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Bell Sympatico page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 1122 reviews (408 good) (473 bad)
bullet Submit a review by email click here
bullet login for new review notification feature

Review by XR999 See Profile

  • Location: Peterborough,ON
  • Cost: $50 per month
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "The Speed is Consistent"
Bad "Absolutely incompetent support, low caps, deceptive techniques, etc."
Overall "Run to anyone else, Bell should be avoided at all costs"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·TekSavvy Cable
·voip.ms
We've been customers of Bell Canada for years, first off with dial-up and then the upgrade to DSL (boy was that amazing like 8 years ago). Over the years the service has barely changed, we get the 5mbps we pay for, it's reliable, incredibly as reliable or better than the Rogers connection I had at the time of the original review.

That being said, the service still sucks out loud, the price has gone up numerous times over the years, the speed sucks compared to the alternatives available in the area (ex. Cogeco, TekSavvy or Start) and then you come to Bell itself.

Never in my history of dealing with any company have I met one that has so many stupid, incompetent or incomprehensible support agents or such bad business practices. Just trying to get a modem replaced is more painful than having teeth pulled and should you have a billing error, the pain is near the same or worse.

The only reason why we've stayed is quite honestly the service/speed is reliable and unfortunately which ISP is in the house is beyond my control, that's up to someone else which refuses to switch to someone else because they think things will be worse (when in reality you can't get any worse than Bell).

Bottom line, almost any other provider is a better choice than Bell and their pathetic excuse of support/sales they call a company.

UPDATE: October 18th, 2011:

Well besides replacing the rented Bell modem with a TP-Link TD-8616, nothing has changed since a call to Bell resulted in the cap being raised and the price being lowered significantly which was enough to keep the person in control satisfied, unfortunately not the result I was going for. Granted the service has been reliable and there's been no billing errors to my knowledge since they upgraded the cap, but I still maintain Bell should be avoided at all costs for Internet service if better alternatives are available.

UPDATE: September 5, 2013:

Bell's service is still reliable although it's as slow as ever as Fibe level service still remains unavailable at this location. Sadly I've still yet to get the person in charge to consider switching even though a TekSavvy or Start Cable connection would be significantly faster, cost less and carry a higher bandwidth cap. This is why I maintain if you can't get Fibe level service and cable is available, do NOT go with Bell for Internet service.

member for 3.9 years, 263 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 230 days ago

Comments:

Review by mand See Profile

  • Location: Chicoutimi,QC
  • Cost: $50 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
Good "Very stable, fast, good services"
Bad "Price increases regularly"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

2010

I ordered Bell Fibe 10 plan.

Read carefully and be prepared to click few times to get the real price for only one service on Bell's website. That's a bad point.
The plan includes a modem/router/4 port switch that allows wifi B/G and 75 Gb of bandwidth usage that are more than enough for my usage at this time.

I'm happy with the very stable download speed which is 10.5 Mbits (advertised 10 Mbits) but I'm a bit disapointed with the stable upload speed of 0.7 Mbps (1 Mbits advertised). Condition for the speedtests: my everyday network configuration.

I don't like their mail service which is a customized Microsoft Hotmail account. The service isn't bad but I use a mail client to access mail boxes and mail that is spam doesn't show up. It is important to sometimes connect to the webmail to check for false positive spams.
Hotmail doesn't provide IMAP.

2011

Only one time 2 hours of service lost I'm aware of since I'm with bell. Don't now exactly what happened but I restarted the modem and all goes well again. Maybe I could restart the modem earlier to get the Internet back.

The Fibe 10 plan had a total price increase of 3$ this year. That's bad news.

2012

Starting the year there's a new bonus for Bell : 2$ more on the bill for the monthly internet service. This time I called them.

I have now 115 GB bandwidth.

Another bonus for Bell this spring: money savings for each bundled services dropped from 5$ to 4$.

I'm more and more interested to host my little website myself but Bell doesn't allow customers to run servers and they don't provide fixed IPs for residential plans.

I switched to another phone service. Internet download speed fall to 2.3 Mbits one month later. Had to call Bell a friday afternoon for the dry loop. All goes well again monday evening.

Had an issue with lost of service starting end of november. Had to call Bell 3 ou 4 times in 3 weeks and repeat things again. Finally a tech shows up without appointement. The problem was outside.

2013

Price increase on march bill: 3$.
End of march download speed upgraded from 10 to 12 Mbits.

Still good to very good service with Bell Internet.

