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Thread: Porting out, the 30 days of no service cash grab, violates CRTC decision, DO NOT PAY

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    Porting out, the 30 days of no service cash grab, violates CRTC decision, DO NOT PAY

    I tried to give 30 days notice on a month to month contract but was refused and was told if I did I would lose my number. I was charged 30 days after port out and raised a claim with CCTS last year. Last week I escalated the discussion to a Bell manager and got a letter stating I would be refunded. The letter states no details of the wrongdoing admitted to me verbally, it was just an apology for my 'frustration'.

    The Bell contract has wording that gives them 30 days payment after a port request: Quote "If you want to transfer your wireless phone number to another service provider, then, as long as your account and phone number are active, Bell will process a "transfer-out" request from your new chosen service provider. You must pay any amounts due plus applicable taxes resulting from the termination of your Services before the expiry of your Service Commitment Period, and the monthly charges applicable for the 30 days after the transfer is requested."

    Since this contract wording violates the CRTC ruling I think it is (edited, was: blatantly illegal) blatantly against CRTC decisions and have emailed Tony Clement asking for assistance to prosecute Bell.

    I had recorded a call with Bell CSR and posted it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty3w090K16I
    It proves that Bell will counsel you to trigger the 30 day payment by telling you to contact your new supplier first and ask them to arrange the port out. You will be told there is no way to avoid the 30 day payment. You will be told giving advance notice is not possible and that if you do give advance notice your number will be locked immediately.

    All carriers were chastised by the CCTS in their 2009-2010 annual report, for violating the CRTC decision in 2005 that you must be able to transfer your number without undue expense or complication. They have seen increasing complaints and no change in the carriers procedures to stop the double dip.

    If anyone was charged for 30 days after port out after they attempted to give advance notice but were refused, you WILL get your money back through a CCTS complaint. Dispute the charge on your credit card if you can. They WILL credit you back.

    Always pay Bell through Visa if you can and they will back you up on being charged with no services being provided.

    If anyone would like to mount a class action please post your intent to do so here. Maybe enough will respond to get something going.

    So, DO give them 30 days notice you intend to port out even if they say they will not take it (record the call), switch your monthly payment to a credit card "in case", DO NOT PAY THE CHARGE if you get an invoice, DO RAISE A CCTS CLAIM.

    Bell must be stopped from imposing this (edited: was illegal) improper fee.
    Last edited by boblepp; 02-24-2011 at 08:48 AM.

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    you can have them add a port out notification feature.

    no idea why the CSR you talked to didn't just do that.
    Hi.

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    Errrrr, after working for three different telcos, we always say to have the new provider arrange the port out otherwise there is a risk of the current provider cancelling the phone rendering the port unworkable. Not sure what you are implying with that particular point in your argument. As for the rest of it, meh. Its in the contract you signed, I'm not one who likes this lets sue everyone for things we chose to accept. These lawsuits are getting ridiculous.

    sent from my Darky 9.2 Extreme pimped out Galaxy S Vibrant.
    Hey here's a thought, read the contract before signing it. Personal responsibility FTW.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reeneebob View Post
    snip Not sure what you are implying with that particular point in your argument. As for the rest of it, meh. Its in the contract you signed, I'm not one who likes this lets sue everyone for things we chose to accept. These lawsuits are getting ridiculous.
    I am not implying anything, I am stating outright that Bell will likely mislead you when you ask them how to best arrange to port out.

    They tell you, rightly, to have the new supplier handle it, there is no other way of course.

    The trick is that they ALSO talk you out of giving the required 30 days notice through threats and deception. Even when asked explicitly they will tell you there is no way to avoid paying for 30 days of no service after porting. They also mislead you when you ask to just give notice, they state they withhold your number if you give 30 days notice. So, based on their statements you cannot give notice as you lose your number they say, and you are led to believe the only solution is to go to the new provider and start the port out without any notice given to Bell. In fact, the person will tell you "You do not even have to deal with us". That is categorically wrong since they require 30 days notice flagged on your account. This is what happened to me, and I chose a random time to record a second call to see if the advice was consistent and it was. So I base my statements on a random sampling of just two calls I admit and maybe I got the two most uninformed people in Bell. But, when you read their contract you find it does not matter when you do what, the words say you pay for 30 days after the transfer is requested". Not after notice is given... "after the transfer is requested"... and who does the transfer request? Your new provider does. So whatever you do the contract says you pay. Did you read the contract? Did I misquote?

