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Bell Sympatico page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 1127 reviews (409 good) (477 bad)
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Review by Bagnon See Profile

  • Location: St Catharines,ON
  • Cost: $53 per month
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "None"
Bad "No value. Terrible latency. Just all around bad."
Overall "STAY AWAY."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·Start Communicat..
High latency. Inefficient peering. High price. Low caps. No value.

I'll make this simple.

If you game online. Stay away. Latency is atrocious as they are the only company that peers away from Toronto. If you want fast speeds with good value. Again, stay away. The price you pay for Bell services doesn't equate to any value. Speeds are low compared to other companies and base data caps are crazy low.

This is a trace route to a dedicated game server in Toronto. I live 111km's away in St. Catharines.

Tracing route to 208.68.90.171 over a maximum of 30 hops

1 1 ms 1 ms 1 ms mymodem
2 23 ms 22 ms 22 ms bas1-stcatharines11_lo0_SYMP.net.bell.ca [64.230.200.212]
3 23 ms 22 ms 23 ms dis6-stcatharines10_7-1-0_100.net.bell.ca [64.230.57.204]
4 37 ms 36 ms 35 ms bx5-chicagodt_xe5-0-3.net.bell.ca [64.230.186.82]
5 37 ms 36 ms 36 ms xe-1-0-6.ar2.ord1.us.nlayer.net [69.31.111.97]
6 35 ms 35 ms 34 ms ae2-40g.cr2.ord1.us.nlayer.net [69.31.111.149]
7 59 ms 48 ms 48 ms xe-0-0-1.cr1.nyc2.us.nlayer.net [69.22.142.86]
8 68 ms 59 ms 58 ms xe-0-0-0.cr1.tor1.ca.nlayer.net [69.22.142.146]
9 57 ms 58 ms 58 ms as40028.xe-3-3-0.cr1.tor1.ca.nlayer.net [69.31.143.158]
10 137 ms 107 ms 88 ms ar1.yyz01.3z.ca [208.68.88.177]
11 58 ms 57 ms 57 ms 208.68.90.171

Trace complete.

Disregarding the 3z.ca latency, you can see the hoops your line goes through. Bell has decided to bypass Toronto completely and go with a, more then likely, cheaper peering service located in Chicago. (I even see a hop that may be located in NYC.)

2 problems for me arise here. 1) Bell makes $20 Billion in revenue but won't support Canadian companies. Unacceptable. 2) Being routed to Chicago, so inefficiently, means my data is theoretically being somewhat "lost" as well as being spied on by a foreign government. I don't agree with either of these. Not to mention out sourcing jobs to the middle east with their call centre.

In conclusion, Bell has completely lost touch with what they are suppose to be doing as a large Canadian corporation. Providing the best service possible as well as providing jobs for Canadians. They have abandoned both ideals. And for what? To please stockholders. So sad. I DO NOT RECOMMEND.

STAY AWAY.

member for 13.8 years, 3216 visits, last login: 110 days ago
updated 178 days ago

Comments:
reiyu

join:2014-01-08
North York, ON
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL

Moving to Teksavvy

If you're moving to Teksavvy for their DSL service, you might want to rethink. The modem that they use (SR505n) is indeed better than Bell's Sagemcom without the sync-no-surf issue, but it has its own problems with IPv6 and UPnP which makes the modem crash. This is caused by the custom firmware Teksavvy put in the modem. Modems from Acanac and Start don't suffer these problems as they are using stock firmware. If you're moving to Teksavvy, do yourself a favor and buy a modem from Acanac or Start first.

aefstoggaflm
Open Source Fan
Premium
join:2002-03-04
Bethlehem, PA
kudos:7
Reviews:
·PenTeleData
·Verizon Online DSL

Re: Moving to Teksavvy

#1 I point to and quote from »Re: Modem/router(not in bridge mode) + router

quote:
There are some good reasons to have a modem bridge rather than route. I can't speak for all modems, but generally speaking:

1. Modems don't have much memory compared to a good router, so open a few sessions from the LAN and watch as connections get dropped, or worse, the modem/router just locks.

