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Bell Sympatico page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 1128 reviews (409 good) (477 bad)
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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 3.2 years, 7 visits, last login: 1.6 years ago
updated 1.6 years ago

Comments:

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 7.8 years, 89 visits, last login: 24 days ago
updated 1.6 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:
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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 8.1 years, 1569 visits, last login: 2 days ago
updated 1.7 years ago

Comments:

Review by virago83 See Profile

  • Location: Osgoode,ON
  • Cost: $53 per month
  • Install: about 5 days
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Always works!"
Bad "Cost of service, shadey sales practices"
Overall "Costs more than it should but it works all the time"

Will start by saying that I have been a Bell customer for many years. In more recent years was using Bell Sympatico's "Performance Plan" which basically gave me 25G of download per month and although I can't recall the download speed, was acceptable for my use. Then around Sept. 2011 while browsing Bell website I noted that the "performance" plan I was on, no longer existed and Bell was now pushing their various flavors of "Fibe". I contacted Bell and asked to be switched to the Fibe 15/10 Plan which now gives me 80G of download and faster speeds for about same price. A Bell Tech showed up within next few days and set up my new modem, no hassles. I'm getting close to the advertised download speeds which is double what I previously had so no complaints.

What burns me about Bell is that their services, whether its POTS, Internet or Television, is its too expensive. When I call to speak to representative, it's impossible to get anyone who speaks real "Canadian" English. You have to keep on top of your monthly bills because Bell will screw you every which way they can. I've been thinking seriously about switching to another company for phone/internet, ex. Distributel, Techsavvy, etc. to save money but I read as many negative reviews as positive ones. This worries me to no end because as much as I hate Bell's monopoly and costs, I do have to say that their services do work as advertised! My television service is always there, my phone line has NEVER encountered problems and my internet has never crashed or slowed to an unacceptable level. Guess its the old saying: "You get what you pay for"

member for 1.7 years, 2 visits, last login: 1.4 years ago
updated 1.7 years ago

Comments:

Review by HackneyB See Profile

  • Location: Canada
  • Cost: $110 per month
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Reliable service for the last 10 years"
Bad "avg. 5-10 phone calls to get any service changes right. Pricing not competitive."
Overall "Stable service but constant struggle to keep price low and changes done right."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
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Tech Support:
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Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

Customer since late 90s. Never had stability problems with the service. $110 monthly cost includes two services - Internet and phone.

Pricing not competitive if you're in for the long haul - one deal lasting 12 months does not really count when you revert to fairly high pricing model after that. No such thing as being rewarded for loyalty. I'd have to call every year to reluctantly get offered $5 off for a year.

Customer service and tech support was always polite but impossibly ineffective. Any changes equal days or weeks of follow up calls. Waiting for the billing to reflect changes. Waiting for unforseen scheduling for service changes. Getting told that the team you just spent 40 minutes waiting for, does not do what you need done. In total, every query or service change may translate into several phone calls and add up to hours spent on the phone.

Recent highlight - when unable to confirm some information or task, some Bell reps actually say they will call back and follow up on the promise which is a welcome contrast to most customer service organizations.

member for 1.7 years, 1 visits, last login: 1.6 years ago
updated 1.7 years ago

Comments:
TomsReports

join:2012-01-22
Reviews:
·Rogers Hi-Speed
·Bell Fibe

Loyalty

"No such thing as being rewarded for loyalty."

You are correct. In my experience, and the experience of my friends, quite the opposite is true: you must switch regularly to get decent rates. If you are only getting $5 off /month then you need to switch.

"I'd have to call every year to reluctantly get offered $5 off for a year."

I've asked people in retentions why they put me through this dance every year. I was told that this is just the system and that in the future I should just jump straight to retentions and not waste my time with the front line people who can't dole out the 'real' deals.

The whole system seems very wasteful to me, not to mention that I feel bad for elder, and less aggressive people who pay so much more then the rest of us. I wish they would just publish one set of (competitive) rates and be done with it.

Review by gyp_sy See Profile

  • Location: undisclosed location
  • Cost: $36 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Rock-solid 25/7 all day."
Bad "Low caps, as we all know. 125GB on a 25Mbit plan, really?"
Overall "OK if you get a deal on it, otherwise not worth the $ at the regular price given the caps."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

Update 03/01/2013: I moved back to Mississauga and had it transferred on 28/12/2012. The appointment was made a week in advance and a very friendly and knowledgeable tech showed up, one of the best I've dealt with from Bell. Service was set up in about 4 hours due to wiring issues between the street box and the demarc (contractors ripped the line up a year prior and the new line was not properly connected on the street). A new dry-loop number was assigned as part of the move. I asked that my profile be raised to 25/10 from the default 25/7 (to which it reset as part of the move) and my wish was granted (did I mention how amazing that tech was?); although the strength is not enough for full 10mbit sync, I do get a solid 9mbit. Solid service since, much as expected. Price remains the same. Cap remains unreasonable... come on Bell, even Rogers are beating you on it.. to say nothing of TPIA.

