Review of Switch from Bell LD to Network Charge and Deactivation Charge

Bell to Raise Network Charge AGAIN

From Bell's website: "A network charge of $4.50/month also applies except for the Extra - International plan. Effective August 1st, 2007 the monthly network charge for Bell long distance plans will increase to $5.95." Unbelievable for a non-mandatory charge! This is a real problem.

Check out my short page on the Bell Canada Problem known as the Network Charge here.


Bell tried to charge me a disconnection fee of nearly $10 when I switched to I plan on pursuing a complaint with the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission. Not that it is a huge amount, but I just want to see what the CRTC's process really looks like, since they take a lot of blame, and I know that dealing directly with Bell isn't worth my time.

Network Deactivation Charges After Switching to

After learning that Bell Canada's "Network Charge" is actually their charge for just having a Bell LD plan, I decided to change our home's long distance service. That's right, their $4.50/month Network Charge is not mandatory at all, despite the name that suggests that you need it. If you switch to any other LD company, other than Bell, you no longer pay this ridiculous charge. We were also paying an additional $5.95/month for the First Rate Overseas Long Distance plan (originally $0/month I think, part of a grand marketing plan for sure). So, before we made a single call, we were paying over $10/month just to get the somewhat embarassing rate of 10 cents per minute.

I decided to switch to's long distance service. Their rates seemed reasonably low on a per-minute basis to where we needed to call, and no monthly fees. We were set to save at least $10/month, and many cents per minute for each long distance call. Plus the pre-authorized credit card payment plan means automatic payments, Air Miles, and not another company with our chequing account information (ie: bank account numbers). 

Of course, Bell tried to get the last word. They nicely gave me a refund of 3 days worth of their service when I switched. It looks like you prepay for their long distance plans each month, and post-pay for long distance calls. But they decided to charge me an "LD Network 30 Day Deactivation Charges" of $4.20 and "LD Plan 30 Day Deactivation Charges" of $5.55.

I assume that we signed up for the FirstRate Overseas Service over the phone through a marketing call, and I surely doubt they mentioned any deactivation charges of any type. There was certainly no written agreement of any sort. The network charge, I'm not so sure about, but regardless, I'm going to try and see where I can go with this. I'd imagine that the deactivation fee for the FirstRate Overseas Service was against Ontario's Consumer Protection Laws since it wasn't stated up-front, but I'll investigate that after this CRTC complaint goes through.

The CRTC: Let's see if they're really here to help you

For now, I'm going to pursue this with the CRTC. They recommend that you attempt to first call the company and try to solve things with them, but this is the Bell mega-corp we're dealing with, not the kind of small-town companies that I prefer to deal with. I assumed I wouldn't talk to anyone besides low-level "by the script" people, perhaps not even in Canada, that would have no authority to make any kinds of these decisions. Besides, it is Sunday, they're closed now and I'm busy here scheming.

The CRTC seems to actually have some pretty decent service standards, given how much flack they take. Their "How to File a Complaint about Your Telephone Service" site states that they first forward your complaint to the company, and the company then has 20 days to directly reply to you and to forward that same response to the CRTC. So, essentially, complaining to the CRTC is like a direct complaint to the company, with some officialness to it, as well as official record-keeping of the incident. The CRTC also has its Client Services department look over the complaint and response. The CRTC can also decide to have format proceedings regarding the matter. And then if you're unhappy with all of that: "Complainants not satisfied with the response to a complaint handled by CRTC staff may formally request that the CRTC review the complete file and issue a CRTC decision."