2. Modems tend to lack features compared to a good router. Things like QoS, DHCP reservation, VPN, uPNP, static routes, etc get left out. You can provide your own router behind the modem, as you did, but this can lead to other complications, such as

3. Double NAT. Most things can be made to work with double NAT, just as it's entirely possible to assemble a jigsaw puzzle while wearing oven mitts. It takes longer and the probability of making a mistake while setting it up or troubleshooting goes up. Simplicity is a good rule to live by when setting up networks.


#2 Advice to OP:

a) Get your own RJ-45 WAN Port route

b) Get that modem into bridge mode. As how to do that, you may need help from your ISP.
--
Please use the "yellow (IM) envelope" to contact me and please leave the URL intact.

Bagnon
Snoogans

join:2000-11-19
St Catharines, ON

2 edits

Cable

I have purchased a compatible cable modem (DCM476) and will be going with Start Communications next week. Just waiting to get paid.

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 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 12.1 years, 102 visits, last login: 144 days ago
updated 181 days ago

Comments:

Review by sunday8pm See Profile

  • Location: undisclosed location
  • Cost: $114 per month
  • Install: about 10 days
Good "super fast, low ping, no contract, fixing issues costs 0$, cheaper monthly bill than indies"
Bad "low cap, install/repairs coordination is a nightmare, the sagemcom router is crap"
Overall "if you can put up with the low cap and get a good discount (student promo for example), go for it"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·voip.ms
Soooo, an update (27-3-2014):
I moved to an area where I could get Bell's FTTH 50/50 offer for about 57$/month with a 250 Gb cap.

I received several of these 0.00$ paper bills in the mail. The fee for paper bills is 2$. I was charged several times 2$ to receive a 0$ bill I never asked for. I wasted some time over the phone but got them all reversed eventually.

Now, Bell offered me unlimited for 10$ instead of the regular 30$ back in October even though I only had 1 service. But they changed their mind this month and it's back to 30$. I called and was told that I am "lucky they only charge me from today and not for all the previous months since I have the option". Wait, what? You change the terms we agreed upon and I should be thankful? Nope, I will cancel my service, nove to cable and file a formal complaint. I'm tired of being bullied by Bell.

------
Original review:
So, yes, it's Bell. I disapprove the way they are trying to kill competition and making indie's business hell.

But I was too broke to go with an indie. Bell offered a student promo, 50$ for 25/10 and 250Gb, free install, free router (no rental) and no contract. Hard to say no.

Install coordination was a nightmare (1 tech never came, the other one called in the morning and arrived late afternoon). We had to get a repair within the first week because there was cross-talk from a dodgy install from the first tech, this was also a coordination joke with 1 tech never dispatched, another missed appointment (tech didn't come and didn't call) and finally someone came to fix it.

I put the sagemcom in bridge mode with my own router because the SC is anything but a router.

After that, I have no complaints. It was fast, near 100% uptime and I never had any billing errors.

member for 4.3 years, 531 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 188 days ago

Comments:

Review by adwanmu See Profile

  • Location: Hoboken,Hudson,NJ
  • Cost: $65 per month
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Reliability"
Bad "only 5Mbps down available "
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

The service was good for some time, I got one down time for the last 8 months, and two times the download speed was 0.60Mbps.

most of the time the down speed around 2.3M, and the up 0.40

the customer service was great, and I do not wait too much on the line.

If you are a light user and what you do is browsing, go ahead, otherwise go for cable (in Windsor Ontario)


member for 304 days, 86 visits, last login: 63 days ago
updated 192 days ago

Comments:






Review by thejames See Profile

  • Location: Whitby,ON
  • Cost: $50 per month
Good "they matched a competitors price + more usage"
Bad "price continued to creep up"
Overall "VERY surprised Bell matched TekSavvy..."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

My Other Reviews

·Bell Fibe
Had my total Bell bill (sat.TV + DSL 25/10 + 190 GB) reduced to $104 due to some major billing problems. Over the last year and a half the bill crept up to $140.

