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This monthsRant by Douglas J. Morrison

 
All cower and tremble in the presence of the great Canadian tyrant, Bell Canada and their merger with the evil overlord Sympatico. Quake with fear as monopolies collide, then merge to one dark force. The heartless, faceless, money grubbing conglomerate known as Bell

Be afraid, be very afraid.

 
Picture it, Toronto, late millennium. A mature student, studying hard to achieve his postgraduate degree as a holistic nutritional practitioner. Mere weeks before the end of his Anatomy and Physiology course, (all those who have taken this university course feel his pain, others can only imagine), his computer technician has a family emergency, forcing her to quit. In order to simplify his life our brave hero decides to subscribe to Bell Sympatico High Speed Edition. Little does he know the fresh hell that lay in store for him, with this deal with the devil. An appointment is booked and all seems well, until the fateful day the technician arrived. A number of hours were spent pulling apart, and putting back together the ill-fated tower. Putting in this card, pulling out that card. Then the time came for completion, (He was late for his next appointment) the tower was reassembled and the technician left, after inviting me to call if any problems occur, and problems there were. Not only with the technician, also with just about everyone involved, Sympatico and RBA (the company contracted by Bell to do their installations). But Iím getting ahead of myself. After bidding the technician a fond farewell, this brave soul returns to his computer only to find after boot up, that his computer cannot find the mouse. Immediately the company is called and an appointment is made for the following day, after his days lectures are completed. He waits, an hour passes, he soon has to be at work, (did I forget to mention he is putting himself through school with no assistance, government or otherwise), the appointment is rescheduled. Again he waits at the scheduled time, again no technician appears. Having made it quite clear to the many different departments the call was rerouted to, assignments and exams were pending. A full week has passed, and three appointments were missed, which left one week until course completion, and still without a computer. Exasperated Bell 
is told if someone is not here by the end of the day the computer will be taken in for repairs. Surprise, surprise the unit was disassembled and taken to Mega-com elect, where their friendly and knowledgeable staff not only fixed the problem but properly installed and configured the Sympatico hard and software. So much grief, much stress, much time and hundreds of dollars later, the computer is up. Just in the nick of time, assignments are done, exams are written and the course is completed A sigh of relief, it all works out. Alas gentle reader our story does not stop there. 
A placating bone is tossed "two months free and your case will set precedence", screwed again is the thought that comes to mind. "I will not pay the installation charges, as it was only broken by the technician, it was installed by Mega-com, and they have been paid".

    Letís move ahead two months, an e-mail arrives. "Your Visa Has been charged, X number of dollars, for installation" needless to say, e-mails started again. Department after department, each claiming no knowledge, Denied was the eventual response. This battle still rages on over an $80 installation charge, only now the forum has changed. 
Does a multimillion dollar conglomerate have the right to step on whoever their high priced lawyers enable them to? Thanks to media and the world wide web we now have options. We no longer have to sit quietly by, and get screwed to the wall. 

So a word of warning if considering letting a technician from Bell Canada, and/or Sympatico touch your computer. They feel they are not liable for damages caused by them, and they will charge you for the privilege of having them break your computer. 

Iíll keep you posted.



 
UPDATE April 26, 2000
I have finally been able to get things clear with VISA, and the installation charge from so long ago will be credited to my account on the next statement. An e-mail was sent to Sympatico on February 13, 2000 letting them know that the transference of this charge to my other account would be unauthorized. I still have a dated copy of this e-mail, so I guess we'll see what happens next.

 
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