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.