I seriously looked at going to TekSavvy as the service was cheaper for the same speed and had more usage (300 GB).

I call Bell up today and quite calmly told them I was cancelling my Internet service as TekSavvy was offering the same but cheaper. Also told her I was unhappy about my "bill creep". I literally was calling up to cancel... the price is just ridiculous. The first words out of my mouth were "I'd like to cancel my Bell Internet service." No BS. Just said it in a matter-of-fact manner.

She told me she'd look to see what they could do... came back and said they could offer 25/10 + 350 GB for $44.95 (which is what I would have paid at TekSavvy... $39.99 + $5 for dry loop).... so they matched the price and tacked on an extra 50 GB. I couldn't say no. I told her I was pleasantly surprised they could do that...

To myself I wonder if this is really what it takes? I wasn't going in threatening to cancel... I was going to cancel. They lowered my price... I have no reason to cancel now. The service has always been good for me in Whitby just have problems with Bill Creep.

member for 219 days, 0 visits, last login: 219 days ago
updated 219 days ago

Comments:

steve1818

@bell.ca

bell service

absolute crap for what is being paid, their so called fast is about a snails pace and keeps crashing prices keep going up customer service doesn't care 4 words STAY AWAY FROM BELL

Review by rewket See Profile

  • Location: Longueuil,QC
  • Cost: $50 per month
  • Install: about 1 days
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Perfect for gamers"
Bad "MFING BILLING"
Overall "I just like my pings"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

I Don't have much to say, i just want to get rid of that "please review blahblah"
Sympatico is the greatest isp to have in canada since it outpasses videotron by a lot stability wise and ping wise and speedwise etc. Tech support is actualy worse than videotron's but whatever... if you bitch a lot you get what you want AT SOME POINT. pings are in the top 5 of all connections in north america (sub 30's) speeds: 2600/686 even though im 3km away at least from the central(had to bitch forever to get em to let me on it)

---
now close to the central
can get all the new speeds upgrade, very smooth pings, upload WAY better than before (got like
6k/s extra at least)

Only problem is they keep messing up my bills.

-
2013:
FIbe 15/10. Extremely low stable pings. 40ms Indiana, 30ms chicago, 18ms VA/NY, 55ms TX. Unlimited and untill the day i got fibe tv they gave me 25 instead of 15mbps.

Fibe TV is quite meh. Compression is massive so quality is more like a cheap XvID than 720p or 1080p and the menu system is very annoying(it shows ALL the channels you dont pay for and if you want to make a list of the channels you have it gets quite hard).

billing is total crap im going on 6months with extra charges or missing rebates.

update 2014:

Pings in october 2013 went to crap. I get packetloss and bad routing everywhere. I ping 40 to toronto, 40 to NY/VA, 40 to CHI and 80 to TX. My local pings are the same so bell switched to shitty routing outside their network. I dont know if it has anything to do with when i switched to unlimited i started doing 700gb a month.

member for 11.1 years, 1516 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 231 days ago

Comments:

raja

@bell.ca

Internet Bill

Be careful with the Bell representative, when you are renewing your internet contract. They offered the lower price to keep the customer & then you will get the higher bill from the next month...they did not accept there mistake & no body listen & you will have to spend 1-2 hrs on the phone & it is useless...they are not ready to provide the telephonic conversation recording

Review by doc67 See Profile

  • Location: Coldwater,ON
  • Cost: $75 per month
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Bad "Poor Internet speeds, Poor Customer Service, Questionable billing practices"
Overall "Avoid at all cost!"

What can I say about Bell. I have been with them for over 20 years and apparently customer loyalty means nothing to them.

