07.09.2013 12:51 PM

Warren vs. Bell Mobility, et al.

I tried to be nice. I tried to be polite. Now, they get Mean Angry Warren.

UPDATE: Aaaaand the social media team is heard from. They should be so timely before things go to DefCon One. Might remove the need for a social media team.


  1. David_M says:

    THIS is why I like W. Kinsella so much even though I have never met him.

  2. robin says:

    I called Bell Mobility (sadly, I have a three year contract with them which will expire in 18 months) to review my plan because my monthly bill was over $100.00 every month; the woman reviewed my plan, we discussed my needs and usage then she said she adjusted some of the minutes effective immediately so that I would be less likely to exceed them and be charged extra. Five weeks later I received my next bill and it was higher than the previous bill, however, in the interim I had been to Best Buy and out of interest discussed Kudo’s plan and it is less than half of what Bell Mobility charges and with more minutes in all categories particularly data. I also checked with Virgin and the man there was very helpful and, in fact, suggested since I was locked into a plan with Hell Mobility, I should ask for them to match Virgin’s or Kudo’s plan. So, I called Hell Mobility and they willingly reduced my monthly plan costs to $80.00, not the $60.00 Kudo and Virgin offer but I won’t lose $400.00 buying my freedom from Hell Mobility. However, the Hell Mobility operator insisted that I must listen as a “learning moment” before he activates the retroactive reduction in my bill since I am a “valued Hell customer” and I Hell wants me to understand that “all the charges on my bill are legitimate according to my plan” and I responded with a “learning moment” of my own for the operator: I explained that I had called over a month previously as a “valued customer” and asked to reduce my plan costs while meeting my needs and the next bill was even higher, I wasn’t offered the $80.00 deal until I mentioned I had been talking to Kudo and Virgin. So my “learning moment” was, if Hell does value me as a customer why didn’t Hell offer me the $80.00 a month ago rather than making me shop around. Go get ’em, Warren. You will be doing a public service. (Btw, I have a friend that could use your unique legal services, she’s being hounded by an unscrupulous business landlord including mischievous and frivolous legal suits, let me know if you can help).

  3. Steven says:

    Dear WK:

    Bell can do this because THEY CAN in the rarified, protected, unbusted, hegemonic monopolies / trusts in Canada of Bell and Rogers.

    E.g. See how much of a refund you get when you lose Bell Satellite service because of environmental conditions.

  4. deb s says:

    thats still fairly polite, I cant wait for part 2:)
    Nicely Done Counsellor Kinsella

  5. Mark says:

    Love it. Just love it!

  6. CanadaGus says:

    Bell isn’t unique in this. I had the pleasure of a 3-year ordeal with Rogers because someone that owed them money on a delinquent account had the same last name as I did and lived in the same neighbourhood. They pretty much just picked me out of the phone book and decided that I was them, or at least a relative, and began harassing me for the next 3-years, with sometimes upwards of 20 calls a day. No matter how many times I told them that I’ve never had any dealings with Rogers, and that the person in question and I shared only a last name in common and nothing else, they persisted. Eventually I had to get my lawyer to send them a letter telling them to communicate only with him; and wouldn’t you know it, they were never heard from again after that. Don’t think for a second Bell is the only snake in this grass.

  7. Lynn says:

    Good for you. Love it. A fellow angry letter writer with wit that is probably lost on the recipient. I have been having a dispute with an American company over shipping and have dealt with customer service staff that is best described as mostly brain dead and will make perfect future corporate or political drones, as they all have the ability to read from the script, and repeat it over and over. If customer says X respond with this XYZ. I also penned a letter to them and had a few harsh words regarding competence, titles, and service. Manager of customer service is contacting me now, not just any underpaid peon.
    And Warren you have me swooning, I rarely find others who will keep at the corporations like I tend to do. When it comes to issues of right and wrong, and being increasingly gouged by corporations with horrible ethics, I am ready to do battle. I always start with a reasonable question and attitude, but game on if they are less than forthcoming with the answers. When you visit your daughter, I must buy you a drink.

  8. Nasty Bob says:

    Nice work Justin !
    I was thinking this might have been a scam – ( e,g, scammers pick a well off postal code and start calling people in the area figuring that they are rich enough they’ll just pay 100 bucks to make the problem go away) but it now seems likely that some other W. Kinsella has the debt and they have failed ” to take reasonable precautions to ensure the person was in fact the debtor” . They’ve confused you with him – mainly, I suspect , because you have active contact info while the real debtor doesn’t ( jeez you’d think ol’ W.P could afford a $ 118 with all the bucks he made from Shoeless Joe / Field of Dreams <– kidding, of course). Do make sure that any negative consequences on your credit report are remedied !

  9. Ghoris Gorman says:

    Over the years I have had cell phone contracts with each of Rogers, Bell and Telus. They are all equally horrible to deal with.

    I suspect American and European carriers are not much better in terms of customer service, but man when I see what my friends in the US and overseas pay for cell phone service, it really makes me want to beat my head against the wall.

  10. GPAlta says:

    Bell agreed to never contact me again for any reason about 8 years ago after a dispute I had with them, and up to now they have not let me down.

    The funniest part of my dispute was that I had agreed to a cellphone deal over the phone, in a conversation where the bell employee had lied to me about the terms, and when the phone arrived in the mail, it came with a Return Materials Authorization form for you to fill out if you wanted to return it, and one of the check-boxes on the form for the “reason for return” was something like “misinformed about contract terms.”

