Much ado about scripting, Linux & Eclipse: card subject to change



I've been screening a lot of calls from Bell lately, but last week I finally decided to pick up and see why they've been harassing me. Turns out -- big surprise -- it's the usual "we miss your money."

I'm with Rogers for two reasons: the now-defunct IBM employee / partner discount, which used to be 20% off the top until one day it just magically vanished w/o explanation, and because the phone lines in this 'hood are old and slow.

According to the Bell rep on the phone, they've fixed that. He couldn't give me technical details, but he said the lines here were "better." Yep, I'm sold. So I can now drop my 7Mb/s Rogers line and switch to a 7Mb/s Bell line, because it MIGHT now be comparable in speed. Before Rogers upped my posted bandwidth rate for free from 5 to 7Mb/s and later I increased my bandwidth limit (because 65Gb/mo is nothing when you 'torrent), I was getting 3-5Mb/s. At the same time, I tried Bell, then later Primus, and never got about 1.5-2Mb/s -- for about the same monthly fee.

He also tried the "but with Rogers it's a shared line, with us it's dedicated." Woo. My neighbourhood is mostly retiree and seniors, many of whom have probably been with Bell for the past few decades and who surely aren't using much bandwidth. I don't mind sharing when I almost always get great speed.

But the real kicker for me was when he started with the high-pressure sales stuff. I rarely buy stuff on the phone or in the driveway, so it was going to be an uphill battle for him no matter how good the offer was. But telling me that the deal he was offering would not be available should I decide in a day or two to call Bell myself, and refusing to send me the details so I could peruse them at my leisure in order to be educated about the deal he was selling? Please. How can any business these days, with the world having a decade and a half of Internet culture under its belt, seriously think to sell stuff without letting consumers educate themselves first? Do they think we're still stuck in the pre-Nader era of illiterates buying what we're told because we're told to do so? Oh, wait, there are the iPhonatics & the Macolytes. But anyway...

In a related news item, Bell and Telus have decided to start charging their consumers for incoming text messages - spam or otherwise. Of course if you buy a monthly plan, they waive that. Cash grab, anyone? If you're a Bell or Telus customer, you might want to sign this petition.

Here's hoping Rogers decides to differentiate themselves by NOT stooping to this level. With consumer confidence levels plummeting all the time, I hope they'll see this might net a few bucks, but lose them customers.