Bell scams customers with inflated usage billing


Tony The Bot
#1
Bell scams customers with inflated usage billing
Posted via Canadian Content

After a massive online campaign against Bell and its tactic of using regulator CRTC to dictate competitors' pricing models, media outlets across the country are reporting Bell's inflated data usage charges.

This is the first time mainstream media has actually bothered reporting on the issue of ISPs like Bell Internet, formerly Sympatico, charging much more for bits and bytes than customers actually use. This is just yet another blow to Bell Canada's PR mess which started in January 2011 after the CRTC blinding sided with it.

A supposed 'glitch' in Bell's metering software has been blamed for the over-charges, though many across Internet forums have complained about being nickled and dimed for bandwidth they never actually used for a while now with both Bell and Rogers broadband services.

This comes as another jab against Bell during a national outrage against the Usage Based Billing (UBB) model which gives service providers permission to charge over-usage of $1.00 - $5.00 per GB, most often a 2,000% to 20,000% inflation above market rates when estimated actual bandwidth costs of around $0.01 to $0.03 per GB and a maximum of $0.10 in more rural areas.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission recently ruled that Bell Canada and other large providers in the country were allowed to dictate the pricing schemes of smaller, independent providers across the country. The most vocal of the smaller ISPs is Teksavvy, an Ontario-based service provider offering its users the option of unlimited Internet connectivity for a reasonable price.

The Canadian public rightfully view the changes in pricing as nothing less than a greedy money-grab, rightfully so because bandwidth cannot be compared to a tangible asset like water or electricity; the capacity exists and that's exactly what customers are paying for. Moreover, the networks aren't completely owned by the major providers in a sense, since taxpayers paid for the large majority of these through direct taxes or kickbacks.

Though the headline might be a bit quick to jump the gun, we feel that such high markups for such a cheap service like bandwidth ought to be called a scam: Making money without providing a real service.

The second scandal is the actual reason for such extraordinary charges for consumer Internet connections. Each of the large providers in Canada are seeing their business model in other media assets fall because of cheaper alternatives online such as Netflix, CTV and CBC streaming and even video sharing services like YouTube.

Canadians have been increasingly more tech savvy by adopting other, legal means of accessing commercial-free movie and television services online.

Bell currently sells its basic Internet package as a 5 Megabit-per-second service with a maximum monthly usage of 25 Gigabytes. Put into perspective, this would allow customers to use their 5 Megabit connection for a maximum of 56.8 hours or just over 2 days per month without paying extra bandwidth charges.

Bell Canada currently only provisions a 0.25 Megabit-per-second connection to customers so nobody is actually technically receiving the 5 Megabit connection they pay so much for.

Following an online petition to stop Usage Based Billing, Western-Canadian cable provider Shaw Communications promised to delay their implementation of UBB and will provide customers with a forum to input their feelings over the next 2 months. No other provider has made such a move.


Original Article: http://www.canadiancontent.net/commt...ling_1060.html
 
Andem
#2
It's really ridiculous that after all of this media attention, Bell is under yet another magnifying glass having their true business practices revealed.
 
Reprobus
+1
#3  Top Rated Post
Thanks for this article. I think for anyone to choose a side in this debate, they MUST understand why "data usage" is NOT the same as "bandwidth". Gigabytes have no cost/value in this context. The ISPs push that concept because it's the only measurable flow they can use against us in this scam.

Bandwidth is a speed, NOT a volume of data. No customer can exceed the speed of the connection they paid for. If Bell sells a 5mbps connection, Bell is accepting the responsibility of providing that 5mbps for the month. If Bell oversells, it is NOT the responsibility of the consumer. How DARE they demonize those who make more than a few hours use of the connection.

Gigabytes should not be monetized! With a fixed rate infrastructure, the more gigabytes are transmitted, the lower the perceived "cost/gig". It collapses under its own logic, despite the spin put on it by ISPs.

The amount downloaded in a month does not relate to congestion. This is simply creating a revenue stream by unfairly and unjustifiably taxing people's growing internet habits, because it threatens their own content assets.

The utility comparison to water/electricity is flawed (for the simple reason that data is neither produced nor consumed).

I think the suitable analogy is Public Transit. Customers buy a monthly metropass. Some use it more frequently than others. Obviously some times of day are more congested (peak times). But the frequent riders would be using the service during uncongested times too. The frequent rider is riding an existing scheduled vehicle (not "hogging" or negatively impacting anyone else's ability to ride).

UBB is akin to the transit company deciding that halfway through the month, they would charge the more frequent riders per kilometre travelled.

If the transit company is concerned with congestion at peak times, why would the blame lie with frequent riders? Those riders simply provide a consistent baseline showing where support is needed.

