Bell Canada Caught Red Handed Misleading Customers…. And Issues Apology…. Sort Of

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 2, 2018 by itnerd

You have to hand it to the CBC who broke this story about Bell misleading customers both at the door, and via their call centers. They have really been pushing this issue to try and hold the telco accountable for their shady business practices. And today, they released a story revolving around using hidden cameras to prove that these shady business practices are going on:

CBC’s Marketplace and Go Public teamed up to investigate how customers are sold Bell’s Fibe TV, internet and home phone at the front door. A Marketplace producer went undercover in the telecom industry, getting hired for a job selling Bell products door-to-door, documenting sales tactics during seven record-breaking cold days and nights in December and January.

“Everybody can make a ton of money [selling Bell products],” said Mohamed Abdelhadi, the man who hired our producer, and who runs one of the third-party companies Bell uses for door-to-door marketing.

As CBC’s hidden cameras rolled, sales reps knocked on door after door — misrepresenting monthly prices, promo deals, internet speeds and Bell’s “fibre optic network” reach, often using misinformation and omission of important facts to dupe customers.

Now I watched the video that is part of this story. And to be frank Bell should be ashamed. There is no excuse for the sorts of things that are in this view. I’m guessing that getting caught red handed is what led to this apology:

CBC requested an interview with Bell, to discuss the hidden camera findings. After several weeks of negotiation, Bell declined to speak on camera and instead sent a statement.

“The examples of the sales practices you provided are in no way aligned with Bell’s commitment to providing the best customer experience possible,” wrote spokesperson Nathan Gibson.

“We apologize to anyone who may have been adversely affected by this conduct.”

That’s not even close to an acceptable apology. Saying sorry is easy. Now to be fair, they say they’re taking corrective action and the company who Bell hired to sell their products (as Bell outsources that, likely to create plausible deniability) is no longer working for them. But they need to do more. They need to explain how things got to this point and why Canadians should trust them ever again. Without that, their apology is pretty meaningless.


Bluesound’s PULSE SOUNDBAR Gets New Price

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 1, 2018 by itnerd

Bluesound has enjoyed both critical praise and commercial success with the PULSE SOUNDBAR since its introduction a little more than a year ago. With its new price of $799 for the black finish and $899 for the white finish, the PULSE SOUNDBAR provides performance minded consumers with an affordable entry point to the finest sounding hi-res soundbar on the market – a perfect fit with their high definition TV. As the TV is the home entertainment hub in most homes, it’s also the perfect starting component for a Bluesound wireless, multiroom music system. All prices are U.S. MSRP and effective immediately.


The Bluesound PULSE SOUNDBAR is the world’s first to feature hi-res network audio streaming. With BluOS, Bluesound’s powerful wireless multi-room streaming operating system, the PULSE SOUNDBAR enables the TV room to be the heart of a whole-home wireless music system that delivers the world of hi-res music to all members of the household through an easy-to-use app available for smart devices.

Since its introduction, the PULSE SOUNDBAR has received global critical acclaim and awards as one of the top products in the category. With one of the world’s only certified wireless implementations of Dolby Surround Sound, audiophile-grade high resolution audio capabilities, and access to popular and niche music streaming services, the PULSE SOUNDBAR has been lauded for its versatility as an all-around performer for those who love home entertainment.

Last fall, by popular demand, Bluesound announced the addition of White as a color for the PULSE SOUNDBAR and its companion PULSE SUB. In addition, the proprietary BluOS operating system has undergone continuous enhancements providing greater performance, control and flexibility, including an expanding number of compatible high-fidelity audio components and smarthome control technologies.

BREAKING: Apple Hauled Before Canadian Parliamentary Committee To Explain “Batterygate”

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 1, 2018 by itnerd

Happening right now, Apple is sitting down to answer questions in front of the House of Commons’ standing committee on industry, science and technology to answer questions about the ongoing “Batterygate” scandal. I have to admit that I didn’t see this coming as Canada doesn’t usually do this sort of thing. But I am going to watch this live and I found a link that allow you to do the same. Post your thoughts and comments below as this should be interesting.

UPDATE: The full text of the statement Apple provided to the House of Commons committee can be read over at iMore.