CRTC Complaint Submission Process

I'll just use their online form, even though I know a complaint by mail would probably be a bit more respected. At least with the online form, I know that my submission will be received. The online form is rather quick to fill out, a lot easier than the Passport Form was. I'd recommend writing your actual complaint in a text or PDF document, and then attaching it for proper formatting. I found their little box to enter everything in a little hard to use, and it seemed to lose my formatting. After submitting, the CRTC will provide you with a reference number, which they will email to you as well if you provided an address. Their email even provides a link that allows you to edit or reply to your original entry.


my complaint to CRTC - read for points of interest only

Re: Bell Canada account # 196736273
This is regarding the Bell Canada Services at my home at 19 Leslie Place, Fonthill, Ontario, L0S1E3. The phone nbr was 905 892 1185.
I used to have my home phone, internet and satellite TV serviced from Bell Canada. However, after receiving increased charges for something every almost every month and having to call in for credits numerous times I decided to cancel my Bell Canada account and all my services. When I called in to question the increases I was told that I am not on contract and the rates do go up. As soon as I said fine ok, cancel the service, Bell Canada always found a way to credit me. The final straw was with the July increase (that I had not the chance to call in yet), we received 10 phone calls in 3 days about a bill that had not been paid, and the person added on to the outstanding total, for the bill (August’s) we had not yet received. All the person could say …”you owe 2 hundred and (not sure of exact amount). When you pay?” I told them 10 times that there was a billing mistake on last month’s (July) bill and we also have not received this month’s (August) bill yet. All the person could say was ”you owe 2 hundred and (not sure of exact amount). When you pay?” over and over again. These person(s) could not understand English and only kept repeating “you owe 2 hundred and (not sure of exact amount). When you pay?” I then hung up. We received 10 phone calls over a 3 day period harassing us to pay up. Please be clear that I always pay my Bell Canada bill once it is correct.
On August 31, 2012 at approx. 8pm I called Bell Canada to cancel my account and all my Bell Canada services. After numerous transfers and being put on hold, I finally spoke to a person named Anna. I asked her to cancel all my services and send me the final bill. I clearly stated to her that I am not on contract and this is the 30 day notice to cancel my Bell Canada account and all services. This person (Anna) confirmed my name and account (again), and when I asked her to cancel the services and she said “ok”. I waited for a few seconds, and then hung up as I thought we were done. Since then I have received two more monthly bills and now 2 final bills. Each bill adds on charges and services even after I called to cancel. I have called in 6 times now to try and get a final bill and all services cancelled. I am told them that I am not paying for any services after the 30 day period to September 30th, 2012. They have confirmed that I did call in, but my services were not cancelled. I had to call in three times to get my services cancelled. Each time I get transferred around and placed on hold, with person stating they will fix the problem. I spoke to a Colton (last week), and a Tyrone the week before and a Shayne the week before that. I am now receiving collection letters and termination charges. I have called in for over two months now to try and get the proper final bill. Each time I call in more charges get added. I even estimated the final bill and paid what I thought I owed.

Bell is so crooked

I have been fighting with Bell for over 2 years. We negotiated a dish contract. The only problem is, I had to uphold my 2 year contract and Bell continue to raise prices (during that contract time), start charging for receivers, increase programming pricing. In fact our first bill was incorrect. Since then they have charged me (2 months after the fact) for a service call of repositioning my dish at no charge. I have now recieved a $75.00 bill for that too. My phone payment was not received (or at least showing on my current bill) which was paid Dec. 1. They have also charged us $20 deactivation fee for the phone. I cannot believe that Bell is getting away with this stuff. It is theft!!!! I am refusing to pay the additional fees and I WILL not let Bell bully me into paying. How is this NOT illegal!!!!! Bell should be ashamed of themselves for the harassment, lies and unethical business practise!!! I have logged OVER 18 hours trying to get this situation rectified through Bell--its a joke! I've gotten phone numbers, badge numbers, extension numbers of people in Bell that have "corrected" the issues only to find out the following month that the numbers are no longer in service. I was going to send them a bill for the 18 hours I've spent--heck even at minimum wage, they would owe me money! SHAME ON BELL CANADA!!! I wish a lawyer could get involved in this garbage because I understand the CRTC is a waste of time. btw check Bell complaints on google--last check -- thousands of pages!!! Good luck everyone and lets get rid of Bell!

Oh my god u poor basterd.

