Goodbye Bell Canada. Hello

2018, Nov 05    

Final Bell Canada bill 2018-10-04

Description Amount
Residence line $41.82
Telemarketing consent $0.00
Call Answer Message Manager $13.95
Non published listing service $2.00
911 emergency service access $0.13
Total Monthly Charges & Credits (before taxes) $57.90
Total Home phone charges (before taxes) $57.90
HST $7.52
Total Taxes $7.52
Total (after taxes) $65.42

This has been a long overdue moment for years now.

The final straw occurred several months ago when I decided to see if Bell Canada would reduce the monthly bill of 65 dollars. The landline is basic with no features except for call answer that is running $13.95.

The fun starts when I identify that I am calling on behalf of the original account holder and that I am supposed to be authorized to make any changes on this account. A previous call several years ago was made to put myself as an authorized contact which was another whole nightmare. I was expecting no issue here. Without hesitation the customer representative says that I am not authorized to make changes to the account. I was not impressed and not wholly surprised given my experiences with Bell Canada. The original account holder verifies their information and adds myself to the contact yet again. The representative actually tries to the end the call at this point. I end up getting on the line to verify that I’m actually authorized to make changes without the original account holder being needed. I am supposedly verified at this point (just like the last time this was done several years ago).

This is the time to see what can be done about this ever growing bill.

I ask what can be done about price given this account has been with the company for many decades now and the price needs to change.

We can reduce your bill by removing the call answer feature. Nope, this isn’t a solution as voicemail is required.

What else can you do?

We can reduce your phone bill if you subscribe to 2 other services. So you want me to subscribe to tv and internet which I don’t need and will further increase the amount of money I need to pay your company but you can lower my phone bill? No thanks.

I ask a final time. What can you do to reduce my bill without adding services I don’t need? I will be leaving as a customer if you refuse to work with me. The response is of course that you already have a basic landline and they can’t reduce the price. Account age has no bearing on anything.

This is the final straw. As mentioned previously in other posts, long-term customers are not important. New signups is all that counts. All that is wanted is to sell additional services since they can use these numbers to boost quarterly subscriber counts. The time to switch over to voip is quite evident.

I decided to choose as I want to bring my own device and have robust configuration over my implementation. I brought over my Obihai OBi202 ata and dumped some money into my account.

All prices are in US dollars so I dropped in an initial amount of 25 USD (15 USD is the minimum).

I needed to port my phone number from Bell Canada to The account holder signed the last paper invoice from Bell Canada and I scanned that and sent it to as it is required as part of the porting process. You then proceed to fill in the porting request with the required information from that bill. The whole process was estimated to take a week and it did in fact take exactly one week to finish. The account was cancelled on Bell Canada’s portal after the porting was complete.

The following are the prices paid out so far:

Description Amount
Number Port $8.75 USD
DID Monthly Fee $0.85 USD
E911 Monthly Fee $1.50 USD

I had a few hiccups in regards to some voicemail issues that were specific to the Obihai device. Support via live chat and email were very quick and helpful. That issue was resolved.

The amount of configuration with and voip in general is astounding. Before making the switch to voip I wanted to forward my Bell landline to voip to test out the line. Since I had no features on the landline I enquired as to how much that feature would cost to implement for one month on a Bell landline. The answer was 10 dollars for a single feature. That could easily get you several months of service using voip technology. I obviously did not enable it. I’d have to make the transition without any testing.

As it stands I’m currently waiting to see how much usage I will have this month. I’m currently configured for the per minute rate which is less than a cent a minute. The flat rate is 4.25 USD. This is quite cheap considering the 65 dollars a month on Bell Canada.

Voip is inherently different from a traditional POTS line. There are advantages and disadvantages. Bell Canada’s pricing and customer service can’t compare anymore. As it stands the price to performance ratio is extremely high with voip and I honestly can’t tell the difference when using the phone line. I wish I did this sooner.