Ma Bell in Canada Scams for Internet

What the hell is going on up in Canada with Bell?

David G. wrote us with a weird little attempted scam he found himself embroiled in with an anonymous Bell Canada sales rep. Apparently, he was called by the rep and congratulated for his years of prompt bill paying: as a reward, they’d just love to give him one year’s free Internet service. “I just need your authorization to send it out!”

The only problem? David hasn’t been a Bell Canada customer for five years. It was a transparent attempt to get him to “authorize” a contract to sign up for their Internet service. David smartly demanded to talk to the supervisor, but the sales rep proceeded to argue with him for twenty minutes that this was impossible.

You know the maxim: nothing in life is free. David’s dialogue with Bell Canada, after the jump.

I’m not sure if this quite falls within the realm of your interest, but I thought this scam by Bell Canada was funny and could catch a lot of unwary people.

At about 11:00 am this morning I got a call on my cell phone from Bell Canada. Now I haven’t had a Bell home phone for years and my cell is with Rogers, my internet is Rogers and TV hookup is Rogers. I haven’t sent Bell a dime in at least 5 years. And the conversation goes like this:

Bell: Mr. *****? This is Bell Canada calling. From what I can see from your phone bill records, you’ve been doing an excellent job of paying your bills on time, and we’d like to thank you by giving you one months free internet service. If you can confirm your address I’ll send out the Internet Setup Kit today.

Me: Really? Can you just confirm what my (umm hmm) Bell billing address is?

Bell: Yes, it’s *** *** ***. So I’d like to send out the kit today. I just need your authorization.

Me: And my Bell phone number is *** *** ****?

Bell: Yes it is. So I’d like to send out the kit today. I just need your authorization

Me: And this is all because I’ve been paying my Bell phone bills on time? Can you tell me the amount of my last phone bill?

Bell: Well, I don’t have that information, so I’d like to send out the kit today. I just need your authorization.

Me: Whoa. You just said “you see from my phone records I’ve been paying on time”, can’t you see what I’ve been paying?

Bell: No, I don’t have that information. So, what I’d like to do is send out the startup kit today.

Me: Ok, buddy, I’d like to talk to your supervisor please.

Bell: I can do that, but I’m just doing my job, so I’d like to send out the kit today. I just need your authorization.

Me: Well, I’d like to speak with your supervisor.

Bell: Why?

Me: Because you’re fraudulently trying to sell services to me. The premise that I’m getting this great deal based on my bill payment history is false. I’d like to speak to your supervisor now.

Bell: But you have an excellent payment history, that’s why we’re extending this offer to you. So I’d like to send out the kit today. I just need your authorization.

Me: I’d like to speak with your supervisor please.

Bell: My supervisor is very busy and won’t have time to talk with you

Me: Fine, I’d like to talk to a Level 3 supervisor.

Bell: Sir, I’m just doing my job, now if I can send out that kit to you today..

Me: Tell you what, how about you send me that startup kit, and I’d like every service you’ve got, internet, digital cable, send me one of those PVR boxes and hell, I could use a new cell phone with the best plan you’ve got. Is that ok? And you can bill it all to my “Bell” phone number, right?

Bell: No, I can’t bill to your Bell number, it has to be a separate account. So I’d like to send out the startup kit…

And on, and on for about another 20 minutes until he hung up in frustration. Every attempt to speak with a supervisor was denied, he refused to identify himself in any manner (name, employee number or any kind of identification) and over and over he kept telling me this is based on my payment history with Bell, when I haven’t sent them a dime in years! Bloody fraudulent! Now I’m wondering if the CRTC (Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission) would be interested in ma Bell’s scam.

Thanks!

Comments

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  1. LafinJack says:

    I’m thinking that this is just a run-of-the-mill scammer trying to get peoples’ personal information, not something being run by Bell.

  2. aka Cat says:

    Me: Tell you what, how about you send me that startup kit, and I’d like every service you’ve got, internet, digital cable, send me one of those PVR boxes and hell, I could use a new cell phone with the best plan you’ve got. Is that ok? And you can bill it all to my “Bell” phone number, right?

    Eek. I’d be real careful about saying something like that to a telemarketer. No matter how obvious it is that you don’t mean it, they could take it out of context and use it as authorization.

  3. Ben Popken says:

    This is assuming that the rep was in fact a legitimate Bell Canada employee.

  4. Magister says:

    I remember getting a phone call 10 years ago offering me a discount based on the travel that My wife and I do. I said really? So, how much travel does Mrs. Magister do? I went on for about 5 minutes, then started sobbing. I then accused the rep of making fun of me because I am a hopeless dork that can’t a date. They know I am not married but just wanted to pick on me. I spent 30 minutes of that persons time. I had her freaked out. Ahh, sometimes I regret signing up for the do not call list.

  5. RumorsDaily says:

    The write-up says free year, the email says free month.

  6. adamondi says:

    I have gotten several calls similar to this, but all from the good old Seattle Times. I started out with daily service, but upon realizing that most of the daily papers went into a pile then into the recycling bin, unopened. So I switched to weekends only delivery. Then I finally switched to Sundays only, which is my newspaper sweet spot. Since switching away, I have gotten no less than five phone calls wanting to offer me a “free upgrade” to daily service for the rest of the year, all I have to do is say yes, yadda yadda yadda. I HATE this sort of call. I am ALREADY a customer. Let’s try not to inspire a cancelation call with your stupid upselling attempts, mmmkay?

  7. amazon says:

    Popken: I had the same thought. Especially since I get calls which are strikingly similar only from Sprint and Rogers.

  8. ChazB says:

    Popkin and amazon are right. I used to work in the telecommunications industry and most of these offers are done by outsourced sales centers. The exception being Aliant which is Atlantic Canada’s Bell subsiduary. They still do most of their stuff in house AFAIK. Still, a complaint to Bell’s consumer relations dept. should be your first step. Depending on how much they actually care, they may raise high hell with the sales center that has this account.

  9. amazon says:

    Instead of the CRTC David should contact the Canadian Anti-fraud call centre at http://www.phonebusters.com, or the RCMP (Reporting Economic Crime Online) at http://www.recol.ca.

  10. geel says:

    videotron does the same thing with a outsourced center that will not take no

  11. dandmb50 says:

    If someone calls me like that, I just say give me your name and number and I’ll call you back before I GIVE any info. In most cases I just hang up anyway. If I want something I’ll call them.
    I haven’t been with Bell for about 10 years and I bet there are some people still paying for the telephone set itself, how sad and what a rip-off.


    Daniel……Toronto

  12. gazpel says:

    This is an old post, but I just wanted to add what I know.

    First of all, be wary of Bell CANADA — not Bell MOBILITY — calling your cell phone. They’re separately run, from what I know.

    Second and most important: cell phone numbers are distributed in “chunks”.. groups of sequential numbers assigned to Bell Mobility, Sprint, Rogers, Telus, Wind, etc. So a fraudulent company like this one will dial numbers in that series and know that you are (or were) a customer of those companies when you got your number. They’ll use this knowledge and an official tone to trick people into their scam. Of course if they were part of the company who knows you’re a client, they should know your customer number.

    In these cases, don’t blame the company, since these guys are already unjustly giving them a bad name. Definitely hope this case was reported.