June : Invoice increased 15% since december 2012. We move to another town. All goes well but we decided to go to cable especially for TV and Internet will follow.

July : I closed my accounts at Bell without any extreme hassle. Had some phone calls. All goes well.



member for 2.6 years, 95 visits, last login: 90 days ago
updated 264 days ago

Comments:

Chuck sTruck

@teksavvy.com

You couldn't afford to run a server with Bell anyway

With 80 dollars plus taxes in overuse fees you'd bust your caps in the first week or less by running a server.
mand

join:2011-08-13

Re: You couldn't afford to run a server with Bell anyway

Good point! Of course it depends what kind of server and usage.

Thank you for your reply.
--
man-d
Mister_E

join:2004-04-02
Etobicoke, ON
Reviews:
·Bell Sympatico

email

If your client supports it, you can configure it to connect to as an Exchange server - use m.hotmail.com as the server.

Some clients might even provide support for setting an account for DeltaSync or Windows Live Hotmail (Windows Live Mail on Win7 does).

Either will provide IMAP-like features.
mand

join:2011-08-13

Re: email

There are some keywords to use for searches. I never heard about Deltasync for example.

Thanks.
--
man-d

client tann

@bell.ca

BELL c'est de la MERDE!

Faut constamment réinitialiser le modem et c'est une perte de temps : BELL c'est de la MERDE!
mand

join:2011-08-13
Reviews:
·Bell Sympatico

Re: BELL c'est de la MERDE!

C'est vrai qu'il faut régulièrement redémarrer le modem et d'ailleurs cela est même mentionné dans le guide de l'utilisateur qui accompagne le matériel si ma mémoire est bonne. Je redémarre le 2Wire 2701HG-G à date fixe et ça me prends 30 secondes pour débrancher brancher ou cliquer sur le lien adéquat dans l'interface de gestion du modem. Ensuite 5 minutes pour que l'internet soit à nouveau disponible mais là moi je fais autre chose pendant ce temps là

Je me demande si la mise à jour du firmware, ce printemps, a amélioré les choses.
Bien d'accord, cependant, qu'on pourrait s'en passer.
--
man-d

Review by jonjaques See Profile

  • Location: Brantford,ON
  • Cost Contract price not specified. (36 month contract)
  • Install: about 5 days
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Pretty decent internet, technicians are great about everything"
Bad "Ever rising bill, terrible tech support, ineffectual equipment, and the cap"
Overall "Try again in 5 years"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

When we moved into our new house, Bell was there within a few days installing everything, their install guys are great, helpful, patient and even repaired the old Bell lines Rogers had cut on the person we bought the house from.

We were promised a certain price per month over a certain period. All because we would enter into the contract for all services into our house. First few months were fine at the agreed upon $30 a month (pulling from total bell bill) but then they started rising, $2 the first time it happened, month after that $3, small increments each month, enough that maybe we wouldn't notice and just pay. We would call billing support and they would refund the money saying it was in error, or applying a credit for next time or just telling us it was a new service fee and it was on the previous bill. But when we had to call every two months to have it done, it got ridiculous and it continued over the course of the entire contract. Our speed never changed, the modem/router never changed (never very good range). After two years of this going on we were offered a bandwidth cap upgrade for free, we took it. Then the prices kept going up until we were paying almost $50 a month for the same 6Mbps down/768 up. 6 months later we were told we could switch to a student plan with a cap in the 300GB range and the monthly cost lower than our current plan. And the prices continued to shift, smaller increments and now on our whole bill, satellite services and phone were more expensive every month too. Which they shouldn't have, as we signed a contract and this included a certain number of nationwide long distance. It got ridiculous and when my Fiancée called them, the tech support rep was rude and hung up on her after she went through the same thing we had done so many times before. After speaking to another rep, they offered us the same thing and we decided to cancel as our contract was up. We now receive calls from their retention service at least once every two days (for the last two weeks) asking us to come back touting everything they would offer us. Heard it before.

member for 9.4 years, 33 visits, last login: 287 days ago
lodged 295 days ago

Comments:

Review by allan_london See Profile

  • Location: London,ON
  • Cost: $45 per month
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Reliable"
Bad "speed is horrible and inconsistent"
Overall "Someone else pays the Bill, so I don't complain too much"

My Other Reviews

·Start Communicat..
Speed started out great, then dropped.

member for 337 days, 75 visits, last login: 130 days ago
lodged 337 days ago

Comments:






