Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My Epic Battle with Bell Mobility

Here is the tale of my epic battle with Bell Mobility. It's going to be a lengthy post so feel free to skim. Lets start at the very beginning. 

December 2, 2007
Jamie and I are roaming West Edmonton Mall and we happen to stroll into a Wireless Wave etc. Both our cell phone contracts were done and a couple friends of mine from work at the time had negotiated sweet deals because we were part of our union. The salesman was Adam. He was super smooth and sold both Jamie and I a phone. Jamie got the HTC Touch with a sweet internet data plan. It would only cost him $10 for unlimited while he was paying like $30 on Telus. I got suckered into a Motorola Rokr. The plan for me was $30 which included 200 daytime minutes, unlimited evenings/weekends starting at 6 pm, texting, voicemail, call display and all that other calling jazz. We also both decided to buy the Phone Protection Plan. It was explained to us by Adam that it costs $70 and if we don't use it within 3 years, we get our money back. Sounds like a good deal. Fast forward now...

December 2009
Jamie buys me a new phone for Christmas because the Rokr is absolute CRAP. And I've tried getting it fixed several times and called Bell many many times but nothing has helped. Wireless Wave finally said they need to send the phone in but they don't have any loaner phones for me to borrow and they don't know how long it'd take for the phone to be fixed because it was a software issue. The new phone is a Nokia N97 in white, which he ordered from the States because Canada doesn't carry white. I was excited but also a bit upset that he had spent $400 on a new phone when I was still stuck on contract with Bell. He was clever though and got my # onto a sim card which we stuck into my new phone. Within the first week of using it, it was already glitchy. It got to the point where we couldn't even turn it on. We called Nokia about the manufacturers warranty but they said because we purchased it across the border, the warranty is void. GAYNESS. We finally got the phone working again and I was able to live with it until about 2 months ago. It would drop every single phone call I made and say "Connection Error". My phone calls with friends became, "Just to warn you, my phone is going to disconnect so talk f....BEEP Connection Error". $*#()*@FJDKS*()#& So upsetting! Fast forward again...

December 28, 2010
We're heading over to Jamie's parents for supper and had left the house early. I knew it had been 3 years and I wanted to get our money back for the Protection Plan that we bought in 2007. There happened to be a Wireless Wave at Millwoods Town Center so we stopped in there. The salesman told us that we can only get the money back as credit to use in store and he wasn't able to authorize it because only his manager knew how. If we were to put the credit towards a new phone, however, then he could do it for us. He told us what plans were offered and the best rate was Virgin Mobile. The plan was still more than what I wanted to pay, considering Wind Mobile had an awesome deal for $40. So I decided to hold off and call Bell to negotiate a better deal. That night I get on the phone with Bell and here's our conversation. 
Bell: For service in English, please say English. 
Sandy: English... Hahah I won't go through all of that but I just hate the voice system... 
Sandy: My contract has expired and I'd like to see what data plans Bell has to offer. 
Bell: (Outsourced to India I'm sure because this person had an accent) Our cheapest data plan is $50. 
Sandy: I've been a customer with Bell for 3 years and I'm looking for a cheaper plan than that. 
Bell: There is nothing I can do for you. You'll have to talk to Cancellations. 
I get transferred to the Cancellations/Retention department. 
Bell: What are you looking for in your plan. 
Sandy: Early start unlimited evenings/weekends, texting, data. 
Bell: We have a promotion right now for $50. 
Sandy: I'm looking to pay no more than $40. 
Bell: There are no plans out there for $40 that includes data. 
Sandy: There is. Wind Mobile has one. 
Bell: Wind Mobile does not have the coverage that Bell does. They have dropped calls all the time. 
Sandy: I get dropped calls on Bell and my fiance has Wind. The coverage he gets is fine. I'm not concerned with coverage because I don't travel often. I'm concerned with the price of the plan. 
Bell: The best I can offer you is $45 for 350 daytime minutes, early unlimited evenings/weekends, unlimited texting, voicemail, call display and 500 mb of data. 
Sandy: I don't need 350 daytime minutes. Can you cut that down to 200 and lower the price? 
Bell: *Sigh of irritation* Let me put you on hold. 
Bell: I can do $40.50 a month. 
Sandy: That's with a 3 year contract on a new phone? 
Bell: Yes. Just go to any Bell store or kiosk and they will see the note on your file. 
Sandy: Perfect. Thank you. 
Bell: Have a good day CLICK. 

December 29, 2010
The next day we're heading to Jamie's relatives for supper which is close to Millwoods Town Center so we stop by again. The same salesman is working. 
Sandy: I got a better rate so I'd like to use my credit towards a new phone. He said you can see the rate plan on my file. 
Salesman: I don't actually see anything on your file. Only Bell stores can access that information. 
Sandy: So how do I use my credit if I need to go to a Bell store. 
Salesman: Hmm... You're right... Actually you the credit can only be used on accessories. 
Sandy: You said I can apply it towards a new phone. 
Salesman: Let me check... Yes you're right. You can use it for a phone but only my manager can do that and he's out of the country till early January. Oh wait, maybe the assistant manager knows how to do it. 
So we wait while the assistant manager finishes up his phone call. 
Salesman: You know what? Actually the protection plan you bought 3 years ago, it's a 3+1. It's only in the last 2 years that the plans are 2+1. 
Sandy: What do you mean 3+1? 
Salesman: Well that means your protection plan is 3+1 years, so you can't use the credit for another year. 
Sandy: No where on this contract (Yes I had the original contract, receipt and Adam's card stapled to it) does it say 3+1. The salesman told me if I don't use it within 3 years, I get my money back. 
Salesman: Well Adam is now the sales manager at the West Edmonton location so you can talk to him if you'd like. 
Sandy: Oh you can be sure I will. 