I received my latest bill from them that includes: home phone, internet, Cell and TV. When I looked at the bottom line, I noticed that it was $50 more than the previous month. After reviewing the details, each service had increased significantly. So, I called their billing support line and was told that they were all standard increases. After a rant of explitaves on my part, that is still hovering in the space over my house, I was transferred to customer loyalty. After another hour, I was given "Promotional" price drops on everything..... So, in a year they all will go back up to the stupid prices. Good thing is that I have a year to switch everything out of Bell.

One would think that they would treat a long term customer better than this. The new Bell Canada is nothing more than a bunch of douchy con artists playing games to maximise thier revenue. Good luck people, I'm a moving over to Techsavvy, Shaw and Rogers.......

member for 6.5 years, 8 visits, last login: 237 days ago
lodged 239 days ago

Comments:

Review by mligeza7 See Profile

  • Location: Smiths Falls,ON
  • Cost: $95 per month
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Reliable"
Bad "slow to repsond to problems"
Overall "Good Solid service"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

Considered Cable but I had a service problem with the cable company in my area. Cable company is Cogeco and they are a real Mickey Mouse company.

I've been with Sympatico now for 10 years. Can't say that I have had any real problems with them.

member for 12.4 years, 74 visits, last login: 157 days ago
updated 273 days ago

Comments:






Review by Kardinal See Profile

  • Location: N of 49th
  • Cost: $49 per month
  • Install: about 4 days
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Rock solid for over fifteen years (since the 1MM was cutting edge!)"
Bad "tech support can be clueless, continuous price increases"
Overall "price gouging = lost customer"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·TekSavvy DSL
I was on the list of people who ordered SHSE before it was available on the market, and it was connected Dec 29th, 1998. I got a Nortel modem which I'm still using, and in over four years I've had a total of 6 interruptions of service for a total of about 9 hours.

When the service was first connected it was DHCP, but converted over to PPPoE in the summer of 1999. The conversion was painless, and for a period of two weeks you could connect using either protocol.

The mail service has had a few hiccups for others, but my access has always worked. I'm still using the Nortel modem I got in 1998 because I can't be bothered going through the hassle of changing the modem (nor do I feel the need to scream at some poor CR just to get another 10kbps in dl speed, unlike some people).

The tech support people are scripted, and sometimes aren't too keen to deviate from the script, but if you are polite to them they will help if they can, or pass you to someone else if the cannot. I've called up several times over the years, and have yet to have anyone be rude to me. I read many reviews where it is stated that the people at support are clueless, but I think that might be more a reflection on the tone the user had with the CR than anything else.

In short: If you want a stable connection with a simple hookup process (no waiting for a tech to show up), then IMHO you can't go wrong with SHSE. The dl caps can be a pain (or a nasty surprise, come bill date), but those are evolving again it seems, so we'll have to wait and see how it ends up. They have only affected me once so far, and that was more of a surprise than an angry shock.

**Update Oct 2003***

I called in August to change platforms once the upgrade was complete. It took four days for my new Speedstream to arrive (complete with four filters). My Nortel (of almost five years) went dark the next day and the Speedstream is was up and running. It gets rather warm and doesn't have feet to stand on it's side, but otherwise all is fine. My connection is maxing out (since I'm only about 700m from my CO) for speed up and down and everything was smooth in the transition.

With the speed upgrade, the painless platform transition and the removal of the throughput caps, I remain a satisfied customer.

****Update Nov 2004*****

I got the speed upgrade during last winter/spring and now have 3008/800 sync that has yet to disconnect on me. Everything is still smooth sailin and the fact that the bill is now bundled with my wireless service and wireline gives me an extra discount overall and great LD pricing too.

In short: I'm coming up on six years with SHSE, I'm still a happy camper.

