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Bell Sympatico page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 1122 reviews (408 good) (473 bad)
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Review by LoneWolfXIII See Profile

  • Location: Schenectady,Schenectady,NY
  • Cost: $40 per month (4 month contract)
Good "Unlimited Download/Upload"
Bad "Stupid Upload Cap"
Overall "Not bad if you never exprerienced DSL"
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Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
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Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My name is Anonymous (you'll see why...)

I work at Sympatico, as a Tech Agent. I can tell you, the tech support
is really bad, but what can you expect, with more than 600 employes, you
have a lot of morons. I can say that 1 out of 5 agents you will get know
their job, I am a advanced tech, and I take all the calls that can't be
resolved by Level 1 tech, and to tell you I saw things like:

Customer can't receive or send mail, entered the DNS in the TCP/IP
protocol, should work...

When I first got this package, it took them something like 2 weeks to
unlock my account, no good service this way. Put the hardware
installation was easy. For the software installation ok here's the
problems:

- Access Manager just sucks, get another PPPoE protocol or WinPoeT...
- The network card install fine, it detects as a Realtek (it's actualy a
3com) you can use the Realtek drivers no problem, but if you try to
install the 3com drivers, you can go into problems (like they won't
install correctly 2 out of 3 times)

At least with the HSE (Sympatico High Speed Edition) they support IE and
MSOE, which I think are more stable than Netscape for now...

Ok for the run time now, I can download at speeds of 80k/s, not bad and
upload at 15k/s, sucks ass. I normaly download something like ~1
gig/day, and sometime upload ~600 megs/day, so the fact we can
Upload/Download as much as we want is good)I can stay connected for like
2 weeks no problem (with Linux and Win2k), so this is good. The DNS are
now better (we got 4 more DNS at Sympatico)

Another bad thing, the IP is Dynamic, so forget ftp server or get
DynIP...

Ok that seems to be it..

One more thing, some inside of the company, they will get a new service
later this year, higher speed no more cable... ^_^

member for 14 years, 19 visits, last login: 10.8 years ago
lodged 13.9 years ago

Comments:

Review by Alligator9 See Profile

  • Location: Burlington,ON
  • Cost: $39 per month
Good "Faster then Dial-up"
Overall "I have no complaints"
Pre Sales information:
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Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)


I have only had HSE here in Hamilton, Ontario for a short while. However, I am happy with my service to date, and I am pleased that the transition went from Sympatico Dial-up to HSE smoothly. As a quick note,I want to also thank the members from www.sympatico.org (as well as dslreports ) for helping me "tweak" my settings....

I orignally got about 700+- kbps then after tweaks I am now about 800+- kbps.

Ummm... my only compliant, if any (not a real big issue to me though) is a "known" error message "Internet Explorer 5.x warns that the connection isn't available, Try again".

My fix:

I downloaded the beta version of I.E. 5.5

otherwise, I`m pleased with HSE. Hope this helps anyone.

Allen

member for 14 years, 18 visits, last login: 10.8 years ago
lodged 14 years ago

Comments:

Review by pbeyer

  • Location: undisclosed location
  • Cost: $29 per month
Good "Everything, so far."
Bad "None, so far."
Overall "I would absolutely recommend this service to everyone."
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(ratings above consensus)

I don't know about the rest of you, but I just can't say enough about
this service. I am 100% satisfied. I installed the equiment and
software myself, which was quite easy. The two calls I had to make to
Technical Support were handled simply and efficiently, not to mention
that I got through to them in less than 30 seconds. Most importantly,
the service is incredible. I consistently average 840-896 kbps
(105-112k/sec). In case those numbers don't mean anything to you,
imagine downloading at less than 10 seconds per megabite. Even a few of
my friends who have a Rogers@Home cable connection marvel at this
speed. I have since convinced my brother and a friend to get the
service and they, too, are amazed and satisfied. As far as the price is
concerned, I couldn't be happier. At $29.95 per month (if you're a Bell
long-distance subscriber), it was only a few dollars more than my
previous dial-up connection. Yes, there's still the additional $10.00
per month for the 1-MEG modem rental, but you'll soon forget about that
once you experience the Internet the way it was meant to be
experienced. I have since learned that Sympatico intends to increase
the modem speed to 1.5-MEGs. Whoa, I can't imagine surfing any faster
than I am now. And, finally, the connection reliability is perfect. I
have yet to have a single problem in this regard. Sympatico, keep up
the great work!

