TAG: Bell

Payphones Are Dying – Now Is The Time To Speak Up

A Bell payphone in the wildI have more than a passing interest in payphones. In fact, whenever I’m out of the country, I try to get at least one picture of a local payphone and submit it to an online database of phones. It’s so widely known among my friends that, on occasion, they’ll take pictures when travelling and make me aware of them. Payphones are interesting because this tool is dying an inauspicious death worldwide. This may be due to the proliferation of cell phones, the ubiquity of Internet communications (and with it VoIP options), or just the higher cost of providing access to an aging network. Whatever the reason, this clear market shift is never been more apparent than in Canada. Bell has even asked for permission to raise rates on payphone calls and was denied by the CRTC.

The venerable payphone (or telephone booth) has existed since the late 1800’s and likely hit its peak sometime in the 1980’s. With the rise of the Internet in the late 1990’s and the smartphone in the late 2000’s, payphone numbers have dwindled while the cost-per-call has increased. In fact, if you look around, chances are, you won’t see a payphone within walking distance. Recently, the CTRC had opened up to the public for comments about payphones, how they’re used and what Canadians think about losing this important service.

Spotlight On: Commissioner For Complaints For Telecommunications Services

CCTS-1

That is most certainly a mouthful: Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services, or CCTS are a private, not-for-profit corporation that is funded by Canada’s participating telecom companies (like Bell, Rogers, Telus, etc). In fact, the CRTC forces the telcoms to pay into this and participate in complaint resolutions or risk CRTC’s wrath. This month, the CCTS released a report about the mass of complaints they’ve received, some case studies and a heck of allot of interesting information about how we handle this process. Let’s take a closer look.

Cell Providers Have Gone HeyWire

Heyware-LogoAn interesting story (read it here) popped up over the last couple of days about a father who refused to pay a high Rogers cell phone bill. Alex Dunsmore’s son sent and received a large number of text messages with his girlfriend, who was using a free texting application. The application in question, HeyWire, is a US-Based free texting application that allows a user to text Canada for free – but the person replying must  text a US number in return. The fascinating thing about this scenario is that Dunsmore’s cell phone plan included “Unlimited” texting in Canada and his son’s girlfriend texted from an application she presumed was free. The question here is who’s on the hook for the extra charges? Should Dunsmore have been notified of these huge charges?

Understanding The MLSE Purchase By Rogers and Bell

MLSE
Photograph by: MARK BLINCH, REUTERS

I generally tend to avoid commenting on, or speaking about anything Rogers-related on this blog (for obvious reasons). But, the recent news about Rogers and Bell purchasing an ownership stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment has a considerable amount of folks buzzing. I thought I would throw my two cents into the mix. I didn’t want to do this too soon either – having some clarity on the subject would go a long way.

So, if you hadn’t heard yet, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan sold it’s roughly 80% stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment to BCE Inc., and Rogers Communications Inc. for $1.32-billion. They will both share in the purchase price. This deal is expected to be finalized in the summer of 2012. This deal came together extremely fast – as recently as in the last month (report).

Mobile Companies In Toronto – Where Does Your Money Go?

Choices, choices, choices. The landscape of phone service carriers has changed enormously over the last year. Over the time you read this article, the landscape will likely change again. This information is current as of September 2010. Thanks to a great deal of competition and a number of new carriers on the market – we have choices. Lots of Choices! I decided to give you an idea of which company owns which brand. See the infographic at left for more!

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.

Ever heard of Holding Actions?

George W. Bush Holding A Baby

Recently, I was introduced to a phrase – I’m guessing many of you had never heard of this before either: “Holding Actions”. Definition-wise, this is known as a attack in war where you hold (or deceive) your enemy into a position that doesn’t help them. In the context I was introduced to this, “Holding Actions” are those that are being inflicted on the consumer forcing them to submit to control. This is how we are being (often blindly) screwed by companies – but their tactics remain legal.

There are no more results.