Last summer (of 2009) I got a job in the North (Whitehorse, YT). I called Bell to know if they had service in the city and if I could keep my existing phone/plan (HTC touch, voice / data). The rep told me that there was no Bell service up there, that I had to cancel my contract, or sell it to someone who might want to take it over. I found this odd because I had visited Bell's website earlier that week and it looked as though they had service up there. I assumed that the rep meant there was no consumer service up there and their line infrastructure was intended only for business customers. Having no time to spare and no interested buyers, I cancelled my 3 year contract, of which had only been in effect for one and a half years. I swallowed hard and paid the cancellation fee.
In the following days, once settled in my new City, I began looking for a mobile phone. To my chagrin, I found that there were only two carriers to choose from up there: Northwestel and... you guessed it, Bell!
I should have listened to my gut and gone with Northwestel but Bell had started offering the Blackberry Tour in their lineup and I just couldn't resist (even though no 3G up there.
I was lucky enough to have the cancellation fee I paid refunded, and reactivate the previously cancelled contract but I still ended up buying a new phone at the non-commital price (the HTC stayed in Ottawa). The rep that told me Bell didn't have service in Whitehorse cost me $700.00 (although I did get a new phone).
The story doesn't end there. New blackberry, new data plan, I was happy again, until their greed fueled incompetence ruined it again... I don't know if Bell still offers this feature, and I don't care. The feature I'm talking about is called "MyFive". Basically, you can have unlimited local and long distance voice and text to five canadian numbers for the people you call the most. With most of my family in southern Ontario, I thought this was the ideal way to stay in touch while I was away for work.
What I am about to say, I say with absolute earnestness: I made a grand total of 15 local calls all under 5 minutes each, during the 3 short months I was there. The rest were my "myFive" numbers.
The first month under the new plan was great, a little more expensive than I was used to, but no issues. This was not the case for the following months. Upon close inspection of my December bill I noticed that they counted one of my "myFive" conversations as a local call. This conversation was of course of a few hours in duration. Since their billing system failed to see that the outgoing number was one of my "myFive" numbers, the converstation ended up taking the remainder of monthly alloted minutes, being charged as long distance and the remaining calls that month were also being billed at the overage rate. In all, the overage charges were in the neighbourhood of $300.00.
I called four times to get this discrepancy resolved, nobody there knew what to do. I spoke with someone who claimed they were a manager there (Frank Firtana). They keep telling me that the charges are valid.
Again, I swallowed hard and paid. As soon as my contract is over, I'm gone.