It's time to nationalize the last mile, if Bell is only interested in exploiting its ownership at a ludicrous cost to Canadians.
 
Andem
#4
I think you pretty much further legitimized the points made in the article, Reprobus. Welcome to CC!
 
petros
#5
Can you get a ticket for parking in the internet bus lane?
 
Unforgiven
+1
#6
Bell and Rogers have always been predatory where there customers are concerned. Where else are you going to go?
Even if you move to a smaller company, you're still going to use Bell or Rogers network. Now maybe Telus is a player but not much of an alternative as they play the same game now.
 
Reprobus
#7
Thanks Andem! And no, petros, no parking tickets. Because in my analogy, you don't have a car! Bell Transit is the only choice you have for travel!
 
petros
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by UnforgivenView Post

Bell and Rogers have always been predatory where there customers are concerned. Where else are you going to go?
Even if you move to a smaller company, you're still going to use Bell or Rogers network. Now maybe Telus is a player but not much of an alternative as they play the same game now.

telus is a piggyback network
 
exbelluser
#9
Bell Overcharge and Scam ? they have been doing it for years.
 
Maximus1217
#10
Thank you for writing this article, and I am completely against UBB, however I believe you have your numbers mixed up:

1) A 25GB cap at 5Mbps would run out in a little over 11 hours, not 57 hours.
25GB=25000MB
5Mbps=0.625MB/s
25000MB / 0.625MB/s=40000seconds or 11-hours




2) "Bell Canada currently only provisions a 0.25 Megabit-per-second connection to customers"


There would be outrage is there was the case. 0.25Mbps=31.25KB/s which is only slightly faster than dial-up internet.
 
karrie
#11
I just find it unbelievable that with the highest cell rates in the world, they had the nerve to go ask for the ability to charge even more.
 
Praxius
#12
Through my own personal experience with Bell Aliant in Halifax and other areas of Nova Scotia, I was supposed to be getting a 5Mbps speed as well, but my average download speed was almost always around 260kbps...... I think there was perhaps one or two days in the span of 6 years that it reached around 512kbps for about 10 minutes.... but that was it.

What was the explanation to me?

I was using it around the busy times when other users were using their internet service, which reduced the amount of bandwidth I could access.

Bullsh*t on that..... it was capped and I was being ripped off for a service I never got...... even between 3am-6am the speed was the same..... and if that wonderful 5mbps was being shared with other clients of Bell Aliant, then they shouldn't be advertising they can provide that amount of speed to their clients in the first place becuase it would always be impossible to ever reach that speed unless you were their only client accessing it at the time.

Or perhaps they should have clearly advertised to their customers that it was just 5Mbps shared amongst everyone.

Then again, maybe I just didn't understand what they were explaining to me...... I doubt it.
 
Johnny Utah
#13
They all do it and Bell got caught.
 
Andem
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by PraxiusView Post

I was using it around the busy times when other users were using their internet service, which reduced the amount of bandwidth I could access.

I downloaded the newest version of AutoCAD for my brothers neighbour upstairs via BitTorrent, which she legally owned (for you anti-Torrent idiots on this board) and it took days. There, a torrent would transfer no more than up to 60 KB/s, obviously because of traffic shaping. I tried downloading the same file here in Germany and after around 5 minutes I got a transfer rate of 3.1 MB/s.

It's absolutely ridiculous that in Canada, encrypted traffic is limited because EACH packet is inspected. (For those that don't understand the concept, everything you do on the net is basically scanned and if Bell, Rogers or Shaw doesn't think its worthy of using the network, they will stop it or slow it down.)

Just to add: Oh yeah, it's against EU privacy laws here in countries like Germany for ISPs to decide what is worthy of Internet usage and what isn't.
 
Praxius
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by AndemView Post

....... It's absolutely ridiculous that in Canada, encrypted traffic is limited because EACH packet is inspected. (For those that don't understand the concept, everything you do on the net is basically scanned and if Bell, Rogers or Shaw doesn't think its worthy of using the network, they will stop it or slow it down.)

Just to add: Oh yeah, it's against EU privacy laws here in countries like Germany for ISPs to decide what is worthy of Internet usage and what isn't.

Interesting that my porn came through quick as a wink...... kinda shows where their priorities are
 
Andem
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by Maximus1217View Post

Thank you for writing this article, and I am completely against UBB, however I believe you have your numbers mixed up:

1) A 25GB cap at 5Mbps would run out in a little over 11 hours, not 57 hours.
25GB=25000MB
5Mbps=0.625MB/s
25000MB / 0.625MB/s=40000seconds or 11-hours


Quote: Originally Posted by Maximus1217View Post

2) "Bell Canada currently only provisions a 0.25 Megabit-per-second connection to customers"

There would be outrage is there was the case. 0.25Mbps=31.25KB/s which is only slightly faster than dial-up internet.