    That said, some people have been able to arrange it without paying, I have no first hand knowledge of that so I cannot comment. But I do see people posting who had my experience, did you view YouTube?

    When the Bell complaints manager spoke to me, she sounded as if this was the first time this had ever happened, BUT how could that be since CCTS sees such a large number of complaints of double billing that they took an entire page to describe the issue and make a call for change. I just got tired of the constant attempts to mislead. They simply lie, there is no way to avoid that word.

    The CCTS annual report specifically states they see this happening more and more, and they take efforts to chastise all providers for the scam. Did you read the CCTS annual report?

    As to lawsuits and their frequency... if I thought the CRTC or CCTS could stop Bell through regulation I would not even think of a suit. But the fact is Bell continues to enact and enforce contract language that is directly contradictory to CRTC rulings. If you call the CRTC for action or help, they simply tell you they do not regulate cell company policies. So Catch 22 big time. They direct you to CCTS, who direct the problem back to the providers. Full circle.

    This issue means more to someone who got charged 30 days for a dead phone and then had Bell tell them "to read the contract online."

    I hear you and respect your opinion, so help me by telling me what you would do to stop Bell from taking even more of our money?

    And BTW, the Bell person I spoke to said "Rogers does it too" so it is not as if it is not a planned strategy. Try a call yourself where you ask what to do. Let us know what happens.
    Last edited by boblepp; 02-21-2011 at 06:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bb147 View Post
    you can have them add a port out notification feature.

    no idea why the CSR you talked to didn't just do that.
    I had no idea either. And that is the point. How could they get this question every day and not know how to handle it?

    The answer I came up with is "Bell trains its people to follow the contract language, you port... you pay for thirty days after death of your phone."

    Did you listen to the recording? I ask them if I can do what you suggest and she says NOPE. So what is my choice then? To argue? Ask for a manager? Read the contract and you find her advice is correct. Whatever you do, you pay.

    If I knew then what I know now, I agree, I would know exactly what words to use to retain my number and give 30 days notice as well. I would ask for the manager, I would record the call. I would ask them to state that I will not be charged. But, that is *not* the scenario that happens, the caller does NOT know the rules and assumes Bell will be truthful at all times. At worst, they assume Bell will honor CRTC rulings, and certainly, if challenged, Bell will realize their person made a mistake and reverse the charges,a nd the CRTC will protect them. Nope.

    Bell preys on the unwary. Try it yourself and maybe you will change your mind.

    If Bell wanted to give every customer the perfect procedure to arrange for notice and port out with no surprising fees, they would have a clear statement of what you should do on a web page somewhere. They do not. Try to find one. Why is this? It happens every day hundreds of times, yet they do not cover it in a FAQ or any way outside of the contract. They bury it in the contract.

    Google "Bell Mobility how to port out your number" and none of the hits you get are from Bell, they are from people who had the same experience I had, everything happened to them that happened to me.

    People do not know the term 'port out' until they have had the bad experience, so they think they want to transfer their number...

    Google "Bell Mobility transfer your number" and yes, you get a Bell page on how to transfer IN to Bell and in that they tell you not to cancel your current service... that they will do that for you. Exactly, they know their transfer request starts the 30 day clock ticking at Rogers or wherever, just like they arranged to happen. They do not say "give notice as required" nor "ask your provider to notate the account that you will port in 30 days" if on a month to month contract. They DO say: Quote "You are responsible for any fees or charges that apply once your service is cancelled with your current provider. These may include contractual obligations, " because the 30 days payment AFTER REQUEST is a 'contractual obligation'. See page: http://www.bell.ca/shopping/PrsShpWl...rtability.page

    Now Google "bell mobility transfer out your number from bell', the first hit is Bell's transfer in page, and the second hit takes you direct to the contract language, do not pass GO. No page from Bell.ca exists on how to transfer out from Bell.

