After Bell’s Email Migration, I Started to Get Sex Spam: Roseman
Bell Canada customers with an active @bell.net or @sympatico.ca email address started moving to a new email system this year.
How did it go? For many people, it was a breeze. For some, it was a rough ride.
Luis Allegretti runs a website that rates and reviews Internet and home phone providers. He has not seen an increase in complaints about Bell.
“While I’m not necessarily a big fan of Bell, they have done a decent job explaining what the email migration entails,” Allegretti says. “My dad’s Internet is with Bell and his was uneventful.”
But if you do a search for Bell email migration on social media, you will find some distressed users.
“@bell you are totally blowing it with the email migration. Send someone to my house ASAP,” Chris Crosbie tweeted last May.
“A giant step backwards,” said Ray Gregory, a business customer, at Bell Canada’s Facebook page. “My email functionality is now greatly reduced as a result of your upgrade.”
Gregory received 158 comments from other customers. The main complaints are slowness, cumbersome navigation, difficulty in searching emails, missing emails and contact lists, plus an increase in spam and pornographic emails.
Bell has a series of 20 questions and answers at its website, explaining the mechanics of migrating to a new email system.
The forced migration, said Bell spokesman Jason Laszlo, was a result of Microsoft’s decision to wind down its Outlook email platform used by a number of Internet service providers worldwide.
Bell developed its own email service, which offers better access on mobile devices and improved data storage options.
“Overall, it has been a successful migration, though a small number of customers did encounter technical issues — not unexpected with an undertaking of this magnitude,” he said.
“The overwhelming majority of customers made the switch without issue, and of those who had problems, we were able to quickly assist them fixing the issues.”
The phone number for Bell’s technical support team is 1-844-310-7873.
I recently heard from Susan S (who doesn’t want to use her full name). She started getting a large number of spam emails this fall, often sexual in nature.
“I consistently get 20 to 30 spam emails every day from different addresses. I am currently caring for a cancer patient and every time my phone dings announcing an email, I worry there is an emergency,” she said.
“I can’t spend hours on the phone with Bell. Is there anything you can do? Does Bell have other customers who find the spam filters useless?”
The spam filters Bell offers to customers are essentially the same as those available on the previous platform, Laszlo said.
“While no filter will completely block all incidents of spam, our email service includes very effective tools to reduce spam when used correctly. We will get in touch with the customer to explain in detail how to do this,” he promised.
One day later, Susan wrote back to thank me for the intervention.
“Your email worked wonders. In all my previous attempts, no one got back to me with an explanation or follow-up,” she said.
“The tech rep I spoke to in Ottawa was professional and patient and finally made me feel that Bell does know what it is doing. I still get spam, but the volume has gone down (knock plastic!).”
A tip she found useful: Each email needs to be marked as spam. This allows Bell to track the spam emails. Just deleting them does not allow tracking.
Now it’s your turn, readers. Did the Bell email migration cause problems for you or was it a non-event? Please let me know.
In a separate issue, customers who subscribe to Bell Fibe TV have had recent service interruptions. Some lost their signal for two or three days. A few had their PVR recordings wiped out.
“A recent software upgrade to our Fibe TV service did impact the PVR recordings of some customers,” Laszlo said. “Bell satellite customers were not affected.”
Bell has identified fewer than 2,000 customers who lost their recordings. It is apologizing to them and offering goodwill credits on a case-by-case basis.
Ask for compensation if you lose the services you pay for each month. Don’t take the first offer. Keep negotiating until you get a satisfactory amount.
Escalate to a higher level. Bell uses call centres outside Canada (Fibe TV calls go to El Salvador) and can’t always deal with complaints that fall outside the norm.
Write to the executive office and the CEO. Use mainstream and social media. Make your voice heard.
If you switch Internet providers, look beyond your phone or cable company. Check out CanadianISP.ca, a website that lists 137 providers serving 1,524 cities across Ontario, as well as GoneVoip.ca.
Ellen Roseman’s column appears each week in Smart Money.