Sunday, October 06, 2013

Be wary of going Bell Canada Fibe TV & Internet.

This is a summary of the issues I had trying to get Fibe TV and internet upgrade from Bell Canada.  Basically if Bell doesn't have any issues with the telephone line you may be lucky and get the service installed.  If you have issues be prepared for a lot of calls to 310-Bell and getting passed around to dozens of people (at least it was that for me) over weeks trying to get it scheduled for installation.  This was a highly frustrating experience for me in that Bell tried multiple times to blame things that turned out not to be true and the issues are all on their end of things, wiring issues in total are Bell owned locations and not the customer.

9/12 ~ 14:30 - main line dead.  I made multiple calls to Bell, line is dead at demarc point.

Email says 9/13 install, Bell says it was 9/12 and they cannot find the order easily.

9/13 - 06:00 - no line 1 and now no DSL.  At 08:00 - called 1-866-797-8686 and they couldn't find the order, transferred over to Bell tech.  They cannot install Fibe until main line is active and records show 7070 as the DSL line and not 5053.  DSL has been on 5053 since we got DSL.  Tech supposed to visit 9/14 in the afternoon to see what the problem is.  This is a royal pain as we have no main line and no internet.  If work calls about NIBS and doing support I don't have internet access!  Ref # xxxxxxxxx.  At 9/14 - 15:30 - Called the 310-BELL and it claims a technician tested the line and it is working.  THE LINE IS STILL DEAD and no technician stopped by to check the demarc jack.  Called Bell and the 'earliest' they can be in is Monday morning.  New ticket is xxxxxxx.  Tried to escalate, but, no luck yet.  Call Bell Retention 1-866-669-3995 and explained the situation.  There are only three major telcos and they really think that they can do anything to their customers, I hope we soon get a fourth that will kick their fucking asses to hell and back.  They tried to call the number, no answer.  He did note that there seems to be an issue with the line, but, couldn't determine what from his end reading the various notes.

16:45 - reference number xxxxxxxx

Talking to supervisor 'BEN' to see if they can prioritize work for Sunday and not Monday. Should be somone on Sunday morning, Ben promised to call back and check on status.

9/15 @09:15 - Telephone and internet back up!

9/16 - I tried to reschedule an installation and they promised my a Friday date.  Not even one hour after I rescheduled our Fibe TV installation Bell called us and told us that they cannot install on Friday. The earliest would be Saturday, if not Sunday. Jane went nuclear and I don't blame her as I am still royally pissed after what they did to us on the weekend. What is their problem in trying to schedule an install, if the system showed Friday open then honour that and stop delaying our order. If that is how they treat customers for then they won't have us for a customer. We will be checking out Rogers for Cable, at least we know they keep their commitment for installations and service. This was the final straw after Bell fucked us over by deleting our main line and internet for 4 days and they would have put it to 5-6 (or longer) if I didn't point out that an outage of more than a day is not acceptable.

Frankly if they are so short staffed they should be hiring people to handle the demand rather than calling everyone back and saying their order will be delayed. I guess the almighty dollar for senior execs is what they worship and the fact that there are only three major players means that they can try to fuck over the customer as they don't have an serious competition who are willing to treat the customers properly.

Next up is I have to find that number for customer relations and let them know what happened and that they lost a customer for Fibe TV and going back to Rogers. Also, I will be killing the second line I have and go to a basic phone service. Why should I give Bell my hard-earned money if they act like this to me? Our Cell has been cancelled and they won't be getting my business back there.

As I started vacation on 09/30 I figured it was one more time for Bell Fibe TV installation. On 9/26 I went to a different location this time and he reviewed what we tried to get the last time and did a new order. We are also getting a minor break on the high speed cost too! They will be calling us to confirm the time on Wednesday. I hope this time goes a lot better than the last time and they don't disconnect the phone and internet!

Here is last part of my issues with Bell and their attempts to get Fibe TV and internet upgraded.  

Summary is that they failed and it was a total mess that it forced me to go to Rogers for cable TV and internet. From September 12 to October 4 I talked to over 2 dozen Bell people who couldn't do anything and at times blamed inside wiring, how the phone was wired and told me to wait for internet service which I am paying for until the upgrade.  I had no phone service for a total of four days and no internet service for a total of eight.

Here is the high level timeline for the straw the broke the camel's back:

2013/10/02 - Bell finally arrived after 18:00.  Cannot do install as the intercom system will kill signal.  No Fibe TV or internet. Bell needs access to the "I/T" room and since it is locked they cannot do anything (why don't they have a key to that room?).  One possible reason is that I have a 2nd line.  When Bell comes in next he/she has to swap the intercom to use line 2. The DSL was dropped, but, tech restored the DSL until next install.  I now need to contact Minto and see if someone to be there (probably Friday morning) to unlock room, or, have the key ready for the tech. The Bell Tech support person was supposed to call back, but, didn't.  I had to call to verify install is Friday.  He didn't have an answer and promised to call back on Thursday morning.  21:45 - DSL dropped.  I called 310-Bell and 310-Surf continously trying every option, but, the system would not connect me to any live person as it is after hours.  They suggested I use WEB, but, that is a bit difficult as I don't have DSL.  At 22:15 calling Bell (I dialed zero and pressed a lot of keys) and finally got a person.  He promised to call back in a few minutes after doing some line tests.  Needless to say he didn't call me back.

