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An Open Letter to Bell Canada

Bell Canada LogoDear Bell Canada,

I have to say Bell, you and I need to talk. We have really had this bittersweet relationship for a number of years and, for the most part I have been silent. I have waited while you find a suitable customer representative, I have been patient when, after tying in my phone number, that very rep asks me for the same number again. As one of your customers, my tolerance for you has reached a breaking point.

I have been a loyal customer for more than 15 years, over these years I’ve had land lines, pagers, cell phones, blackberries, single number reaches, high-speed internet access, even those Meridian phones you offered back in the day – I think I’ve kept up my end of the bargain as a good customer. Yes, there was that time I was late on paying the bill, I’m sorry. There was that other time you shipped me the extra modem – I returned it to your store. Heck, over the last year alone I have spent more than $4,500 on your good and services.

That’s a lot of my money, a lot more when I think about how bad you’ve been. When I found out that you had changed your unlimited data package to $30 you didn’t let me know. I had to call you and speak to a machine (Emily) and ultimately struggle with a customer rep to get this new plan. Imagine my surprise that you don’t have me on the lowest cost plan possible at all times? With such a large network, you can’t calculate this to save me a few bucks? Then there’s the Samsung Flip-Phone thing. I know you remember that. You had me in a contract (sneaky) and because the penalty was larger for canceling I had to dump my plan on another sap or ride it out. You must have enjoyed watching me pay for two phone plans at a time.

Here’s the thing Bell – you and I know the thing that locks us together in contract will end on July 9th, 2009 – unless you come to me with something I can’t refuse, I will move my money somewhere else. I’m not even going to call your wonderfully automated phone system to warn you. The great thing is that, although you still have a last-mile monopoly, the market is becoming more and more competitive. I will soon have a number of options to take my business too other than Rogers or Fido because of the coming deregulation in the cell market.

Bell, I am sorry, I know this will really hurt you. Heck, customers like me are so important to you that your telephone customer service outfit has an entire tier of hard working folks setup to keep customers like me. Its appropriately called the “retainer queue”. Since the proverbial ball is in your court, its up to you to change the way you handle me, your customer. Hopefully, you will learn to treat all of your customers better.

I look forward to hearing from you before we talk again on July 9th, 2009.

Sincerely,
Kevin Costain