DSL Customers Told Shaft Shoved up Their Ass is a Figment of Their Imagination

“You must have imagined it.”

That’s the message DSL providers are sending to customers complaining that their internet speed was much higher before they renewed their longstanding service contracts.

Yesterday, we complained about Verizon DSL, today, Bell Sypmatico, the consumer-side internet service provider division of Bell Canada.

To hear Ryan tell it, perhaps they should consider renaming themselves Bell Serpico…


Ryan writes:

    “Hi there Mr. Consumerist!

    I was peepin’ your site today and an article on DSL jogged my memory and sent me into Hulk mode…

    I have been a Bell Sympatico high speed DSL subscriber for 4 years now and when my renewal came up this February, I did the usual, called the retention line to renegotiate an additional 1 year term. Went through all the hoops, finally agreeing on $25/month x 6 months and $35/month x 6 months for 5 megabit service. Great! same as last year, “just click on the contract link we send to your email and it’s all good”… Ah, not so much.

    For the first month I did recieve the 5 megabit service, at the agreed upon price, even have the bill to prove it. Then I noticed my speed had dropped considerably, and did some test to check it out. Then I got my next bill… Flippin’ 3 megabit downgrade, and $35/month x6 and $45/month x6 for an inferior service. That is the regular price, nevermind my 4 years of loyalty or the speed downgrade. Fuck.

    I called customer service 3 times and got the same response everytime- ” We don’t offer that package”, “The emailed contract stated otherwise” They were right, the contract sent to me was NOT what I negotiated, but had clicked through like I had for the last 3 years without incident. They scammed me, even matching my speed and price to the agreed upon terms for the first month. When I queried them on why I had the “Ultra” 5 meg service and correct price for the first month, they said they were unsure. I asked them to pull the recordings, they said that there were none. I said that is BS, you must record retention contracts, I am in telecommunications for a living and know better. They said there was nothing they could (or wanted) to do. I would have to pay $100 to even cancel my contract.

    Retention by scamming. This is the times we live in. I’m sure Ma Bell isn’t eating KD tonight, so why you gotta scam a hard working Joe? Please help.

    Ryan S.”

Editors note: Many, many donkeys were harmed in the photoshopping of the donkey.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Halo says:

    wow, thats a dirt trick. just wait until they start capping your torrents as well!

  2. ExVee says:

    My suggestion? Go to Radio Shack and buy the equipment to record your calls. You’ll have to feed them back their favorite recorded phrase, “This call is being recorded” before you say anything else, but you’ll at least have your own record to use as needed.

    True, that’s of no help this time, but anything I can think of to pressure the provider into fulfilling the original negotiation would cost more than the cancellation fee. Probably gonna have to either eat the cost of early termination and find another provider, or give in and stick out the remaining term.

    …now, wait. Your account seems to indicate you clicked through the e-mailed contract without making sure it was the terms you agreed to over the phone? If so, shame on you. There’s neither reason nor excuse to not check and see that everything is in order. Best to remember that for the next time you do this.

  3. OkiMike says:

    He should find out if they use NICE to record their calls. If so, he has a way to fight back. Write a letter to their legal department explaining in clear terms the issue. Include a copy of the contract and a letter listing your lawyer’s contact info and your intention to sue if the contract terms are not reinstated.

    That should get them going.

  4. Zodiac says:

    Bell’s customer service is such a joke. I got this free four-month sympatico thing when I bought my computer a few years ago and used it, and then it was hell to end my contract on time. They switched my service to a higher, more expensive one because they “misunderstood” what I was telling them. Then they called me and offered a more complete phone package than what I had, stressing that I was paying 15$ for 100 minutes but they would upgrade that to 15$ for 600 minutes. I accepted and when I checked my previous bills I found out that no, I was not paying 15$ a month but 5$ a month. They gave me false information through and through.

    I finally got out of their sympatico contract (and they charged me an extra month and I had to call them to get reimbursed) and am now considering switching phone companies. I’m even ready to pay a few extra bucks every month just to be left in peace and quiet.

  5. sabo says:

    I made a change to my ISP (simpatico) I had unlimited with bell then changed to there 7mb 60gb plan. I got the 7mb speed the first time they changed it “but the next day I was getting only 3mb? Made a call just to be told it would take 24hrs to get things working. OK 24hrs later I get 5mb so I called and ask them what’s up with the 7mb speed and why am I only getting 5mb “sorry you can only get 5mb in your area.
    Right lol I am on the other side of the street from there hop=server
    I did ask them why I got the 7mb before I lost the speed and I get no answer from them.
    You can’t trust anyone.