Sorry, I fixed this. I meant 256KB/s which is 0.25 MB/s approximately.

25 GB = 204800 Mb. 204800 / 60 into minutes = 34.13333~ / 60 into hours = 56.89. So it would take 56.89 days to use up the supposed 5Mbit connection. Please note bits versus Bytes. I hope I'm not wrong on this, but please let me know and I'll update the article. Cheers.

Quote: Originally Posted by PraxiusView Post

Interesting that my porn came through quick as a wink...... kinda shows where their priorities are

Prax, like you, I'm also not in Canada... where did you hget fast pr0n???!!! PM me!
 
TenPenny
#17
I have Bell Aliant, and the last time I checked, I was getting 22MBPs
 
Andem
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPennyView Post

I have Bell Aliant, and the last time I checked, I was getting 22MBPs


The article mainly focuses on the standard 5 Mbps connection offered by Bell Canada with a bitcap of 25GB/month and what they've overcharged customers these past month and even perhaps for a long time. While it isn't exactly what you might have, these new rules and the possible fraud commited by Bell Canada might also affect you! Let us know your experiences with Bell Aliant.
 
Praxius
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by AndemView Post

Prax, like you, I'm also not in Canada... where did you hget fast pr0n???!!! PM me!

It was the Maritimes.... everybody knows us Maritimers are unemployed bums with nothing else to do but drink beer, smoke pot and watch porn...... even the ISP's know this. It's the only thing that gets us through the days.

added:

It's the only thing that keeps our bitter attitudes in check, otherwise, we'd explode and pull a violent revolution on the country.
 
Bar Sinister
#20
Still waiting for so called "high speed" where I live. Apparently rural customers living ten minutes from a major urban centre are not worth considering by the likes of Bell, Rogers, etc.. The private sector in Canada has completely failed to deliver reasonably priced and reasonable speed internet service. That really should not rank as a surprise. When was the last time any private owned utility really showed that it gave a dam about any of its customers?
 
DurkaDurka
#21
Usage based billing is a scam in the way the Bell etc want to implement it.

If they charged heavy users an economical amount it would be less then 50 cents per gigabyte. As it is though, Bell proposes to lower caps (25gb/m) with excessive overage charges ( anywhere from 1-3 dollars per gigabyte). Also, the comparison to electrical usage is a red herring. Data is not the same as electricity or any utility for that matter, data does not require a head-end structure to create it. It's more akin to cars on a highway, for which there has been no stats shown by the telocs to be constricted.

What is comes down to is ISP's (rogers Bell, Shaw} using the crtc to protect their their legacy TV business from third party contenders such as Tek Savy etc, which offer unlimited data, allowing one self to sever the telco relationship and receive their TV via (Netflix etc)
 
PoliticalNick
#22
I have shaw extreme which is suppossed to give 100mbps download but the most I have ever achieved is about 25mbps (still pretty good compared to a lot of other carriers)

They recently sent a notice that we would be capped at 100gb/month. I called and got an executive and politely informed them that my contract when I signed up was for 'unlimited' internet access and would be happy to take them to court for changing a 'material part of the contract' without my consent and that I was aware under the UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) my legal remedy was either to restore the original contract or make any changes I wanted without their consent (I told them I would make my bill $0.01/month). They have since backed down.
 
tempo005
#23
I've recently been a victim of Bell's 'metering glitch'. I noticed I had inflated internet meter readings and so I proceeded to physically disconnect my modem from the wall. Law and behold, the internet meter was continuing to to tick away with lots of data dwn/upload over many, many days!!! I called and dealt with so many technicians I was almost ready to call it quits. They finally admitted to 'faulty system monitoring' and they posted a temporary 4 day message on the Bell personal profile page saying that the internet metering system was being fixed. I contested my internet surcharge as well.

Today the same problem is back and I am wondering if anyone else is going through these same issues. I would really love for someone to launch some kind of class-action lawsuit against them for this scandalous behavior. I realize that proving this can be difficult - I still have a series of tests to do to make sure by b1 I.D. number hasn't been compromised and I have to get an independent data counter verification system in place to back up my claim.

I strongly believe that if you let this kind of bullying go without a fight, their hold on consumers will only get stronger.

