Bell Canada added two extra features with additional fees to the Home Phone Choice service plan without customer’s consent. Those features are Phone Care and Wire Care maintenance plans, giving additional fees of $13.90 CAD + taxes. Customer tried to escalate the complaint to Bell, but Bell did not admit that it was an error from their side. Beware of this practice in Bell Canada, and regularly check your bills for new or increased charges and fees. In case of any discrepancy contact Bell directly, or CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) to complain and get your issue resolved.
In March 2010, I went through my Bell bill, and noticed that there are several additional fees. I have Home Phone Choice service plan which costs $39.95 + taxes. But there were many other fees, and my total bill was $58.07 including taxes. That is twenty bucks more expensive than the rate for the Home Phone Choice service plan from Bell website which gets increase every year.
Here is the bill from Bell Canada:
|Home Phone Choice service (Mar 16 to Apr 15 )||39.95|
|Residence line-(905) xxx-xxxx|
|Call Answer Message Manager-(905) xxx-xxxx|
|Call Forwarding-(905) xxx-xxxx|
|Call Return service-(905) xxx-xxxx|
|Visual Call Waiting-(905) xxx-xxxx|
|Monthly Services (Mar 16 to Apr 15)|
|1 2 Care Plans – Reduction||4.95cr|
|1 Home Phone Choice serv||0.00|
|1 Call Answer Message Manager||0.00|
|1 Ext. Call Answer for Mess Mgr prov||0.00|
|1 Pager Notification||0.00|
|1 911 emergency service access||0.19|
|1 Touch-Tone service||2.80|
|1 WireCare maintenance plan||6.95|
We will not talk about “Touch-Tone service” fee and “911 emergency service access” fee now, because those are “mandatory” fees from Bell. It is different story.
But what are those “Phone Care” and “Wire Care maintenance plan” charges for? Actually I saw these fees appeared on my bills for more than a year, and I was thinking that those are just another “mandatory” fees from Bell and I can do nothing with them. However, it was a wrong assumption from my side. This is explanation from the Bell website:
WireCare: You never notice your telephone wiring – until there’s a problem. With the WireCare maintenance plan, if a problem does occur, our technicians will come to your home to diagnose and repair it. Covers inside wiring repair of Bell Internet service, up to the modem. Covers inside wiring and jacks for normal wear and tear or accidental damage, including damage by pets. Diagnosis and repair or replacement performed by competent technicians. Subscription cost** is simply added to your phone bill each month.
PhoneCare: What would you do if your phone stopped working? With the PhoneCare maintenance plan, a simple call when trouble strikes is all it takes to replace your phone and accessories. Covers defects and damage from normal use of your telephone and accessories, no matter where you bought them. Applies to corded, cordless and screen phones, integrated answering machines and accessories. Free pick up of the defective equipment and shipping of the replacement equipment within 2 to 3 business days. Subscription cost** is simply added to your phone bill each month.
These two plans and associated fees are not mandatory. If you use Bell services to repair wires or phone, you have to pay for care plans for at least 12 months.
Wire Care and Phone Care plans have been added to my account in September 2008, and I figured it out only in March 2010 – in a year and a half. I did not add plans to my account, so I just wanted to get back money for the last 12 months (as law permits) for care plans since Bell added those features to my account without my consent.
I started to complain. All Bell customer service representatives did not want to admit that it was Bell’s mistake. I contacted them several times by phone, by e-mail, and by online chat. Bell was trying to convince me that I added those features myself.
There was absolutely no reason for me to add and keep those features for 1.5 years and do NOT use any of maintenance services! For some reason guys from Bell could not understand this simple point.
Here is an excerpt from Bell replies by e-mail:
Our records indicate that the WireCare and the PhoneCare Maintenance plan has been on your line since September, 2008. I can assure you that we do not access our customers’ account unless requested by our customer.
So, Bell did not admit that it was an error from their side. They did not admit that it could be any accidental mistake in the system as well. Bell is 100% reliable system.
But unfortunately it is not correct, Bell added two expensive extra features to my account without my consent. This is an obvious fact. Beware of this practice in Bell!
Check your fees in your bill and you can save money!
If you want to contact Bell in order to address your complaints about Home Phone bill or service, here is Bell Contact Information:
Phone number: 310-BELL (2355) – Mon-Fri 8am – 7pm, Sat 8am-5pm
However, the most effective way to resolve problems with Bell is online chat, which you can find in contact section on Bell website.