Goodbye Bell

One of the most satisfying things I’ve done in a while was to call Bell Canada and cancel my home phone line forever. The reason I cancelled it was that I got a great rate plan for my mobile phone and no longer need the land line. I decided I was going this route back in the spring and since then have been tracking my home phone calls. More than 75% of them were unwanted telemarketers, breaking the “do not call” list law here in Canada. So what’s the point in paying $45 a month so strangers can solicit me by phone? When I called to cancel they were very disappointed. I’d been with them pretty much most of my life with the same phone number. Now here’s the rub: Since about the early ’90s they have been literally ripping me and you and anyone else with a land line off for like $40. a year. How? They charge a small additional fee for having a touch tone phone. That shit might have washed for the first five years after rotary phones were made obsolete back in the early ’80s, but after that it was nothing but stealing, as far as I’m concerned.

So here’s how the call to Bell went. “Yes, Bell, I notice there’s this $4. charge on my bill for touch tone services, yet rotary phones have been obsolete for decades, so please remove this from my bill, thanks.”

“Oh I’m afraid we can’t do that.”

“Sure you can, you’re Bell. You can do whatever you want.”

“Not in this case, I’m afraid. I’m sorry.”

“No worries. Just cancel my land line, then.”

“Huh!? You’re not going to cancel over something so small, are you?”

“Sure I am.”

“Well maybe we can give you a discount on another area of your bill.”

“Sorry, I’m afraid that won’t be good enough. Not only do I want this fee removed but I want it retroactive to the last century. So basically, I want a credit of a few hundred bucks on my bill before I’ll reconsider dropping my land line.”

“Oh there’s no way we can do that.”

“Then see ya!” 🙂

It was very satisfying indeed. You’d think with all the competition out there Bell Canada would start rethinking their policy of stealing money out of the pockets of their land line customers. I guess not yet, but they will. And by then it will be too late.

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9 Responses to Goodbye Bell

  1. GOOD FOR YOU!! I can’t believe they’re still trying to charge for touch tone service…. what a joke!!

  2. I consider this to be a brave act. I think of my land line as Plan B in case something goes wrong with the satellites. Irrational, I know. But I can’t bring myself to cancel. Yet.

  3. Chloe [Photographer] says:

    nice photo, it’s very grungy
    it goes well with the overall mood of your post and good on you for ditching the phone company

  4. Thanks ODP and Chloe. Yeah, cancelling the land line wasn’t an easy decision. Overall it will save my around $400 a year.

  5. milkayphoto says:

    Ha! You showed them, Dave! Good for you!

  6. lynnwiles says:

    I’m on the verge of canceling my land line too for all the unsolicited calls, but it’s a tough cord to cut in my mind. I love the photo.

    • Thanks Lynn. It’s funny how we get so caught up in technology that it becomes almost impossible to cut that cord, eh? It involves a paradigm shift and few really embrace change like that. But when you start tracking the number and value of calls you get, it’s easy to let go. Well, I guess not as much if you have a large family or if you work from home. For me I have no one so it really made no sense to keep it. I probably received three phone calls in August that were from people I know and thirty to forty from telemarketers who did not leave messages. I just finished unplugging and moving my land line phones into storage.

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