Bell Canada Rips Off Another Couple & Cannot Explain Charges

Bell Canada Rips Off Another Couple & Cannot Explain Charges

Toronto : Canada | Mar 02, 2011 at 10:19 PM PST
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Boycott Bell Canada 2011-2012

Why am I not shocked that Bell cannot explain a couple's huge phone bill, that is because I have been there done that with Bell Canada although I think Rogers is the worst.

Internet data usage cost higher for what I don't know as we still have the same three laptops and one desktop and are not using them more now than 10 months ago. Phone charges and services up on landlines with no additional long distance cost or cell phone bills being extra high when I hardly use the damn phone except for unlimited text and then their cockamania story which does not solve the problem when one calls to enquire about the high charges.

Guess what too ?you had better not be late paying or they call your home a million times figuratively speaking like the time we were on vacation and came home to see Bell called 6 times and we were only three days past due..

We had to remind them we always pay on time and in full .Bastards.!

You also better make sure your phone was from a Bell store as they will charge you for any problem with your landline if you are not using a Bell phone. Another thing make sure you have the wire care plan to prevent you from paying if something were to go wrong with your line. Oh boy where are the good old days!

I do not know if is because Bell's Customer Service Reps are "outsourced" and perhaps cannot explain re english a second language or that Bell is just looking to rip customers off to make huge profits for themselves.

I received a credit from Bell in December if I can recall after many customers had filed a class action suit against Bell re high bills etc and luckily for me I benefited.

It is really time we consumers speak up. With so much competion I cannot for the life of me understand why these phone and Internet service providers charge so much.perhaps because they know we canadians are addicted to the internet and cell phones.It baffles my mind really.

Read below this story I read on Yahoo and by a CBC reporter,see if you identify. Poor couple. I feel for them

""A couple from Merritt, B.C., have been battling Bell Canadafor months over enormous bills — which they call outrageous and unwarranted — for thousands of dollars in unexplained data charges on their smartphone.

"They basically made us scared of our phone," said Daniel Methot.

"We just stopped using it. We shut it off," added his wife, Kate.

The Methots got their first shock soon after Kate signed up for the phone in October. She received a bill for over $1,000, mainly data charges.

"My wife looked at me and I thought, 'Oh boy, what did I do that I didn't know that I had done? I am in trouble,'" Daniel recalled.

At first, the couple said, they panicked, thinking they must have mistakenly downloaded something that used up a tremendous amount of data.

"I basically deleted every app that I had downloaded and just started to be a lot more conservative with the data use, and that's all I could do," Daniel said. "We never thought we would be billed for something we weren't using. That was sort of a new concept for us."

"We asked [Bell] what the problem was and they really couldn't give us an answer," Kate added.

Despite their efforts to minimize use of their Samsung Galaxy smartphone, they said, the bills continued to mount for hundreds of hours of data usage.

In December, Bell's bill included a charge for 30 hours of data usage in one 24-hour period. By that time, the couple's account had skyrocketed to $3,515.13.

The Methots estimate they've been overcharged more than $5,000 to date.

"Had we been paying these bills blindly without asking any questions we would be out $5,162.80 over a course of about five months," Daniel said.

The couple said it would be impossible for them to spend that much time on their smartphone.

"My husband is in a business where he can't sit on his phone all day, and we have a nine-month-old daughter and she requires a lot of attention," Kate said. "So I can't be on my phone or on the internet all day."

"It should have been a no-brainer for Bell," Daniel said. "Something wrong is happening here and [Bell] should probably fix it."

CBC News asked Bell several times for a response to the Methots' complaint. While refusing an in-depth interview on the topic, Bell told CBC News it cannot yet explain what is happening with the account.

"I'm still going to pursue the deeper, more intensive technical investigation into the Methots' data usage and am hopeful that this will yield some answers," Bell spokesperson Jason Laszlo said.

One possible explanation Bell gave is that perhaps someone else is tapping into the phone and using it to connect to the internet without the Methots' knowledge.

"The one possibility that kept being raised was that the device's mobile hot-spot feature may be on. This feature turns the device into a wireless modem which can connect up to three other devices via Wi-Fi."

However, Daniel said, he has already ruled out that possibility because the charges continue even when the phone is shut off. He said he's spent countless hours talking with numerous Bell representatives trying to diagnose the problem. Each time, he said, he had to tell the whole story from the beginning.

"He would either be trying to work or trying to deal with this bill," Kate said. "Sometimes it would keep him from his job and it wasn't fair."

Daniel said the representatives would ask him the same questions: Were the couple watching movies on the phone, using it to connect a computer to the internet (known as "tethering"), or using it out of the country?

The couple insist they don't do any of those things.

"And when we asked them what we needed to do to fix the problem, they just said 'Well, quit watching videos on your phone all day,'" Kate said.

"I felt like I was being treated like a criminal — like we were trying to essentially steal from them," Daniel said. "When you call in to argue a bill, that's what they do. They tell you to pay — and don't ask questions."

In December, the Methots paid a lawyer $400 to write a letter to Bell but that yielded no results. In January, Daniel thought he had finally made a breakthrough.

In a phone call he recorded, a Bell representative told him his problem was a "known" software problem on Bell's end. "You'll be OK, don't worry, because it is a known issue," she told Daniel.

The account was immediately credited $3,330.88, and the Methots thought their problem had finally been solved.

Days later, though, they received a new bill with $1,204 in new charges.

"It was just a temporary relief and then the stress is back again," Kate said.

"At that point I wasn't interested in being a Bell customer anymore," Daniel added.

Bell told CBC News what the Methots were told about the software issue was incorrect.

"The "known issue" the reps mistakenly assumed applied to the Methots was one where a small number of customers were billed for legitimate data … at a rate not in accordance with their plan," Laszlo wrote.

"This isolated matter has been resolved and affected customers credited in full. The Methots' concern isn't that they are being charged an incorrect rate for data, but that they are being charged for data they didn't use."

Daniel said he wants to warn other customers who may be unknowingly paying for data they didn't use.

"There is really no way of telling how much has been billed out to different customers that was never actually used," Daniel said.

"These customers are not alone," said Howard Maker, the head of the federal Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services. "Unfortunately, Canadian telecom consumers do suffer from many billing errors from their providers."

Maker said his office received more than 1,900 complaints about wireless providers last year, and 40 per cent of them were about overbilling.

Data is a particular problem, Maker said, because many consumers aren't aware of how much they use. He suggested smartphone users track their data usage with an app from an independent company that will give them evidence if they need to dispute a bill.

"If the consumer has some third-party piece of evidence that says 'Look, I have this tool of a third-party provider and it says you are wrong,' there is some evidence that the provider can use to conduct its research," Maker said.

The Methots say Bell recently offered to cancel their contract and waive all outstanding fees, but they have not yet accepted. They say they aren't sure Bell's remedy is adequate compensation considering what they paid the lawyer and the ordeal they've been through.

"I am not going to go away, I am too deep into this now," Daniel said. "This has taken up a lot of my life lately so I don't just intend to walk away."

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mrspleats is based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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