----------------------

Update 20/07/2012: I moved to Brampton July 1st and set up a new installation at the new location. Time from order to installation was approximately a week, due to technician availability as well as my own. At install time, I was unhappy to hear Bell would charge a $99 fee to run a fresh line from the demarc to the modem, something Rogers/Tek Cable provide free of charge. I will dispute this when the bill shows up. The package is 25/10 now, the remote is ~2000ft from my residence. If I keep my inside wiring short, my upload is spot-on. The throughput/bandwidth quality is rock-solid so far, no complaints. The modem is another Sagemcom 2864. I received a new 12-month promo, this time at 35.97/month. I was unable to avoid the $50 activation fee (which, along with the $99 above raises my setup fee to a whopping $149!). Cap remains the same at 125GB.

----------------------

Update 21/12/2011: they tried to hit me with a $50 one-time modem rental fee. Sneaky sneaky Bell, think I don't check my bill? 15-min phonecall cleared it up, no other billing screwups to report (yet). Service has been mostly solid - a few disconnects, but nothing lasting more than 2-3 minutes.

----------------------

It's a Fibe 25 install with 125GB cap. VDSL all day every day.

I've been hooked up with the Sagemcom 2864 modem. The remote I'm on is something like 500m from my home, so signal is nice and strong. Installed the POTS splitter and handled the wiring myself (have a fairly complicated setup), tech was more than glad to let me do it

It took about 7 days from order to installation, the tech arrived in the scheduled timeslot, things went smooth (both with this and with the previous Fibe 6 install I had). I've heard a TON of horror stories about Bell, but I really can't say anything bad about them so far. There's been no downtime and no issues in about a month.

Wait times for billing and sales were very short basically every time I called (under 10min); the reps were courteous, though not all that knowledgeable.

I *do* wish the Sagemcom gave us linestats.. but of course, the more Bell can keep its customers in the dark, the better =). Just increases the load on callcenters if you ask me, you take away the option of community support (which DSLR is oh-so-fantastic at providing).

I can't rate tech support as I haven't had to deal with them yet. I hope I never do.

Value for money is calculated at the rate I'm currently getting (33.48). There was no installation fee, there are no other fees beside the monthly charge.

member for 4.2 years, 65 visits, last login: 1.7 years ago
updated 1.7 years ago

Comments:

Review by maats See Profile

  • Location: Frankford,ON
  • Cost: $49 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Solid connection, Reliable, Short wait time to contact someone"
Bad "Installation, Tech knowledge, Price, Promises not kept from Sales Reps"
Overall "Dependable once your up and running"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

I had Bell Fibe 5/1 service. I ordered the service for 2 Aug 12. I was given a 6 hour window for installation. About 1100 hrs I noticed the Bell truck down the street and went to talk to the guy to see when he was coming to install my internet. He said I wasnt on the list and he was the only one working in the area that day. I said I had a fast dial tone on my line and he said you are probably already connected and gave me a 2 Wire modem and said to call Bell and get connected. I called Bell and told them the story and to make a long story short, I was up and running about 6 hours later. I was pissed about being told I had an appointment and the reality was that there never was an appointment. After that the internet worked flawlessly and I was getting 6/1 service.

4 Dec 12. I spoke with a rep online and asked if I qualify for the 15/10 service. He said that I did. I asked if I would get better than the 1 Mb upload I am current getting. He told me that my line would get close to the 10 Mb upload. I asked to be upgraded to the new service. I was on a promotion for 50% off with the other service until end of Jan 13. He told me that it would nullify that promotion and I would pay $49/Month in a Bell bundle. I figures the 10 Mb upload would be worth it. This is the series of events that followed.

5 Dec. Bell requests 6 hour installation window. Bell techs install new Sagecom Modem and leave. Download 10 Mb Upload 800 Kbps down. I call tech support and they said they need to send another tech out to my house. Need a 6 hour appointment window.

7 Dec. Bell sends out a technician and says the best my line will do in 11 / 1. I tell him I was promised by online reps after multiple tests that I would get at least 15/7. He says that its impossible.

