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Bell Sympatico page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 1127 reviews (409 good) (476 bad)
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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 1.1 years, 75 visits, last login: 227 days ago
lodged 1.1 years 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 3.4 years, 675 visits, last login: a few hours ago
lodged 1.2 years 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 2.3 years, 5 visits, last login: 1.2 years ago
lodged 1.2 years 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 7.7 years, 189 visits, last login: 2 days ago
updated 1.3 years 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 well 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 8.5 years, 3106 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 1.3 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:
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member for 2.2 years, 223 visits, last login: 309 days ago
updated 1.4 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 match 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 1.4 years, 0 visits, last login: 1.4 years ago
lodged 1.4 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.






Review by Furious1964 See Profile

  • Location: Dorval,QC
  • Cost: $143 per month (12 month contract)
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Bandwidth is fast now that throttling is gone."
Bad "Tech support and reliability is non-existant."
Overall "NEVER, EVER deal with Bell."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

Never deal with Bell EVER.

Been a client for nearly 20 Years and I placed an order for a FibeTV/Internet/Cell bundle Saturday Feb. 2, 2013. Got a call from a rep on Tuesday about canceling my lan and confirming my order. For some strange reason, the rep canceled that order and I was left waiting like an idiot. Was on the phone for 3 days with 8 different reps trying to get everything settled, but it all snowballed and I ended up canceling everything and trying to go with someone else. I couldn't because of a bankruptcy I had to declare 3 years ago because I lost my job and couldn't pay my bills. I have a good job now (for over 3 Years) but because of that, I can't get my services reconnected and I'm without telephone and soon will be without internet.

So I recommend that people go elsewhere for internet/phone/TV service and give Bell the cold shoulder.

member for 2.9 years, 7 visits, last login: 1.4 years ago
updated 1.4 years ago

Comments:

Chucks Truck

@teksavvy.com

1.1mbps isn't even 12 meg speed at 12/1 synch

You'd be better off dropping down to 12 meg which is supposed to be 1.4 megabits per second at a 14/1 synch rate.

Review by crumbworks See Profile

  • Location: North York,ON
  • Cost: $36 per month
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Reliable - hardly any downtime"
Bad "Atrocious customer service - outsourced and often inept; Terrible caps and throttling"
Overall "Choose Bell only if you have no other choice -- which you probably do"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·TekSavvy DSL
Bell Canada is absolutely inept. The only way that the service is tolerable is if you never have to actually interact with them after the initial installation.

Their ineptitude can initially be summed up by one experience: at one point, the local node going into my building was down for a week or so. They sent out the wrong repair team twice for it -- the first technician only trained on home phone repair, the second for satellite service repair. Seriously, are you kidding me?!

If I had one positive, it is that the connection is reliable. I have had rather minimal downtime overall. That one week mentioned above is about the only extensive downtime I've had. Other than that, just a few blips of an hour or so every few months.

Calling them is a joke. You are virtually guaranteed to be frustrated by a whole multitude of things -- from long wait times to useless, scripted responses. I haven't reached someone locally in a very long time, and I wonder: how can someone in India know how to resolve issues for an ISP that doesn't even exist over there? (oh, and as per some policy, they have to tell you that they are in Canada when you ask. Idiocy...)

I've escalated calls before. I end up reaching another guy in India who is often times harder to understand than the first guy.... and the answers I have received from them are just as scripted and useless, and have never helped me one bit.

Their technical support is simply painful. They will never, ever admit that the problem is on their end. They simply tell you to reset your modem/router as if that is a universal resolution for any problem. Even when my old rental modem had smoke coming out of it, the person had the tenacity to ask me to power cycle it. Seriously.

Installing new service is as pleasant as being punched in the face. I helped my friend set up Sympatico last year. They don't even make any effort to help you. They forgot to ship out her modem and when it arrived, it took them weeks to fix some sort of glitch to get it to work. When she called them, their answer was to simply "wait a bit longer".

While I am on a grandfathered service with no bandwidth cap, there is still no excuse for having such ridiculously limitations as a whole. I can say with certainly that since I upgraded from dial-up in 1999, I have never had less than 60 GB total usage per month.

