I just knew this wasn’t over. I wondered what Bell could possibly say to my message to them, as detailed in a recent entry. When someone someone’s actions, or especially their inaction, results in a train wreck, I really do appreciate their coming clean and simply saying, “we screwed up.” No one’s perfect, and I respect someone, or an organization, who can admit a fuck-up. I didn’t get this feeling from Bell, however. Given how anonymous and canned their e‑mail communications are, I did not expect an actual human response.

Early in the evening of the same day I posted my recent entry and sent them the same text in an e‑mail message, I was surprised to receive a response.

Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2007 17:33:15 ‑0500 (EST)
From: Executive Office <executive.office@bell.ca>
To: Rick Pali <rpali@alienshore.com>
Subject: Re: Displeased potential customer (KMM7849244I63L0KM)

Greetings, Could you please provide us a contact telephone number to allow us to further discuss your concerns?

Regards,

Executive office of customer relations.

Feel the love? I wrote back the same evening to thank the anonymous writer for his or her response, but I also wanted to clarify a few things.

Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2007 19:26:22 ‑0500
From: Rick Pali <rpali@alienshore.com>
To: Executive Office <executive.office@bell.ca>
Subject: Re: Displeased potential customer (KMM7849244I63L0KM)

Executive Office wrote:

Could you please provide us a contact telephone number to allow us to further discuss your concerns?

Greetings Executive Office, My home number is [deleted].

I’d be happy to discuss my experience but I don’t really have concerns. When I have such a train-wreck of an experience with an organization, I feel it’s only appropriate to relay the experience to those with the ability to change things to ensure it doesn’t happen to anyone.

At this point, the situation is in your hands. If you feel my experience was the type of image you want Bell to project to potential customers, you’re on the right track. If you feel there was a problem, it’s up to you to change things.

As I said, I have no concerns. You’ve lost me as a potential Sympatico customer. I apologize if the subject line made you believe otherwise. I’d be happy to give my input, but I’m not interested in a call if the purpose is to get me to sign up. It’s far too late for that to happen.

Thank you for your reply.

The last thing I wanted was for them to believe I was complaining because I still wanted to sign up. Sure I’m unhappy with Rogers, but compared to Bell, they’re the masters of customer service … and this is saying something because Rogers somehow manages to piss me off at least twice a year. Still, they’ve never pulled off a cluster-fuck of this magnitude.

Maybe I’m too ‘pie in the sky,’ but even if I received a message like the one I sent, if I were some sort of customer service rep, you can bet I’d be on the phone straight-away. The thing is, image is king in the marketplace these days. Look at companies like Tommy Hilfiger. They’re pure image. They don’t even make clothes. They pay someone else to do it, and sell the image. Ad agencies are now image marketers.

Thank goodness the telephone system was deregulated. Yes local rates went up, but long distance dropped like a stone and we have a choice. Bell’s no longer the only game in town. I’m not sure they got the memo about deregulation, but they’re certainly not acting like it.

At this point, I don’t expect a call. I would’ve gladly discussed my experience, but given that a week has passed since I sent my reply, I seriously doubt I’ll hear from them. It’s just as well, I think.