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Bell Sympatico page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 1122 reviews (408 good) (473 bad)
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Review by thebaron See Profile

  • Location: Orleans,ON
  • Cost: $55 per month
  • Install: about 14 days
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Recently upgraded from 3.0 to 5.0 for same price"
Bad "Tech support blames everything on you, no static IP"
Overall "Very Reliable ISP"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
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Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

Recently Sympatico switched from 1.5mbit down and 128kbit up to 3mbit down and 800 up without any increase in cost, i was quite pleased... but on the other hand, every time i call for tech support, they always try to blame the problem on me. I had called once for a connection problem and they kept telling me it was because i was on a network, and networks are bad an so forth... turns out, it was NOT my fault, an animal chewed the line and messed some stuff up, causing static on my line. Oh, and im a little dissapointed that they dont offer any plan with a static IP.

Update: Have not had any problems with this ISP in a very long time, have not lost sync in over a year. Rates were increased from 45 to 55$ this year though.

Update: no longer with Bell, absolute garbage

member for 10.3 years, 4589 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 2.2 years ago

Comments:
Bye internet

join:2012-01-18
canada
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
·Cogeco Cable
·Source Cable
·Primus Telecommu..
·Acanac
·Bell Sympatico

No longer with Bell.

I left Bell because of very slow speeds and complete blackouts, phone support which promised but never delivered (and apparently was never recorded), accidental cancellation of service, failure to cancel services, even when notified 6 months in advance, and, of course, failure to provide the services for which they charged.

I switched to Acanac, who could not provide internet service without disabling my phone (still with Bell). A Bell lineman told me, "these old lines cannot support both phone and high speed internet." Acanac has still not refunded nearly $400 which I prepaid, so I must take them to court.

Next, I switched to Primus, who interrupted my phone service for 6 days, trying to solve the problem that they could never establish the internet connection I was paying for.

Both Acanac and Primus depend upon Bell's lines. Bell has failed to maintain these lines. After leaving Bell, I was harassed. I received unexplained bills, and threats of collection agencies. I also received phone calls and letters, to "thank me for returning to Bell". They told me by phone, "if you return to Bell, accepting a different phone number, we will replace those old lines". Their mail-outs "confirmed the new services to which I had agreed". [NONE!!!]

I gave up phone lines, in my 35-year-old condo. I'm now with Source Cable. Although paying for a down speed of 8.0, I usually receive 2.0 or even less than 1.0, OR no connection. I've signed up for a year.

It seems that robbery is now quite legal in Canada; there is simply no patrolling of ISP's.

Please, do everything you can to speak up for consumers like yourself...take it to Small Claims Court. You can only collect $25,000 per company you sue, but you'll receive money from the CRTC, just for reporting the crooks!

If you want reliable internet at an affordable cost, leave Canada.

FP


Review by mrhud See Profile

  • Location: Hudson,QC
  • Cost: $50 per month
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Good speed and reliability"
Bad "Got a new 2wire modem and was able to jailbreak it"
Overall "All in all, really not that bad. Customer service has improved"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
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(ratings match consensus)

Even after all this time, I am still their customer. I guess I just know how the system works. Whenever I'm not happy with something, I call up 310-SURF and talk with retentions. They always seem to offer me something, dangling the carrot as it were, to keep me. My most recent call was to cancel, but they offered me 3 months free, plus a credit of last months bill (Dec 2011) , and and extra 40GB free for 12 months. All in a savings of almost $200 for a 10 minute phone call. And, they credited last month right away, so I don't think I'll have to call back to complain that they didn't do what they promised.

Honestly, I don't think they're that bad. I haven't gone gone over my bandwidth limits in years, and the price with my bundle is palatable. I think I would like to try out cable (Electronic Boxes new rates are tempting), but I want to find a solution to cable voip before I take the plunge.

Or, status quo until Bell calls me for with an offer for Fibe, which I guess which be coming sometime towards the end of 2013 or early 2013 for my area.

(Below this line is my original review almost 4 years ago)

---

I have been their customer for a number of years, at least when Hi-Speed Edition first came out for Sympatico.

I have found the last few years that the service has been sub par, and this has been most evident this past year. I moved last year, signed up for a new 1yr contract, and the speeds seemed okay at first. A month or 2 later the speeds dropped dramatically. Calls to support either went unanswered and unsolved. My 1 yr contract is coming to an end next month, and now my speeds have suddenly gone back to what they were originally. Conspiracy? Whatever. I'll probably be changing providers...most likely a reseller.

