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Bell Sympatico page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 1130 reviews (409 good) (478 bad)
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Review by MXB See Profile

  • Location: Burlington,ON
  • Cost: $46 per month
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Reliable."
Bad "Overpriced is an understatement!"
Overall "Too expensive. And getting more so all the time."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

I started out in 1986 with a 300 baud modem and a C=128. I love modems. But by 2002 it became obvious that Bell's high speed would be faster and equally priced to using a 2nd phone line and a 56K modem with an account at my University. So I did some research and bought myself a D-Link DI-604 modem on sale with a mail-in-rebate. Then I ordered Bell's cheapest service which was called "Light" IIRC. It was 128 Kbps down. The Speedstream modem arrived via courier within a day or two. Setup was a breeze as I just ignored the CD they included. The router immediately hooked up to the modem after being configured and I was on. It provided access to 3 old computers on the home LAN.

I briefly considered Cogeco the local cable company but I do not like the idea of netting via their network. I guess I just feel comfortable using the phone network. Also Cogeco when I did phone once told me that they'd send a tech to "setup and configure" my computer. I told them that would be impossible as I am using multiple and exotic operating systems. They insisted anyways so that was the end of their chance. As if I would permit some twentysomething who has never heard of CP/M or even DOS touch my babies!

The only problems I've had with Bell were the contracts they kept putting me on when I called to ask why the bill was not as expected. I didn't even know they'd done that so when a year was up I'd get a bill for more than expected. However it seems that they've realized their error and now I'm on a plan that will not change all the time. Well maybe... I suspect they've just stopped calling them contracts and perhaps no longer expire them after a year. Also irritating was that they kept trying to push their higher speeds everytime I called to inquire about a billing discrepancy. I only accepted that once this fall because the price of the higher speed was actually less than what I had. The original Light kept getting faster automatically (from 128 to 512) but the new Essential Plus (2000) cost less due to the bundles ($10 off). That speed upgrade went seamlessly although they sent me a new modem via courier even though I told them I didn't need one because the old modem worked perfectly at the new speed! I had to return to sender via the Post Office. Worse is they then couriered me a _second_ modem which I simply refused to accept from the courier. Minor annoyance for me but expensive for them.

All in all I have been a satisfied customer for almost 7 years now. The connection has always been there, always at the speed advertised (oh I checked!) and sometimes faster. The modem they rent me has worked flawlessly for almost 7 years now. I've never called tech support but then again I know more than the techs do so why would I?

They've kept gouging me with price increases almost on a yearly basis. It is time to abandon ship after 9 years. Not to mention the obscenity of charging me $2 for a paper bill and then sending me paper advertisements for free.

Nov. 1, 13 means another $3 hike. Last hike they followed up with a speed bump from 2 to 6 Mb and a cap bump from 2 to 25 GB. So I stayed. However that's a much speed and way more cap than I need so a further bump after the hike won't do a thing for me. Time to switch.

member for 5 years, 25 visits, last login: 124 days ago
updated 1.2 years ago

Comments:

WallyThacker
The Central Scrutinizer

join:2002-02-12
Canada

I have

a box of modems Bell has sent to me or family members and never asked for them back. Probably worth hundreds of $$$'s in their day.

Review by Soiduts See Profile

  • Location: Ontario
  • Cost: $35 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 6 days
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Service used to be Good"
Bad "Billing Errors, Level 1 Techs, Port 25 Block, No Usable Usenet service, Forced Modem Rental, No Outage List, Bandwidth Throttle"
Overall "Worst Company in Canada"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

UPDATE October/11
After being with Bell for home phone service for *many* years, they decided to add a bunch of new fees to a basic line for no reason. No longer have any services will Bell directly and will not return nor recommend anyone to them.

