Bell Fibe 1.5 Gbps FTTH Internet – Six Months Later

It’s been six months since my wife and I dumped Rogers Ignite Internet to replace it with Bell Fibe 1.5 Gbps Internet. And to be honest, there’s only been a handful of things to report on. That includes this incident where a Bell tech’s incompetence left us without service for several hours.

Let’s start with the good. For the most part, the speed that I got on day one is the same speed that I have now. And neither my wife or I have had any incidents since the one that I mentioned above. I continue to use the advanced DMZ method of bypassing Bell’s hardware, specifically the HH4000 which Bell has replaced with their Gigahub for my own hardware. Specifically the ASUS ZenWiFi XT8. And that continues to be fine for me. Though I should note that if Bell were smart, they would have a proper bridge mode for their customers to use just like Rogers does. But I might be expecting too much from Bell. Just like they should also have IPv6 on their network just like Rogers does. But I’m digressing here. I should note that the Gigahub which is going out to all new Bell customers has had some issues which Bell admits to and resolved for the most part. Though there seems to be a couple new issues that I am looking into and I will have a follow up article on that soon.

Now over to the bad. Bell has raised my bill by $5.05 a month. That’s not a deal breaker for me as I am still paying way less than I was with Rogers, and honestly I am not surprised by this. Because I did say this when I was in the process of moving to Bell and spotted a clause in their contract that gives them the right to raise your rates with 30 days notice:

Thus the way I read this is that Bell will increase your bill at some point. Another reason for me to be ready to call in to cut a new deal if required.

Well, they gave me 60 days notice before the increase. But if you’re not paying attention, you might miss it and call into Bell fuming until they point it out to you. That was me as when I got my bill, I basically said “WTF?” and called into Bell where they pointed out where to find this information. So assuming that you have a MyBell account, this is what you have to watch for:

  • On the website: When you get your bill, look for a “Messages” section and if you see anything there, you should open it up and look at it. Here’s what I saw:
  • On the app, Click on the words “View your detailed bill” as that will take you to Bell.ca to see the same information. Alternately you can view a PDF copy of your bill and look for something like this:
  • If you get your bills by mail, you’ll see the above as well on your bill.

This is why I encourage every Bell customer to closely look at their bills to ensure that you’re never caught off guard by anything that they do. Be it something that they warn you about as is the case here, or a billing mistake or “billing mistake” that they make as Bell has a history of that behaviour. If I could give Bell some advice, this information is easy to miss and you should really send notices of rate increases by email so that that it will cut down on the number of calls that rate increases generate. But I know that they won’t do that as customer experience has never been Bell’s primary focus. Speaking of which, when I called in, I did get an agent who was pleasant and helpful. But the flip side is that I hear stories of their agents hanging up on people and being rude. So if Bell really wants to become the dominant telco in Canada, their customer experience needs to be job number 1 for them to focus on.

The only other thing that I want to note is that I cancelled Crave TV as Bell “slipped” that along with their TV service into the package claiming that it was free when it actually wasn’t. I made the changes and I will see what effect it has on my bill as I would not be surprised if my monthly fees go up. At that point I will have to call into them and cut some sort of new deal if I can. Which another reason why Bell needs to improve their customer experience as this is the sort of thing that is completely unnecessary. Making customers hop through these sorts of hoops, and having your call centre staff engage in questionable behaviour doesn’t result in happy customers. Ever.

So am I happy that I have moved to Bell? Well, I wouldn’t say that I am happy as such. Bt as long as the experience is like it has been so far, which is there are no outages or billing issues, I’m fine to continue dealing with them. But as I’ve mentioned in other posts, I have zero loyalty to any Canadian telco. If things change with Bell in a negative way, then my incentive to stick with them will decrease. Therefore, I would strongly suggest to Bell that they need to make sure that my experience so far which has been mostly positive stays that way. And if they’re smart, they will improve their customer experience, add IPv6, add a bridge mode to their hardware, or all of the above to give me more of a reason to not to ditch them. Though if I were them, I would start with their customer experience as that’s what they need to address immediately.

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