Goodbye Bell


But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Bell Canada has a long history of dominance in telecommunications, and rightly so. It has until now been the sole owner of a communications infrastructure that can deliver voice communications between local people and the remote corners of the world.

This has given it a fair degree of smugness, and because of their lonely position at the top they haven’t had to learn how to operate efficiently or treat customers right in order to make a profit. They’re the phone company, they own the lines.

In my time as a Bell Canada customer this company has felt free to:

  • Add services to my account which I have not asked for, and failed to remove them on request.
  • Overcharge for services – for basic local telephone service without even Caller ID I pay in excess of $50/month.
  • Deliver poorly executed Internet services, frequently signing up customers who are technically ineligible to receive service, and allowing them to experience poor speeds without offering any resolution.
  • Fail to properly train their technicians and support personnel, resulting in ongoing, unresolved technical issues which a customer has no recourse against.
  • Partition their company into separate groups whose only communication with each other is a ticketing system filled with incomplete short-form notes entered by the aforementioned technicians and support personnel. This gives them all the inefficiency of the US Intelligence services and all the deniability of a terrorist organization.
  • Lie to me about customer retention – after writing me form letters expressing their desire to retain me I have been offered ‘retention offers’ which are little more than standard contract renewals and expect to thank them for this generosity.

Times have changed. Media companies are buying network infrastructure all around the world. New networks are springing up which are outside the reach of telephone companies. Voice over IP enables communication among the people of the Earth with relative ease and freedom.

Over time I have gradually relieved myself of Bell telecommunications services – I replaced the ISP, I replaced the cell phone, and now it’s time for the last step. The telephone.

The telephone is over a hundred years old. It requires a static physical connection in order to operate. It provides no single-signon functionality, no portability, and provides no facility for remote access whatsoever.

Replacing it will be a dry-loop (a federally mandated mechanism by which Bell must provide the physical copper wire on which to run ADSL without a customer having to have a dialtone) and Voice over IP service from AtlasVoice, a Canadian VoIP provider committed to open standards and reasonable pricing on its services.

Goodbye Bell. The telephone is obsolete, and your reign of terror is over.

6 responses to “Goodbye Bell”

  1. Does Bell have to provide me with a dry loop even if I am using another DSL provider? My impression has been that I have to use Sympatico.

  2. Although Sympatico support reps claim that dry loop service is available only to Sympatico customers, third-party ISP’s have a procedure to order it from Bell. I’m using a dry loop with a third party ISP myself.

    What you need to do is order the dry-loop service through your third-party provider, which then places the order to Bell. Argonaut, ViaNet, Look Communications, Telnet Communications and others are familiar with this process.

    Just give their techs a call and inquire.

  3. I am using Bell’s phone service and sympatico ADSL. The internet is ok, which is fast and stable. The issue is the phone, i pay $20+ and it never rings. Most of my friends prefer voice/video chat with my online.

    I am thinking of switch Bell phone to Rogers Mobile phone. I paid same money, but I gain mobility to carry the phone.

  4. I’d bet against them being offical in any capacity.

    As for being bitter, he and many like him have every right to be so. Instead of lambasting the customer, maybe finding out why their opinion of you is lower then having a root canal with no anaesthetic would be a good idea.

    Then again, this is Bell. Their opinion of customers never exceeds walking ATM machines.