Rogers or Bell for cable tv (Cake or death? Death or death?)
August 17, 2009 8:43 AM   Subscribe

Toronto cable tv frustration: should I dump Rogers for Bell?

I have a basic cable package with Rogers and have added on a few extra channels, like BBC World News. I'm pretty fine with the selection of channels that I have.

However, dealing with Rogers for any kind of service or billing issue is incredibly frustrating. I just got off the phone with my third different CSR regarding a switch of a couple of the extra channels that resulted in additional fees despite being told explicitly by an earlier CSR that no additional fees would be applied. The fees were finally removed today, but it's not the first time I've had to make multiple calls to resolve something.

So I'm looking at Bell and have found a comparable package that I could live with. But in your experience, is Bell generally more or less frustrating than Rogers when it comes to billing, support and installation? Are there any obvious benefits or drawbacks to making the switch that I should know about?
posted by maudlin to Technology (6 answers total)
They're both pretty horrible, but I've found that Rogers is generally the lesser of two evils. My parents had some issues with Bell a few years ago that infuriated my mother so much that she switched everything over to Rogers. My partner finally got off his Bell contract after many ridiculous hassles with them. I've actually found Rogers' customer service to be not too bad; they actually saved me a bunch of money a few weeks back. And you can bundle all your services together. Stick with Rogers for your own sanity and just document every conversation you have with their CS.
posted by pised at 9:12 AM on August 17, 2009

We've got Rogers cable and cellphones and had Bell internet and home phone service at one point. Rogers have always been frustrating but overall okay. I'm not sure that Bell is considered any better in these areas (my stories - I've had them outright tell me that conversations and online chats with their reps never took place, when I've had notes and screenshots for example, and every month they send me a bill for $0 for a cancelled phone account despite multiple requests to stop it) but you might be luckier and maybe their cable division is spot-on. Are you getting any bundle discounts with Rogers though? And can you get all the channels you watch with Bell?
posted by jamesonandwater at 9:23 AM on August 17, 2009

They're both evil empires, but in my experience Rogers is way worse. We have Bell home phone, internet and cellular and have been very happy. We tried to switch to Bell satellite, but the installer pointed out that we'd never get a good signal because we live in a valley (I was impressed he was so honest). So, we're stuck with Rogers cable and I'm not happy with it. They keep randomly changing their package to take out channels I like, and we get a lot of signal blips. People with Bell cable have told me they like the channel choices more (easier to customize), and that the picture quality is much better. You can bundle with Bell too and save money. If geography is on your side, I say go with Bell.
posted by Go Banana at 9:39 AM on August 17, 2009

I have dealt with both extensively and have found Rogers to be somewhat less absolute in their greed and dismal customer service -- they are surpassed in both fields by Bell. Their cable division verges on almost easy to deal with, in my experience.

Bell relies on name recognition from an aging customer base who have dealt with them since time immemorial. My senior citizen mother is a perfect example: she had been paying monthly phone bills to Bell since 1962 or so before finally jumping the fence last month when Bell added a new bundle of features to her home phone service. She called customer service when she noticed this and the CSR insisted that she had called Bell and demanded these on such-and-such a date. Alas, that date she had been in the hospital, unconscious and on a morphine drip, awaiting surgery. Bell's absolute insistence that she had called from her home phone on that date to add all these features caused her to cancel the service on the spot.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:39 AM on August 17, 2009

i don't know much about Rogers and their service, but i can't emphasize enough how awful Bell's 'customer service' is. any time i've needed to contact them for any reason, it's been a nightmare. recently, i cancelled the landline at my student house (since we were all moving out) and they continued to charge me for it even after the line went dead. i called a CSR, cleared it up, and then found another bill in my mailbox two weeks later. it's nearly impossible to get a clear answer on the phone, and i will never, ever use Bell again.

what about a smaller company (if any operate in your area)?

my parents live just outside Hamilton and have a smaller service provider, and they rave about the customer service. apparently you don't need to be on hold for an hour before speaking to a real, live human being!
posted by gursky at 9:41 AM on August 17, 2009

Response by poster: Oh, boy. Yeah, there is no cake out there. Your stories have now reminded me of the 18 months I spent with Bell CSRs, for at least one hour almost every month, trying to get them to remove voicemail overage charges that did not, could not and should not have applied to my voicemail system -- their words, not mine -- that led to several "final fixes" that weren't. (But ricochet biscuit, your story trumps mine. I hope your Mum's doing well now.)

I guess I'm sticking with Rogers for now as there really are no other options in my neighbourhood. Thanks!
posted by maudlin at 2:13 PM on August 17, 2009

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