Back in 1999, I didn’t have a whole lot of money and my debts were increasing faster than my income. It was close, though. The difference was small. But bit by bit, the debts were increasing.
I had a cell phone with Bell and when I moved from London to the Toronto area, I spoke to Bell about the cell phone charges. I was speaking with a woman who did not have strong English. However, I was very clear with my question – if I received an incoming call from London while I was in Toronto, it would be deemed a local call, since my phone was based in London. The notion seems silly today, but keep in mind that mobile phones were not as prevalent in 1999. Pay plans were still quite new.
So with that information, I encouraged all of my friends and family (mostly based in London) to phone me on my cell. I would not phone them, because of the high costs. So day after day I took calls from London.
Then I got the bill. $350.
I phoned Bell and read them the riot act. The person on the other end didn’t help me. I spoke with the manager and ended up getting about $100 off. Not good enough, I canceled my service. Next bill comes – there was a $100 cancellation fee. Wow – and again remember, these cancellation fees were just as new as the mobile plans.
Another phone call, another riot act. They ended up knocking my bill down the equivalent of that fee. Didn’t matter. I canceled my Internet and switched to Rogers. Changed my long distance to Sprint (Rogers didn’t have home phone yet).
That was the end of Bell, Canada. I’m now 11.5 years ‘clean’. Think about that – roughly 144 bills at an average of over $200/bill – $29,000 give or take. That’s money Bell does not have.
And as for Rogers, well, they’re the subject of the next Blacklisted Companies Blog.