    Here's a typical thread bad experience thread: http://www.windmobile.ca/community/ideas/detail/36274/

    Lawsuits are unfortunate, but how would you suggest Bell be stopped from this contract language and procedure when the CRTC and CCTS says it is unlawful?

    I think Bell needs to be caught every time they try one of these scams.
    Last edited by boblepp; 02-21-2011 at 08:37 AM.

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    a quick look at the ccts annual report, shows Bell has 50% more complaints than Telus and Rogers combined......OUCH!

    but to the Op's comment, all telco's are guilty of this, they have strict procedures of how its to be done, and in Bell's case,alo of their CSR's (not all, there are a few awesome ones) are soo poorly trained/educated of policies/procedures its almost a Gong show to do anything, thus leading to issues like these and which lead to the CCTS....

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    Quote Originally Posted by boblepp View Post

    Since this contract wording violates the CRTC ruling I think it is blatantly illegal and have emailed Tony Clement asking for assistance to prosecute Bell.
    What CRTC ruling?

    The next avenue of complaint is the Federal Competition Bureau. The CRTC rightly stated that they do not regulate retail t's&c's of wireless service providers.

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    I'm not calling Bell about anything, thanks (and it's because I haven't had an issue with them in the past when I do call in, in fact I have always been very pleased). If I didn't like that clause of the contract, I wouldn't have signed it. Period. And yes - if you close your number you lose it and can't port. I learned that in training from all 3 AMERICAN telcos I have worked for. It isn't only in Canada and it's true of landline or cell. Take some personal responsibility for the fact you signed a contract containing a clause you personally didn't like because 1) you didn't read it, or 2) you decided to whine and complain and file a lawsuit even though you actually did read it and signed it anyway.

    Sorry, this ranks with buying a house by a train track and demanding VIA/CNR stop blowing whistles.

    EDIT

    And no, I didn't view Youtube. But I have no issue reporting your Youtube since you likely didn't get that CSR's consent to post their voice all over the internet when they were simply doing their job. You stay klassy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reeneebob View Post
    ...big snip....
    And no, I didn't view Youtube. But I have no issue reporting your Youtube since you likely didn't get that CSR's consent to post their voice all over the internet when they were simply doing their job. You stay klassy.
    I am not sure why you replied. This is a Canadian issue so your USA experience may not apply. I am not sure why you shouted AMERICAN, but I can guess.

    Here in Canada, number portability was only recently 'legislated' by the CRTC to be certain we were able to move from one supplier to another without undue cost or delay. It should be easy, fast and free.

    I was a customer for over 20 years and had not signed a contract in almost as many years. Bell added in language after number portability was made available so that they could grab a month's extra payment after the contract is over and completely paid up to fund the porting job when CRTC said it must be free of undue cost. They found a good cheat, and Rogers and maybe others followed along so they could says 'we all do it so roll over'.

    Bell records every conversation whether you are warned or not. So go snitch to YouTube and let me know how you make out.

    I am interested to hear you are happy with a clause that forces you to pay twice for one month of cell phone, I wish I had that loose a grip on reality. I keep thinking about the wasted money I guess but if you don't care about paying twice then go ahead, but I would not brag about having such a desire. We Canadians are cheap I guess.

    I am not whining, I am ranting on about how Bell will cheat you if you let them, and I hope only to stop them from more cheating. See, here in Canada Bell is a huge company well connected politically and financially. They act like they are the only game in town because at one time they were and we paid 3 bucks a minute for LD. And today we pay the highest cell rates in the civilized world. We don't have Tracfone or Net10, we have .25 a minute and no LD, that's .25 to .45 more.

    So, if you are not a Canadian Bell subscriber about to leave for another supplier, this stuff will appear to be whining. If you are, then heads up! You are about to be misled into paying money you can keep for yourself.

    I have to think you missed the part about trying to give notice and Bell refusing to take notice and threatening to withhold my number if I did give 30 days notice. Or is that how they do it in AMERICA too?

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    Quote Originally Posted by robsaw View Post
    What CRTC ruling?