Also, for some reason over the last few months my bandwidth has really increased...I called them up and asked them where I went over. They could not tell me how, where or when I went over my limit, only that I did in fact go over my limit. Prior, I was only using something like 25 GB total per month but now I always seem to end up with the extra 30$ charge.

member for 6.2 years, 97 visits, last login: 64 days ago
updated 2.2 years ago

Comments:

Chucks Truck

@teksavvy.com

No you'll learn

What they promise you and what you see on your monthly bills are two different things. Be prepared to spend hundreds of hours on the phone to get the extra charges reversed.

Review by rockstar See Profile

  • Location: London,ON
  • Cost: $70 per month (month by month)
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Bad "poor knowledge both sales and technical, poor customer support, poor line quality, the list goes on"
Overall "Avoid Bell (Sympatico) Canada at all costs if you can"
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(ratings below consensus)

The initial installation back in 2006 was an absolute nightmare. I've been on the original contract which was for $35/month, unlimited data, at speeds of up to 7Mbps. I've lived with around 4Mbps for past few years. Recently my Speedstream 4200 died. When I called to have it replaced customer service (misnomer if you ask me) suggested that I replace the filters as they are only good for 5yrs. Give me a break already. I called back & the next customer support person told me it was my modem but they couldn't replace it without placing me onto a new billing plan. Right. No go. I finally got someone at the test center who immediately placed a call for the modem to be replaced. When the modem was replaced the line was once again stable & I was running a whopping 6Mbps. That lasted for about a week then back to the lousy 4Mbps. The fee I currently pay, after a number of increases over the past couple of years, is $70/month, unlimited data & a total of 4Mbps. What a load of crap for that price.

member for 6.5 years, 56 visits, last login: 143 days ago
lodged 2.3 years ago

Comments:

Review by Cposer See Profile

  • Location: Ottawa,ON
  • Cost: $50 per month
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Think about it...fail!"
Bad "Not realiable and too costly!"
Overall "not good value for money!"
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(ratings below consensus)

I still have unreliable internet service with Bell ...Have had a pot splitter installed twice...modem replaced (this is the third one - upside is it is a rental). I spend more time with bell service folks on the phone - 1st level assessor, 2nd level technician - then comes the telephone/internet specialist in my home. Ther have been so many of those - nice guys but each has a take on it, each has a solution, each one fixes the last guy's work who thought he had it all sorted. Argg! Still magically disconnects even with a pot splitter...know one knows how to fix this is seems. Fibre still not available in my area. Bottom line, internet service is poor at best, not good great value for money and not reliable.

member for 8.8 years, 54 visits, last login: 274 days ago
updated 2.3 years ago

Comments:

Chucks Truck

@teksavvy.com

Ottawa seems cursed for all internet

From what i've read neither dsl nor cable internet works well in Ottawa. On the sad side Bell charges you more for a modem delivery than the actual modem is worth and they own it not you after it's delivered.

Review by Burdy90 See Profile

  • Location: Dutton,ON
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "The speed is Flawless throughout non prime times."
Bad "When prime times come around I use my phone to surf the internet."
Overall "If you have a 9 to 5 job, DO NOT use Bell."
Pre Sales information:
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(ratings match consensus)

My family has been with bell DSL for 7-8 years and they've been absolutely fantastic up until 8-10 months ago. Throughout the past 8-10 months we've been having the same issue with our internet speed. From 12am to 5pm the internet work fine, no problems at all with the speed. As soon as it hits around 5pm my internet speed starts rising and falling which makes playing games very difficult and sometimes impossible. From 7pm to 11pm my internet speed ranges from 0.12Mbps to 1.2Mbps, the upload speed usually stays the same, and my ping reaches up to 900ms. I've been using www.speedtest.net to check my internet speeds...and yes I have pictures for the proof but I don't know if I can upload them on here.

