Our Third World Company

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Dealing with a Third World Company

Yesterday, at the office, I had to deal with Bell. Last Friday, I got a new workplace computer; our computer guy wanted to sell his – still a very fast one – for an even quicker one. That’s how computer geeks are; they always need the latest and greatest computer.

I’m happy to have a much faster workstation. Our Internet service is slow; for some inexplicable reason, Decarie Square, a large, fairly modern, inner-city mall and office building, possesses an infrastructure which can only maintain relatively slow Internet service.

That’s not the only reason why I sometimes feel as if I’m living in a Third World country in this First World one.

Going back to my dealings with Bell yesterday: it (drum roll, please) went swimmingly. I needed a new password for my Outlook email account. Somehow, (err, an administrative assistant should never concede that this has happened) I lost or misplaced the password for my email account that I had recently acquired from Bell during another conversation in the fall.

But, all in all, getting a new password is evidently not the hardest thing in the world to accomplish and the friendly person on the other end of the line and I managed to complete the task relatively quickly. It helped that I was able to retrieve our business Internet account number, no mean feat when you consider that all our invoices are presently at the auditors.

Unfortunately, in virtually every other dealing with Bell, our experience in this office has been nothing short of disastrous.

Friendly as some of the reps on the phone are, always thanking you for waiting on the line as they put you on hold and force you to listen to an endless loop of recorded messages that come close to driving you crazy, rare has the day been when we have not been stunned by the incompetence and mismanagement of this giant corporation.

I even had someone sell us a new Internet and telephone package at great savings as we imagined high speed Internet at a reduced monthly fee, only to find out later that this building cannot support high speed Internet. When I later complained to a supervisor when the technicians we were patiently waiting for, and were promised to come, never arrived, he just shrugged (I could hear it) and said, “Sometimes we hear from our clients that a certain part of town can’t get high speed Internet.”

Excuse me, you hear from clients that you don’t have a certain service somewhere in town?

Err, may I continue?

For years, we were getting billed not to the name of our organization but to someone who worked here in the early 2000’s. How many times did we try to get that changed? At least a dozen. When they finally changed the name, bills started coming in my name although I virtually begged that nice person on the other end of the line to simply put it in the name of the charity for which I work.

There’s more. Recently, we had to temporarily leave our office while it was being renovated. The technicians came on the appointed date to move the line, as promised, but not the other technicians to move the box in the wall so that we could have the telephones actually work. (We had to buy two sets of portable phones in order to use the telephone.)

There’s more. There’s much, much more.

I have gotten to the point where I’ve become occasionally ashamed and humiliated to call myself Canadian. This giant and rich corporation, Bell, is so untogether that it is actually embarrassing to think that it belongs to us. It’s what you’d expect in a Third World country but, as I’ve read about Somalia, probably the world’s most corrupt and ill-governed country, they have much more efficient service there, so I’m being unfair to Third World countries with that particular sentiment.

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