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lawrence171
Evilly Yours - Evilness

join:2001-12-24
Canada
Reviews:
·Acanac

Distributel's new un-friendly policies

My CC recently was changed, and Distributel was unable to charge my credit card. In the past, they would send a very nice email asking me to update my CC information ASAP.

Today, they called me about be unable to charge my credit card, slapped on $15 plus tax of "Credit Card Decline fee" (wtf is that?), and wanted $79 to reactivate the account. I also had the option of staying with them by paying $30 sign-up fee and sign up for one of their new account.

I have never came across any company that behaves like this. I just want everyone to be aware of Distributel's new policies.

On that note, I need to find a new ISP ASAP. I currently have Cable TV and Cable Internet (what's left of it), and am wondering if I can avoid paying another activation fee.
--
What I used to be I no longer am... God, why can't you freeze time for my sake?

Phorkster
Premium
join:2004-06-27
Windsor, ON
kudos:1
Start.ca. That is your answer.

HeadSpinning
MNSi Internet

join:2005-05-29
Windsor, ON
kudos:6
reply to lawrence171
It sounds to me like you're on an older account that they want to get rid of, so they're using your credit card being declined as a way to bully you in to switching to a new account with a new pricing structure.

When we get a returned cheque or pre-authorized payment, we charge a fee, mainly because our bank charges us, and then we have to manually handle the account to collect the outstanding amount. Our systems are set up to batch process pre-authorized payments, so doing one-off re-charges are impossible.

When we get a declined credit card, we e-mail and postal mail a notice before shutting off the account. We don't currently charge a decline fee, but probably should since the account has to go to manual handling until the outstanding balance is collected.

In either case, we attempt to contact the customer BEFORE the account is de-activated, with the exception of the case where the customer refuses the charge with their bank or CC provider - in which case we immediately suspend the account.

Distributel's reaction does seem overly harsh though, and like you said, out of character for them.
--
MNSi Internet - »www.mnsi.net


My2CentsST

@start.ca
reply to lawrence171
said by lawrence171:

Today, they called me about be unable to charge my credit card, slapped on $15 plus tax of "Credit Card Decline fee" (wtf is that?), and wanted $79 to reactivate the account. I also had the option of staying with them by paying $30 sign-up fee and sign up for one of their new account.

That's not just unfriendly, it's a down right slap in the face. Ditch them! That's worse treatment than Bell or Rogers!

If you're going to pay those fees to rejoin, you might as well switch to Start.ca or Teksavvy.

avp77

join:2010-07-10
reply to lawrence171
I never had any problem with Distributel, and I am gonna consider one single post like this pretty fishy...the line under the userid 'Evilly Yours - Evilness' doesn't really help either.

We've seen this happen with pretty much any business that gets liked or somewhat popular, people start making denigrating posts for trolling or other reasons.

Not saying it didn't happen, but more reasonable complaints usually have references to speaking to a manager, a chronology, a reference to the TOS, etc.

HeadSpinning
MNSi Internet

join:2005-05-29
Windsor, ON
kudos:6
said by avp77:

I never had any problem with Distributel, and I am gonna consider one single post like this pretty fishy...the line under the userid 'Evilly Yours - Evilness' doesn't really help either.

We've seen this happen with pretty much any business that gets liked or somewhat popular, people start making denigrating posts for trolling or other reasons.

Not saying it didn't happen, but more reasonable complaints usually have references to speaking to a manager, a chronology, a reference to the TOS, etc.

While I agree that the behaviour he's describing doesn't sound like Distributel's normal M.O. (I've always only heard good things about them), the fact that he's been a DSLR user since 2001 lends some weight to his claims.

There may be more to the story, or he may have encountered a poorly trained CSR, or maybe they've implemented new policies. If more stories like this start turning up, then there's definitely a trend. So far, that hasn't happened.
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MNSi Internet - »www.mnsi.net

lawrence171
Evilly Yours - Evilness

join:2001-12-24
Canada
Reviews:
·Acanac
From what I heard from the CSR, they implemented new policies and I'm not sure since when. I've been a 3WEB customer since they absorbed it.

Yes, this is very out-of-character for Distributel which, is baffling to me. They have always been cool, but suddenly... I'm not sure what happened.
--
What I used to be I no longer am... God, why can't you freeze time for my sake?

lawrence171
Evilly Yours - Evilness

join:2001-12-24
Canada
Reviews:
·Acanac
reply to avp77
I am glad that you do not have problems with them, but I think you will want to check with them on this CC decline fee. Hopefully, they're only giving the shaft to 3WEB customers who are paying them less.

I pay about $42 total per month for 15 down/1 up .
--
What I used to be I no longer am... God, why can't you freeze time for my sake?

lawrence171
Evilly Yours - Evilness

join:2001-12-24
Canada
Reviews:
·Acanac
reply to HeadSpinning
said by HeadSpinning:

When we get a declined credit card, we e-mail and postal mail a notice before shutting off the account. We don't currently charge a decline fee, but probably should since the account has to go to manual handling until the outstanding balance is collected.

While I agree that it is inconvenient to you guys and affects your cash-flow, sometimes, these things happen. The customer just simply have forgotten it, hopefully, not intentionally.

