Archive for November, 2006

Bell Mobility Data Support Good (sort of), Bell Mobility Bad

7 weeks ago I called Bell Mobility Data Support to report that my handset was having major issues with receiving text messages.  This wasn’t the first time I called them about it.  I had called them about it four years ago.  I never heard back from them and I never followed up because I didn’t really need it to work.

This time around, the first person I talked to was unusually helpful and knowledgeable.  A simple, “I’m not an idiot, I’ve tested what’s available to me to test, it doesn’t work, the (Java) handset crashes periodically, it’s almost certainly the handset” was enough to open an escalation to have it looked at by someone who can actually verify that’s the case.

A week goes by… no real news.  Another week goes by, they re-confirm that pending text messages usually fail.  Two more weeks and they blame the handset manufacturer (Kyocera) and claim that they’re working with them for a resolution.  Another week and they’re still waiting for a resolution from Kyocera.  I tell them to send me a new handset - after all, I’ve had the same one for 6 years.  That’s six years without them subsidizing a handset (which they usually do for most their users every 18-26 months) for me.  I figure that the least they could do is send me a new handset (after I could have got three subsidized handsets from them if I had wanted) to replace the faulty handset (text messages only worked right for the first 4 months I had it) they sold me in the first place.
A week later, now 6 full weeks after I contacted them, they tell me that they’ve confirmed that the handset isn’t functioning correctly… which sounded familiar given that I told them the exact same thing (and the guy I had talked to agreed) when I opened the escalation with them.  I repeated the “the least you can do is completely or substantially subsidize a good new handset for me” theory again and was told that “It’s against Bell Mobility’s policy, we’re not going to do that.  At best we’ll offer you the crappy subsidy if you sign another contract.”

WTH, would I want to sign a new contract with a company that is currently providing me with crappy service?  Heck, even though I’ve been a customer of theirs for a long time, I’ve never had a contract with them.  Why would I want one now?  Better yet, even though I know that I won’t be switching providers any time soon (I like CDMA and I’m not giving up my number — #&^%@* number portability!) if I were to sign a new contract to get their subsidy, they don’t offer any phones I like.  Nobody around here had a Bell Mobility handset in the candy bar form factor available with a subsidy.  Bell World didn’t even have candy bar phones — only big and bulky flip phones that don’t fit in your pocket (which isn’t a good place for a phone given the radiation and all, but I don’t care, I’m sure I’ll do something stupid enough to get myself killed long before I die of cancer).

Radio Shack, or whatever the heck they’re called now, had a Nokia 2125i that suited my requirements (candy bar phone, some buttons, receives text messages in theory).  Of course, no Bell Mobility subsidy (even though their phones on display all had subsidies available.  So I ended up shelling out cash for a new handset.  Thanks Bell, you suck.  I guess the few hundred dollars I personally send you every month for services isn’t enough.  Not much choice for me there, but there’s a few thousand dollars a month in services at work that I could easily move to other providers.  The only thing stopping that from happening is there’d be little in cost savings, and I know how bad Bell is.  I’m not too sure how bad the alternatives are.
So, Bell Mobility Data Support is sort of good… they eventually identified the cause of a simple problem.  Bell (Mobility) on the other hand, is as always, not so good.  The worst part of it all is that I really only need text messaging to function so that I can be notified when our various Bell provisioned network links go down.

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