Bell has responded to the Dealer lawsuit that was brought against them last week by saying it “is completely without merit and will be vigorously defended in court”. Independent Communications Dealer Association of Canada (ICDAC) VP Rick Umbrio said “Carrying other brand names is one of the few options we have to maintain any degree of competitiveness, maintain revenues to pay our employees and maintain value in our businesses… It’s a shame that it’s come to this, but if Bell continues to renege on its agreements and make bad marketplace decisions, we’re left with few alternatives”.
Based on that comment… Imagine in the near future you could possibly walk in to your local Bell Store and find Rogers, Telus, Koodo and Fido phones for sale!!
No other carrier to our knowledge has offered “phone insurance” in Canada. Bell, with all its corporate changes, has released a new service (effective October 24th) that gives you protection from loss, theft and damage.
The service is called “Smart/Phone Care” and offers 2 plans to choose from:
1. Premium: for $7/month it covers failure due to defective parts and workmanship, Normal wear and tear, Accidental damage, power surge, loss and theft.
2. Plus: Covers failure due to defects in parts and workmanship.
To enroll in this service you either have to upgrade your current phone or purchase a new plan. There is a “replacement fee” though… $50 for a phone, $150 for a smartphone. The fine print says: “A non-refundable replacement service fee applies to each approved replacement. The replacement service fee does not apply to failures due to defects in parts or workmanship within 12 months of date of phone or smarphone purchase”.
We browsed through the info page fin print and found what is covered and not covered in this plan:
“6. What is Covered. If the Covered Equipment suffers a Failure, We will replace it with a device of comparable kind and quality. If the Replacement Equipment is a different model than the Covered Equipment or if a Failure affects a Battery and/or Charger in conjunction with the Failure of the Covered Equipment, We will also replace the Battery and/or Charger. If Your Covered Equipment utilizes a Bell SIM Card, we will also replace the SIM Card if it suffers a Failure in conjunction with the Failure of the Covered Equipment. THERE IS NO ASSURANCE, REPRESENTATION, OR WARRANTY THAT ANY REPLACEMENT EQUIPMENT WILL BE IDENTICAL OR OFFER THE SAME FUNCTIONALITIES AS THE ITEM BEING REPLACED. REPLACEMENT EQUIPMENT WILL BE NEW OR REFURBISHED, IN OUR SOLE DISCRETION. The Replacement Equipment immediately becomes the Covered Equipment. In addition to any applicable statutory warranties, Replacement Equipment will be warranted (see warranty provided with Replacement Equipment for details) to be free of defects in parts and workmanship for a period of 120 days from the date it is shipped to You, or for the remainder of the manufacturer’s warranty period for the device originally identified as the Covered Equipment on your Plan contract, whichever is greater (“Replacement Equipment Warranty Period”). If, during the Replacement Equipment Warranty Period, the Replacement Equipment fails to operate due to defects in parts or workmanship, it will be replaced with a device of comparable kind and quality and such replacement shall not be subject to a Replacement Service Fee, nor shall it be counted toward the Service Limits set out in Section 10.
7. What is not Covered. The Plan does not cover: (1) Incidental or consequential damages; (2) failures caused by war, revolution, acts of public enemy or terrorist, labour difficulties, including without limitation, strikes, slowdowns, picketing or boycotts, civil commotion, embargo, acts of government, or military authority; (3) abuse, misuse, or intentional acts; (4) pre-existing Failures of the Covered Equipment
occurring before the time it was established as the Covered Equipment; and (5) changes or enhancements in color, texture, finish, expansion, contraction, or any cosmetic damage to Covered Equipment however caused, including, but not limited to, scratches and marring, that do not affect the mechanical or electrical function of the Covered Equipment; (6) Failure of the Covered Equipment caused by computer viruses or similar unauthorized intrusive codes or programming. Further, Covered Equipment does not include and the Plan does not cover: (1) Contraband or property in the course of illegal transportation or trade; (2) Property in transit to You from anyone other than Us; (3) Routine maintenance and consumable items, such as batteries (one standard Battery will be provided with Replacement Equipment if the Replacement Equipment is a different model than the Covered Equipment or if the Battery has also failed); (4) Battery Chargers (one standard Charger will be provided with Replacement Equipment if the Replacement Equipment is a different model than the Covered Equipment or if the Charger has also failed); (5) Antennas, unless there is also a Failure of the Covered Equipment; or (6) Any accessories (except as otherwise provided with respect to the Battery and/or Charger), including but not limited to color face plates, personalized data, or customized software, such as personal information managers (PIMs), ring tones, games, or screen savers.”
This is certainly a step in the right direction. There is more info at Bell at this link here (PDF)
Bell recently announced a whack of new phones that will be available for purchase on Sunday, November 9th (weird date but hey… anything is possible). We got some good info when it comes to the prices plans of these phones… this will help you do some budgeting for the upcoming holiday season.
