Monday, 5 October 2009

My Letter to Bell Canada

Some of you may think I am a big fan of Bell, given my defense of them in the Net Neutrality debate. That I am not.

Why? Because their customer service sucks! But the one thing I do have access to is a Corporate Customer Rep. It helps when the company you work for pays over $500k/yr for data and voice services.

Anyway, this is my letter to that individual. We'll see if it prompts a response:

Dear: (name withheld)

I know it's not your department, But can someone there explain to me the purpose of the Bell stores?

Backstory: I am currently a Look Communications TV subscriber. Look sold its wireless assets to Inukshuk and is going offline on Nov. 15th.

Look subscribers all received a letter explaining how their service will end and all current customers are entitled to a special deal from Bell ExpressVu, where we get a free HD receiver when we sign with ExpressVu.

So I went to the local Bell store in Cambridge (5-499 Hespeler Rd. Cambridge, ON N1R 632). The friendly and courteous agent politely informed me that he could not honour the offer, and that I can only do this by calling Bell direct.

What the hell? When I had a billing issues (which I needed your help correcting) the Bell store could not help me. When I want to sign up for new services and take advantage of an exclusive offer, the Bell store cannot help me.

What good are they? If they can't help people, close the damn things, or at least take your company name off them (Hint, call them the Almost-But-Not-Quite Bell store.)

The whole reason I went to the store is because I wanted to do a person-to-person review of all my Bell services to ensure the plans I had were the most cost-effective for me for the services I use. This isn't even about having to talk to a know-nothing in India (although that's a large part) but I wanted to do this with an agent with pen and paper in hand so we could outline what all my options were, how much they cost now, what they will cost in 12 months, etc. etc. etc. I have zero confidence that an anonymous agent sitting at a desk who-knows-where will be able to help me, because this level of detail is damned near impossible to do over the phone. If it was easy to discuss service and billing over a phone, you would have no need to ever visit our offices to discuss our corporate services. Right?

At the moment I'm torn about what to do. Do I go through the headache of the idiots in India? Or do I forget about it altogether and go back to a plain 'ole antennae for TV?

Option B is mighty attractive right now.

Thanks for letting me vent. Maybe this will find its way to someone that has a clue about what customer service should be, and doesn't accept that what it is currently best serves your customers.

(Name Withheld)


Ken Breadner said...

Looooove it. I'd bet on a boilerplate response...if you get one at all, that is.
We're with Bell on everything, not because we like them, but because Rogers is ever so marginally worse.

Catelli said...

It won't be boilerplate. Our Corporate Sales Rep is a really good guy.

However, his influence is limited...

My neighbour is on Rogers, and he said every night at 5:00pm his Internet access slows so much he can't even access his home page. During the day or on the morning on the weekend, its fast as hell. At night (which is when I'd use it) its barely usable.

So I guess its Bell or nothing...

Realtor from Toronto said...

Hi. This post is exactly the evidence of what is happening nowadays in the business. The face to face communication is the best way how to build a relationship with customer. Big corporations are probably forgetting what the term customer service mean. The costs should not be seen as the most important thing.

Good luck,

Catelli said...

That's the aspect of this that I find confusing. The Bell stores are infrastructure they are paying to maintain.

But they only serve a subset of customer's needs at these stores...

If there's a cost savings in turning customers away, its a bloody bizarre one.