATA, but you only pay a one time fee of $50 to port your number and then the service is free going forward.
It's $79.95 +tax for the VoIP unlock key and an additional $25+tax to port your phone number (only if you want to port your number). Additionally, you need to buy your own ATA (Obihai OBi200/202 ATAs are the most powerful ATAs intended for residential use and are sold at newegg.ca).

RFD Freephoneline thread can be found here: freephoneline-ca-free-local-soft-phone- ... ip-821229/

I've been with Freephoneline for over 6 years (back when I paid, it was only $50+tax for the VoIP unlock key). After initial setup fees, there are no ongoing fees: $0. So, I've been paying $0 each month, every month for over 6 years now for my home phone service.
Please do not PM me for assistance unless it's to reply to a PM I sent. I try to help when I can on the forums. Thank you. OBi200/202 Freephoneline setup guide can be found here (v. 1.43). Related OBi200 discussion can be found here. For OBi202, click here.
Jr. Member
User avatar
Jan 18, 2010
128 posts
17 upvotes
Montreal
Webslinger wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 8:46 am
It's $79.95 +tax for the VoIP unlock key and an additional $25+tax to port your phone number (only if you want to port your number). Additionally, you need to buy your own ATA (Obihai OBi200/202 ATAs are the most powerful ATAs intended for residential use and are sold at newegg.ca).
Ouch, that's over $120. Although within a year it pays for itself in savings (i.e. $10/month + tax for TekTalk) and then free thereafter. Can I use an older ATA, like my Linksys SPA-2102? Are there any issues, like reliability or quality of service? I'm assuming they supports g711u? I'm considering freeline.ca.

Incidentally, on the subject of Bell landlines. At the moment they seem more than willing to offer the $10 rebate for 12 months. I had to call in for both my mother and a friend's elderly parent who's rebate had expired. I spoke with agents from overseas, if that makes a difference. Definitely NOT a good deal considering how high the base rate has climbed (and will continue to climb!) but thought I'd mention it for anyone still trying to get a rebate with Bell.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 3, 2002
7770 posts
2219 upvotes
Apple IIGS wrote:
May 5th, 2017 2:55 am
Can I use an older ATA, like my Linksys SPA-2102?
Yes, you can. However, you would lose out on the powerful call routing options in the OBI200/202 ATAs, lack of Google Voice support, the capacity to use Nomorobo with FPL, etc.

I would suggest clicking newegg-obihai-obi200-ata-49-99-1-50-ehf ... x-2083622/ and reading through the first two pages.

Also, regardless of what you choose, I would recommend reading the first four pages (the preamble) of this PDF guide: http://forum.fongo.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... =25#p74972.
Are there any issues, like reliability
"We will be performing an extensive upgrade to our backend voice calling system on March 28 and 29 from 12:00AM-06:00AM EST. Voice calling may be intermittently disrupted; please do not submit a support ticket during these times." During part of March 28th, voicemail notifications were down.

They had a very brief outage on the morning of Dec. 23, 2016 that was fixed by 10:45 a.m. EST. Afterwards they had a visual voicemail notification issue that was fixed on Dec. 30th, 2016. And before Dec, 23rd, they had an service disruption on the morning October 8th, 2015, and the problem was resolved by 8 a.m EST. That's over a year of up time.

Otherwise, they are up 24/7.

There is no free technical support for device configuration issues. Users need to make use of the user to user support forums. So, FPL is not for those who require a lot of handholding.


I've heard scary stuff about VoIP 911. Isn't it unreliable?

VoIP E911 is a two step process. With Freephonline, after dialing 911, the initial E911 call centre, which does have my name, address, and call back number, still has to transfer the call to local dispatch (PSAP), which doesn't have my name, address, and phone number.

It's important, when signing up to a VoIP service you're planning on using 911 with that you always keep your address updated on file with them. If you move, update your address. Your VoIP service sends that information to the E911 call centre/Northern911, which they will keep on file.

In some rare instances, I suppose it's possible that Northern911 (I'm guessing this is what FPL and other VoIP services in Canada use, but I'm not sure) may not transfer to the correct local dispatch (PSAP) number (human error happens). Some people I configured services for in the past were very paranoid about VoIP E911 and forced me to do a test call. Worked fine. That is, the first person I reached had name and address info; they ask for confirmation. And the call was promptly transferred to local dispatch and correct address info was given to local dispatch, verbally, by the first call centre. Worked fine each and every time I was asked to test.

How does this compare to 911 with a landline?

Landline 911 is not a two-step process. You don't need to keep your address updated. Landlines are the most reliable for 911 calls.
But landlines don't work after your telephone lines have been knocked out by a storm.

How does this compare with Mobile 911?

Mobile 911 is not a two step process. However, they do not have your exact address, but they should have an approximate location (they should at least have the cellular site/tower that's carrying your call), especially if you're in a major city (they may have latitude and longitude). If you're in a rural area, location based on cellular towers may not be very precise. 70%+ of 911 calls are now coming from mobile phones according to the CRTC. Going forward, this is where improvements are going to be made.