Oh my god u poor basterd. Bell is the shits to deal with on all levels dump them as soon as u can never use them or affilate. the worst customer service. greed is aal they are about.

Thanks for the information

Thanks for the information Dan. I've recently moved my home phone service over from Bell to Teksavvy and was subscribing to a similar LD plan. I suspect I will be invoiced for similar disconnection fees; however I will happily pay them to be finally free from paying for Bell's overpriced service.


Switching from Bell to Yak telephone

Yak provides an indistinguishable telephone service from that of Bell Canada at a significantly lower cost. I have found the savings to be enormous. Another good feature is that Yak does not bind you into any contracts with hidden fines if you break the contract.
As one example of the significant savings; Bell now charges $6.95 + taxes for a network charge to make long distance calls. This is a fabricated cost which is not charged by Yak. But all of Yak features and basic service are appreciably cheaper.
Yak does have an iniation fee of $50 which they readily waved when I asked them to do so. But, it is a fee that you would readily recover if you have to pay it.
Many senior citizens like myself are living on a fixed income and need a telephone service. This is a great way for them to save some money without any risks involved.
If interested the Yak number to call is 1-800-490-7235

Yak keep changing words, try to play game.

Yak salesperson visited my home and offered high speed internet for 40CAD. I only use a cell phone for contact so I dont have a hom phone line, and I told him and he knew it. But he didnt mention about additional 10CAD that I had to pay for phone line usage, which I found when I got a phone call from another Yak salesman. So, the monthly fee went upto 50CAD suddenly, funny the salesperson said "I DONT HAVE TO PAY A PENNY EXCEPT 40CAD." like 10 times. So, there goes first lie Yak tried on me.

A few weeks later Yak sales called me again, offered home phone + high speed internet. Already lost trust, I talked with the salesperson for 20 minutes and got an offer of 63CAD for phone+internet, and not having to pay 49CAD of phone line activation fee. For detail, salesguy said once I get my internet, then call to the phone sales department, then since I am already preauthorized billing customer, I wont have to pay 49CAD activation fee for adding home phone service. And obviously it was purely XXXXing LIE. Since I couldnt trust them anymore, I asked about activation fee again when I got a call from another Yak salesperson, he says I HAVE TO PAY 49CAD. Then I said I will cancel the appointment, he goes like I will talk with the manager, then he says I might not have to pay 49CAD. ( Funny, what the XXXX is might not have to?) Then again try to mix up with many unnecessary words which he repeated many times, slightly adds up 'you have to pay 49CAD activation fee' and try to move to the next step. I told him to send me a letter or an email confirming there is no 49CAD activation fee as a proof, or I cancell everything. This guy never gave up, keep saying same thing over and over again. Oh my god, what kind of system this culture developed? What the heck is going on? I felt like I am taling to a machine.
Anyway, my point is, that Yak salesdepartment lied to me a lot of times even before they could sell me anything. They simply wasted my time, and their time and labout costs. And whoever the Yak customers are, they will have to pay for that.

I have no idea how good or bad the actual Yak product will be. but I dont trust their sales department and I will never purchase anything from Yak.

Yak LD is good, not sure about other svcs

Well, I think the #1 thing is to not ever buy anything from anyone that tries to sell something at your door. Door-to-door selling is costly, so they have to make it up in price. 

We've only used Yak's long distance, and have been more than happy with it.

I think that the salesman actually didn't know anything about the extra cost for those that are on a "dry-loop" connection, where you don't have a landline. Though that really isn't an excuse.

If you go with Teksavvy DSL, it'll be $30/month base + the dry-loop fee of ~$10/month, though you'll have to buy your own DSL modem, they're cheap. 


And the CRTC Responds to my Complaint

And they responded pretty much as a I expected, that the CRTC is of no help, since this is a matter regarding long distance, and they no longer regulate that. Also, as I expected, they said that they would forward my complaint to Bell, which I'm happy to hear. I'd rather have my complaint be officially forwarded by the CRTC, rather than being received directly from myself, because at least then there will be a bit of muscle on it.

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