Pop Culture
Bell Canada Allegedly Supports Client Harrassment
By Hervé St-Louis
October 30, 2012 - 22:23

In May 2012, moving from Calgary to Toronto, I changed my cellular phone number from a 403 Calgary area code number to a 416 Toronto area code number. Bell Canada has been my mobility provider for several years. I don't like them, but it's not like Canada has better options. Telus and Rogers are as bad.

Starting approximately in June 2012, I began receiving automated phone calls from a company called Icor Canada. Checking up on Icor, I noticed that several people had issues with them. Icor is a collections agency known for its obnoxious ways and annoyance. Icor would call me almost every day, and ask me to call them back on a 1-800 number. Then they would put me on hold and an annoying person would scream at me to pay my debts. Problem, is Icor didn't know who I was, since I always refused to identify myself, and second, I knew for a fact that I had no outstanding bills requiring the services of a collections agency.

Icor would call up to five times a day, and I would ignore them. Icor called so often that I received more phone calls from them than all other contacts combined together. I contacted Bell several times asking them to block Icor's number They always claimed that they were powerless to blocking harassing phone numbers and that I should contact the police or put myself on the national do not call list. I know from experience that placing your phone number on the Canadian do not call list, is like advertising a free buffet on a college campus... Telemarketers and those organizations that were omitted from the telemarketing laws, like political parties, polling companies, newspapers and telecommunications companies, will double down on the poor soul who wants a retrieve from the phone annoyances. As for the police, they won't even bother dealing with stolen bikes, why would they bother with zealous telemarketers?

Two weeks ago, as well as receiving regular phone calls from Icor Canada, Bell Canada jumped in the fray. When I answered the Bell guys, they asked for S. Bradley. I said I wasn't him. The guy said he would make sure that they would never call me again, very apologetically. But I had not connected the dots yet, so I just ignored him. Both Bell and Icor continued to call me for about a week until I finally yielded and answered a Bell representative. Both Bell and Icor have the uncanny ability to call at the wrong time, when I'm in meetings...

Again, the Bell agent asked for S. Bradley. I said I wasn't him and asked why they were calling him. The agent said that if I wasn't S. Bradley, that he could not release any information as it would contravene privacy laws. I asked him to confirm the phone number he had just called. He also refused to do so. He even refused to repeat the name of S. Bradley. He did suggest that I call Bell Canada to have them verify my account.

I called Bell after the phone call ended and asked the operator why they kept calling my line asking for S. Bradley? The operator, dumbfounded and dismayed revealed to me that both S. Bradley and I shared the same phone number! I asked how that could be and asked him if I had lost any phone calls to S. Bradley (apparently, I didn't but I''m getting ahead of myself).

After putting me on hold for about 10 minutes and telling me that he was talking to his supervisor and sorting out the issue, he returned to explain the story. Apparently, S. Bradley had left an alternate contact phone number in his account which happened to be mine. Bell had been chasing S. Bradley about paying his phone bills for a while and had begun using his alternate phone number to reach him.

He assured me that they had rectified the situation and removed the alternate contact phone number from S. Bradley's account. Since I had him on the line, I again complained about the frequent phone calls from Icor Canada. He told me that even if I were to purchase a phone blocking option, that Icor could still call me using one of their many alternate telemarketing phone lines. Some of my research on Icor Canada had linked them with Rogers. Since I had never been a client of Rogers, I was even more furious as I knew that I was receiving calls meant to harass the person that used my phone number previously. The Bell operator suggested that I call both Icor and Rogers and ask them to remove me from their list, as I clearly wasn't S. Bradley. Right, I told him. Good luck trying to do that I thought!

To my surprise, since I spoke with the Bell operative, I received one phone call the following day from Icor Canada but none since. It's been over a week now (I guess it took one day for the computer to delete my phone number from Icor's list). That's really odd. Icor used to call me on Sunday mornings, Saturday evenings, and anywhere between 7 am to 10 PM on weeknights.

The lack of phone calls from Icor Canada, following the S. Bradley screw up, make me think that it's probably Bell, not Rogers that had allegedly sold my phone number to a collections agency. Bell Canada, the same company I've been a client of for several years, screwed up and probably sold my phone number to a collections agency. From June to October 2012, I probably received numerous harassing phone calls about a debt that wasn't mine, often several per days, including weekends, because Bell Canada, a telecommunications and phone company as old as AT&T, screwed up.

The least Bell could do is offer an apology or a couple of free months of service. Of course, Bell, is not the type of company to do that. They'll probably threaten to sue me instead for alleged libel after posting my story online.

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