Bells race against time

Even in the US the Bells are losing heavily to the Cable guys, who are bleeding them to death next too,  and in desperations  the Bells are  looking for any other possible sources of revenues.. *** But had they not abused, screwed their customers so often, the customers would not have so readily transferred to the cable ISPs. When the past Bells customers do  transfer to cable  they take not just their internet services es but their phone lines and next they rarely come back to the Bells too.. and the Bells revenues go down seriously.
Now “Baby Bells are in a race against time, trying to get their video services rolled out before they lose their grip over their core franchise: the voice customer. It is critical for the phone companies to keep people talking on their lines, if they want to sell them broadband and video services in the future, a point we had made earlier.UBS Research report shows that dark ominous clouds have gathered over the Bellville, and provides a statistical support for my thesis. 

  • In the fourth quarter 2006, the Bells lost 5.1% of homes served on an annual basis, driven by increasing cable voice net adds. Consumer revenues skidded as a result.
  • Currently, in the US Bells pass roughly 97 million homes and serve 64 million on a retail basis, about 65% penetration of homes passed. That’s down from 68% penetration a year ago.
  • Cable is eating their lunch. The top seven cable companies added 964,000 new telephony subscribers, getting to a total of about 8.3 million voice subscribers (estimated) or about 7.3% of U.S. households, up from 4.5% a year ago. The independent VoIP players have 2.6 million subscribers. The total cable & VoIP competition represents nearly 10% of the U.S. households, versus 6% of US households a year ago.
  • The consumer ARPU could not completely offset volume declines. Broadband revenues are slowing as well, mostly due to increased penetration.


Bells got $34 in average DSL revenues in the fourth quarter, down 9% annually, and only added 1.138M new subscribers in 4Q, down 18% annually and 3% sequentially. The Bells now penetrate 33% of homes served with broadband, up from 31% in the 3 quarter 2006 and 25% a year ago. AT& T leads the group with 39% penetration, followed by BellSouth at 34%, and Verizon and Qwest at 29% each.  DSL revenues are becoming a larger portion of the Bell revenues – about 20% of consumer ARPU, and any access line losses means that that the bells’ addressable market for DSL (and video) services declines quite a bit. Among the Bells, AT&T generated the highest contribution from DSL at 21% and Verizon the lowest at 18%.

“Pike & Fisher calculate that the Bells — AT&T, Verizon and Qwest added 755,000 net broadband customers in the fourth quarter of 2007, the lowest level in five years. As we have noted earlier, broadband growth is slowing in the U.S., and we should expect more intense marketing battles.”

***  Bell Canada

Well here again I sit and write about a multi-billion dollar corporation screwing its’ customers any way and every way it can.  This time it is the god of phones, Bell Canada.

After my move in early December 2007 I left Bell’s service for Phone and Internet to go with Rogers……yes I know from the sublime to the ridiculous.  Anyway, Bell’s Internet Service sucked, so I took it along with my phone to Rogers (the phone went because I could not pass up 6 free months).  The only reason I did not leave Bell for television was the fact that I have purchased over the last short while close to $1000 in equipment for High Definition TV.

I called Bell anyway, and told them that I was considering leaving.  When they heard that, they pretty much fell over themselves to keep me a customer.  It’s funny how places like this will do nothing for you until you threaten to, or really do leave. 

***Side note: since leaving for Rogers with my phone and Internet, Bell has called me three times!

In any case, they (Bell) offered me 2 months completely free TV, 6 months at 30% off, and the kicker….. A new High Definition PVR (Personal Video Recorder) for one year, FREE!   Needless to say, I stayed and this is where the fun began.

First, although Bell knew where to send my bill (because I got one at my new address they sent the installer to my old address.  It was explained that the departments don’t always talk to one another (go figure)!  So the refundable $100 installation charge went onto my account twice (because of their mistake), and only came off once.  I hd to fight this for a few calls, and on March it was dealt with.

Second, getting my two free months of TV has been like trying to walk on water!  Countless calls in January, February and yes indeed March I think I am finally going to get 2 free months.

Third, I noticed in January, and again in February that I was suddenly getting charged $20 a month for the PVR; remember the free PVR for one year?  So a few calls in January and again in February I thought I had this cleared up.  In March, they cleared the two months of charges to my bill (from January and February), but again charged me $20 for the rental.  This then led me to what probably amounted to my 15th – 20th phone call in the last 2-3 months.  As at March 24 / 2008 I m being told that my account is cleared up.  We shall see…….

In the interest of Customer Service………..BAD!

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