Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hells Bells

I've made no secret that I really don't like telephones all that much. And that dislike is multiplied by a factor of ten when it comes to cell phones. I like new technology. I like gadgets. And yet, I hate cell phones. Others are welcome to sit down and puzzle through all the bells and whistles on them or trying to get the snazziest one on the market. I get one in my hands and I'd just as soon pitch it into a snow bank somewhere.

However, this Christmas Cathy wanted one. Nothing fancy, just a basic cell phone with a dial as you go package. That way when we're travelling we have a phone so our parents can reach us in case of emergency or we can call in case there are problems. We plan on using this phone maybe six times a year.

So, a basic cell phone with a dial as you go package. Sounds really simple, right? No problem.

So of course there have been problems.

I think the thing that annoys me about cell phones is how needless complicated the device can be, plus how exasperatingly complicated cell phone companies make the damn things just so they can nickel and dime you to death. We're dealing with Bell in this case. And while I'm sure people can pop up and say how hideous Bell is to deal with, I guarantee you there are an equal number of horror stories for Rogers or any other cellular provider.

The problem is this...the phone won't work. Oh, it turns on, but we can't make or receive calls. Cathy has spent probably the better part of two hours dealing with three Bell customer service people, each of whom have told her different things. I'm especially fond of the one who said we can't have a pay-as-you go phone to be used in Nunavut or Florida. That pay as you go only works in Ontario or Quebec. If we wanted to use the phone outside those areas, we had to have a monthly plan.

That was about the moment where I was getting ready to tell Cathy to chuck the damn phone in the garbage (Cathy's parents bought it for her as a gift. They specifically asked for a phone that was pay-as-you-go that could be used in Nunavut and anywhere in North America. This is what was sold to them). However, the advice given didn't sound right, so I rechecked Bell's home page, which said what she had just been told was bullshit.

So that was another call back to Bell's "customer service" where another person said what we read on the website was right, that we just needed to upgrade our plan a bit and it should work fine.

Except, of course, the phone doesn't work fine. But we were told it might take 24 hours for the upgrade to work (it says an hour on the website). Also, Bell's customer service line is open from 9 am to 5 pm only. So this is time one of us has to waste at work getting this fixed if it doesn't miraculous work tomorrow.

This is why cell phones are evil. Oh, and don't even get me started on how many times Cathy had to explain to people where Nunavut was. "Is that in Canada?" Are you kidding me? I fucking despair sometimes. These people can't get basic geography straight, so asking them to figure out something as complicated as cell phones and Bell's coverage plans figured might be a bit beyond them.

I'm still tempted to pitch the damn thing into a snow bank, but we shall see how it goes tomorrow.

Last Five
The Bells of Dublin - The Chieftains


Jen said...

RUN away from Bell! Solo is where to go, now there is a pay as you go that you can definately use in Iqaluit (Used up the remainder of my minutes waiting in the airport, cell phones don't work in my community).
I once had the Customer Service lady ask me where Nunavut was. FFS we only have a handful of territories and provinces, it's not that complicated.

dups said...

Bell is part of the group of companies which is owned by a sinister and shadowy group of people like the Illuminati and include such stalwarts as Telus and Air Canada. They work out of a bunker where they wear tweed jackets, smoke cigars and drink brandy while they plot to ruin yours (and my) life.

Air Canada for one outsources their customer service to India (you should ask Marc Dyke about his lost luggage call to southern India... "Look I know your name isn't John and I know that the weather down there isn't snowing..."). If Bell is similar you were probably talking to a Texan, South Asian, Vietnamese or generally wherever they have put their call centre...

Ah soon, Craig, soon we will rule the world and those companies will rue the day... Rue I tell you, RUE!