Switching Plans w/ Bell

Chicken Warrior
Another newbie question here.

I hear that with most companies switching plans extends your contract. So, is this true for Bell's 36 mnth plans, and what about adding or taking away extra features (call display, voice mail, etc.)? Does that also affect your contract?

Of course, this information isn't readily available without reading the contract(s) which I haven't seen.

Thanks in advance for the info.
Most companies will let you "upgrade" a contract without penalty. They won't bicker if you want to receive more services at a higher price. Few companies will allow you to downgrade without penalty though. To downgrade would be to violate the terms of the contract and the penalty terms would come into effect. The exception would be where the company was not providing the services they were under contract to provide.

I once signed up for Sympatico on a two year contract and got out of it without penalty. The reason: The service they were providing was not acceptable. i.e. speeds were far less than advertised and there were constant disconnections. The Bell technicians were unable to remedy the problem and Bell couldn't hold me to the terms of the contract. i.e. They couldn't penalize me for cancelling.

I realize that you were asking about a phone contract and not an Internet service contract, but a contract is a contract is a contract.
Chicken Warrior
But what if you get an 'add on' package for just one month. When it ends, surely you aren't downgrading?
My advice: beware of anything that sounds too good. Read the fine print before signing onto anything. INSIST that they send you the contract, first.

There was a topic here before, maybe you saw it, and it provided me with this link, which may be a good place for you to read. http://www.dslreports.com/forum/sympat

Good luck and may the internets always be available!
Quote: Originally Posted by Chicken Warrior View Post

But what if you get an 'add on' package for just one month. When it ends, surely you aren't downgrading?

An "add on" is not part of the contract. I'm assuming that you're talking about a cellphone contract, as Bell doesn't offer service contracts for residential landline phone users.

Anyway, when you signed up for the service, you may or may not have entered into a contract with the service provider. The contract usually specifies what goods and services you will be receiving, at what price, and for what duration. It may also specify whether there is a penalty for early cancellation, what that penalty will be, and what limitations on liability the carrier reserves in the event that they should be unable to fulfill their end of the agreement. Usually they reserve the right to limit liability to a simple refund.

First thing you need to do is find out if you are actually under contract. You may not be. You should also look into whether the contract is valid in your jurisdiction. Some provinces have laws that restrict what a customer may be contractually obligated to.

If you are under contract, you need to know what you agreed to. Anything above and beyond what you agreed to is excluded from the contract. If the "add on" was not a part of the agreement you made with the carrier, you may cancel it without penalty. Your only obligation is to what you agreed to under contract.

If you were in a contract, and your carrier allowed you to break that contract in order to upgrade your services, you may find yourself under obligation of a new contract. In this circumstance your hands might be tied. You'll have to look into it.

If you find yourself in a position where you are under contract, but are unable to meet your contractual obligations due to financial hardship, I would attempt talking to your carrier. There's no guarantees, but don't underestimate human compassion. Especially during this season.
Chicken Warrior
Yes, I've read horror stories alright.

Luckily, I am not under contract, but I am seriously considering risking the fire by taking over a contract someone else is dumping. This is why I am especially learly - if I 'downgrade' will I be stuck with essentially a 3 year contract and no new phone. Otherwise, I get a fairly nice phone and a shorter contract and possibly some cash as well.

I emailed Bell and they confirmed that extra features like Fun Bundles can be added and taken away every month without having any affect on the contract(s).

Now I just have to find out if the HTC Touch can play radio/TV. They said it's 'capable' which doesn't mean they support it.

Thanks for your insight!

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