Review by Amou See Profile

  • Location: Guelph,ON
  • Cost: $45 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 7 days
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Service is consistent, hardly any speed fluctuation."
Bad "Cheaper service else where."
Overall "Not worth the price."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

My Other Reviews

·Acanac
·TekSavvy Cable
·TekSavvy DSL
Speed was 5/0.5
After switching to Teksavvy after 15 years. The line decided to degrade itself.


member for 3.2 years, 569 visits, last login: a few hours ago
lodged 362 days ago

Comments:






Review by raphzugen See Profile

  • Location: Quebec,QC
  • Cost: $150 per month
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Service impressionant, FTTH à la vitesse de l'éclair"
Bad "Configuration Modem+Routeur compliquée"
Overall "Je le recommande !"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

My Other Reviews

·Videotron
J'ai eu droit a une bell installation de la fibre optique chez moi. Installation rapide et service très courtois. Après 3 heures, tout dans la maison étais prêt et fonctionnel. La télé, avec son seul enregistreur partout dans la maison est très pratique. Malheureusement, le choix des canaux pour le sur mesure se regroupe seulement a une sélection de certains canaux. Certains des canaux qui sont sur mesure chez Vidéotron se vendent environ 5$. Pour l'internet, on a droit a une connexion avec un modem très rapide. Petit moins par contre, il y a pas de bridge mode comme sur les autres modem DSL de Bell, ce qui fait que la configuration avec un routeur est compliquée et diminue beaucoup la vitesse. Le service à la clientèle est très courtois et comporte un département qui lui est propre avec des agents québécois. La téléphonie est aussi très bien !

member for 2 years, 5 visits, last login: 346 days ago
lodged 1 year ago

Comments:

jsmaster

join:2008-03-16
Montreal, QC

Bridge mode

Tu peux te connecter en bridge sans probleme.

Fait juste enlever ton nom d'usager dans la section internet et sauvegarde. ensuite branhe ton routeur, met le en PPoE et entre tes informations. la tv déjà en place ne sera pas impactée

Review by docbill See Profile

  • Location: Stoney Creek,ON
  • Cost: $65 per month (24 month contract)
  • Install: about 5 days
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Very fast upload rate, all inclusive package"
Bad "will be too expensive at the end of the promotion"
Overall "would not recommend"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

It is now 2012 and I am back with Bell again. A door to door salesman sold me on a triple play package free for 6 months. It is however a 2 year contract, which will cost me $300 to disconnect early, and there is a $30 activation fee. I don't really need the satellite TV or the bell phone line, so I am listing the rate at $330/6 for the six months.

First the good:

The install service was excellent. The Bell tech showed up on time, and rewired my phone line. I hadn't used the line in years, when I had cancelled the regular phone line one of the reasons was phone picked-up radio signals and the DSL was dog slow. However, with the new Fibe connection I am getting the advertised 25/7 without the same speed both to Bell's test sight, and my favourite speed test site in the US. The Bell router has wireless N, two USB ports, and four LAN ports. Overall it seems like fairly solid hardware.

Now the not so good:

The technician could only connect the router within three feet of the phone jack. So I had to run my own 100 ft cable to get the connection to my computer. The wireless service seems fair, but not as good as my Asus RT-16N.

Now the bad:

I had to see comments in this forum to learn how not to have a double NAT. Bell seems to cycle my IP address very regularly. That breaks my IPV6 tunnel and causes my VPN tunnels to drop. I have to regularly update sites like salesforce.com which use IP security with my IP address. This also seems to mess-up Bell's bandwidth counter. I have a bandwidth tracker on my modem, so I know exactly how much I use. One one day when they toggled my IP address they list me as uploading 3.2GB and downloading 3.0GB. But my bandwidth counter shows it was really 0.5GB and 0.2GB. I NEVER have a higher upload than download usage. The Bell technician seems to think that meant someone hacked into the Bell wireless router. That is unlikely, as I am the only one in the neighbourhood with the knowledge needed to break SPA security. However, I have switched of the Bell wireless and I will wait to see if that happens again.

Unless I find ways to mitigate the bad, I will probably switch to TekSavvy or back to Cogeco Cable at the end of the six months.

Update: According to the sales brochure I was suppose to get a 125 GB capacity, but I only got 100 GB. I did not feel like arguing so I paid $10 for 80 GB of bandwidth insurance bring me up to 180 GB. At first glance that seems like slightly more than I had with Cogeco, but I have found the Bell bandwidth counter is more inaccurate than Cogeco. So I expect I really will get about 170 GB.

