Crank Call

I apparently owe Bell Canada over $200 for a phone line that was supposed to be free, and was only meant to last for 2 weeks and not several months. Image taken by David Gay with permission to use provided credit is given to the author
I apparently owe Bell Canada over $200 for a phone line that was supposed to be free, and was only meant to last for 2 weeks and not several months. Image taken by David Gay with permission to use provided credit is given to the author

UPDATE 6/12/2014 11:40 a.m. : Never underestimate the power of social media. Bell Canada responded within hours of this post and is currently working to correct this issue. I will keep you posted on my progress to get this mess cleared up.

UPDATE 6/12/2014 7:43 p.m. : $180.22 of the amount shown in the photo has been deducted from my account. Still pushing for zero total.

UPDATE 9/20/2014 10:35 a.m. : The balance has been reduced to zero. I want to thank Bell Customer Service for acting on my concerns and working with me to remove this amount.

I moved to Kitchener on November 9th, 2013 because I couldn’t afford to live in my apartment any more. I’d like to tell you my move went smoothly, but my mother did not raise me to be a liar. There were a few problems, one of which is the subject of this blog post today.

During the month of August 2013, I called various companies that handled my telephone, Internet, credit card and bank accounts to let them know that I was moving. Bell Canada was informed that both my Internet and land-line services would be cancelled on November 9th, 2013. Bell got the Internet cancellation date right, but cancelled my land-line on October 9th, 2013, one month before my move-out. Since I previously cancelled my last cell phone as a job-seeking cost cutback a while back, I had to contact Bell via their on-line web service. An agent by the name of “Mary” was available and we had the following chat:

Chat Transcript
info: A chat representative will be with you in about 0 minute(s). Thank you for waiting. 
info: Mary has joined the session and is ready to help. To start, please provide your name and home phone number. 
Mary: Hi! Welcome to Live Chat. My name is Mary. How may I assist you today?
You: David Gay, (phone number). I believe there was a misunderstanding regarding the cancellation of my phone was meant for Nov 9th, not Oct 9th
You: I have the order number
You: (order number)
Mary: Thanks for giving me the information needed, I appreciate it. Would you mind staying on line while I look up that information for you?
You: Sure!
Mary: For your home phone to be activated kindly call 310 2355 or  1 800 668 6878
You: Okay, can you explain to me wht happened? Was there a clerical error?
Mary: It was already cancelled last October 9 and the only department who can activate it will be the technical department who handles activation
Mary: Yes the due date was put on October 9
You: That’s an error on Bell’s part. 
You: It clearly was verbally checked for Nov 9th. I have the written notes here
You: I even validated it on the phone
Mary: I really would like to help you on activating your account, however I do not have the proper tools to perform the activation

This is rich. I’m being told that I have to call Bell at the following number listed above to reactivate my land-line but I have no land-line in my apartment (it was cancelled, remember?). The only way I could contact Bell by phone is to go to the East York Town Centre mall where there was a Bell store. After remaining on the phone in the store for an hour, I was told a new telephone number would be assigned for me to use for the remaining weeks living in my apartment, and it would be free of charge. The number was expected to expire on November 9th, 2013.

After I moved out, I didn’t think about this issue again. Sure, it was a boneheaded move by Bell to write down the wrong date for my land-line even though they knew my Internet service which they maintained was also closing down on November 9th, 2013. I just didn’t push it further since they gave me a new land-line free of charge.

During the month of May, 2014, my sister calls me to let me know Bell is after me for money. I initially thought it was for a late payment on my new cell-phone so I called the number left for me to call. To my horror I found out the following information about my free line:

  • It did not end on November 9th, 2013. The service was active for several months long after I moved out.
  • It was not flagged as a free-account and I owed over $200 (see above image).

Even thought it was Bell Canada’s fault for cancelling my original telephone line on October 9th, 2013, even though Bell Canada said it was a free line set to expire after I moved out on November 9th, 2013, I am on the hook to pay that full amount for a service I never used and was told it was free. After repeatedly speaking with Bell representatives, I was informed a collections agency will be harassing myself and my family until I do pay.

Bell Canada, I’m not going to pay one wooden nickel of this amount. This blog post will be circulated throughout the blogosphere, on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook. I will also contact CTV News and CityTV News to have them do a story on how you persecute the unemployed for mistakes your company made.

Consider this my declaration of total war, and it will be dirty and nasty.



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