Bell's Thugs
June 21, 2007 5:50 PM   Subscribe

I stopped my Bell DSL account several months ago (2-3) because I realized I hated their company and their service. Just today I get a bill from a "Financial Services" office saying I have to pay 200$, but I never got any bill! What can I do?

I'm in Montreal Canada,

I'm really not sure what this bill is for as my understanding was that the last month was paid for (they told me that I didn't owe anything). So it's really strange that they're now telling me I owe (a lot). I haven't gotten any Bell bills in the mail since I stopped the service so I'm not sure what it's for. I did pretty much cancel my service with them BECAUSE they were administratively incapable.

What are my options in this situation?
I'd like to know exactly what I'm being charged for, as I suspect that most of it is invalid.
Would this affect my credit rating?

What can I do? I don't want to get a lawyer or anything.
posted by Napierzaza to Law & Government (9 answers total)
Write them a letter. Ask for the $200 to be itemized.
posted by grouse at 5:57 PM on June 21, 2007

I was in a similar situation with SBC a couple of years ago. I called up SBC to find out what happened, and it turned out it was a snafu and they dealt directly with the collections agency. So my advice is call Bell, as unpleasant as it may be, and find out what the $200 bill was for. If it's not legit, they should take care of it for you.
posted by puritycontrol at 6:16 PM on June 21, 2007

And check your credit report.
posted by rhizome at 6:18 PM on June 21, 2007

Seconding puritycontrol's answer... The Bell family of companies is notorious for being administratively incompetent, but their customer service departments are usually pretty good about getting things straightened out if you call them and explain your situation calmly.
posted by amyms at 6:27 PM on June 21, 2007

Seconding all this. are one staggering clusterfuck but find yourself a friendly drone and prefix your comment by saying "I'm really, really upset but I know this isn't your fault personally so I just hope you can help me fix it". This generally works. If it doesn't (and I literally had a guy YELLING at me down the phone recently) you just rinse and repeat, painful as it is.

Typical customer experience: call about an overcharge for a service you don't receive. Yell at 'Emily' their phone robot who doesn't understand English.

Emily: "What service do you want?".
You: "Accounts"
Emily: "Okay. I think you said 'New Connections'".

Finally get a human.

"Okay, do you mind if I put you on hold?"

20 minutes of Chum FM later, if your cellphone battery didn't die.

"I see what's wrong, but we can't deal with that, you need disconnecions".
Point out that you aren't connected.
"Do you want me to put you through or not?"
Say OK.

Ring tone.
Dial tone.

posted by unSane at 7:08 PM on June 21, 2007

When I last quit Bell service, they kept billing me. I called and they said "Sorry, I'll take care of it." And they billed me again. I called and they said "Sorry, it's taken care of now." And they billed me again. I called and they said "You won't receive any more." And still I was billed again. Finally I got a better rep who got to the bottom of it and found that they somehow didn't cancel my account completely (it showed up as canceled in one part of the records but not in others) and I was free of bills.

So yeah, just call them. If they're wrong, they won't bite you.
posted by bread-eater at 7:30 PM on June 21, 2007

Did you sign up for a deal in exchange for a free modem or something like that (or sometimes you get a certain price if you agree to a term of service). It might be an early-termination fee.
posted by troybob at 7:38 PM on June 21, 2007

You might be getting charged for the modem that they provided. Did you return it to them?
posted by bkeene12 at 7:53 PM on June 21, 2007

I just quit Sympatico too, and they charged an improper $100 disconnection fee. I called, and half an hour (or more, maybe) later, they reversed it. No argument, just lots of time wasting.

I've had other Sympatico billing errors that were equally absurd, and every time they fix it with little argument, but lots of delays. I'm fairly certain it is an intentional policy, because they know that most people won't bother complaining.
Well, except that if such a fact ever came out officially, it would really hit the fan, so..
posted by Chuckles at 9:02 PM on June 21, 2007

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