E.
 
greg991
#24
Reprobus makes some good points, but falls into the trap of measurement. First paragraph, "The ISPs push that concept because it's the only measurable flow they can use against us in this scam." Nothing could be further from the truth. Internet usage is not measureble. You must have an agreed upon metric in order to measure something. And so the telcoms say, "we do - it's the gigabyte" And then we ask them, "Well then do you count every byte coming down the line as part of that gigabyte?" The first answer you'll get is "Yes". Then when you mention that TCP/IP "traffic" consists of huge, huge amounts of non-end-user data that the Phone company uses to route and verify packet communication and do they measure those bytes as well, you get a "No, only the requested data" or "No, only downloads not page views." (!! I actually got that from a Bell Canada rep!!) Ask then, about how a poor signal to noise ratio increases the number of error caused re-sent packets. Are originals and re-sends counted, How can you tell the difference?" Then mention the TCP/IP packets on your line if you have any form of VOIP or digital phone service or digital cable service. Their minds start spinning and the line goes dead - literally. They hang up.The technical guys will then tell you that they have algorithms for estimating, extrapolating, (guessing) the "user traffic" from total traffic. Fine you say, what are those algorithms. They go "Huhnnn, uhh, that's corporate trade secret." And now an analogy that Reprobus could have used: I go to the store to get a pound of hamburger. I find the burger and pick up a small pack and look for a scale. There is none in the store. So I go to the counter and the cashier says, "That'll be $75.00 for 8.5 kilos of beef." You say, "How do you know it weighs 8.5 kilos without using a scale?" and she says, "I can't tell you that, it's a coporate trade secret, but believe me, we know."There is a prime caveat in commercial law that is still the basis for contract law today - "Let the buyer beware" The implication is that NO SELLER CAN BE TRUSTED without proof. Do you trust that they figure out your usage to fair and legitimate standards or to standards that better align with their bottom line goals? That's pretty simple logic, eh!the ISP (Bell Internet)in my case forcibly changed my wireless access plan to Fibe 6 with the promise (verbal, they will not correspond in writing or email) of no extra fees. Then I get an email threat saying that I have used 12.58 gigabytes of my 25 gigabyte plan and there are 29 days left in the billing period! Their exhortation was to upgrade immediately to a more expensive plan. Two days later the threat was "you're over your limit and charges will apply but if you upgrade now your won't get extra charges. I finally, after two lengthy chats and 4 lengthy phone calls, got to speak to a supervisor who was actually quite pleasant, but uniformed. He is having someone above him get back to me by Monday (3 days). His parting plea to me was that I should upgrade to a better plan. My remark to that was, "I have been threaten via economic extortion to spend more per month for a better plan. Well I will consider buying a better plan when you explain the threat to me first. My $25.00 a month plan has $80 dollars (a maximum, why do they have a maximum if every gigabyte is an expense to them!!) a month in "extra usage" charges. Prove to me how you measured the $80 threat and I'll consider the "better plan".
 
Nuggler
+1
#25
Ah, mother Bell; god bless her greedy little heart.

Last month Bell offered me an e.bill.............available obviously only on line.

Of course they would continue to send me a "paper" bill if I so chose.

And it would only cost me $2.00 / mo.

Searching my heart, looking deep within, I thought of my ol postie buddies, and their lack of suitable employment if I chose the e.bill.
Asking myself what would a true shmuck do.............I took the e.bill.

Nothing personal. Only business. Right?

Harpo, Taxslave, and Flaherty will love me. Damn, it's great to be loved................(even by *******s)
 
spaminator
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by Bar SinisterView Post

Still waiting for so called "high speed" where I live. Apparently rural customers living ten minutes from a major urban centre are not worth considering by the likes of Bell, Rogers, etc.. The private sector in Canada has completely failed to deliver reasonably priced and reasonable speed internet service. That really should not rank as a surprise. When was the last time any private owned utility really showed that it gave a dam about any of its customers?

the only way to get high speed is if you are high when using the internet.
 
Dixie Cup
+1
#27
I think that consumers have to start rebelling and refusing to pay these extra charges. The CRTC is part of the problem fer sure. I think, for the most part tho', we're "weenies" and so nothing ever gets done.

JMHO
 
petros
#28
Doesn't BEll ding users a fee for touch tone upgrading that was completed back in the 80's?
 
ErinD
#29
Here is a new method Bell Canada using to scam us. They charge you for services you don't subscribed, if you don't notice you kept paying like me. I paid 6 months for Bell phone I didn't have. They use a scamming technique called obfuscation by sending 10 pages long invoice. Then when you realize this scam and ask your money back. They are non-communicative and pocket the money. WAY TO GO BELL CANADA.
Kudos to the Bell Canada's brilliant executives who find this remarkable scamming method.
 
B00Mer
#30
nice choice of words..

Obfuscation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

has anyone tried windtalk?? I hear they have about the best rates with unlimited everything?
 

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