2013/10/03  I called 310-Bell at 08:00.  Person confirmed Friday AM (08:00 to 12:00).  Transferred to tech support and they are trying to determine the issue. At 08:35 - Person on phone said there is nothing he can do I must wait until Friday.  I asked him to transfer me to his supervisor.  Supervisor is on looking at the notes.  He is calling Fibe TV and see what can be done (08:50) and will call back 10-15 minutes.  At 09:30 I called the customer service number.  Francisco tried to help, Remi (supervisor) came on.  The problem is the install wasn't done, but, billing showed active so DSL is offline and there is nothing they can do.  Earliest we can get access is Friday which is the Fibe Date.  I told him to cancel Fibe TV and internet upgrade and I will be calling Rogers for Cable and Internet.  Reference number for the cancel is xxxxxxx.
2013/10/04  I Called 310-Bell @12:30.  NO DSL still, and it is supposed to be up!  She couldn't do anything and said the whole DSL line was removed, but, she wanted to check with the tech.  Since that takes time I told her to stop, I will be doing a full cancel on Monday.  Upshot is that Bell was getting about $250 a month from me for 2 phones, internet and cell.  After I finish they will be lucky to be getting $50 a month.  I called Rogers and they guaranteed to be there Saturday 12:00-14:00 so I set up the appointment to install cable and internet.

2013/10/05  Rogers called at 13:00 that they would be there at 13:30.  Tech arrived a few minutes early.  He did need access to equipment room, but, he got the key and continued the install.  It took him about 15 minutes to finish and then step me through the basics.  Internet was quick and easy and within 2 minutes we had the network back up and running and even using the old SSID to minimize my work.

Things for Bell to consider:

  • When you promise to call back and promise a time then call the customer back.  For the most part I got promises and no call backs.  I had to chase Bell to find out what was going on.
  • One point of contact for the client.  Over the three weeks I was passed from one person to another and I had to keep updating them on the issues and what was done so far.  They need to have one rep 'own' the issue and that rep should be going to the various sections to get the information.  During the whole period there were no follow-up calls to see if the issue was resolved.
  • If the person lives in a multi-unit dwelling then they should be told that access to the equipment room may be required.  In many places Bell and others do have a key to get there, but, sometimes they to contact the landlord to make arrangements for having the room opened and the client should be made aware of this from the start.
  • Move the call centres out of India, or have support people who can communicate clearly to the client when they call.  I have worked many years with tech support in India and I don't have a problem with the accents, but, the people Bell hired have accents so thick and they talk so fast I cannot understand most of what they say.  When I called Rogers the people there talked clearly and I could understand one hundred percent of what they were telling me.
  • For your 310-BELL and 310-SURF have a 24-7 operation.  A number of times I called after 'business hours' and I went through every option trying to get a real person on the line to see what the problem is.  The system actually told me the hours of work then it hung up and didn't give any option to contact a live person.  People do work outside of the 21:00-08:00 time frames Monday to Friday many times and they also work on the weekends outside of the operation hours too.  It is not acceptable that I had to wait up to ten hours before I could talk to someone to find out what the problem is.

Update 10/08:

Bell has the feel of Nortel and Blackberry when they were at the top and were arrogant and believed they could do no wrong.

Update 2014-01-25:
I waited for now to see if they would do anything, but, nothing so I am publishing this!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Some tools for securing & cleaning your Windows machine

This is not a fancy or pretty article, but, functional.  The following are various tools I use to help secure and clean computers.  This is a list of links I keep on my Google Tablet for when I visit and I can quickly download and install software.  The Windows Defender offline I install on to two USB sticks (32 bit and 64 bit versions).  The rest of the utilities I download and then copy to a USB stick just in case the person does not have a working internet connection.

Autoruns for windows



Chrome (note this installs only and no download):



To reset all and lose everything:
about:support and click Reset Firefox
safe mode: firefox.exe -safe-mode


SlimWare Utilities:

SPYBOT Search and Destroy:


Window defender offline

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fun replacing BIOS battery

A few weeks ago I had a machine dropped for a new battery and to be reimaged.  The battery was easy to replace, but, on restart it wouldn't boot.  I took the battery out hoping that would do it, but, it still wouldn't boot.  Looks like I will have to find the manual to see how I can force a BIOS reset and then do the reimage.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

My new toy.

After over twelve years my Palm m130 decided to go to that digital graveyard in the sky.  The battery wouldn't hold a charge, the power button didn't work and the only way I could turn it on was to use a pin in the reset button.  I decided to go with the Google Nexus 7 since my wife bought herself one just before Christmas and she just loves the machine.

I picked up the 16 gig version and I couldn't be happier.  Most of the software I use is free and almost replaces the Palm m130 completely in functionality.  The only thing I cannot find that is free (so far) is a contact manager.  I want one that is very similar to what the palm has in that it records names, addresses emails and birthday/anniversary information in one spot.

The device itself runs a version of Linux and from what I see using it... It is great!  I am now using it as my main machine to pick up Google mail, Facebook and Twitter.  The thing just works and I have not had any issues with it locking up unlike a certain operating system I will leave unnamed.  I also installed Avast as it is only a matter of time before the 'nasties' start making the presence known.  I am using Avast as I have switched us all from AVG at home.  I liked AVG until they made a major mess on this netbook and my main laptop that required me to completely rebuild both machines.

On another note PCLINUX finally put out a 64 bit version of their distribution and I am playing with it now.  I wanted the 64 bit as it would recognize all of the memory in my main laptop unlike their 32 bit offering.  Now all I have to do is figure out how to set up dual boot and use Windows 7 only for a few games and Linux for everything else.  If anyone who has done this for windows 7 please leave me a note on where I can find a 'how-to-do' for this.