We've been paying for "up" to 7Mbps and I'm getting speeds slower than dial up on occasion. I've called Bell tech support numerous times always going through the exact steps over and over. No one has been able to solve my problem since. Most of the techs I call usually say it's something on my end, say they'll have a lvl 2 tech call back later but never do, I've had them say they have no clue. Not all is lost within the tech service at Bell though! Sometimes I did receive a Bell Tech who actually cared about what they do for a living! They told me "yes you're paying for "up" to 7Mbps but it should never drop below 4Mbps." They helped me through a few steps that I've never seen before and after I was getting the appropriate connection I said thanks and hung up. 10 minutes later...BOOM back to dial up speeds. I've had a pot splitter put in but that's it so far for people coming to my house to solve the problem.

I use a wired connection, no router, I've dumped all the temp files on my computer. I even restored my computer back to factory default thinking it may be a virus of some sort...still did not help. Only have 2 phones hooked up in my house. I have this connection problem on all my computers and even my xbox. I've unhooked them all and used one to make sure they weren't all eating up the bandwidth and nothing helped. Tried a different phone jack, nothing seems to work.

So my conclusion is if Bell doesn't fix this problem within the next month I'm switching to another ISP and never looking back. As for Tech Support if you can grab the 20% who actually care about their job they will try and fix your problem without trying to get you off the phone.

I am ashamed that Bell has sunk this low, I used to back them up.

member for 2.4 years, 3 visits, last login: 2.3 years ago
lodged 2.4 years ago

Comments:
Burdy90

join:2011-11-21
Dutton, ON

P.S.

If anyone wants to take a crack at solving my problem that would be very much appreciated.

cer

@bell.ca

Re: P.S.

Same, it is virtualy impossible to get on the net evenings & weekends. Now bell will offer unlimited speed & download w/fiber optic. For $100/month! If you live in a city! I am switching to cable at the end of the month (which worked great out in BC). I can't wait! Even our phone has our neighbour's conversations intercepting when it rains b/c the lines are so old.
Bell you've lost a once devoted customer, and stand to lose a lot more unless you sink some money into your decaying assets.
Odaxis

join:2011-05-23

only advice I can give.

I work for an american ISP. your story is a typical one where 9-5 joe schmos come home and network traffic picks up causing shit connectivity for you. definately sounds like a network issue but you would probably be better supported there by a bell representitive.

»Bell Canada Direct

Only yourself and a bell representitive call see any posts you make as you cannot read topics created by other members in that forum.

ChucksTruck

@teksavvy.com

Re: only advice I can give.

Like someone suddenly flipped a switch around the middle of December of 2010. Read the dsl forums and get a clue. There is no congestion, none zero zilch. This is something Bell does on purpose. If no one used the internet at peak times the exact same thing would happen, gee like someone suddenly flipped a switch.
Burdy90

join:2011-11-21
Dutton, ON

Cry for help.

Yea this is sort of my final cry for help before I switch ISP's, I used to really enjoy Bell. I never had any hastles with them before this started happening and now no one seems to know what's going on or really cares. Hopefully a Bell Rep sees this and wants to help!

ChucksTruck

@teksavvy.com

Re: Cry for help.

You could try Teksavvy and hope what Bell states about throttling in the future is true. Once they turn off their dpi boxes your connection will return to normal. In the meantime cable internet is your only alternative.
Burdy90

join:2011-11-21
Dutton, ON

Re: Cry for help.

I'm not able to get cable because of where I live. If bell doesn't fix this problem, yes I am more than likely moving my service over to Teksavvy.

Also, what is a dpi box?
Jurjen

join:2010-08-18
Montreal, QC

traffic shaping vs. congestion

So here's the deal: Bell has more internet clients then their infrastructure can handle. They started too soon offering Fibe services and now they can't handle it.

For a long time they did (and still do) traffic shaping, so making sure that only P2P traffic (such as bittorrent) get's lowered to about 60kbps, but all other traffic should be fine.

Every one complained about the traffic shaping, so recently Bell said they'll gradually upgrade everyone on the 5Mbit package to 6Mbit (causing more traffic) and stopping traffic shaping. So now that the bittorrent users can go wild, others will get caught in the congestion.

Right now, Canada is limboland and congestion is everywhere. You might be better of with one of the indies, but it all depends on your local node how traffic is handled, it could still be that Bell's congested traffic will still be affecting your speed.

