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.


Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.