Sunday, July 20, 2008


I've been offline for a week because Bell sucks. Let me explain. Bell Canada is the Telco where I live. They have some competition but in the end its always Bell. Sure you can get highspeed DSL from other providers but in the end they are just buying wholesale from Bell. Same thing goes for local phone or long distance service.

I used to have an Bell highspeed plan that was billed as "up to" 1.5Mbps download speed and unlimited bandwidth. This plan cost be roughly $60/month after taxes. Then about a year ago I downgraded in an attempt to save money. The lowest priced DSL plan Bell offered was a 512kbps download with 2GB in bandwidth, with of course extra charges for bandwidth above 2GB but capped at a max of $30 extra per month.

So my plan to downgrade left me with a service 1/3 as fast as my previous plan, and after paying the additional bandwidth charges (which I always maxed out despite my attempts to limit my downloading habits) I was paying $25/month plus $30/month in bandwidth charges for a total of $55/month. Saving myself a big fat $5/month.

So I tried to upgrade, but Bell no longer offered the "up to 1.5Mbps unlimited" plan. Now the next available upgrade is a "up to 5Mbps with 60GB bandwidth" plan for $60/month. Except they tell me this plan is not available in my area.

So I was stuck on this stupid 512k plan. Now I understand how DSL works, and I understand the speed is not guaranteed. I also understood that they could very easiliy of signed me up for the "up to 5Mbps" plan and I would be able to get around 1.5Mbps (because I got that speed before). However Bell would not budge.

So I switched to TekSavvy, a smaller ISP that in the end buys the DSL wholesale from Bell and resells it. They sold me an "up to 5Mbps" plan with unlimited bandwidth for $39.95/month.

Everything went smooth, service is great, speed is what I expected (around 1.5Mbps download and 512k upload when I check via SpeedTest.Net.

Then Bell went and pulled the line card for no reason whatsoever and I was without service for 3 days. Teksavvy was great, but they were at the mercy of Bell, who never really provided an explanation as to why they disabled my DSL.

Strange thing is they phoned me the day before this happened and asked why I had switched. I told the lady the same story I just relayed above, and she offered to sign me up for the very plan I had been previously told was not available in my area.

This really doesn't have anything to do with neighbours, but it pissed me off.

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