Regards,
Peter Beyer

(review was emailed from domain sympatico.ca)
lodged 14 years ago

Comments:

Review by BigSilverHotDog See Profile

  • Location: undisclosed location
  • Cost: $39 per month
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(ratings match consensus)

I have been using there service for about 2 weeks now. I've had no problem with them so far. I signed up over the web and got my kit 2 days later. I wasen't able to connect at first but that was because my account haden't been activated but I called them and they let me use it right away. 6 days early. The only thing is the speed that bothers me. The max I can get is only 30K/sec. I'm going to call them soon.

P.S I am using sympatico from montreal.

member for 14 years, 4 visits, last login: 14 years ago
lodged 14 years ago

Comments:

Review by rick581 See Profile

  • Location: Grand Falls-Windsor,NL
  • Cost: $30 per month
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(ratings above consensus)


Hello,
I have had a subscription to Sympatico Newfoundland ADSL for the
last few months. When the service was first installed I was unable to
get any speed except on a mirror site of Tucows here in Newfoundland. I
phoned the Service Dept. and they were first rate in helping me out. I
eventually had to format my hard drive as I was told that remnants of
dial-up accelerators that I had installed were interfering with the
operation of the ADSL modem. Once this was done, everything worked fine.
This is my only experience with having to seek help but each of the
three calls I made were handled both courteously and professionally.

Regards,
Rick Murphy
Newfoundland

member for 14.3 years, 16 visits, last login: 10.8 years ago
lodged 14.2 years ago

Comments:

Review by Keith Bilinsky See Profile

  • Location: undisclosed location
  • Cost: $40 per month
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(ratings match consensus)

I've had the service for about 4 months now and am still very happy. The real problem is if you have to call support. Their level 1 support is alot like that room with an infanite number of monkeys typing on an infanite number of typewriters. Eventually they will find the answers to your questions but it's going to take a long time.

Speeds in the 700-800 Kbps range are normal and I regularly see results in the 1200 Kbps range.

member for 14.3 years, 69 visits, last login: 11.4 years ago
lodged 14.2 years ago

Comments:

Review by OLDDarwin See Profile

  • Location: North York,ON
  • Cost: $39 per month
Pre Sales information:
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(ratings match consensus)

Well, after my first months with Bell Sympatico HSE (Ontario), I'm glad to say that things have FINALLY begun to work themselves out. I think one of the biggest problems here is that there isn't sufficient phone line checks done before a customer signs up. From what I've heard, Bell doesn't do too much more than take a quick glance at your postal code before they activate your account (especially if you ordered from their website).

Installation/Tech:

My first month was pretty bad, 300kb/sec was the max I'd ever get, but more often than not, things would drop to 70kb/sec. This was a far cry from the 1 Mbps potential. Tech support didn't help much accept give the old re-hash of re-installing drivers. Each one of them, with their different point of view (which sometimes is TOTALLY wrong). What bugged me the most was that I was told 300kb/sec is a minimum guaranteed speed and nothing could be done. ANother story I liked was one lady telling me my "distance to the CO was irrelevant. It does not affect your speed".... ummm ok....

But my some miracle, I finally dialed into a tech support guy who knew something. He agreed that something should be done and moved me up to the Network guys to perform physical line checks. It took them nearly a week, but they found out there was a problem with the cabling and replaced it. Ends up I was pretty close to the CO anyways. Now everythings FAST and CONSISTENT, as I get around 700-880kbps. So my overall impression is that you have to blast your way through the wall of bad phone support, in order to get to the real GOOD tech guys. I think it's just kinda too bad that they didn't see this problem BEFORE I subscribed, but I give credit to the networking departing for fixing it.

**oh and a note: It seems the wait for tech support has been DRASTICALLY reduced... I got thu in a couple of minutes or so. But quantity is not always better than quality!**

Misc:

Access Manager for some reason hasn't caused me too much grief... even when using sygate. I think I got lucky and it worked on my first try. But be warned, a lot of other ppl have expressed major headaches. Haven't used the email or news too much so I can't comment. Can't complain too much now that everything's stable, so a good value IF it works like it's supposed to!!

member for 14.4 years, 21 visits, last login: 11.5 years ago
lodged 14.2 years ago

Comments:

Review by chillxb See Profile

  • Location: undisclosed location
  • Cost: $40 per month
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I have been using High Speed Edition for less than a month now, but
these are my observations:

Installation: The self-installation went well enough, but I lost phone
service for two days. It appears that Bell converts your telephone line
to a Centrex lineto support ADSL. A regular residential line can deal
with physical imperfections along the way. It seems the Centrex line
does not. I had to wait for them to assign a new pair so I could have
my telephone service back.