Update: 2012-02-29 Worst day ever. I went to the bathroom and when I returned my work VOIP line lost connection to the conference call I was on. I then tried my personal VOIP line, and that failed as well. I then tried the Bell Canada line. I tend to avoid using that because it is so full of static. But anyway, I got back into my conference and then my internet connection kept dropping for the rest of the meeting. Finally this evening I went to inspect why my line was so full of static. I had previously called Bell for that, but they told me there would be a service charge even though the problem existed since install which was less than 30 days ago at the time I called. Consequently, I decided to find the problem myself. It turns out that the bell technician who wired up the internet and put in the VDSL splitter, had wired the outlet so both the phone line jack and the internet jack were both wired together, and the actual voice line was wired to screws not connected to anything. Whenever I would use the phone, I would get flooded with static, and eventually the DSL modem would drop the connection. Now that I corrected it, the phone is crystal clear. All I can say, is I don't really blame Bell for the mistake, but they should stand by there services. If they do an install and it doesn't work, they should correct the problem they created.

ORIGINAL REVIEW:

In 2002 I signed up for Bell Sympatico DSL service. They sent me a Speedstream 5360 and installation instructions. The network connection worked well, and I paid the advertised price. About a year later, they introduced bandwidth caps. After being presented several large bills, I suspended my Sympatico service and switched to Cogeco. I stuck with Cogeco for about six months, then Sympatico dropped the bandwidth caps and I switched back. When switching back I learned that Sympatico had unsuspended early and been charging my credit card. In the end they offered a few months of discounts. I still probably overpaid some, but it wasn't worth arguing because Cogeco and Sympatico were my only broadband options.

Several times in the last few years, Sympatico has notify me my DSL speed was being increased. However, it was 2400 kbps in 2002, and it is still 2400 kbps today. At least Sympatico remained a reliable connection.

However, about 6 months ago that started changing. Every few hours my VOIP phone would beep, indicating the DSL had recycled to a new IP address. I contacted Bell, but they refused to support me unless the modem was plugged directly into my computer. Unfortunately, I do not know how to configure Windows for PPPoE, and I have lost their directions years ago. When I asked them how to connect my computer to the modem, they could not help me. So I just lived with the problem.

Over the months, the problem got worse. Finally, by mid-October the line was recycling every 15 minutes. Since I was convinced the problem had to be either the line or the Speedstream, I decided to search my basement to see if I could find one of the DSL modems I used in Seattle. When I had inquired about using my own modem in 2002, the Sympatico tech had told me no other modem would work with Sympatico. However, after reading discussions on the internet I found that was a lie. In my basement, I found the Speedstream 5260 that had been sold to me by Speakeasy. I unplugged the the 5360 and plugged in the 5260 and found my disconnect problem was solved!

After that, I decided I have to find some other broadband service. I suspended my Sympatico account for six months and I will cancel at the end of that time if I am still happy with my new ISP.

2012-07-27: One week ago I got up in the morning and found my internet was down, and the DSL modem was not getting a signal. After waiting an hour, I called Bell on my cell phone. 47 days prior I had put in a cancel order for my phone line in 30 days and at the same time negotiated a new rate for my internet. It turns out they forgot to note on the cancel order I needed to be put on a dry loop. Bell said they had to send a technician out, so they couldn't come until Monday. Monday morning came along, and bright and early my internet was up. Two hours later a technician showed up, equally confused as to why Bell sent him out to my house, when they just needed to make the change at the office. Bell also made a $165 error in my bill this month, but after talking to them I got an instant credit for part of it. The other part is the termination internet termination fee, which of course I should not have to pay unless I terminate it... So for that they gave me a monthly credit that will balance out should I carry it the full term of the original contract. I'm still keeping Bell, but one more mistake like this and I cancel, no matter what. I already have a second internet connection. I would prefer to keep both, for enhanced reliability, but it isn't worth dealing with repeated mistakes.

2013-04-02 I've dropped Bell and I'm now with Velcom.

member for 7.5 years, 176 visits, last login: 90 days ago
updated 1 year ago

Comments:

ldkjfljl

@bell.ca

check scomputerservicesgta.com

This site has instructions on how to put your bell 2wire into bridge mode (ie modem only). It worked for me.
docbill

join:2006-10-24
Stoney Creek, ON
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
·Velcom
·Bell Sympatico
·Bell Fibe
·voip.ms
·PortBridge Inter..

