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Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Fun With ISPs

Ellen Roseman wrote an article in the Toronto Star the other day about customer dissatisfaction with Bell services. I was inspired to send her an email highlighting some of my fun with Bell Sympatico:

Good article. It brings to light some on-going problems.

I have personally had some bad experiences with Bell Sympatico over the years.

In March 2006, I upgraded my email to Sympatico's new server, which is the MSN Hotmail server. Right away I noticed a difference. I wasn't getting many of my emails - for example: from myself (I often send myself notes), from friends and family - all of these people are in my personal address book. I was told to make sure these people were in my contacts on the web site for my email. So, I did that and I lowered the Spam filtering on the web site to the lowest. Guess what?, still not getting emails and delays of up to a few days for an email to reach me, or for an email I send to reach someone. After many calls, over a number of months, and many hours of talking to people who say, "oh, it's an MSN server issue, we will pass it on to them", there was little improvement.
It seems, after a year, that they have got things working okay now. In addition, the level of spam suddenly jumped back to what it was before I "upgraded". So, it took them a year to fix the problem, and all the while they denied there was a problem.

Any time I call when the service goes down, they always deny there is a problem with the lines or server or station and they want to get me to do all sorts of nasty things on my computer for the next 1/2 hour before they will even ask a supervisor (even after I explain that I am a professional computer technician and I've done all those things already). If I stay on the phone long enough, they will admit that someone is working on the lines in my area. I have stopped calling them (as it gets me nowhere), and I just wait for a few hours and try again.

Recently, I called to upgrade from DSL Basic to regular High Speed. The operator said it would take 5 business days. Then, when I called 5 business days later to ask why it wasn't upgraded, I got a recorded message that it would be a MONTH (not 5 business days) before they would have my service upgraded.

When I first signed up for Sympatico (years ago, in the late 1990s, after Interlog had gone down the tubes), the service was reliable and they seemed quick to help. Now, the service is unreliable and the support is atrocious and deceitful. I've thought of switching to Rogers, but I've heard similar horror stories from their customers.

Oh well.

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