Also, keep in mind that with FPL each E911 call is $35. If you dial 911 less than twice a year (or less than every 3 years with Anveo's $1.20 USD/monthly fee) vs. paying $1.50 USD/month with Callcentric or VoIP.ms, you're ahead with FPL. And you're paying an ongoing minimum monthly fee of $3.98 with Ooma. Ask yourself how often you're calling 911. If you're a senior citizen with a lot of health issues, maybe FPL is a bad idea. (And I don't mean to belittle this point. Everyone gets old. Health is a serious matter.) Otherwise, you'll end up way ahead using a FPL in the long run (in terms of cost).

Here's the thing . . . I used to talk to FPL reps several years ago over the phone, back when they allowed tech support calls. And even then a e911 fee was listed (but not in the FAQs), and I inquired about it. I was told the fee was intended to dissuade people from test calling 911--and that people wouldn't actually be charged.

Fast forward to now, and the $35 per call E911 fee is listed in the FAQs. It's listed all over the place. It's certainly enough to prevent me from testing 911 on FPL. Reps are now saying you will be charged no matter what when you dial 911. Is that true? Maybe. Is that enough to scare me from testing 911? Sure. Has anyone been charged yet? I don't know. Anyway, no one is going to be calling 911 using FPL unless it's really necessary now, and if that's the intent, I'm fine with it. And if I really need E911 as a backup (my smartphone is always nearby), it's there for me. In the meantime, I'm not paying ongoing monthly fees for something I'm not using.


Obihai OBi200/202 ATAs with the OBiBT adapter can be paired with smartphones over bluetooth: http://www.obihai.com/obibt.
Then with an Obihai OBi 200/202 ATA, you'd add {911:bt} in your OutboundCallRoute, and then all of your 911 calls on your phones go out over your smartphone's 911 cellular service, provided your smartphone remains within bluetooth range of the ATA.


By the way, There's also Anveo's E911 service ($25 USD per year) available through the Obitalk.com web portal, as an alternative 911 service (limited to a maximum of 5 e911 calls per year): https://www.anveo.com/e911obi.asp (click the link for more information). People asking for help with this Anveo E911 service should probably ask canadaodyowner, who is using this service and is also a Freephoneline customer: freephoneline-ca-free-local-soft-phone- ... #p24980477. I have no experience with Anveo's special E911 service.


VoIP E911 is available all the time under these conditions:

1) You have electricity. A UPS is always a good idea.

2) Your internet service isn't out.

3) Your VoIP service isn't down.

I don't know anyone who doesn't have a smartphone.


or quality of service?
Due to the fact an OBi200/202 ATA can support up to 4 SIP trunks and 8 Voice gateways, I can use up to 12 different VoIP services on one telephone (4 of them with phone numbers, and 8 without).
I use multiple services. All of them sound the same or better than the Bell landline I once had that produced static when it rained. Otherwise, I would not be using them.


question-about-telephone-service-option ... #p25468891
Pianoguy wrote:FreePhoneLine and VoIP.ms provide very similar services. The pricing structure is different, and VoIP.ms has more complex inbound call routing options, but the actual VoIP is the same. VoIP.ms even uses Fibernetics (FreePhoneLine's parent company) as one of their carriers, so some of the service is literally identical.
VoIP.ms is not the only service to use Fibernetics as one of their carriers.

Fibernetics, which owns/operates Freephoneline and Fongo, is the largest privately held competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) in Canada, and FPL/Fongo generates revenue from incoming phone calls or termination fees to its network in addition to the fees paid by its customers. The more phone calls made to their network, the more money they make. Fongo and Freephonline are treated as being separate entities by Fibernetics (it costs money to port phone numbers between FPL and Fongo). So, FPL and Fongo are considered to be sister companies, despite offering similar services.

In part because Fibernetics is a CLEC, costs are lower to operate the service. And it's not being run in isolation (Fongo Home phone/Fongo Mobile). FPL customers still pay long distance rates, porting fees, etc.

Fibernetics does want everyone to buy Fongo Home Phone instead of FPL though. $59.4+tax/yr ongoing vs. $79.95+tax lifetime
Obviously, there's more revenue from Fongo Home Phone over time.

Fibernetics also operates/owns Nucleus Information Service, Worldline.ca, 1011295.com, 295.ca, Vonix, NEWT, etc.


I'm assuming they supports g711u?
Yes
Last edited by Webslinger on May 5th, 2017 6:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
Please do not PM me for assistance unless it's to reply to a PM I sent. I try to help when I can on the forums. Thank you. OBi200/202 Freephoneline setup guide can be found here (v. 1.43). Related OBi200 discussion can be found here. For OBi202, click here.
Newbie
User avatar
May 24, 2009
15 posts
1 upvote
London
Forget all these monthly plans. Just get a magic jack from best buy and plug into your high speed internet router. It's about CAD$50, then about CAD$15 for a Canadian phone number, good for 1 year.

Top