Bell apologizes to customers affected by misleading door-to-door sales

Bell said that the alleged behaviour doesn't align with the telecom’s policies

Bell building

National telecom Bell recently came under fire after a February 25th CBC News report alleged that door-to-door salespeople representing the company misled customers.

A Bell customer told CBC News that, after signing up for television services that he was told would remain $100 CAD for two years, the price nonetheless increased by $3 after six months.

The price increase may have been minimal, but the Bell customer told CBC News that what was especially upsetting was the fact that Bell seemed to have broken the terms of its contract.

CBC News said that it also “heard from a dozen Bell customers” who claimed to have been misled by a door-to-door salespeople as well.

Bell has now issued a statement apologizing to any customers affected by misleading door-to-door sales agents, explaining that “the examples of sales practices described are in no way aligned with Bell’s policies.”

“We apologize to anyone who may have been affected by this conduct.”

The company has also opened an investigation into the complaints it has received regarding misleading door-to-door sales.

“Like other communications companies, Bell employs neighbourhood marketing agencies to tell potential customers about our new products, network enhancements and special offers they may be interested in,” a Bell spokesperson told MobileSyrup via email.

Bell emphasized that these marketing agencies are not directly employed by the national telecom.

“While the agents are not directly employed by Bell, all door-to-door sales agents must always provides consumers with complete information about Bell products and pricing, receiving direct training from Bell experts to ensure all Bell sales procedures are followed, and abide by Bell’s Code of Conduct.”

“…not paid by commission and [are] also required to convey all details of the order…”

The company has said that it has notified its supplier “about the seriousness of some of its sales practices and implemented an immediate corrective training and compliance action that we have and will continue to monitor closely.”

According to Bell, customers who choose to sign up for services at their door are patched through to a Bell call centre agent to complete the transaction.

Bell also clarified that these call centre agents are “not paid by commission and [are] also required to convey all details of the order, including applicable terms and conditions.”

“All customers are offered the opportunity to receive an email confirmation after an order is placed, which is not binding and the customer is free to cancel without any fees until after installation of the services is complete,” Bell told MobileSyrup.

“We apologize to anyone who may have been affected by this conduct.”

Misleading sales practices and Canadian telecoms

This is only the latest report of a Canadian telecom engaging in misleading sales practices.

A Bell call centre representative previously spoke to CBC News about how call centre agents are pressured into upselling products or services that customers may not need.

Two-months-later, a Rogers employee told CBC News that sales representatives also feel pressured into selling products or services that customers may not need or even understand.

In response, Rogers told MobileSyrup it does not maintain a high-pressure sales environment.

In January 2018, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) filed a request to the CRTC to investigate allegations of misleading sales practices at Canadian digital service providers.

In February 2018, the CRTC denied the PIAC’s request, arguing that customers can take their complaints and concerns to the telecoms themselves, as well as the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services and the Competition Bureau.

Source: CBC News