We purchased a bell prepaid calling card last summer during our travels across Canada. When we tried to add money on it using their online site, our PIN, for some reason, would not be recognized as valid. We called the toll-free number on the back of the card, were told that the glitch was fixed, and added money to the card while we were on the phone.
Just a couple of weeks ago, we tried again to add money to the card online (even though it still had a $9 balance) and ran into the same problem as before, so again, I called the toll-free number. After explaining the problem:
Lady: Did you try closing and re-opening your browser?
Me: The problem isn’t with my browser but with your online system because we’ve had the same problem before using a different computer.
Lady: Is your card expired?
Me: I doubt it because I just checked the balance by calling your other toll-free number and I still have a $9 balance.
Snotty Lady: That’s not what I asked Ma’am. Is your card expired?
Me: (hair starts to stand on back of neck; turns card upside-down, inside-out) I don’t see an expiry date anywhere on the card.
Snotty Lady: No Ma’am, I’m the one who has to check to see if your card is expired.
Me: (Thinking, So why the hell are you asking ME if the card is expired? Idiot! TWICE! GGRRR…) Okay, so is my card expired? I hope not as I still have a balance on it. (Now I’m starting to get annoyed with her snotty attitude.)
Lady: No, your card’s not expired. Let me just check something…..no, everything looks fine with your PIN. I don’t know why you can’t use our online system. I can do this over the telephone for you.
Me: Okay, except that I’d really like to eventually be able to do it online. Is there any way you can contact your techie people?
Snotty Lady: (interrupts) Ma’am it’s 10pm here (or whatever time it was), there are no other people…
Me: (interrupts) I don’t mean right this minute. Could you arrange to let them know, at your convenience?…there may be others with the same problem.
Snotty Lady: (starts rattling off another toll-free number for ME to call during their techie people’s business hours)
Me: No, I’m asking if YOU could somehow let them know there’s a problem here.
Snotty Lady: There’s no way I can do that…
Me: (Incredulous) You mean you don’t have access, even by e-mail, to your techie people?
Snotty Lady: No Ma’am, I mean that you’re the one who has to call…
I hung up.
I’m tired Bell. I’m just tired of your crappy service. Kind of like when you inform me through a text message on my cell phone that I’m eligible for a credit to be used toward a new mobile phone. Curious, I called and learned that I have a $200 credit that I can use toward a new phone and plan.
I go to one of the Bell distributors (right term?) in town with a techie friend and yup, I have a $200 credit. After inquiring about the i-Phone with all its bells and whistles, I ask how much.
$200 for the cost of the phone (reduced from $500-600 – can’t remember the ridiculous amount).
Okay, so I’m ready to jump on when I confirm with the girl that, after using my $200 credit, then I don’t have to pay anything upfront for the phone right?
“No Ma’am, you still have to pay $200 (actually, I think it was $199) for the cost of the phone.”
Me: What about my $200 credit?
Lady: You’re already getting a reduced rate for the phone. Its full cost is $some ridiculous amount.
We learn that the so-called reduced rate I’m being offered is the same one offered to new Bell customers. I was under the impression that my $200 credit had to do with customer loyalty. I have had a cell phone plan for several years now with a contract that has long expired. They want to keep this Bell customer, they want this Bell customer to get into another 3 or 4 year contract, so they offer this Bell customer a credit toward a new phone (and contract). Clever!
Except when this Bell customer decides to use her $200 credit, it completely disappears. WTF?
Thank you Bell. I’ll leave you to what you do best, and I’ll be on my way.