UPDATE January/11
I didn't think I could lower my review any lower than it already was but I want to be able to justify my reasoning for giving Bell a 0 rating on my review. With Bell implementing UBB, it is creating excessive profit and gouging customers. We all know the markup on bandwidth is unfair. The CRTC's mandate to implement UBB on wholesale ISP's regardless of their companies ability to provide an unlimited service shows that they are abusing the position as a regulator.
CRTC Finalizes ISP Usage-Based Billing)

UPDATE November/10
Internet usage is not going down and 60GB caps is horribly low especially for families that have multiple computers and multiple users using the same connection.

The reason Bell wants this usage-based billing is to protect their Expressvu Satellite service. With Netflix and YouTube being quite popular here in Canada as well as CBC offering shows online, their satellite service is in jeopardy. By capping users, this reduces the amount of video people can watch online and forces them to use more 'traditional' media outlets.

As the article states, the CRTC's decision is definitely not ensuring "that both the broadcasting and telecommunications systems serve the Canadian public. " (»www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/backgrnd/broc···9903.htm)
CRTC Approves Wholesale Usage Billing)

UPDATE August/09
Canadian Regulators Send Another Love Letter To Bell Canada)

"Canadian regulatory authority the CRTC, staffed with former incumbent carrier executives, so far hasn't lifted a finger to come to the aid of independent carriers. The CRTC continued this trend by today approving Bell's UBB plans. CRTC employees like vice-chairman Leonard Katz, who spent 17 years working for Rogers and 11 for Bell, aren't concerned...for some strange reason."

Guess this shows there is absolutely no point in having the CRTC as a regulatory body as they do not do anything for the Canadian public like they are supposed to. The public is supposed to be first, not big business. Will definitely be writing MP (not like that's going to do anything other then receiving a standard reply.)

Internet usage is not on the way down its going up. Revision3 started posting HD videos of their shows and I watch 4 of those a week. Almost 20gb a month JUST there!

The CRTC is really getting annoying and what's even more annoying is Bell's insistence that we have to pay an arm and a leg for bandwidth that costs pennies.

UPDATE July/09
"The Internet has always been managed, first of all. Second, the traffic management practices we utilize have been reviewed extensively and the CRTC has said they are appropriate ... We expect the CRTC will continue to find that reasonable management practices designed to improve the Internet experience for the majority of users is appropriate."
www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=1757953)

Attitudes like this is the main reason why the Internet in Canada and around the world is struggling. The Internet was designed to be a tool to freely share information but imposing any kind of traffic management on the network that hinders the ability for innovation while disrupting the competition, should be illegal.

UPDATE March/09
You know its sad that my Internet connection at University 10 years ago, 10mbit, is still vastly superior to anything that Bell is providing now. When will they learn that Net Neutrality and uncapped/unthrottled connections are the only way to move forward. Bandwidth usage isn't going down anytime soon and trying to limit it is unfair to consumers who have to deal with monopolistic companies like Bell.

Here are just a few links as to why I lowered my rating of this company:
Bell Canada To Take Ball, Go Home)
Bell appeals CRTC decision)

UPDATE March/08
Canceled Bell Sympatico after being a customer for 7+ years. Canceling was a terrible experience as I was told I phoned in 3 days too early to cancel. I was told I had to phone exactly 30 days to the end of my contract. I thought I was being a courteous customer by phoning ahead to inform them that I would no longer be using the service after the contract ended. Phoned back and got a different person and after 20 minutes, I finally got a cancellation number. Switched to Teksavvy. Literally took no more than a few minutes to sign up for a full unlimited account (as I already had a DSL Premium login), get my login and completely switch over.

Bell Canada Throttles Wholesalers, Doesn't Bother To Tell Them)
I don't think we need any more proof to show Bell's shady business practices, but here's some more.

UPDATE January/08
Having been a Bell Internet Customer for many years, I finally decided to spend the extra $10 a month and test out Teksavvy's Premium 100GB login. All the problems I had with FTP SSL being capped at 32kbps and other throttling issues were solved instantly. I will be using the login for the next two months till my current Sympatico contract expires and will probably sign up for an Unlimited Account. I've been comparing ping times, trace routes, and overall connection quality and have been impressed with Teksavvy.

