I dumped Bell a couple of years ago, after 35 years as a loyal customer. It was more than I could take: Dozens of automated menus to weed through before getting to a live person, and once you did, you found out he was in India (English) or Algeria (French) and could barely speak either language in an understandable fashion. I switched to Videotron and I must say the service has been excellent; a live person after only one or two menu choices (Language and technology area).

I get a letter trying to entice me back to Bell every couple of months, usually pseudo-signed by some high-ranking Bell executive.

Today, I noticed the Bell truck across the street and a technician working on the telephone pole. Later on in the afternoon my neighbor showed up at my door asking to use the phone. Apparently, Bell in installing a new neighbor’s service, had disconnected his! No phone, no TV, no internet. And his son just had major abdominal surgery for a life-threatening illness and is recuperating at home. No 911 in case of an emergency (they don’t own a cellphone).

He called Bell and gave up because he couldn’t find his way through the multitude of menus and number requests. I intervened on his behalf and finally got a live person after a hellish cruise through the menus and prompts. Despite my protestations and explanation of the potential urgency of the situation, she couldn’t help. The earliest they could send a technician was “sometime tomorrow”. I asked for a supervisor but she informed me that none were available and that someone would call me back within a “couple of hours”.

Despite losing thousands of residential customers over the last couple of years, Bell just doesn’t get it: It’s easier to keep a customer than to earn one back.!  My neighbor was asking me who I was with…….