    The next avenue of complaint is the Federal Competition Bureau. The CRTC rightly stated that they do not regulate retail t's&c's of wireless service providers.
    Form the 2009-2010 CCTS Annual Report...
    In the CRTC’s December 20th, 2005 news release
    accompanying Telecom Decision 2005-72, former CRTC
    Chairman Charles Dalfen stated that “consumers should
    be given the widest possible choice of service providers
    and should be able to switch telephone companies
    without unwarranted cost or inconvenience .”
    See: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2005/dt2005-72.htm

    Yes, agreed, CRTC does not regulate T's and C's. But I think they have a measure of control over certain aspects of running a cell phone business.

    I was hopeful reading your guidance about the Competition Bureau being the next step, but then I went and did some reading.

    From the Competition Bureau web site:
    The Competition Bureau is not a consumer protection agency and cannot act on your behalf to obtain reimbursement or to settle a dispute between two parties.
    ... and the show stopper, same page...

    Your complaint might be outside the Bureau’s jurisdiction. Have a look at various issues the Bureau does not deal with:

    Bad service dealings with a person or business
    Billing problems
    Collection Agency harassment/problems
    Contractual disputes
    Information enquiry about a person and/or businesses standing or legitimacy
    Refund issues
    Store return and/or refund policy
    Unethical behavior issues
    Only the CCTS seems able to help with a money dispute.

    The Competition Act may hold some promise, but how would you prove that because Bell and Rogers both charge an extra 30 days when you port out that they agreed or arranged to do that to increase the cost of cell phone service? That's why a lawyer is needed.

    PART VI
    Offences in Relation to Competition

    Conspiracies, agreements or arrangements between
    competitors
    45 (1) Every person commits an offence who, with a
    competitor of that person with respect to a product, conspires, agrees or arranges
    (a) to fix, maintain, increase or control the price for
    the supply of the product;

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    1) I am born, raised, and living all 36 years of my life in Canada. I capitalized AMERICAN in case you think the port rules are somehow only applicable here. It's the same down there. *waves from eastern Ontario* If you had, oh I dunno, read up there beside my name you'd see that, super special 6 post guy. I am not only a Canadian born and bred, I pay Bell over $400 a month for home phone, LD, Sympatico, Mobility and Expressvu. I have been a Bell customer almost as long as you, since I moved out on my own at 18.

    2) All I meant by happy with the rule is that I still signed the contract knowing it was there. Which I did. Because I read before I signed. Anyone who has signed that contract and then after the fact decide to whine about it and cry lawsuit (like an American) doesn't have a leg to stand on to me. Please tell me who the Bell rep was with a loaded gun to your head that forced you to sign this contract that you disagree with so fundamentally? Wait, there wasn't one? So why did you sign?

    You can cry and whine all you want, you signed it and need to live with the decision. If you didn't like that clause of the contract you should have walked away.

    I replied because I am sick of Bell or any of the other companies getting blamed for people not being able to take responsibility for their decision. This isn't something like hardware that no one knew about ahead of time. This would have been avoided if you had read the contract or decided you didn't like that clause so you refused to sign and went to another provider. I am sick of the whining. I hear it everyday from customers who refuse to take personal responsibility for their decisions.

    I am not about to be mislead into paying extra money because I actually read that 3 year contract before signing it, knew it was a clause, decided I could live with it and signed it anyway. Like an adult. Had I not been willing to live with that I would have refused to sign and gone to another provider. You had that choice too, didn't do it, but now seem to think you shouldn't live with the consequences.

    We who work in a call centre do warn you, whether you listen or not (and most don't) that calls are recorded for quality or training. We do NOT post those on Youtube. You did not get that innocent employee's permission to post their voice recording on Youtube. Did you inform the representative that you were recording them with the intention of posting them on youtube? Tell you what, champ, let's get someone to show up and film and tape you without your knowledge or consent when all you are doing is your job and then plaster you all over the internet. You are in breach of their privacy. End of story.

    You need to grow up.

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    In case you can't understand, since your reading comprehension is apparently quite low - I AM CANADIAN.

    Thought I better say that again since you missed it the first few times, as well as right there in my profile at the top of my posts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reeneebob View Post

    2) All I meant by happy with the rule is that I still signed the contract knowing it was there. Which I did. Because I read before I signed. Anyone who has signed that contract and then after the fact decide to whine about it and cry lawsuit (like an American) doesn't have a leg to stand on to me. Please tell me who the Bell rep was with a loaded gun to your head that forced you to sign this contract that you disagree with so fundamentally? Wait, there wasn't one? So why did you sign?

