I won’t frequently use this space for tirades against products and corporations that have mistreated me, but my recent frustrations with Bell warrant it in this instance.
I had mentioned below that it shocked me how difficult and expensive it was to acquire even a basic highspeed internet connection in this town: Bell forces you to buy a phone line also (which can be had online with VoIP for pennies, by comparison), and Rogers charges a crippling installation cost, since their records showed that this house never had Cable installed to it.
It seems amazing to me that ’student housing’ doesn’t automatically imply ‘internet available’, but it’s even more so that these companies aren’t tripping over themselves to win impressionable students as lifetime customers. Special 4-month student packages should be offered that give you the best of everything for a quarter of the cost. I’m not saying this just because I want it — it’s a sound long-term business strategy. But then, so is all-around good, prompt service.
Bell could have offered me something like that, and taken a chance that I’d convert. As it is, after this term, I will be permanently a cable customer. Rogers, at my previous house, was always fast and reliable, and when I called a serviceman to the house for something that turned out to be my fault (lousy router), he arrived in 48 hours and diagnosed the problem for me.
Given a second chance, I’d have swallowed the installation fee and gone with Rogers.
So Sympatico should have been installed today. They shipped the package yesterday, so I’ve now been plugged-in and ready to go for over 24 hours. I’ve called support several times, getting the various opinions of the different drones there, and the consensus seemed to be that, “since it was to be hooked up today, I should call back after midnight if it’s still not working.”
Ludicrous. In what world does ‘installed Thursday’ mean ‘installed in the wee hours of Friday morning, if that’?
I mean, delays are understandable, but shouldn’t the technical support representatives report a delay as a delay rather than end their calls with the moronic suggestion to call back once their shift is ended? To be fair, the support people were very nice and attentive, but when enabling the service is, I imagine, the flick of a switch at their end, being instructed to call back at 12:01 is not reassuring.
Continuum: I’ve been typing this mostly while on-hold with various reps, and I finally made it to a Tier 2 Tech (‘Nathan’) who said that there’s some kind of major snafu at the main interchange and the boys may take 72 hours to get me online. He also mentioned that he’d dealt with a lot of 519 area-code numbers this evening… hmm…
He was very honest and polite. But I’m still not impressed.
Update: The mayhem continues [here](http://uwmike.com/articles/2005/01/15/goodbye-bell/).