Speed: It's significantly faster than my old dial up connection, I
likely average (according to Netscape) 60-65K.

Tech support: Hah! I wrote in asking to be allowed to change my
password from the one I was given. I got some response back that I
should learn to realize the value of generated passwords. Apparently,
if someone loaded Back Orifice on my system they would be able to spy on
the password that I want to create. Somehow, the person responding to
my mail seems to genuinely believe that their randomly generated
password would not be susceptible to a threat like Back Orifice.

Tech Support II: Access Manager. It is a pain, and may make me switch
to another broadband provider. If you run NT, only an administrator ID
can establish a connection. No other type of user that you may want to
create can do it.

Tech Support III: Access Manager. I run BlackICE Defender and it has
always passed scan tests like that at www.grc.com when I used a dial up
connection. Now, when I test while connecting using AM I am told that
there are ports wide open and advertising my presence to the world.
When I disconnect and dial in through my other isp everything passes
again. I am still waiting to hear Sympatico's response to this one.
This, coupled with questionable logic on other security issues has left
me wondering if sympatico really understands security and if there
aren't lesser evils elsewhere.

Connection reliability: So far so good, but I'm new here.

News: Not very good. A large number of groups to be sure, but brutal
retention of articles. They claim to be fixing this in the next few
weeks though.

DNS: Flaky. Sorry, but I've never seen one as flaky at any other ISP
that I have dealt with.

Mail: I don't use it. I'm only here for the faster than 56K
connection.

Value: 3.5 stars. I've seen better in other categories, but no one in
the broadband market right now is all that great. Pick your peeves.

chill

member for 14.3 years, 2 visits, last login: 14.2 years ago
lodged 14.3 years ago

Comments:

Review by krogoth2 See Profile

  • Location: undisclosed location
  • Cost: $45 per month
Pre Sales information:
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Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I've had Sympatico High-Speed for a little more than a month, and so
far it's working very well. Someone came to setup the phone jack, and
then the dealer sent someone a few hours later to setup my computer. I
had to disable a phone jack on the same floor because there weren't
enough wires coming up. When it was installed, there was a speed problem
(the test download went at 9 KB/s), and the person who installed it
(they came from the dealer, not from the phone company) said they would
make a service request and it should be fixed within 6 days. I solved
the problem the same day, but i haven't told them yet, and they haven't
contacted me about it either.

After I fixed the speed problem, it works great. Download speeds
average 50-112 KB/s, but i've done up to 180 KB/s with a good server. My
ping times to game servers are from 50-150 (with my 56K i got 400-900).
I like the always-on connection, but a few times i have had to restart
the external modem when it just stopped working. I don't use the mail
very much, but i haven't had any problems. The newsgroup server is good,
but there are a few newsgroups i previously read that i couldn't find. I
give their tech support a bad rating, but this is the tech support from
the dealer. The speed problem was never fixed by them, and when i call
them about anything, they tell me to call the SaskTel. In RealPlayer, i
tried streaming video from the CBC site and got ~30KBits per second, and
when i listen to a local radio station with RealPlayer (they provide
streaming audio) i get over 90KBps. I don't know if the streaming video
is because of a slow server, or because of the connection, but it could
be better.

member for 13.4 years, 2 visits, last login: 13.3 years ago
lodged 14.3 years ago

Comments:

Review by howie172 See Profile

  • Location: undisclosed location
  • Cost: $39 per month
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
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(ratings match consensus)

Installation was a nightmare. Every phone in my house had to be
disabled to track down the problem only to discover that the line into
the premise was faulty. This was in Aug. 1999 and I was down for 11
days as I patiently waited for service. This was after I left" Shaw at
Home" which was also a complete 100% disaster in the south Pickering ON
section.

Bell promised a month refund for my trouble but I received it in Nov
1999. Speedy eh?

There tec Support sucks, not to mention the long waits and the automated
voice mail prompts that aren't always understandable. No shortcuts here either.

E-mail and certain list that I subscribe to were rendered useless in
early Dec. I don't know how many messages that I missed. Speed as of
late is much slower than usual and the lousy" Access Manager" slows you
down and depleats your resources.

I heard "LOOK COMMUNICATIONS" is getting their act together and should
be approved by the CRTC in early 2000. This high speed digital wireless
mode would probably interest me.

Thanks Bell for trying but you just don't cut it in my estimation.

member for 13.7 years, 1 visits, last login: 13.7 years ago
lodged 14.3 years ago

Comments: