The Civil Service isn’t the only place where bureaucracy and rules sometimes get ridiculous . Witness my experience in switching from Roger’s Cable TV to Bell’s satellite TV. You’ve
all seen the ad with the blue and red couch. Okay I believed it; I could get everything I was getting from Roger’s and more at up to 20% less. Actually you can’t – Kitchener’s CKCO is not on Bell nor is Turner Classic Movies or American Classic Movies. In fairness to Bell, it does give you a lot more movie channels in their movies theme package. So I went to the website to investigate and it did seem to be true so I went ahead with the switch. I ordered what I thought would give me all my favorites stations plus six theme packages and a PVR player. The monthly bill looked like it would be less than I was paying Roger’s.
My Bell Order Confirmation showed Bell TV -HD & Digital = $33.00; HD PVR Plus receiver ($15/mo for 12 months, $20/month thereafter $20) = $15; Product subtotal $48.00. Even if you add in 6 Themes (to get stations like Space, History, etc that I got with Rogers plus a lot more movie stations Roger’s didn’t provide) at $26 a month for a
total of $74 an month, that’s still less than my Roger’s monthly bill of $82.53 (over 10%) and I get a PVR with Bell!. But what really sold me was the phone salesman who helped me by phone with my online ordering telling me if I bought the PVR outright I could get
rid of the $20.00 monthly rental fee. They were also having a big promotion. I said yes and the salesman initiated the process.
My Bell Order Confirmation (#2) showed 1 HD PVR Plus – $499.00; Taxes GST or HST – $39.92 for a total of $563.87 to be billed to my Bell account immediately and a Hardware credit of $200.00 and Bell.ca Credit of $25.00 to be credited 6 week later) . It all seemed so easy, the salesman said he would handle it all then and there. BUT he failed me here; I found out 6 weeks later that he did not cancel the rental agreement as he was supposed to
and initiate a different process.
My October 12th Bell bill did not show the $563.87 amount I was expecting; it showed first and last month TV charges including $40 (two months) for rental of the PVR Plus. When I inquired about the rental fee at my local Bell mobile office the clerk there phone Billing and was told about the initial salesman’s mistake. She was also told that to correct it I would have to send back my PVR and cancel my rental agreement (costing me $50 and the cost of shipping the PVR back) then replace the order and wait (without TV) for a new PVR Plus . Talk about bureaucracy. NO THANK YOU! I’ll stick with the rental for now and hope that down the line I’ll be given the opportunity to buy the PVR again.
I highly recommend when dealing with Bell to go to one of the offices (I had excellent help from the Bell Mobile Office on Victoria St. N.) where you can talk to someone face to face. Don’t use the online service especially if you are a hunt and peck typist like me. I kept getting messages from the Bell chat representative asking if I was still there. It got so bad that a supervisor/salesman phoned to assist me – unfortunately it was a bad line and he had an accent – I had a bit of trouble hearing him. He was also the salesman who sold
me on buying the PVR Plus instead of renting it. Even though the savings are not as great as expected I’m happy. A saving of $8.54 (over 10%) a month is not all that bad and I do get a lot more movie channels. I can pull in CKCO with a set top antenna and the signal will improve when CKCO goes digital and I get a digital tuner box.
Update: see my post of August 26, 2010. I was not happy with Bell TV and have switched back and find with the bundle I got from Rogers I’m saving quite a bit over the Bell monthly costs.