Review by Jurjen
Good "reliable connection, always good speeds"
- Location: Quebec,QC
- Cost: $123 per month (month by month)
- Install: about 7 days
Bad "traffic counter is creating fake traffic, Bell refuses to resolve technical issues, getting screwed on all sides, throttled"
Overall "screwed on billing, data caps are a relic from the past, choose another provider"
|Pre Sales Information:|
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)
In the spring of 2011 I called Bell to cancel my DSL, but they offered me to try out Fibe7 for the same price and "without strings attached". I was curious about the fiber optic technology, so I gave in.
The first screw-up came when I arrived home and internet was down. I called tech support and the technician told me I was disconnected, because my account got switched to the new fiber optic connection that would be installed the next day. When he told me that there would be a technician in my house, I told him that the sales agent said the technician would only work outside. According to the technician the sales department doesn't know what fiber optics are about, so they still run on outdated information.
So indeed the next day two technicians showed up. They installed all the new equipment for my new FTTH connection. Pity that they ran the fiber wire from the pole very low over a little roof where we like to sit in the summer (now having to watch out for the cable) and that they installed the gateway without plugs on the screws, so I ended up with a router that fell from the wall, the screw half inside the router short-circuiting the wireless part of the electronics.
Since I switched half-way the billing month, they screwed up the bill. I contacted the chat helpdesk and after some impatient Indian agent screwed up the math 3 times and said I was wrong about anything, I finally found a way to have her to explain it step by step, ending up with the outcome that I calculated myself. So do your math yourself, they'll do it wrong and they won't admit!
The technology itself was decent though. We got an ONT (Optical Network Termination) with it's own UPS that appeared pretty good. The Sagemcom router was not very stable on the wireless, but was not too bad though. Speed was always according to what we paid for (no losses, thanks to the fibre technology) and the line was stable (no drop-outs). However, a lot of traffic was throttled down to 30kbps, ending up finding work-arounds for certain downloads.
Starting from the next whole billing month, we ended up going above our caps. In the past we had caps on 60GB, our new caps were 100GB and according to the traffic monitor we suddenly used 120-150 GB per month every month! We never went over our limit on the 60GB plan and we didn't use a lot more, so why would we go over a 100GB cap? And even on days that we did some HD video streaming, barely anything would show up on the tracker. The worst event was when my wife was home alone one weekend (she doesn't do much more then emailing and browsing text pages), we had traffic of about 40GB in one day!! With a Fibe7 plan you need to have your pc use the theoratical 100% of the connection for about 7 hours to reach that! (Can't look-up the real number, since on the MyBell page, I can't look into my account history any more, but I remember that I made that calculation.)
Every time I contacted the helpdesk, which couldn't solve it, so escalated the issue to the abuse department, who just concluded that we used torrents and that we didn't control our traffic very well, so that it must be our own fault. Every time I explained to the technical helpdesk (there's no way to talk to some one from Abuse) that they made the wrong conclusion and I could always explain why. The technicians would again transfer everything to Abuse, but there they always sticked with their old conclusions and never calling me back to verify anything.
After a few months being billed 60$+taxes for traffic we didn't use and all our promised credits being denied in the end. After cancelling my account (I even got threatened with lawsuits, because I told them I was thinking about not paying the last bill, due to the screwed-up traffic counter that NEVER got resolved) and switching provider, there we're several billing errors added by "mistakes by the computer system". I had to contest modem rental fees of 100$ after returning our gateway and they "forgot" to process the cancellation of the telephone services (the telephone number was already cancelled though).
Even at the end a Bell technician here on the forum volunteered to look into the issue, but after giving some account data, I never heared from him again.
Bottom line: in just 5 months I've treated like s**t by Bell. I've been thrown out of the chat support, hung up by telephone support several times, every time a technician promised to help me and call me back to keep me updated, I never heard anything back except a sales call if I didn't want buy more data packages. For me it's over, no more Bell ever again!
member for 3.3 years, 195 visits, last login: 7 days ago
updated 2.2 years ago
Re: fibe.bell.ca. wow, and i thought at&t was bad! Hi Constantine,
Yep, Bell is a greedy company. Just immigrating from Europe, discovering the Canadian ISPs was pretty much a shock to me. Back at my parents' place almost every year new speeds would be available, making the older speed packages cheaper, and they would give a modem to keep (so you own it) with every year contract. With Bell you pay an amazing amount of money for what you get, older technology doesn't get cheaper (in fact: every now and then they raise the prices) and you have to pay a fortune to rent a modem.
My package was actually 7 Mbit down, 1 Mbit up.
I'm now awaiting the new ADSL2+ and VSDL packages from my new provider (Acanac), so I can switch to something faster on my copper line. In the end I got the extra modem rental fee corrected (removed) and I was promised the extra month of telephone would be corrected on the bill for next month (the 3rd final bill??) I had about 100$ credit, we're pretty much down to 0$ since they fooled around with last-minute fees.
Bell is out of the door now, I like the new provider a lot better (especially because of the active community support, since their tech support is sometimes hard to reach) and hopefully the new packages will be available soon (they need Bell to approve the new modems, and Bell is taking over 1,5 month now to do this).
Thanks for the reply!
Re: fibe.bell.ca. wow, and i thought at&t was bad! So, did they end up removing all the overage charges that you had good reason to believe were not accurate at all?
Yeah, what strikes me in all of this is that they must be spending so much money on FTTP (right? everyone says that deployment is really expensive!), and then they offer services that people simply want to get out of, totally wasting and undermining their own investment!
I live in the city that is self-proclaimed as being The Capital of the Silicon Valley, with many international headquarters (from Acer and Ebay to Cisco) that noone can even keep count of, yet the fastest FTTP package that AT&T is willing to offer is 18/1.5 (reportedly with a 250GB cap, but I was not notified if that applies to me, too, and in any case it doesn't seem to be as bad as what you'd be getting from Bell.ca), but the 1.5 part of my package is just laughable!
We should all move to the middle of nowhere like Utah, and get their UTOPIA 50/50 for 77 dollars a month from some ISP like brigham.net on their municipally-owned fibre, without any ridiculous caps in our face!
Re: fibe.bell.ca. wow, and i thought at&t was bad! No, they never came around on their decision about the over usage charges. According to Bell, I'm still the cause (with the most ridiculous explanations ever). I once got a small credit, not because I was right, but just so they wouldn't loose me as a customer (I was trying to cancel my account).
Back in Europe I would get 40/3 on copper, free fancy modem (Fritzbox), no caps, no throttling, free access to 1000+ commercial WiFi hotspots through the country (in train stations for example), all for 55 a month (don't simply convert it to dollars, relatively you can see it as 55$) including taxes. They used to throw in 2 free VoIP lines too, but too many people started using that, so it now comes for a small fee.
FTTH is still very rare, but is coming up slowly. However, the VDSL makes the copper still very useful. But it just makes North-America look like a bunch of amateurs.