Re: check scomputerservicesgta.com

Yes. It turns out PPPoE passes through. I'm so used to DHCP, it didn't even occur to me to use PPPoE. I still find the connection recycles to a new IP address way to frequently, but at least there is no double NAT. The biggest pain about the disconnects is it stalls my salesforce connections, and drops my VPN connections.

Review by toro See Profile

  • Location: North York,ON
  • Cost: $57 per month
  • Install: about 3 days
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Great speeds, installation was great"
Bad "Cost is a bit high"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

My Other Reviews

·Rogers Hi-Speed
I'm on Bell Fibe 25/10 and I've only had the service for about 2 weeks. I ordered it using a Dell Grab and Go voucher which gives the first 3 months of service and free installation.

I asked for an evening appointment (after 5 pm) and there was no problem. The tech who came to do the install was great, very professional (unlike other Bell techs I dealt with in the past), he called in advance to let me know he was on the way and came on time. He had 2 hours allocated for it but finished everything in about an hour (he had to change the demarc box because I had an old rusty one).

The service is good so far and I am happy. I am not a heavy downloader, so I think the bandwidth allowance will be fine. I just wanted a higher upload speed than what's available on the ADSL tiers and cable. The only other option was Teksavvy (which has been my ISP for several years before switching) but because of the dry loop fee and mandatory modem rental fee imposed on the Fibe package, it would have costed me about $20 more per month.

Update, 3 months after the installation:

My 3 months of free service are up and I made some changes to my account, namely switched to a plan a bit cheaper, the 15/10 (same great upload speed which is the most important for me at this time).

Unfortunately I can't say the change went through without any problems but all were fixed in the end.

The first problem was a technical one, they set me up with a profile with 8 Mbps upload so since my line could do better before the change, I called and asked to be tweaked. Initially I was told that's the best the line could do, then when I pushed a little bit they escalated it to the second level who said I would receive a call within 24-48 hours. The tech called me about 7-8 hours later and was totally unprepared, he said initially I was on the Fibe 6 package, I told him "that's not true", he said "call our customer service". Then a few minutes later he called again, said I'm on Fibe 15 and he will change my upload speed to 1 Mbps, because there's no such thing as 10 Mbps. I told him to stop, don't make any change and double check, he went and did it anyways and changed my profile from a VDSL to an ADSL one.

I opened another ticket and about 14 hours later my speed was fixed and works great.

The second issue was with billing, they tried to charge me starting 3 months from the day the service was ordered rather than the day it was installed. I opened another ticket (over their chat) and this got fixed as well.

member for 8.2 years, 2960 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 1.1 years ago

Comments:

Review by maxboha See Profile

  • Location: Acton Vale,QC
  • Cost: $70 per month
  • Install: about 700 days
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Illimité enfin !"
Bad "Qualité de la ligne, prix, caps, vitesse"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·Cogeco Cable
·Cooptel
Slow Sync rates, habite dans un devellopement résidentiel neuf avec pas de FTTN.



Attachments:
Click for full size


member for 1.9 years, 223 visits, last login: 212 days ago
updated 1.1 years ago

Comments:

CommieCowboy

@openskytelcom.net

La faute du gouvernment et du CRTC...

Le gouvernement federal devrait exiger que les FDSI offrent automatiquement soit du FTTN soit du FTTH a tous les nouveaux developments.. Peut-etre un Quebec souveraint offrait un meilleur systeme de reglementation, mais faudra retourner presque toute l'infrastructure hydroelectrique aux Autotochtones si le Quebce se separe du Canada. Donc appuies-toi au NPD ou au Parti Pirate pour assurer que les consommateurs canadiens soient traite honnetement.

(Je m'excuse pour les erreurs d'orthographes ou de grammair. Le francais n'est pas ma langue maternelle.)






Review by beoneradio See Profile

  • Location: Laval,QC
  • Cost: $56 per month (6 month contract)
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Bad "bad service"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

they sold me a plan for 6 months 56$ after with out notice my plan change to 79$ told them is too expensive they advice me that i would keep same plan .
Now I received a bill of 177$ for this month really how can that be if I was on vacations.

well they don't care and all they try to do is to sale me more bandwidth.

I am canceling with them .

member for 1.1 years, 0 visits, last login: 1.1 years ago
lodged 1.1 years ago

Comments:

BELL_HELL

@bell.ca

Stay away from BELL. They are the biggest crooks

I just got out of a 3 year contract and i paid through my nose. Never ever trust what they say. You will pay for that big time and when you go back to their crappy customer service, they will simply say sorry but you still have to pay no matter what anyone promised you.