    My thought was that if one of their top five reasons for returns is lying salespeople, and they know it, but they can’t stop it, they are useless to me.

    I can’t say I’m happy with my providers, or the fact that Bell makes money by renting its infrastructure to my current cellular providers, but I have been very happy to not have to deal with them. I even paid a lot of money to have my home connected to cable, because my neighborhood had been built with Bell Expressvu only, so that I wouldn’t have to deal with them, and I still feel that is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made in terms of the satisfaction I still get from not being their customer.

  11. mrburnsns says:

    I have had to write a similar letter in past, and while suing probably would have only covered my costs and compensated me for my time (not a lawyer, so small claims for me), I wish I had sued the company that held the original debt. The big company sells the debt to a fly-by-night company for pennies on the dollar and then washes their hands of it. The fly-by-night company does everything in its power to get SOMEONE to pay the debt. They don’t care about consumer protection legislation – heck they don’t even care if it’s actually your debt. If they get sued or the regulators bust them they just close down and are back open in 48 hours as a different company. The only company that will really feel legal action is Bell Mobility. Don’t let them get away with just an apology. For every person like you who is well equipped to defend themselves from this type of situation, there are 100 others who will just throw in the towel and pay these folks to go away. Make Bell Mobility change the way it handles collections and ensure the folks they sell the debt to are acting appropriately, or nail them to the wall if it’s legally possible. I guess it doesn’t hurt to go after the collection agency too, but watch ’em disappear before/when the case gets to court.

  12. Patrice Boivin says:

    Virgin Mobile is just as bad, I bought three pay as you go phones 3 years ago, we used them a few times but haven’t used them in 2 years, but they are still taking money out of our VISA account. I e-mailed them a number of times, to no avail. Phoned, but they could not help me because I did not remember what the old phone numbers were. We will have to switch our VISA card number.

    In my view this is fraud, they are collecting money from people who are not using their services.

    Why did the CRTC not clamp down on the cell phone companies? They are stealing money from people, acting like opportunists and psychopaths. I don’t get it.
    Does the CRTC take bribes? When decisions do not make sense people start to wonder.

    • Danny says:

      Switching your Visa card number won’t stop them. The law allows them to search for your new number and to continue billing against it. I had a similar situation a few years ago.

      • deb s says:

        thats insane…phone the visa and ask them to do chargebacks….or block the payments…visa will do this and there is no way a company should be allowed to connect with a new card…as many times fraudulent scammers would do this. phone your helpline and get the information as this sounds completely wrong. I dont doubt it happened but I just dont think you were given the right advice on how to handle the situation. I used to work in a dept for clearning bank items…and we were allowed to make stop payments on chqs but when it was a reoccuring debit if the company refused to comply, closing the acct was the way to go…credit cards arent that much different.
        unless somehow the three year contracts are binding to access any acct,….and that means somewhere in the fineprint they screwed you by saying they will collect from a variety of sources…I just dont see how they manage that…as banks and credit card companies are not under any obligation to comply.

  13. Tom Brown says:

    Bravo – please do keep the heat on. We had a similar incident involving random collections agencies after some person who shared the same first initial and last name as my wife had evidently skipped out on his bills – they became obsessed I was he and simply would not accept that the phone was in my wife’s name nor was I not this individual despite offering to provide proof. I started to record the calls and was told such things as “we can hurt you,” and several ethnic slurs and lots of profanity. I think that these callers crossed a line into criminal acts but I think the police, over-burdened as they are, would not have the time/resources to deal with a matter like this. In the end we simply ditched this phone line and went unlisted – something everyone should do.

  14. Mary says:

    You go, Warren! You go!!

    Various collectors employed by Bell Canada have been after me for a $60 “debt” dating from 2000….which has now grown to $300. They don’t even stop after being sent the notice by certified letter than I dispute the debt, and invite them to sue. Complaints to the government’s collector regulator did some good though.

    These a**holes just harass, because they obviously have no intention of suing…

  15. Sean says:

    Good for you Warren. I got in a shouting match with one of those clowns on the phone a few years back. After this heated conversation, they mailed ME a cheque for over charging in previous months and wiped me out of what was left of my contract.

  16. Michael Behiels says:

    I have fought a great many battles with Hell Mobility over the past 20 years and the consumer relations people working for Hell Mobility are now far more anal than the CP clones who spew out their talking points!

    It takes months to rectify an overpayment to Hell Mobility. The corp loves to take your hard earned cash but is very reluctant to give it back to you. Hell Mobility hung on to a $600.00 overpayment they made using our credit card twice for the same bill by mistake. Hell Mobility refused to refund me via my credit card. They kept the $600.00 to pay for future bills!!

    Was this illegal? I don’t know.

  17. Michael Reintjes says:

    my god…I think I love you Warren…

  18. Lance says:

    Epic. Any objection to usurping a portion of that? My tussle with Rogers is equally vexing.

  19. Dave Kurgen says:

    Warren, this is stuff that me and many other contributors over at openmedia.ca have been fighting against in the past few years. I just wondering would it be okay if we could help spread the word around with our group?

  20. Ingrid says:

    Love it! I’m calling you if I ever need a lawyer!

  21. Jim Hanna says:

    Love it, that letter ranks up there with this masterpiece: http://www.scribd.com/doc/148538709/Stephen-Kaplitt-Cease-and-Desist-Response-Letter

  22. Paul says:


    These Companies are brutal..they should be made to pay for destroying folks credit plus the grief they cause these people….credit/collection agencies should be held to account as well – any moron can google names on the internet and send bills out – what expertise is there in that.

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