The worst part has to be the throttling. Basically, as I said, the service is tolerable as long as you don't have to interact with them because the connection is usually quite stable, but then Bell thought "let's find a way to screw people over even further" and decided on this massive throttling between 4pm and 2am every day. It is absolutely awful, especially since it affects resellers (like TekSavvy).

To be frank, I am only with Bell because my family has some sort of long-standing loyalty with them and they are too lazy to switch.

When I move elsewhere and leave my family with this grandfathered no-cap service, I am positive I will not go with Bell -- or Rogers even, due to both having a cap. I will certainly be considering TekSavvy due to the overwhelmingly positive reviews that I have read.

All in all, Bell is just a waste of time and money. Their service is worthless.

(Update, 05/2010)
After being with Bell Sympatico / Bell Internet for about 9 years, I have switched to TekSavvy. Bell's connection was reliable, but I switched for the reasons mentioned above. Since it uses existing Bell infrastructure, I get the same reliability without any of the headaches.

(Update 05/2012)
I didn't cancel the unlimited Bell Internet account. I left it to my parents at their place, since it is a nice grandfathered "perk". However, I underestimated the atrociousness of Bell once again: my parents never really review their bill in detail, but I did when I visited them recently. Bell has apparently been increasing the price of their grandfathered DSL plans once every few months in an effort to strong-arm long-time and loyal customers into switching to the capped tier packages.

How much has it risen to, you may ask?

...$71.95/month, plus $5 for the modem rental, for unlimited 6 Mbps.

What an absolutely unacceptable and abhorrently immoral business practice. In short: I could not let them continue to throw their money at Bell. They are in the process of switching away as well. I'm also doing the same with their landline, where Bell was gouging them as well.

(Update 02/2013)
My parents have been with TekSavvy now for nearly a year and are very satisfied. Absolutely no issues. While it took them a few months for the initial costs to even things out (set-up fees, cost of purchased gateway, etc.), they are now saving an incredible sum in the long run. Bell is dead to us.

member for 7.6 years, 79 visits, last login: 93 days ago
updated 1.4 years ago

Comments:

thesysthink

@rogers.com

Thanks for the feedback... really needed that

This is scary man!
I work from home (sort of IT-Operations) and throttling is no fun for me.

Thanks for this review and I was almost all set to have them.

Regards.

OYE

@bell.ca

Bell can be good.

I've just had a good deal with the bell loyalty department.
I got a 25Mbps download 125GB bandwith Cap for $50 a month.
It is limited for one year, but it's still a lot better than nothing.

Here's a hint on negotiations. Works with me every time.
When they charge you for stupid things, let them do it, but
do NOT use the service. Now let time go by and it flies.
After a while of paying for nothing, it's time for you to strike back.
Do NOT offend the teletobies. If you ever have to say something negative, say that you are very disappointed with Bell. And put a gentle, educated, and a soft tone and beguile them to pity you. And try to minimize your time in the billing/technical support people. It is really a waste of time. Get to the loyalty department and again, be nice. Everyone is defensive when offended.

Review by Tristan See Profile

  • Location: Ottawa,ON
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "You get access to the internet."
Bad "Slow access, low caps, high overages, bad service"
Overall "Teksavvy or Start Communications internet is better, avoid Bell Sympatico"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

2/6/2013
I highly recommend Start Communications for internet service. Going to ask my employer to switch to Start.

2/6/2013
Some of the problems we've had with Bell high-speed over the last 3 years are:
- internet service seems to go down periodically
- email server seems to go down periodically
- a bad Bell wire feed to our building caused our connection to fail. When we were connected to a different pair of wires, we lost half our speed. Took several calls to get it fixed. At one point, I was talking with a call centre employee that admitted she was in Jamaica, and she was most disrespectful. She didn't want to help, and rather cited that the speeds are "up-to", but really the problem was the card Bell connected us to was bad.

- older -
Not a big fan of Bell Sympatico.

Was forced to get DSL because zoning technicalities made it impossible to get Rogers - it's actually Rogers fault that we can't use Rogers, even though Rogers offers service to this building.

Stupid Rogers.

Don't sign up with Bell. Teksavvy is much better, higher customer satisfaction, they fight for their customer's rights. Long story short, Teksavvy cares, and wants your business.

member for 7.8 years, 1497 visits, last login: 1 days ago
updated 1.4 years ago

Comments: