Canada’s Worst Cellphone Bill

by Gaurav Kheterpal on March 8, 2010

Canada's Worst Cellphone Bill

Canada's Worst Cellphone Bill

While all telecom carriers have been busy staking their claims to be the ‘best carrier’ in Canada, CBC Marketplace team decided to find the truth regarding the so called ‘Customer Service’ and reveal the carrier with ‘Canada’s Worst Cellphone Bill’. As part of the investigation, Marketplace team unfolds details of the charges paid by a cellphone user vs. the actual costs incurred by the carriers. I’d be lying if I say that I’m surprised with the investigation results. After all, Jeff went through a similar ordeal not so long ago.

The investigation was a result of hard work and collective effort of the CBC Marketplace team where they collected bills from several customers and reached out to people all across Canada in order to find more about their stories. The investigation does not spare any Canadian carrier from coast to coast and includes both the big names as well as the new players. The video features customers from Rogers Wireless, Bell, Fido, TELUS, Virgin Mobile and others and reveals cases where customers have been charged hefty bills of up to $6000. The video also illustrates how some carriers use misleading terms like ‘Unlimited’ even for limited usage. There’s another story which highlights how carriers mint money on ‘roaming’ services by misleading customers.

The dreaded title of ‘Canada’s Worst Cellphone Bill’ is a close fight between 3 finalists – Rogers Wireless, Bell Canada and Virgin Mobile. After I watched each of the finalist stories, I’m not sure who should be the ultimate winner (rather loser) when it comes to Canada’s Worst Cellphone Bill. In my opinion, they are all equally disgusting to say the least. I certainly believe that it’s a matter of great shame and disappointment that customers are treated so unprofessionally by carriers who make a lot of tall claims about their ‘customer service’. I’m hoping that this investigation turns out to be an eye opener for all Canadian carriers and they turn more considerate towards their carriers.

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beeng March 8, 2010 at 7:38 pm

This blog rocks… and yes the carriers do suck. I’ve encountered their money-making through ambiguity tactics much like the people in the CBC video. Last I checked, bell charges you to allow you to see an itemized bill.

jay March 26, 2010 at 4:26 pm

How does Bell’s case where a client claims she was told something in store (She showed the cameras a piece of paper which clearly showed she wrote down what they told her) compare to Telus admitting they did not live up to their part of the bargain, yet would not lower or waive their ridiculous $720/line early cancellation fee. Then there was Virgin admiting it was actually a network billing error after 3 months before they made the correction.

With CBC Marketplace’s line of reasoning if I walk into a car dealership whith my lease agreement having my handwriting on the bottom that says “free oilchanges for 5 years” they should honour that.

Gaurav Kheterpal March 30, 2010 at 1:42 am

@jay: CBC Marketplace’s only line of reasoning is that carriers should be careful on what they charge and how they charge. Do you think three months is a justified duration for correcting a billing error? I sympathize with subscribers who pay hefty fee and still get treated badly by the carriers. Either they should stop making tall claims about so called ‘customer service’ or get their act together and be more considerate to the cause of subscribers.

Gaurav Kheterpal March 30, 2010 at 1:44 am

@beeng: Ambiguity tactics are used by all companies, not just telecom carriers. I hope the CRTC does something about it soon. After all, its high time to have a fair degree of transparency in Canadian telecom market.

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