I love Bell Canada

Written by Lord Lansdowne

Wednesday, April 5th

Telling Bell that I was moving and that I wanted my phone to follow me seemed like a simple thing to do. You fill out a form, you hand it to the smiling clerk that doesn't comprehend, much less speak oneword of English, and you go merrily on your way.

When the person helping you on the other side of the counter doesn't speak English, that's your first sign that the company you're dealing with is going to screw you over. Any business that exploits workers by giving them hard jobs at a low-wage are basically saying that they don't give a shit about the customer. Most people will happily blame the clerk--generally some poor guy or gal just trying to earn a living--rather than the company that failed to train him or her. Companies like these are only interested in making their margin of profit as big as possible. Seriously, don't blame the middle-man: they're just trying to survive like you and me.

Since I assume that people move every day and this was no rocket science for our beloved TelCo, I was expecting a simple, painless process. I didn't want to deal with it since I already had about a zillion other things to worry about that day, with my taxes on top.

Despite the fact I got my phone form to have it disconnect on the 5th of April in one place and reactivate on the 5th of the other place, by that night I still had no service. So I called Bell.

"Well, it says here that the phone can't be activated until the 6th of April" squeals the friendly 310-Bell 'if it's broken, we may just fix it' clerk."Well, wouldn't it be possible," I ask as nice as possible "to activate the damn thing today, since that's when I asked?""But it says here that it can't be done until the 6th, sir"."So, how am I suppose to make phone calls and stuff?""Are you calling from that line sir?""If my line was working, would I call you to have you make my phone work?""Sir, that kind of attitude is not appreciated, while I try to help you".

In the end, bureaucracy won, and the 6th it had to be.

Thursday, April 6th

So on the morning of the 6th, I pick up my phone and listen. No dial-tone. Okay. They probably have the time and seconds to which they have to activate the thing, so maybe after work I'll have a dial-tone. I can just picture the guy waiting, with a hand on the enter key ready to press it, and staring at the clock to get the precise second.

From work I try calling my old line. It gives me the number to my new line. I call the new line. I get an answering machine, which I am assuming is mine at this point. For a brief moment in my life I thought that was over and done with, and that I still loved Bell.

Sadly, when I got home, the phone had no dial-tone. I switched phones, to no avail.I call Bell once again and explain that despite the fact I asked for my line to be moved and that it was done late, it wasn't even done right."Are you calling from that line sir?"

I bet a lot of people call Bell from their broken phones in this day and age.After singing the Happy Song and smiling, I ask the clerk at 310-Bell if they could make my phone work. She says that someone will show up at my house at 6PM, Friday.

Friday, April 7th, 6 P.M.

Friday at 6PM, after rushing from work, I am waiting by the door, because, when you live in an apartment, your phone and your main-door are all hooked to the same circuit. So, if your phone doesn't work, neither does the intercom. It's 7 o'clock and the Bell guy doesn't show up. My landlord, seeing me goes "Oh, the Bell guy came today at 2PM and fixed your phone". I thank him, run upstairs, pick up my phone and I still have no dial-tone. For some reason I am not surprised.

Saturday, April 8th

The next morning I call Bell once again (no, not from my phone, in case you're wondering).Somehow it's my fault that the guy came at 2PM instead of 6 as I was told.This despite the fact that the other lady had given that specific time, because you know, some people have to work for a living.So they schedule another appointment. I ask what time: "He'll come between 9AM and 5PM". Any fucking less precise?

Sunday, April 9th

At around 4, when I was about to leave, the Bell guy arrives. He discovers that not only that the building has got the weirdest wiring of all (from the basement of building 1, to the third floor of building 2, then back to the second floor of building 2, which is where I live). After determining that no wires were laid for my particular apartment (making us wonder, just what "disconnecting" someone meant), the guy, confused and desperate after 45 minutes of chasing cables around, takes out wire and makes his own connection from the box to the third floor, back to the second and into the wire that enters my apartment.

Yo and behold! My phone line works! I can hear the distinct and satisfying sound of the dial-tone in the back. Life is good. I can actually connect myself back to the Internet in the comfort of my messy new home, to work on my already belated issue of CoN.

Happy, I return to my former house to continue packing and boxing stuff to move over, while my girlfriend complains that I am the slowest mover that ever existed (it took me well over three weeks to move and I'm not finished yet).

Monday, April 10th

My phone line is dead again.