    You can cry and whine all you want, you signed it and need to live with the decision. If you didn't like that clause of the contract you should have walked away.

    I replied because I am sick of Bell or any of the other companies getting blamed for people not being able to take responsibility for their decision. This isn't something like hardware that no one knew about ahead of time. This would have been avoided if you had read the contract or decided you didn't like that clause so you refused to sign and went to another provider. I am sick of the whining. I hear it everyday from customers who refuse to take personal responsibility for their decisions.

    I am not about to be mislead into paying extra money because I actually read that 3 year contract before signing it, knew it was a clause, decided I could live with it and signed it anyway. Like an adult. Had I not been willing to live with that I would have refused to sign and gone to another provider. You had that choice too, didn't do it, but now seem to think you shouldn't live with the consequences.

    We who work in a call centre do warn you, whether you listen or not (and most don't) that calls are recorded for quality or training. We do NOT post those on Youtube. You did not get that innocent employee's permission to post their voice recording on Youtube. Did you inform the representative that you were recording them with the intention of posting them on youtube? Tell you what, champ, let's get someone to show up and film and tape you without your knowledge or consent when all you are doing is your job and then plaster you all over the internet. You are in breach of their privacy. End of story.

    You need to grow up.
    Not that I disagree with your criticism of the ops motivations for posting, I do however wish to point out some issues here that I think you are clueless on.

    Any of the big 3 have the same terms of service, so bottom line, if you want a cell phone, you have to abide by their terms of service. Its non negotiable, and its highly slanted in favor of the carrier. Over the last few years, despite federal rulings and legislations and press releases stating the opposite, things are getting worse. I used to be able to shell out an extra $100 on a new phone and opt for a 2 year term, instead of a 3 year contract, now I pay $50 for a phone on a 3 year term, $400 on 2' $450 on 1 and $500 no contract. I get it though, if I don't like the contract, I guess I don't have a cell phone.
    Yeah I agree to terms of the contract under duress. Every time they have been mandated to change they screw us another way to get it back.

    The 30 day thing is the way it is and yea, we don't like it. Sure what the op did was shady, but the point is, the csr was clueless and an indication of how bad customer service is becoming at Bell. I lived with a bunch of guys who worked at a call center too, work in customer service too. I get it you defend those guys being in that industry, but point is here, that's you are burying in the how he's going about it, doesn't hide the fact it's still bs what the consumer has to go through.

    More to the point is there are some people in this forum that like to bury the discontent and dissatisfied customers views and opinions. Bell should hear them.

    I don't deny in any way that there are indeed satisfied Bell customers, I myself was one for 4 years till my needs outgrew my service and Bell has no desire to really work with me on that to find a solution, nor the gong show of csr incompetence that appears to be on the rise of late.
    Last edited by Zolutar; 02-22-2011 at 12:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reeneebob View Post
    1) I am born, raised, and living all 36 years of my life in Canada. I capitalized AMERICAN in case you think the port rules are somehow only applicable here. It's the same down there. *waves from eastern Ontario* If you had, oh I dunno, read up there beside my name you'd see that, super special 6 post guy. I am not only a Canadian born and bred, I pay Bell over $400 a month for home phone, LD, Sympatico, Mobility and Expressvu. I have been a Bell customer almost as long as you, since I moved out on my own at 18.

    2) All I meant by happy with the rule is that I still signed the contract knowing it was there. Which I did. Because I read before I signed. Anyone who has signed that contract and then after the fact decide to whine about it and cry lawsuit (like an American) doesn't have a leg to stand on to me. Please tell me who the Bell rep was with a loaded gun to your head that forced you to sign this contract that you disagree with so fundamentally? Wait, there wasn't one? So why did you sign?

    You can cry and whine all you want, you signed it and need to live with the decision. If you didn't like that clause of the contract you should have walked away.

