A rant

Picture this. It is 8 in the evening and your phone rings. You are a young mother with a toddler vying for your attention. As a post-doc you make an OK salary but you have to cut corners to make ends meet since you have a family. It doesn’t help that you are fully taxed on this salary despite being ineligible for benefits such as a pension, unemployment insurance, dental care etc. That is your situation as you pick up the phone. A representative from your Internet (and phone) provider is on the lone offering you a contract. For the past year and a half you have been avoiding contracts because you don’t want to get locked into a bum deal. But you know your student discount rate is ending soon, so you listen to the person on the phone. The person knows that you are on a student (or near student) income and that you have a toddler to support. This representative of the corporation tells you that if you agree to a 1-year contract you can keep your current service and price. This sounds like a good deal so you repeat the terms – same service, same price – and agree to the contract. The person on the phone informs you that there will be a $100 charge if you break the contract. OK.

Two weeks later you get your Internet bill and the charges have gone up nearly 30%! You are not pleased. This is not what you agreed to. You call the Internet (and phone) provider. You are armed with the confirmation number and the name of the person who first offered you the deal. The phone company tells you they are very very sorry for the inconvenience, but there is nothing they can do. Either you pay the extra 30%, or your bill goes up by a mere 10%, but you service is decreased by 40%. So less service for a higher price AND you are locked in for a year. You NEVER would have agreed to this, but you were blatantly lied to. Well this happened to me. A certain company with a 4 letter name starting with B and ending with L essentially phoned me at 8 pm and lied to me to lock me into a year long contract. This is worse than false advertising, its fraud. I don’t think large corporations should be able to treat clients this way. I told them on the phone that I intended to tell everyone I knew about this. I know as a single person I can’t do much. But at least I can warn you.

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4 Responses to A rant

  1. Anonymous says:

    Dear Science Mom:

    I share your anger and upset. I never listen to these pitches whether by phone or e-mail or on the web.

    I just looked at bell.ca. At the bottom of the screen click “Customer commitment” and then look at “Clarity commitment” [!] and then back track to “Complaint resolution process”. I suggest you follow these steps and see what happens. If their words mean anything (which you doubt) then this process should get you somewhere, but at the cost of your time.

    I don't want to be critical, but you should have asked them to send you their proposal in writing (i.e., by Canada Post, not e-mail or web).

    BTW, L and her companion had a lovely evening at the Brodie Club listening to your favorite professor. We're both starting to read her book.


  2. Science Mom says:

    Thanks P,

    I'll certainly be asking for everything in writing from now on! They caught me at a vulnerable moment and they knew it. They could hear my toddler screaming in the background. I should have just hung up.

  3. Amelie says:

    I'm sorry. This just sucks. I know one should be careful and get everything in writing, etc., but thanks for reminding me how important it actually is.

  4. Science Mom says:

    Hi all, Just a follow-up. On sound advice from many of you – and after finding some time :-). I called back and managed to score myself same service for only $5 more per month (still not great, but better). I also got the right to break contract in 4 months without penalty to go back to the seasonal deal I originally had. I asked for this in writing, but was told “That is impossible”. Hmmmm, but I do have a name, an employee number and a ticket number. So we'll see…

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