8 Dec. A tech said he was working in he local area and ask if I would mind if he looked into my trouble tickets. He switched me from a ADSL to VDSL profile. Resulting in 7/.7 speed. He seemed very knowledgeable and helpful and then after working on it for 3 hours, he stopped all communication. the next day I called tech support to see what was going on. I was told that they couldnt see my modem and didnt know why I was connected. I told them about the speed I was getting and they said they would dispatch a tech the next day and needed another 6 hour window. They asked if I had a POTS splitter installed and I said no. They told me I needed one to get the advertised speeds. So once again I gave a 6 hr window. In the mean time I took the modem and connected it directly to the demarcation point and i got 15/1 service. I left the phone disconnected and only attached the modem to the jack. Solid 15/1 service. I called back tech support and told them I definitely needed the POTS spitter.

10 Dec. A tech showed up and installed the POTS spitter and everything was working. Telephones and Internet. 15/1 service. I called tech support and asked to have my upload speed increased to 10 Mb. They told my the best I could do was 1 Mb upload. I told them I was promised higher speed. They said they couldnt do anything. I had enough of dealing with Bell. I hung up the phone and took a shower. I came back the computer and ran a speedtest and now was getting 1Mg down and .1 Mg Upload. I called tech support and told them my speed has decreased. They said they would have to send another tech the following day with another 6 hr window. I was furious, but what can you do.

11 Dec. I received a phone msg saying the internet was fixed now and everything should be back to normal. I did a speed test and it was 1/.1. I called tech support and told them that I was back on the ADSL profile and that I should be on VDSL and have higher speeds. They told me that I should be on the ADSL profile and that they couldnt do anything about it. I asked them to change the setting to see if it made a difference. They complied and said they made the change. I didnt see the modem reset and asked if they reset it. They didnt understand why it didnt reset. The tech told me the name of my modem. I told them my modem is called something different. Turns out my connection was on the wrong port and they didnt know what port it was on and couldnt make any changes. Seriously, what do you do at this point. Guess what, another tech needs to be dispatched and another 6 hour window. I asked what kind of company calls a customer and leaves a msg saying everything is working and doesnt follow up to ensure the service. Poor communication.

12 Dec. I didnt bother to stay home because I knew that that issue was at the CO. When I got home, the Bell tech called to ensure that it was working. Speed is now a solid 15/1 service. I am so pissed off with this fiasco, I am considering cancelling my subscription and going with someone else. I will provide an update if I remain with this company at a later date.



member for 8.6 years, 13 visits, last login: 1.8 years ago
updated 1.8 years ago

Comments:

Review by waynecbaker See Profile

  • Location: Hamilton,ON
  • Cost: $50 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Steady Internet connection"
Bad "A data transfer cap with overage fees"
Overall "A good Internet connection"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

Bell Fibe Internet 15/10 accounts have a download speed of up to 15 megabits per second, an upload speed of up to 10 megabits per second and a data transfer allowance, or cap, of 75 gigabytes per month.

The unbundled price is $54 a month, but there is a $4 discount if you are also a subscriber to both local and long distance telephone service from Bell Canada.

My e-mail account was set up with the e-mail address of my choice during the installation process.

The Internet connection offers consistent download speeds and the e-mail service is quite reliable.

member for 12.2 years, 2538 visits, last login: 69 days ago
updated 1.8 years ago

Comments:

Review by ns1225 See Profile

  • Location: Montreal,QC
  • Cost: $52 per month
  • Install: about 3 days
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Speed is as advertised, 16Mb/s on Fibe 16"
Bad "Low usage cap of 90GB, possibly even lower"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings well above consensus)

Fairly good service on Bell Fibe 16Mbps down and 7Mbps upload. The price is high considering rate hikes and low usage caps so that sums up the huge negatives of Bell services. You've been warned.

The upsides are that it is a fast and reliable connection and not a single issue was experienced for the whole time I was a customer.

member for 3.8 years, 176 visits, last login: 103 days ago
updated 1.9 years ago

Comments:






Review by judgeprophet See Profile

  • Location: Delson,QC
  • Cost: $39 per month (12 month contract)
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Easy setup"
Bad "No network improvement in my region"
Overall "Expensive and ignore long time customer"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·Acanac
·ELECTRONICBOX
I was with them since around 2000 to 2008, (Dial-up). They did nothing to improved their network. Since i'm far from the central, i'm still at 2mb/sec MAX, at least the reseller can offer me unlimited transfert. And at the time the pricing wasn't competitive!

I have big hope for Fibe

member for 1.9 years, 62 visits, last login: 1.6 years ago
lodged 1.9 years ago

Comments: