Smart Aleck (wiseacre) wrote in bad_service,
Smart Aleck
wiseacre
bad_service

Bell Sympatico blows it and Cineplex gets it right


Bad Service:

Mrs. Wiseacre and I moved a while ago to a new place. One of the things I have been handling is sorting out the moving of the phone and Internet service. We're using Bell for the phone and Bell Sympatico for the DSL. I've been happy with the DSL. Not the cheapest options, as some people who have wanted me to switch have said, but the tech support has been good, the service reliable, and the speeds quite good. I'm generally happy. However, Mrs. Wiseacre, she of the obscene amount of downloading, was after me to up the speed. I was on an old plan that gave us 5 Mbps. They offer a 7 Mbps service now and the cost is about the same. So I made a call.

Turns out the 7 Mbps service is not for us. It has a bandwidth cap of 30 GB/month. As the helpful lady explained, in the month before my call, we had used about 250 GB in downloads. I didn't have a computer hooked up. So, obviously, I don't want to change. My original plan has no cap. Therefore, no desire to change. Helpful Linda on the phone suggests I tie myself up to a year long extension on my existing plan and she can give me $10/month discount but otherwise remain unchanged. Care to guess where this is headed?

Yep! First bill since the change shows a $30 charge for extra bandwidth activity. Fine. I know what they did and I call to get it fixed. I want my plan back. Edward gets on the phone and he is pleasent but kind of dumb. I explain the situation to him several times (Agreed to term of service, did not agree to any changes in service agreement) and he keeps tellingme the charge is because there is a bandwidth cap. After the third time, I explain to him that what I want is my 5 Mbps, no cap, no extra charges plan. He tells me he'd like to help me but can't. I politely but firmly tell him to get me a supervisor who can help me.

May now comes on the line. She's a bit smarter than Edward and I only have to explain this to her once. She tells me I can get a $25/month "unlimited use" option on top of what I already have. I tell her that's not going to happen. She says she may be able to get me a discount. I tell her it would need to be a discount of 100%, as I would not be paying extra for their mistake. I am briefly placed on hold and she agrees to this for the term of the year's contract. So, I'll take it for a year and then move to one of the other DSL providers. Foolish on their part, really, since I would have kept that service forever if they hadn't screwed it up. An okay resolution but it took me 45-minutes on the phone and it shouldn't have happened.

Good Service:

Saturday saw Mrs. Wiseacre and me heading off to The Cinema Formerly Known as Paramount in Downtown Toronto to watch opera. They show a live broadcast, in high-definition, of a performance from the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Tickets are $23.00 each. We met some people there from one of those Meetup.com groups that my wife is in and they say that they love these things and they're really good to watch there.

Nope. The sound was lousy throughout the entire first act. Very flat, no depth or definition. Many people were complaining to the staff about this. After all, it's opera. It's nice to see it, but it is essential to hear it. Honestly, I felt gypped. I would have hada better auditory experience if I had used the money to by a CD. Eventually, in the second act, the sound seemed to improve, though it still wasn't what I would have expected, but it was markedly better.

After the conclusion of the opera, we were on our way out of the auditorium and there were two staff members at the door giving everyone a certificate good for another admission to such an event. I was impressed they took the problem seriously and I didn't need to complain to corporate or even argue with a manager. I would have been doubtful about going again, but now I will gladly give it another go. Cineplex turned things around nicely. I got the impression from other people in the crowd that they were generally happy with this as well.
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