All was good in the world of technology until my laptop gave up the ghost about seven months ago. Nothing lasts forever and I was forced to go down and purchase a new laptop, which came preinstalled with Windows 8. At first everything seemed okay I wasn't using my Bell mobility stick all that often and I didn't notice any issues until I went up to run the ice roads. Suddenly the laptop wasn't recognizing my Bell mobility stick. Now I'd purchased the contract and stick through "The Source" and as an added feature I paid an extra 10 bucks for a replacement warranty. So I took the stick back to the source and no questions asked, they gave me a new one. Problem solved right? Wrong
I started having the exact same problem, when does he would not recognize my mobility stick and the only way to get it to work was to completely uninstall the Bell mobility software and reinstall it and then of course reboot my computer. It was more than obvious that there was some kind of a conflict between Microsoft's new operating system and the software that came with the Bell mobility stick. So being somewhat computer savvy I went on the net and started checking. First I went to the Bell mobility site to see if I could download a patch. After checking I found there were no new updates, so I did the next logical thing. I went to the Microsoft site and check to see if there were any new drivers to alleviate this conflict.
One day walking though the West Edmonton mall I saw a Bell kiosk and decided to approach the customer service rep. I explained the situation as I saw it and when I finished the individual told me, "I can't help you, I'm a Mac guy." I was tempted to ask him why he was working for Bell if he was a Mac guy, but decided that it would be more appropriate just to ask if there was somebody there that knew a bit about the Microsoft issue. He told me the guy that dealt with the Microsoft stuff would be back in about 20 minutes, so I thanked him and took off for a bite of lunch. 20 minutes later I returned, only to find that I would have to wait an additional 15 minutes while the Microsoft guy took care of a new client.
Finally, after all that wrapped up this scruffy looking young guy comes over and it I explained my problem to him. He nods politely, giving a clear indication that he understands what my problem was and has heard about it before. When I'm finished I ask, "Is there a solution?"
The young Bell Representative looks me right in the eye and says, "T.here is no fix, you could roll back to Windows 7, but Windows 8 is not fixing it and Novatel the maker of the internet stick is making no move to upgrade or patch this issue." .I explained that I don't want to roll back to Windows 7 that would involve formatting my hard drive and I have to many other programs that are invested in working with Windows 8. He shrugs. ".Well then all I can suggest is that you upgrade the hardware."
"I haven't even had this sticky year what's it going to cost me to upgrade?"
"We'd have to check your plan."
Not having the information there I went home and went online to check the status of my account and to see if I was eligible for an upgrade. Apparently I was, unfortunately it would come at a cost of $240. So I went back to The Source and I spoke to them about the issue and they suggested that I contact Bell client care and explain the situation to see if I can get my eligibility changed. You see there is a new Internet piece that Bell is selling called MIFI which is essentially a wireless router that you can run up to three separate pieces of computer hardware on. It retails for $199 at the source, the same price as the Bell mobility stick. This seems like the most logical solution, certainly Bell must understand that they're selling it obsolete piece of hardware and in order to hang on to loyal customersthey would offer some sort of an upgrade program. Wouldn't they? Guess again.
So I get on the line with client care, explain my issue and they sound very sympathetic. The client care individual can't make that kind of call so he transfers my call over to somebody else. I explain that I like Bell, but the piece of hardware they sold me less than a year ago is completely incompatible with my computer. He suggests I rolled back to Windows 7. I explain that piece of hardware cost hundred and $199, but I have too much software and hardware integrated into my new system to simply roll it back. Nevermind that I've got a 500 page manuscript and a whole hockey soccer and other items on my computer that I do not want to start screwing around with just so I can get my Internet to work with their incompatible piece of hardware. "Surely you must have some kind of a program to upgrade me and keep me on as a loyal customer I don't want to cancel my service."
He doesn't budge. If I want upgrades could be $240. If I want to cancel my service is good to be $400 to get out of the contract. Just by the tone of this individual I know I am not going to make any headway. Our call ends. What I find extremely frustrating about this is that Bell has continued to sell this obsolete piece of hardware to unsuspecting customers such as myself. The Bell mobility stick made by Novatel Wireless is still available in most of, if not all Bell kiosks and retailers around the country. I've still not found a solution to this problem better than he eating the cost of an upgrade or cancellation of the contract. What a freaking sham.
I think back to the CEO of Bell Canada complaining about big American cell phone companies coming in and purchasing Canadian companies. From my viewpoint they can do this fast enough, I think back to the days when Bell had a stranglehold on the country when it just came to telephone service and how their rates were just below the realm of criminal. The same thing applies to cell phone service in this country, we are being fleeced by these monopolies and they are terrified at the prospect of competition. I have no doubt in my mind that they are pissed off that they can purchase the cell phone companies, thus tightening the stranglehold they have on the Canadian consumer.
Bell Canada, Rogers, and Telus need to take a step back and think a little bit about customer service. At this point I'm still deciding what to do, if you are facing a similar situation I would love to hear from you. At the bottom of this thread I will post a picture of the obsolete mobility stick so you don't get screwed over like I did.