Bell customers are familiar with calls to Bell for service. You meet Emily, the computer voice, who assures you that she has retrieved your account. A real person speaks to you only to move you to someone else who moves you to a representative who can help you.
This month, Bell offers a special discount for two years for bundled services including Fibe television, internet, and home telephone. The normal monthly fee is reduced by about $69 a month for two years on any package of channels you choose. Nowhere on Bell’s website is there a notice that this offer applies to new accounts only, so naturally I called to change my service.
Having been a Bell customer for more than 30 years, it should have occurred to me that this rather good deal would not apply to me. Anyway, I called to see if I qualified for this plan.
I was handed to a person with an accent that made understanding her (she happened to be female; there are lots of male attendants too) difficult. Our connection was poor; her voice was difficult to hear over a background hum on the line, which seemed ironical, bearing in mind that I was calling the phone company.
The call became so frustrating that I apologised (I don’t know why I felt the need to apologise but I did) as I terminated the call. About an hour later, another representative from Bell called me which provided an opportunity to clarify the issues raised by my call.
I explained that offering new customers a discount of about $69 per month for two years was poor marketing because, as existing, long-time customers like me discover this plan, they would feel ‘second class.’ Surely the loyal customers should receive the discount, not new customers who have not established their loyalty to Bell.
I suggested that Bell should offer every customer this discount whether or not they phone to ask for it, as I had done. For two years, Bell would be as loved and admired as Santa Claus. Like anyone who has helped you at Bell, you can feel the frustration at the spot in which Bell puts their representatives when handling customer issues.
At this point, the service agent wanted to transfer me to someone else who may be willing to give a discount anyway but that attempt to soothe a bruised ego won’t last 2 years. They call them loyalty discounts; I haven’t received one that has managed to last longer than 3 months before the rates rise again. I thanked the man who called and hung up without a solution to this problem; the new customer gets a better deal than the customers, like me, who have a long history with the company. I am sorry to say that I am not surprised.
Professional. Retired. Canadian.