I recently read an article on Ars Technica about Time Warner's attempt to institute caps on their broadband connections. They sum up the Bell Sympatico situation quite eloquently.

Shooting yourself in the foot: Time Warner's usage caps
arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20···aps.html)
"Customers who exceed their cap would be hit with an undetermined per-gigabyte charge, but Bell Canada's overage fees, which range from CAN$1.00 to CAN$7.50 per gigabyte, may give some inkling of where Time Warner's overage fees will end up. Usage caps are a short-sighted response to capacity constraints, one that's likely to hurt the company more than it will help in the long run especially with new broadband options on the horizon."

Unfortunately I cannot recommend Sympatico to friends, coworkers, or customers anymore as capping, throttling and customers support issues has made Bell a second rate ISP.

2004 to 2007
As a Bell Sympatico subscriber since DSL was first offered in Ontario, I have been through all the high and low points with the service. Unfortunately in the last few months the low points have overtaken the high ones. Our family shares the connection on our home network with 4 computers.

Billing Errors
For the past 2 years I have had an unlimited contract with Sympatico at $35/m. While on this contract, one would expect consistent monthly billing but that isn't the case. Two times in the last 8 months I have had billing issues and I haven't called in or changed my account or contract with Sympatico. Both times they have chalked it up to errors on their billing system.

Level 1 Techs
I don't even bother phoning tech support anymore because they are completely useless. I have found it easier to contact techs directly on DSLreports. I pity those that do not know about the support forum here and have to call in for help. Unfortunately most of Sympatico's customers are unaware of this forum and would have to deal with the normal tech support.

Bandwidth Caps & Throttling
A few years ago Bell Sympatico decided to enable bandwidth caps which proved to be a bad move for the company. For the past few years, unlimited contracts have been available through Sympatico and for the most part, it was a very good service. Capping and throttling in general is a bad idea for any ISP as bandwidth consumption is not going to go down. If you advertise and offer unlimited, then do so. Customers should not be penalized because they use bandwidth when they have signed a contract stating unlimited bandwidth.

Most people don't use that much bandwidth but 60gb is definitely a very low cap. HD broadcasts, video streams, Xbox Live & Xbox Live downloads, Windows/Mac/Linux Updates and VoIP are now becoming quite prevalent online now. CBC broadcasts Hockey Night in Canada and the National online and many other websites offer bandwidth intensive content including Sympatico's own website. Content doesn't have to be 'gray' area to use a lot of bandwidth especially if you have a lot of users in your house.

DSL Line Sync
I haven't had any line quality problems with my line as I have lived in new houses with new wiring. I have had problems with the line profiles though. On numerous occasions, I phoned tech support to get them to increase the line profile but to no avail. It wasn't until I asked on DSLreports forum and talked to some techs directly that I was able to get that sorted out. My connection is now stable at the 5mbit profile instead of the 3mbit profile.

Bottom Line
Unfortunately Bell and Rogers are the main bulk suppliers for Internet Service in Ontario/Quebec and there is no way to avoid them.

member for 12.7 years, 154 visits, last login: 11 days ago
updated 1.2 years ago

Comments:

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 4.5 years, 279 visits, last login: 1 days ago
updated 1.2 years 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 3.3 years, 95 visits, last login: 331 days ago
updated 1.3 years ago

Comments:
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 above 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 10 years, 33 visits, last login: 1.4 years ago
lodged 1.4 years 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 1.5 years, 75 visits, last login: 1 year ago
lodged 1.5 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 well 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 3.8 years, 746 visits, last login: 53 days ago
lodged 1.6 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 well 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 2.7 years, 5 visits, last login: 1.6 years ago
lodged 1.6 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 above 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 8.1 years, 200 visits, last login: 52 days ago
updated 1.7 years ago

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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 8.9 years, 3320 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 1.7 years ago

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