*****Update Aug 2007*********

I've been at 5056/800 since the upgrade last year (or was it the year before that). I've had a couple of minor problems that I traced to a loose wire in a jack (ie/ not Sympatico's fault) and other than that my service has been rock solid.

*****Update Oct 2010********

I'm now on a 7M sync rate for a 6M IP speed, it's still steady and I'm still perfectly happy with it. Fibe is finally coming here so I might be looking at a higher speed in the future.

*****Update Dec 2013******

Bell Internet is now gone, after 15 years of steady service, as their price increases drove me away. Solid service but continuous increases in monthly cost without any improvements/additions to the service (eg/ increases in usage limits)

member for 13.6 years, 6367 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 294 days ago

Comments:

Review by qzcgd See Profile

  • Location: canada
  • Cost: $125 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
Good "Speed of the internet is incredible, TV service is great"
Bad "Customer service and technical support are both horrible"
Overall "Bell Fibe is great if you don't have any problems"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

Full disclosure : I am a Bell employee. I work in a retail store and sell the products I am reviewing right now. However this review reflects my personal opinion and not that of Bell or any of its subsidiaries.

The products I have are

* Fibe 50/50

* Unlimited bandwidth

* Basic HD

* A la carte 15

* HD PVR

The price I have indicated is the normal price, with no employee discount, including Quebec taxes)

I have had Bell products for a long time. I used to have old DSL Sympatico "Performance" which was 7mbps (I got an actual 4) and Bell ExpressVu (the satellite service, which never properly worked as the initial installation was done poorly). I point that out because I want to make sure everyone understands my experience with Bell has sometimes been less than enjoyable, but I can't really switch because the employee discount is a pretty big advantage.

I got my service installed about a year and a half ago. Being in a brand new area with FTTH cabling, the installation took a total of 30 minutes. The technician offered a tutorial for the TV which I refused, but he did program the remote to control my TV. During those 18 months, I have only had one complete outage (that I noticed at least), which turned out to be neighbourhood-wide. However my experience with technical support was less than positive.

I called at around 11PM and talked to someone located in Ottawa (surprising, as during the day I always spoke to someone in Tunisia...). I explained that I had absolutely no connection to the internet, that my neighbour, who is also with Bell, didn't have it either. The TV had also stopped working. I had tried to restart the modem, check the b1, everything; but it just wouldn't work. Guy starts looking around at stuff, changing settings but he just can't get it the work. At this point, my cellphone indicates I have been on the phone for about 35 minutes. The technician on the line tells me he can't help me, and that he'll have to transfer me to a level 2 tech. I get put on hold for around 5 minutes and when he comes back I am told that "no level 2 technician is available", and that I'll get a callback the next day. I ask if I can hold for a level 2 technician, but am told that is not possible and I'll get a call back.

The next morning, the internet is fixed but the TV still doesn't work. I don't really watch TV, and it's the summer so hockey hasn't started, so I decide to actually wait for the callback. I waited one week and it simply never came. That sucks. I called back and they fixed the TV in about 5 minutes.

Even though my internet problem was fixed, when I am told I will get a callback, I expect one. My experience is consistent with that of many clients I have tried to help in store.

In short, the services provided by Bell (especially for FTTH customers) are amazing. I have constant above-package speeds, on WiFi. The TV service is great, picture quality is what you'd expect, the features are fine, lots of on-demand stuff. If Bell could simply improve their customer service and technical support, they'd have a complete winner

member for 1.5 years, 33 visits, last login: 248 days ago
lodged 320 days ago

Comments:
mintaka905

join:2006-11-03
Holland Landing, ON

install

30 min install... right,, ya sure.

W1LL

@bell.ca

Re: install

Why not 30 min ? He said he lives in a new development which has FTTH already. I guess the wiring is already in the house, so 30 minutes to hook up a router and plug a decoder box to a TV sounds about right.
I'm getting my 50/50 in 2 days. No Fibe wiring in my house yet, they said 2-4 hours install.