Saturday, 6 February 2016

SIgned Up for the New BWI5 (Deferral Account) Plan

I finally got around to upgrading my Bell Wireless Internet 5 (BWI5) Deferral Account service this week. As an existing customer I had to phone billing at 1-800-667-0123. If you are a new customer you need to deal with direct sales. Of course you can always deal with your nearest Bell Store or agency.

The whole process took less than 10 minutes. I wasted a large part of that time working my way through the abomination of voice response interfaces that has become the most common method used by companies in the name of efficiency to annoy potential customers.  

Having survived the voice response torture, I got connected to a live agent immediately with no wait. He confirmed my identity, to his satisfaction anyway, and he provided his name and Bell employee number for my records. We were off to the races.

I stated I wanted to upgrade my current BWI5 plan to the new Wireless Internet 5 Flex plan. After about 20 seconds he said I qualified for the newer service, which is really a modification to my existing data caps, and since I owned my own NetGear MBR1516 data hub he would sign me up for the 30 day, no contract rate starting at $48.95 for the basic 50GB data cap. 

Under my existing plan I was getting 45 GB for $42.95 per month with overages charged at $2.50 per GB. To match the 100 GB data cap included in the new BWI5 Flex plan as calculated under my existing plan, it would cost me $42.95 for the included 45 GB plus $137.50 for extra 55 GB at $2.50 per GB for a grand total of $180.45.

My household of 2 adults has the following hardware authorized to access the BWI5 data hub, not necessarily all at the same time: -  3 laptops, 1 desktop, 2 Android tablets, 2 Android smartphones, and 1 video security camera.  

Admittedly, in the 18 months I had my existing plan, I never went over the 45 GB data cap according to Bell. However, to achieve this I carefully restricted my video and other streaming uses.  When I did use the services, I set the parameters at the lowest reasonable definition – usually 240 if it was available. I do subscribe to NetFlix but mainly use it when travelling.

He offered me the option of changing to the new service immediately with the cost difference between the two plans being pro-rated for the remainder of the billing period, or making the change at the end of the current billing period – in my case the 20th of the month. For personal reasons, I opted for the end of the billing period date.

We reviewed the total package. I accepted it. And that was it.

I would be interested in hearing from anyone using the ZTE MF275R data hub in the BWI5 (Deferral Account) configuration. I am particularly interested in hearing about the download and upload speeds the unit is providing and any settings such as the APN at the web user interface level.