UPDATE #2: Venturebeat has more coverage of this hearing.


Rogers Continued Inability To Support The Apple Watch With LTE Continues To Stoke Frustration

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 1, 2018 by itnerd

Something that I never thought would drag on this long is the ongoing saga of Rogers and their inability to support the Apple Watch with LTE when the other members of the big three carriers, namely Telus and Bell do. Most of that frustration is being played out on Twitter:

And it seems that Rogers is still handing out its stock answer when quizzed about support for the Apple Watch With LTE. Here’s an example:

And Bell is still looking to steal ticked off customers from Rogers, as I’ve written about here:


The thing is that since the day that the Apple Watch With LTE came out last fall, Rogers has spent a lot of time and effort trying to spin the lack of support for eSIM (which the Apple Watch With LTE requires) in some way that would keep their customers from bolting to Bell and Telus. The thing is that spin only works for so long. And based on comments made by the people inside Bell and Telus who speak to me on background, it’s stopped working for Rogers as they’re getting people coming across from Rogers for no other reason than they have Apple Watch With LTE support and Rogers doesn’t. That has to be not only worrisome for Rogers from a churn perspective, but embarrassing as well. Meanwhile, if you’re Bell and Telus, you’re laughing.

I guess it sucks to be Rogers.

UPDATE: The story continues here where I show examples of people, including yours truly leaving Rogers because of this.


Equifax Says That More People Were Affected Than Previously Thought

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 1, 2018 by itnerd

Bad news if you’re following the Equifax story. Apparently the company has now said that 2.4 million more people were affected in that epic pwnage from last year. That’s the second time they’ve had to revise the number of people affected by this upward:

Equifax said all affected users will be notified, and emphasized that these findings aren’t the result of any new hacks.

“This is not about newly discovered stolen data,” said Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., interim CEO at Equifax. “It’s about sifting through the previously identified stolen data, analyzing other information in our databases that was not taken by the attackers, and making connections that enabled us to identify additional individuals.”

The latest disclosure shows just how bad the company was hit. In September, initial reports said 143.3 million Americans were affected. By October, it had gone up to 145.5 million. The new total is 147.9 million. 

I think its safe to say that they have no clue how many people are truly affected by this. That should scare you. And it should highlight this fact via Senator Elizabeth Warren:

I agree. Equifax cannot be trusted and as a result must be held accountable.

LG Smartphone Catches Fire On Air Canada Flight

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 1, 2018 by itnerd

An Air Canada flight that was preparing to depart Pearson Airport in Toronto to fly to Vancouver got delayed for two hours because an LG phone caught fire in the passenger cabin. CBC News confirms that the phone in question was an LG phone. One passenger was taken to hospital with burns on a hand.

I can’t find any evidence that LG has commented on this. But I would be very interested in what they have to say. Stay tuned.


German Government Servers Pwned…. Data Swiped…. Perhaps By The Russians

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 1, 2018 by itnerd

The German government has confirmed that it has identified a serious attack against its servers. Allegedly data was swiped as part of of the pwnage. The culprits according to reports are APT28 which are also known as the Fancy Bear hacking group which is Russian linked:

The group used malicious software to target German federal agencies, including the foreign and defence ministries. Hackers were able to steal data but the extent of the breach was still under investigation, the sources told dpa.

The German chancellery and the Federal Court of Auditors were also said to be among the sites compromised.

German security agencies recognized the cyberattack in December and have been trying to determine how far the group was able to penetrate into the government computer networks. The infiltration likely lasted more than a year.

The Interior Ministry confirmed the cyberattack without commenting on who perpetrated it, saying it was “isolated and brought under control.”

“The incident is being treated as a high priority and with substantial resources,” spokesman Johannes Dimroth said, adding that “government information technology and networks” had been hit.

Germany and Russia aren’t the best of friends. This incident isn’t going to help that. But there’s another piece to this. This attack may have gone on for at least a year. So that implies that not one IT security guy in the German government had any idea that they’d been pwned? It also implies that that nobody looked at either the firewall appliances or the logs for a whole year, or bothered to look for anything unusual?

I think that says more about their security than Fancy Bears skill.