Review by ITMChris See Profile

  • Location: Kitchener,ON
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "That there are other ISPs I can switch to."
Bad "Reliability, connection, speed, tech support, service, cost"
Overall "Not worth my time or effort anymore to deal with Bell or ever do buinsess with them again"
Pre Sales information:
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(ratings below consensus)

I am simply disgusted with Bell and their lackluster products, services and support. There are no redeeming value to Bell's service and their 'internet congestion' bit is a farce. For me, I've actually been fortunate enough to have somewhat reliable speed for the past 2 years on this 5Mb connection (I know, not super fast but it used to get the job done). Downloads usually ranged between 550-650 Kbps. Not bad. For the past 2 weeks though, my internet runs on average of 20 - 50kbps between 5pm and midnight with a latency ranging from 400-800ms. This only started 2 weeks ago, and is timed almost exactly the same time every night. I realize that network congestion can cause slow-downs, but randomly starting only 2 weeks ago, to go from no problem to ultra-severe is horrendous. I tried Bell tech support, unfortunately they aren't actually educated or trained to work with telecom equipment or understand how it works or how to fix it. The tech support lies, don't return calls and make no real effort to help, it's simply the automated "have you tried going online? Is your modem plugged in? My screen says you pay for a 5 Mbps connection, so that is the speed you should be receiving ." Really? 20kbps is the speed a 5 Mbps line should produce? Has BELL ever tried going online?

I give up, better, cheaper, more stable/faster connection (Teksavvy) here I come!

member for 2.4 years, 6 visits, last login: 2.3 years ago
lodged 2.4 years ago

Comments:

ChucksTruck

@teksavvy.com

They got to you a little late

Most subscribers "had the switch flipped on them" back around the middle of December of 2010.

Review by djbon2112 See Profile

  • Location: Burlington,ON
  • Cost: $120 per month
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Ancient grandfathered plan"
Bad "Nothing better"
Pre Sales information:
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(ratings match consensus)

Been using Bell Sympatico for as long as their "Ultra High-Speed" 5/0.5 has been available. It's not the worst, but it breaks often and 5/0.5 sucks. I'd like something faster, but there is no more unlimited access in Canada.

member for 2.4 years, 7 visits, last login: 205 days ago
lodged 2.4 years ago

Comments:
Jurjen

join:2010-08-18
Montreal, QC

there IS unlimited access available in Canada

There's plenty of unlimited access in Canada. You just need to look past Bell. There's at least a dozen of providers offering packages without caps. Currently their 5/800 plans are being upgraded to 6/800 (maybe 6/1 eventually). Some providers even offer faster (up to 25/7) over DSL.

You just need to look around on this website to get to know the companies. And cross your fingers this Tuesday the CRTC is not going to make unlimited access impossible with their new set of rules.






Review by koopascooper See Profile

  • Location: Wallaceburg,ON
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "They give actual internet service...at times."
Bad "Horrible latencies, absolutely terrible download speeds, bad tech support, and foolish technicians."
Overall "Stray as far as possible away from Bell, you can't even browse the internet with their service."
Pre Sales information:
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(ratings below consensus)

I have had Bell internet for almost 10 years, and it has never been as bad as it is now. You've really screwed up, Bell.

As far as the internet speed goes, I'm promised 6 megabits/sec download speeds, and I scarcely ever get 3. Absolutely terrible if you're trying to download anything, little alone browsing the internet. They even take away bandwidth from your cap, I had my modem unplugged for a weekend I went away, and apparently I downloaded 3 GB of stuff that same weekend.

Overpaying was to the max, I ended up paying $57.90 a month for a such a terrible service, and their tech support? Please, it's like you're trying to talk to monkeys (no offense to the actual employees!)

We got one of their techs in (faulty phone line,) and we got a new modem (2wire 2701HG-G,) which at the same time screwed up my network configuration (the tech had no idea what he was doing and clipped an ethernet cord going to my wireless access point,) and the tech told me that the filter for the phone line was supposed to "speed up my DSL connection." It just got worse after this. It was like I was using dial-up up to now.

I would honestly recommend going with any provider other than Bell.

member for 2.7 years, 10 visits, last login: 2.4 years ago
updated 2.4 years ago

Comments:
pajago

join:2011-10-20
Petawawa, ON

Bell Sucks

I'm waiting for some other service to offer high speed in my area, even if it's slightly slower than what I get from bell, I'll switch on principle. Tired of giving my money away to this company.