December 30, 2010
So we drive all the way from home (east) to West Edmonton Mall. I'm so ready to have a good yelling at Adam and I'm hoping he's working. Sure enough, Mr. Adam is working. Unfortunately he's busy with a customer so I deal with the other salesman. I told Jamie I was going to play the nice card first and pretend it was my first time trying to get the credit back. We all know being mean doesn't get you far. 
Sandy: We bought phone protection plans 3 years ago and we'd like to use the credit towards a new phone. 
Salesman: Yup no problem. Do you have a phone in mind. 
Sandy: Yes, the iPhone4. 
Salesman: Yup no problem. 
Sandy: I'd like to apply both credits towards one phone. 
Salesman: You can apply one or both. Whatever you'd like. 
Sandy: I negotiated a plan with Bell and you guys can't see it on my file. How do I activate the plan? 
Adam: We just add on a data plan so that we can activate your phone and you just need to call Bell afterwards and they can switch it over for you. Here, take these Tim Horton's gift cards and get yourselves some coffee. We'll get the paperwork ready for you. We're out of stock for the iPhone but can order it for you from Millwoods or you can pick it up. 
So we get our coffee and I'm telling Jamie I can't even be mad at Adam because he's so fricking slick. 
Adam: So I've called Millwoods and they have a phone ready for you. Just stop by and show them the receipt. Because you're doing a hardware upgrade, there's a one time $35 fee. 
Sandy: No one mentioned this fee. 
Adam: Well if you want, you can try calling Bell to see if they can waive it. There's nothing we can do about it in store. 
So we drive all the way from the west back to southeast Edmonton and the same dang salesman is working at Wireless Wave. 
Salesman: So did you talk to Adam? 
Sandy: Yup. 
Salesman: Was he able to do anything. 
Sandy: Yup, no questions asked. We're here to pick up a phone. 
Salesman: Oh the phone is for you? 
So later that night, I call Bell. I sit on hold for 15 minutes and talk to the representative. I tell him that when I had negotiated the plan, they said there would be nothing else to pay. He looks over my file and says there's no note on this fee being waived and I'll need to get transferred to the department that I negotiated with. So I sit on hold for another 3 minutes and he comes back to tell me the department is closed and to call back tomorrow. Until I give the "ok" for this fee, they can't switch my plan over. 

December 31, 2010 
I call Bell Mobility and sit on hold for 20 minutes. TWENTY!!! Finally get through to a representative and I have to explain the whole situation to this outsourced representative in India. After she looks through my file, she comes back to tell me she doesn't see any notes on the file and tells me I need to be transferred. So another 3 minutes on hold and she comes back to tell me the department is closed for New Years. WTF. It's 9 am!!! So I'm left with nothing else to do but call back later. 

January 3, 2011
I call Bell Mobility (starting to sound redundant yet?) and do the same routine all over again. Except this time I'm speaking to someone with no accent. Same story explained, nothing noted on my file, transferred to the department that is finally open!
Representative: How can I help you today?
: I just got a new phone a few days ago and negotiated a new plan but there's been some conflict about the hardware upgrade fee. 
Representative: What is the conflict? 
Sandy: When I was negotiating the plan, I was told that the hardware upgrade fee would be waived and there's nothing noted on my file. 
Representative: Let me take a look...Do you remember what plan you negotiated? 
Sandy: I spew out the plan. 
Representative: Yup, that's all it shows on here. Looks like you spoke with someone on the 29th and they tried to transfer you but the department was closed. 
Sandy: I was debating between getting the Samsung Galaxy or the iPhone4 and the guy said if I signed for 3 years with the iPhone4, he would waive the fee because the phone is more expensive. 
Representative: Ok. I also see here that you're still on your corporate plan. Did you want me to activate your new plan? 
Sandy: Well they didn't activate it because I had to talk to you guys about the upgrade fee. 
Representative: Let me put you on hold. 
And so he goes on to tell me how he has to do all this work to swap plans out and I'll be on hold for 5 minutes but to not hang up the phone. 3 minutes later, he comes back to make sure I'm still on the phone. 2 minutes later he comes back and tells me he'll waive the fee and the plan is good to go. Overall, Frank did a great job. He was fast, to the point and even helped me out with a few other things. 

So at the end of this battle, what happened? 
Days spent:5
Trips to Millwoods Town Center:3
Drives to WEM:1
Tanks of gas guzzled: likely 2
Calls to Bell: 4
Lies told: 1
Fees waived: 1
Minutes of my life wasted on hold:immeasurable. 

What did I win? 
An iPhone4 that cost $28.09 (plus the $139.90 that we paid for the Phone Protection Plan 3 years ago) and a monthly plan of $40.50 which includes data that I'll need to pay for the next 3 years. 
Maybe I didn't actually win... 

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