    I replied because I am sick of Bell or any of the other companies getting blamed for people not being able to take responsibility for their decision. This isn't something like hardware that no one knew about ahead of time. This would have been avoided if you had read the contract or decided you didn't like that clause so you refused to sign and went to another provider. I am sick of the whining. I hear it everyday from customers who refuse to take personal responsibility for their decisions.

    I am not about to be mislead into paying extra money because I actually read that 3 year contract before signing it, knew it was a clause, decided I could live with it and signed it anyway. Like an adult. Had I not been willing to live with that I would have refused to sign and gone to another provider. You had that choice too, didn't do it, but now seem to think you shouldn't live with the consequences.

    We who work in a call centre do warn you, whether you listen or not (and most don't) that calls are recorded for quality or training. We do NOT post those on Youtube. You did not get that innocent employee's permission to post their voice recording on Youtube. Did you inform the representative that you were recording them with the intention of posting them on youtube? Tell you what, champ, let's get someone to show up and film and tape you without your knowledge or consent when all you are doing is your job and then plaster you all over the internet. You are in breach of their privacy. End of story.

    You need to grow up.
    I am new to Howardforums, so maybe it is normal here to be attacked personally by reeneebob. There might be a pattern there.

    Since I am only trying to help those who are leaving or have left Bell, I think I'll take a pass on your comments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zolutar View Post
    Not that I disagree with your criticism of the ops motivations for posting, ... big snip
    My motivation for posting is to alert those who are leaving or have left Bell and are not aware they do not have to pay 30 days after termination of their signed contract. The CCTS will help them get their money back.

    I am also motivated to determine if there are many people affected and if any of them feel as I do that Bell has abused the CRTC ruling on number portabilty. I would not pay for a lawyer on my own, and I know nothing about class actions since I have never sued anyone or been sued. I was motivated to see if anyone else felt as I did.

    I recorded and posted a call to Bell asking for exactly what to do to port out without paying for no service. In Canada, the law on recording a conversation requires that at least one party be aware of the recording being made. I agreed to the recording. Recording it was not illegal. Citation: Canada Criminal Code ( R.S., 1985, c. C-46 ). Department of Justice Canada.

    PART VI
    INVASION OF PRIVACY
    Interception of Communications

    Interception

    184. (1) Every one who, by means of any electro-magnetic, acoustic, mechanical or other device, wilfully intercepts a private communication is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.
    Saving provision

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to
    (a) a person who has the consent to intercept, express or implied, of the originator of the private communication or of the person intended by the originator thereof to receive it



    Posting to YouTube was originally done solely as a means to easily deliver that recording to the Bell employee handling my CCTS complaint through an email link. He had asked me who I had spoken to when I tried to give 30 days notice to prove my statments of fact. I said I did not know her name. He then told me he *did* know her name. I asked for her first name only so I could call her back and ask her to get in touch with the complaints person. He would not give me her first name, would not conference call her and would not let me hear the recorded call from me to her. This would have proven she threatened holding back my number from being ported, and she knew our numbers were on our business cards (business account). He followed on with the statement that no one at Bell would ever tell me what I claimed I was told. I told him I would happily make another random call, record it and send it to him since I was and am sure I would get the same answers and threats.

    I emailed him the YouTube link. He refused to listen to it stating it was against Bell policy to view videos online at work. I asked if he would listen to it that night at home, he said he was too busy. I then offered to send it as a .wav attachment and now the refusal was based on Bell policy to never open email attachments. So I was stuck, he wanted proof of what his person told me, he had her name and recording and I had nothing. Bell is not worried about the Youtube clip or they would have said something when I sent the transcription. The operator is not named and is not identifiable, we only know she worked for Bell or at a call center contracted to Bell.

    I asked the complaints person if he had read the CCTS annual reports. He said he did not have time to do that since he was so busy handling complaints. His manager later backed him up on this saying he just had no time during the day to read the CCTS report which pointed out the increasing volume of violations of the CRTC 2005 ruling on number portability.

    It still makes me giggle to think Bell pays for the CCTS to exist, that it handles the huge share of total complaints about Bell, and the Bell Head Office complaint handler and his manager have never read a CCTS report on how they make their judgements. They do not care to know what the CCTS does or says about them. Seems a bit arrogant to ignore their own commission.

    I would be happy to hear what my motivation appeared to be?

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