Doesn't the billing system automatically fire off an email to the client in that case, and try again as soon as the CC information is updated? That how 3WEB/Distributel did it in the past.
--
What I used to be I no longer am... God, why can't you freeze time for my sake?


loveNwar

@videotron.ca
reply to lawrence171
Call your credit card company and discuss this new "fee" with them. Ask them what that is about, and if some company can arbitrarily charge you 15$ for a CC change you forgot to notify said company about.

If this is some sort of "new" policy. One which has never been brought to your attention in writing (because they have to inform you of new changes to policies), then You have nothing to lose from making a complaint to the CCTS.

That 15$ will cost them upwards of 300$ when you make the complaint to the CCTS. I say stick it to them before you leave them. You have zero to lose and 15$ to gain, in addition to knowing you cost them a hell of a lot more than 15$.

All is fair in love and war.

HeadSpinning
MNSi Internet

join:2005-05-29
Windsor, ON
kudos:6
reply to lawrence171
said by lawrence171:

Doesn't the billing system automatically fire off an email to the client in that case, and try again as soon as the CC information is updated? That how 3WEB/Distributel did it in the past.

We never fully automated our fallout process for billing. We don't have a huge number per week, so it never became a high priority.
--
MNSi Internet - »www.mnsi.net

carcajou

join:2012-10-16
Riviere-Beaudette, QC
Distributel always had a reputation for decent TOS and decent customers service, but a certain fact has been bothering me lately.

They bought Acanac in 2010 and Acanac probably has the worse business practices in the industry when it comes to problems resolution with customers and the Terms of Service.

How come Terms of Service and business practices are so different in those 2 companies if they are supposedly in the same family of companies ?

I wish a rep from Distributel would care to explain.

lawrence171
Evilly Yours - Evilness

join:2001-12-24
Canada
Reviews:
·Acanac
reply to loveNwar
Well, it's sort of my fault for not updating the CC information, so, I'll give them that.

I also updated the CC on profile so that I can clear my account before leaving them.
--
What I used to be I no longer am... God, why can't you freeze time for my sake?

lawrence171
Evilly Yours - Evilness

join:2001-12-24
Canada
Reviews:
·Acanac
reply to carcajou
I have no idea, but Acanac is also cheaper than the current Distributel plans.

It's the closest to what I had with 3WEB, in terms of service cost and bandwidth allowance (unlimited)
--
What I used to be I no longer am... God, why can't you freeze time for my sake?


elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
Reviews:
·VMedia
reply to lawrence171
said by lawrence171:

I am glad that you do not have problems with them, but I think you will want to check with them on this CC decline fee. Hopefully, they're only giving the shaft to 3WEB customers who are paying them less.

I pay about $42 total per month for 15 down/1 up .

I pay that for 28/1

OOPS
--
No, I didn't. Honest... I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake.......


PAY UP

@videotron.ca
reply to lawrence171
said by lawrence171:

Well, it's sort of my fault for not updating

Yeah it is, but they don't get charged for it. Ever walk into a store, pull out the wrong card and it doesn't pass? You think they charge you for that?

This is just an arbitrary money grab.

Did that phone call you got cost 15$? Or is it something they could have just notified you about. Do you think other ISP's are dinging people for this? Restaurants? Stores?

Come on.

You are being a little too passive. You are so bent over I bet you can lick your own toes.

Since you like tossing money for nothing, this advice will cost you 20$.

lawrence171
Evilly Yours - Evilness

join:2001-12-24
Canada
Reviews:
·Acanac
@PAY UP

It IS arbitrary money grab, of course it is. To me, it's cleaner this way rather than have to deal with collections or whatever arbitrary interest rates they might charge on money that they think I owe them.

Think about it? If they pull this ONCE, I have no faith in their ability to conducting themselves in a reasonable manner anymore. What stops them from arbitrary changing their TOS, and treating money owed like an overdue payday loan? Remember, they do NOT have to notify you of changes to the TOS.

I am on this board warning others about their new "practices" or "policies" so that others don't fall for the same thing.

If Distributel was with the BBB, I will definitely file a complaint, but as far as I see it, speaking them them will produce nothing.
--
What I used to be I no longer am... God, why can't you freeze time for my sake?


PAY UP

@videotron.ca
said by lawrence171:

Remember, they do NOT have to notify you of changes to the TOS.

Well that *is* the issue.

They *do* have to notify you of any policy changes, and if you don't agree with it (contract or not) you can break and leave w/o penalty.

Since you never got this, this is part of the issue and why I would file with the CCTS.

But, as you seemed to state, it's may not be worth your time and writing here warns others to be aware of this deceptive business practice of Distributel and this money grab.

But, it isn't right. I say do both! Rant here and go to the CCTS

despe666

join:2009-06-20
Montreal, QC
reply to lawrence171
I would contact your credit card company. There may be a clause in their merchant agreement governing this.

For example, merchants cannot charge extra for customers paying with a credit card vs. cash. Someone I know once bought a car on his credit card. The credit card company advised him to pay the surcharge and file a complaint afterward. The surcharge was refunded and he had a nice honeymoon to Thailand with his wife with the points!