Review by dwane See Profile

  • Location: Pembroke,ON
  • Cost: $60 per month
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Was a decent broadband product for 2 years until the last 4 months."
Bad "UBB, Throttling and criminally low caps. Terrible tech support and unreliable speeds."
Overall "Avoid Bell and God help us all here in Canada."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·Start Communicat..
·Cogeco Cable
I purchased performance internet in Pembroke ON back in 2008.

2 Wire 2701HG-G wifi router. It works well and the wifi is decent for a G router.

5MB down (6 on a good day)/600k up. For the first 2 years it was reliable and fast, albiet throttling was a nuisance.

The order process went fine, Bell practically salivates at the prospect of getting their hands on your wallet.

Hardware delivery was prompt and everything was accounted for.

I enjoy tinkering with networks and computers so installation was simple.

But UBB, Throttling and criminally low caps pretty much says it all.

The caps were changed in 2009- from 40GB/month to 25. Obscene. I use average 60 per month, not even really a power user. Had to get "bandwidth insurance". What BS.

Then, last fall it went in the toilet. Up to 1000 ms pings and terrible latency. Xbox live and pc gaming unuseable. Bell said they were working on it, I made a point to be a total PITA and keep calling whenever I got ticked off enough.

Though their service was crap the bills always came on time, go figure.

Seems Bell has oversold their dsl regarding reliability and speed.

I'm thinking to migrating to Tekksavvy regardless because I hate dealing with Bell. I sit there and fight with myself wether I want to be subjected to their tech idiocy before I call.

I'm also cancelling my expressvu and going TV-less. (To watch what I want when I want relatively commercial free.) Less money to Bell equals win for me.

Bell can fight gravity all they want and try to punish canadian internet users, but the writing is on the wall. It's conflict of interest and unethical for your ISP to also be in control of your cable TV service and even own TV stations.

I just wish I could get rid of my Bell home phone but the nature of my job and home life requires the land line.

***

UPDATE OCT 18 2011 - After deliberation and procrastination I pulled the trigger and cancelled Bell for Cogeco. The rep on the phone gave me some lame scripted BS why I should stay with Bell, tossing out meager discounts and empty promises for faster service soon to come. My reply - why should I listen to any more of Bell's promises when I have the speed I want today already with Cogeco? So as of October 3 I have been BELL FREE! HALLELUJAH!

member for 10.5 years, 660 visits, last login: 22 days ago
updated 2.4 years ago

Comments:

Review by drewis See Profile

  • Location: Hamilton,ON
  • Cost: $27 per month
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Fast 100% of what I pay for, 100% uptime so far in 2 months. Low latency everywhere."
Bad "none yet.."
Overall "Good service IF you can get a deal for it. Otherwise its way too expensive for the amount of usage you get."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I signed up for a dell grab n go kit 2 months ago.. Got the Fibe 25 service hooked up. Tech came on-time and even called me beforehand to see if he could come early. Install went 100% well.. Installed a POTS splitter even tho I live in an apartment, he even installed a brand new duplex jack in my bedroom where my PC is.

I heard about this 50% off deal they were giving people in Rogers territory so I called Bell up to see if I could get it.. After 3 tries I managed to get 245 gigs for $44/month (because I ended up going with Bell TV as well so I got additional discounts)..

We will truely see if any bill mishaps are going to happen once my grab n go kit is finished with but right now for what im going to be paying, I simply cannot beat the price. Anywhere period. 25/7 with 245 gigs usage for $44/month... No contract. I say this because its definately not worth getting the service at their full price of 71.95/month for 125 gigs.

My service has been rock solid 100% uptime and I have latency sub 50 pretty much anywhere in the US/Canada. I am truely impressed.

As I say, Ill be back in 2 months changing my review if they dont hold up to their end of the deal they made me.

member for 7.6 years, 684 visits, last login: 11 days ago
lodged 2.5 years ago

Comments:
tdotrockin

join:2011-10-31
l9t8b4

Bell fibe internet

Recently moved to ontario, got hooked up with bell services, other then a few installation hiccups, nothing serious, easily resolved. Having saif that Im totally impressed with the fibe connection, i am paying for fibe 12 with 50gb usage, im consisntaly getting well over 16mb/s, downloaded at 1.92mbs on multiple occasions. 50gbs is plenty usage for me, and im from the maritimes, no usage caps there on speed below 40mb/s. Excellant connection, hats of to bell on this one.

»speedtest.net/result/1565468808.png