The phones from Bell: LG Voyager, HTC Touch Diamond, LG Reveal and the Samsung Cleo.
LG Voyager will come with a 2GB chip (store up to 350 songs) with expandable memory for up to 8GB. This will also come with intro promo of 1-month free of music (probably to a certain limit):
The HTC Touch Diamond dummy phones are starting to arrive in the Bell stores for their display. This will come with 4GB internal memory with no expansion. 3.2 megapixel camera, GPS, Built in WiFi. We have a flyer that said the price of a 3-year plan will be $149.95. But the latest info we saw had:
No Contract: $449.95
LG Reveal has a 2.0 megapixel camera with expandable memory up to 8GB. It will come with the basic phone, or the promo “Shimmer Kit” which is an exclusive Swarovski Crystal Bluetooth headset (just add $49.95 to all the prices below).
Samsung Cleo has a 1.3 megapixel camera with expandable memory up to 8GB.
There is also a promotional offer for the Cleo – no extra charge though. It will be available in Pink and you will get a “new cake kiss mulberry sorbet lip butter, 15% off coupon for Cake Cosmetics, and a Cleo phone Charm”. The Cleo will also be available at Solo.
**in addition, we have confirmation that the Bell BlackBerry Storm will be available on November 21st … and will bring Roll-Over minutes starting in December**
If you’re a current Speak Out wireless customer and want $5 (20 minutes) of free airtime….you can help them “grow and improve” by taking this 10-minute survey.
Virgin has introduces a new share plan called “myPair”. For $50 a month you can get “Unlimited local calling between you and your partner” (after 7pm), 350 daytime shared minutes, and each person can choose a plan feature such as my Time, myCREW, myTALK & TEXT or myCALLS. This should be a good plan for the upcoming holiday season in the malls. More here
CTV and Bell Mobility have announced a partnership to offer Bell customers the ability to watch CTV content on their mobile via “Bell Live TV”. The cost to activate this is $10 per month.
If you remember Bell pushed the Live TV hard when the Beijing Summer Olympics were on, but only about 1,000 people actually signed up. However, you can now watch MuchMusic, MTV, TSN, The Comedy Network, FashionTelevision Channel, etalk, CTV Newsnet, BNN and RDS on your mobile (if it’s video enabled).
Stephan Argent, Vice-President, CTV Digital Media Group said “Extending our relationship with Bell allows us to offer even more unprecedented mobile video content. As mobile devices continue to grow in popularity, CTV is making sure we provide Canadians with the most up-to-date and in demand content. This deal delivers on our promise that consumers can access our programming across multiple platforms, and reaffirms CTV’s commitment to providing Canadians with what they want, when they want it.”
Adel Bazerghi, Senior Vice President of Products at Bell Mobility said “CTV joins a growing roster of mobile TV and video services, including a broad selection of news, weather, entertainment, sports channels, that take full advantage of our high-speed mobile data service and our premium selection of 3G smartphones.”
If you’ve been waiting for a price drop since Rogers slashed the Bold by $100 a few weeks ago… your time has come. Future Shop is selling the BlackBerry Bold for $279.99 with a 3-year voice and data plan – available until October 30th.
In addition, you can score a $50 Gift Card which is perfect to giveaway at your company holiday party! According to the flyer it states it’s a $100 savings… but they have corrected themselves and stated that it’s only a $20 savings: “On page 13 of the October 24 flyer, this product was incorrectly advertised as $279.99 save $100. Please note that the correct price is $279.99 save $20, on a new 3-year voice & data plan.”
Rogers is currently selling the Bold at $299.99 and you can get a $50 Canadian Tire Gift Card.
With Vidéotron committing up to $1 billion to set up a new network in Quebec, Globalive CEO Tony Lacavera is still optimistic in aligning a merger with them to become the next national wireless player in Canada. “I am still really hopeful that we can develop some kind of relationship with Videotron. I think ultimately we will end up in a reciprocal roaming arrangement, which makes so much commercial sense for both of us”. More here
LG and Bell have announced a new fashion phone called the LG “Reveal” with no hesitation to promote it as looking like a make-up compact.
This will be available in a flowery designed purple and black. It boasts a 2.4 inch high res screen, full QWERTY keyboard with a 2 Megapixel Camera with zoom and brightness controls, video recorder, speakerphone, EVDO, Bluetooth enabled.
To kick this beast off Bell has come up with a “Shimmer Kit”. This will include a Bluetooth headset that is all blinged out with Swarovski crystals.
LG seems to like them better as well! We checked out their microsite and even though Bell will be selling this phone also, their name is nowhere on the site. The Voyager has a 2.8” touch screen with a QWERTY keyboard, 3G, 2.0 Megapixel camera, External Touch screen, MicroSD up to 8 GB. Weighs 133 grams and has dimensions of 118×54×18. Talk time is 240 minutes.