Sunday 14 September 2014

Summary of Deferral Account Activity 14 Sep 2014

It has now been as little over three weeks since I announced in this blog entry that Bell had started taking orders for the Deferral Account program. What have we learned so far?  

Basic Plan

The basic plan costs $36.95 bundled and $41.95 per month (or billing period) and includes 20 GB of data transfer. This is consistent amongst all Bell Customer Service Representatives (CSR).


One supervisor pointed out that a bundle price could only apply to one contract within the four principle product categories - Mobility, Internet, TV, and Home Phone.  Since the Deferral Account plan was a Bell Mobility offering, it could not be bundled if the user already had a cell phone bundled with another product category such as TV or Home Phone. She could not provide a website reference when I pressed the matter but said it was "policy."

If this is indeed the policy, I guess it would be possible to remove a cell phone from the bundle and substitute the Deferral Account plan although I am not sure there would be any advantage as both offer the same $5.00 saving.

Data Overages

It is the charges for overages that vary from CSR to CSR. It is all over the place.

In some cases, a CSR made the user aware of various options while in other cases only explained one offer.  The chart below identifies the various offers as garnered from the comments sections of the blog entry referenced above. It also shows how many times a CSR offered each variant to users so far. It is obvious that more consistently is required in this area.

As previously mentioned, one  supervisor indicated  Bell replaced the $5 for 25GB plan with a $10 for 20 GB plan around 27 Jul 2014 along with another fixed wireless plan similar to the Deferral Account plan. She claimed this was the source of the confusion. How much credibility you place in this Bell originated avowal is up to you. 

Overage Charge Offer
Number of Users
Offered This Plan
Flat Rate of $4.00 per GB
$2.50 per GB to maximum $80.00
Insurance $5.00 MRC for 25 GB
Insurance $10.00 MRC for 20 GB

Antenna Installation

So far, I am not aware that anyone from Bell Mobility or Crossover, the designated Bell antenna installer according to the Bell website, has contacted any Deferral Account user to arrange for an antenna install. Many users have let Bell know they are not happy with this situation.

On the positive side, many users are having success operating their Turbo Hubs using the built-in antennas or connecting antennas previously installed for other hardware.

My experience is the down/up speed without an external antenna is consistently above 5/1 Mbps. I am located about 3.5 km from the Goulais (Pine Shores) site.

Marketing Material

The marketing material Bell promised the CRTC it would circulate before the 31 Aug 2014 has yet to make its way to the postal boxes. I guess this is one way to keep the congestion challenge under control - do not let anyone know the service exists!

Purchase or Not

Readers who have followed the blog over the years will know I usually recommend a user purchases hardware outright rather than sign a contract and get a reduced up front cost. I compared the two-year cost of both the no contract and two year contract options. Here are the results.

Data Hub Cost
Monthly Recurring Charge (MRC)
Total of 24 Monthly Payments (MRC x 24) + Data Hub Cost
No Contract
2 Year Contract

No contract Data hub price = $199.99.  MRC = $36.95. Two year total = 199.99 + (36.95 x 24) = 1,086.79

2 Year contract Data hub price  $79.95 MRC = $41.95 Two year total = 79.95 + (41.95 x24) = 1,086.75

The 2 year contract basically saves you the rate of inflation or around $4.


  1. I contacted Crossover Distribution by e-mail today to complain about their lack of contact and support for the Deferral Account program.

    I sent the message at 12:03 pm. I received the following reply from a Vice-President at 12:10 pm, 7 minute later. I cannot complain about that response time. The message read:

    “You are correct, Crossover is the official partner for the Bell deferral program. We have had some issues with the electronic notification system from Bell regarding new activations and we are working through this with Bell.

    “I will have Kate contact you shortly to arrange for a suitable installation date.”

    If Crossover follows through on their promise, I will try to get contact coordinates for everyone

  2. Thanks for all your diligence - this blog is an excellent resource. Looking forward to seeing the Crossover contact details posted here.

  3. The Bell answers to requests for DA service gets stranger and stranger.

    A potential user in the Echo Bay area sent me the following message today:

    “Yes. I did finally get through to Bell and their equipment is currently on back order. They said they will call me. I imagine I will need to call them again. Thanks for the info.”

    This project is certainly turning into Bell’s comedy of errors.

  4. We have an even stranger story. Three attempts have been made by telephone and online. We have been told the program is not available beyond North Bay and the latest mantra is there are only 100 slots available and they are presently filled. We are in Hilton Township less than 1km from one of the new towers. We presently have Bell Hub 1210 H2 service, which is fine, but our contract is extremely expensive and restrictive in GB numbers. We fall in the middle of one of the maps for St Joe shown on your Aug22 post. Why is Bell being so difficult and evasive about this plan?

  5. Greed.

    Bell got 300+ million windfall dollars from the CRTC deferral account but rather than expanding reasonably priced ADSL service into rural areas as originally requested, bamboozled the CRTC into allowing them to use it to expand their super lucrative cell phone network. Since Bell seems to be able to sell mobile phone data at $10-$20 per Gb to people who just "gotta have the latest smartphone", they have no interest whatsoever in promoting a plan that now uses the SAME EQUIPMENT to provide rural broadband at $1-$2/Gb. To me, it is simply not credible that the CRTC couldn't foresee this conflict of interest when Bell first proposed the switch to wireless provisioning since it was patently obvious to everyone else who was following the story.

    Since you already have an expensive Bell plan, Bell has yet another incentive to delay/mislead/frustrate you signing up to the deferral account program. Bell manages to deliver a multi-page glossy cell-phone ad to my mailbox weekly, but they can't organize a simple deferral rate announcement flyer on time? Riiiiiight.

    I expect that Bell will continue its attempts to inflict death by a thousands cuts on this program. I suspect that the only effective weapon against this would be complaints to the CRTC causing the regulator to force Bell into honouring its original agreements, but that could take years (it's only been 10 so far!) during which time Bell will continue to profit from their $300 million windfall.

    I've been getting a similar run-around - first told that the program isn't available in my area (even though I'm clearly in one of Bell's mapped deferral areas in rural Southern Ontario), then quoted a higher than expected plan cost, and now told that the equipment is on back order. Trying to anticipate their next stalling tactic would be almost amusing if it wasn't for the fact that we have no other options for service.

    My thanks again to the blog provider for their valuable work keeping this issue alive and for providing a forum for end users to share information.

  6. Anonymous,

    I am in Hilton Beach on 6th Strret right next to the new Bell tower. I managed to get Bell to buy me out of my pre-existing Flex 60 plan and hub when I signed up for two Bell Wireless Internet 5 hubs. If I can shame them into it then so can others. I can be reached at if others are interested in what is a very long story.