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Bell Sympatico page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 1129 reviews (409 good) (478 bad)
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Review by SPulcini See Profile

  • Location: undisclosed location
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Excellent reliability, good (low) latency"
Bad "Expensive without discounts, non-Canadian technical support"
Overall "Connection is extremely reliable, tech support is shamefully poor"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings well above consensus)

2014-Apr-03 Update:

When I checked with them last year, they agreed to upgrade the service to the 15/10 offering, and also offered promotional pricing roughly equal to a $10 monthly discout. They also waived the technician's visit and upgrade fees. At first, the line was provisioned for the full 15/10 rates, and seemed to be working well. However, they later reduced the upstream speed to 7 Mbps, claiming that the line could offer no better. This was not a major issue for me, and the service has continued to be very reliable.

My complaints begin with the recent expiry of the promotional pricing and another rate increase early this year, on each of the VDSL2 service and associated POTS line. Despite the reliability of the services, I think I'm about ready to give the independents another chance.

Original review from early 2013:

This site doesn't seem to recognise the fact that the Sympatico brand is no longer used, so it seems that this review belongs here.

I have been using Bell's Internet services, under one name or another, for about 13 years. For context, this started when they first deployed the Nortel 1 Meg Modem platform in my area.

Except for performance and reliability problems when the service was first installed (which were caused by our old inside wiring), connection reliability has been outstanding, and speeds received have generally been as advertised. In all the time we have been using the services, I think we have had a few days of total down-time, including the old scheduled maintenance times they used to announce.

Early on, tech support seemed to be offered from call centres within Canada, and was actually respectable; not great, but courteous and tolerable. Since it was out-sourced, it has been useless at best. The only consolation is that the direct support forum is available on this site, and they have generally been quite efficient at addressing my concerns to date.

Up until about November 2012, we were using the Fibe 10/7 service, on their VDSL2 FTTN platform, via the provided CellPipe 7130. Around that time, we received a message that the service would be upgraded to 12 mbps downstream at no charge, and our upload speed would remain the same. A few weeks later, the notification of a $3/month increase was received via e-mail, claiming that it was due to extensive network upgrades.

The reliability of the connection continues to be outstanding, and all speed test results generally show results of at least 12/7 (sometimes *slightly* lower), and latency to nearby sites is usually between 4 and 8 ms.

The problem I am having is not with the service itself, but the pricing. The discount we had been offered expired recently, so we are now paying $15 more per month, in addition to the $3/month increase. Also, they are still charging the old "Upload Speed Upgrade" fee, bringing the monthly pre-tax, total to $62.95 (minus $4 bundle discount). This ends up costing more than we would be paying if they had simply moved us to the newer 15/10 package.

On another pricing-related note, I should add that, at $2.50/GB, their overage rates border on robbery. Combined with their comparatively low monthly transfer allowances and $30/month "unlimited data" add-on ($10/month with three or more bundled services), you either have to have modest transfer requirements, or should probably consider looking elsewhere, if you trust the independents.

I have raised the 12/7 versus 15/10 pricing issue on the direct forum, so we'll see if anything comes of it. I could always consider one of the other DSL providers, given that I already own two working ADSL2+ modems, and may even get a lower monthly bill and more appealing monthly transfer allowances, but I am hesitant, given my previous experiences with trying to change providers.

For those who are curious, I tried two other providers (neither of which exists any longer) some years ago, when Bell first tried usage-based billing. One never got me connected at all, while still trying to bill me. Despite the fact that Bell had done their job (SpeedTouch Home I had purchased had sync; old Nortel to be returned to Bell no longer worked, obviously), they never issued a PPPoE ID or password that worked. The other provider managed to get me connected, and seemed about as good as Bell, at first. Then the capacity and routing issues started. These were all at their end, as I still had sync at the appropriate rates, cell loss rates were reasonably low, and I could usually connect and (maybe) reach their mail/Web server, but not much, if anything, outside their office. With those experiences, I went back to Bell and have had very few problems, other than a bit of congestion around 2005/2006 or so.

member for 12.3 years, 102 visits, last login: 201 days ago
updated 238 days ago

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