Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bell Makes Another Offer

In the past Bell has made me numerous offers for internet service that doesn’t work at my house. Their latest offer of a long distance plan is equally enticing.

Apparently, the Canada Block of Time Long Distance Plan is only $17.95 per month. Just before this price is the word “from” written sideways in small letters. There is also a tiny “1” indicating the footnote on the back of the letter that informs me in ultra-small font that taxes and a $5.95 per month network charge are extra.

The letter says that this “long distance plan matches your unique calling habits and saves you money.” It’s hard to see how this could be true given that in a typical month my family uses about $4 in long distance.

This reminds me of the time when a life insurance salesman promised to save me money, but then proceeded to offer me plans that all cost more than double what I was already paying. I guess the target market is people who look at two numbers and can’t figure out which is bigger.


  1. I just have to say that your last sentence made me burst into laughter. I love when someone's sense of humour is conveyed so well even though it's text on a page.

    ... still laughing ...

  2. "I guess the target market is people who look at two numbers and can’t figure out which is bigger."


  3. Bell's offered me "deals" time and again. I think they actually managed to save me about $7/month on the last one though.

    The long distance thing was one of my favourites. The marketer started her spiel, and I stopped her and asked her to check my long distance for the last month. It was $0.87, and that was a big month. She apologized and hung up.

    Whenever Bell claims anything about your "usage patterns", it's pure boilerplate. When they capped data on Sympatico years ago, they told my family that the 5 GB limit wouldn't affect us. It was the 7th of the month and we already had 4 GB downloaded. An average month had 15-20 GB. Oh how we laughed and looked for other providers.

  4. Trish and Patrick: I thought that one might come off as too cynical, but I went with it anyway.

    Astin: I've never been too sure how customized these offers are, but you're likely right that they are mostly boilerplate.