Bell Canada today announced the launch of “Talk To The Hold Button!”, a new mental
health initiative to support customers who have been driven insane by its price-gouging, entitled attitude, bored, outsourced employees and devious billing practices.
“We recognize that many people who were previously happy, calm and full of self-esteem are quickly reduced to haggard, listless complainers once they’ve had to deal with us,” said company spokesperson and part-time excess data counsellor Lloyd Spackle.
“And that’s even before they go to small claims court to contest the four-figure roaming charges!
“We want you to know that we totally expect your business and will promise anything that keeps you hopeful and coming back, if only to try and understand why a $50 Bell Mobility plan costs $328 plus tax.
“So go ahead and “Talk To The Hold Button!” Just because we’re not going to listen doesn’t mean you can’t get it off your chest!”
Increasing numbers of consumers are exhibiting what psychiatrists are slowly identifying as a whole spectrum of “Bell-ogenic” mental health concerns, such as “Bell’s Palsy”.
Intrigued, we visited BP sufferer Mildred Anderson at CAMH, where we attempted to interview her through the tiny, barred window of her padded cell. However, we were shocked when she responded inappropriately with what seemed to be random security credentials.
“Ten-digit phone number! M4X 1K3! ‘Anderson’ with an A! I already told you! Star hash-tag zero six hash-tag! ‘Gone With The Wind’! No, I don’t have the original packaging! Phone number! I was speaking with Karen! Postal code! Blue! Mother’s maiden name! I already told you! Oh God!” she screamed before collapsing on the floor.
“She was on hold for forty-eight minutes,” explained Head Nurse Susan Blanchard, spraying aerosol Valium into the cell.
“Then the twelve people she spoke to over the next hour asked her for the exact same information, put her on hold again, then passed her on to another one. Luckily, one of the more senior employees stopped laughing for a second, heard Ms Anderson hyperventilating, then left a handwritten note on the lunchroom bulletin board saying someone on the morning shift should probably call 9-1-1 if they had a moment, but only if Ms Anderson could fax them four pieces of photo ID.”
As our investigation ramped up, we became aware of the existence of a shadowy network of “Bellaholic’s Anonymous” support groups, where grieving customers who’ve simply given up on limited “unlimited” data plans and returned to landline phones can try to obtain “closure”.
We managed to infiltrate a meeting of one of these highly secretive groups, held in a mid-town Toronto church basement, by posing as former iPhone X owners.
“We admitted we were powerless and that Bell Canada had become unmanageable,” the group intoned.
“This meeting is now open for sharing,” said the group leader for the evening, Harry M. “Yes, Steve!”
“I’m angry!” said a young man with red, puffy eyes. “I’ve been awake for three days drinking coffee and trying to understand how a loving Creator could make beautiful, perfect babies, then allow Bell Canada to exist! It just doesn’t seem to make sense!”
“Hi, I’m Betty and I’m a former Bell user,” said the next person to share. “Eighteen months this Wednesday by the grace of God! I spent ten dollars a month for five years to rent a twenty-dollar modem, then they charged me fifty dollars and barred me for life because I didn’t wrap it up and Purolater it back to them with a nice thank-you card!”
Betty’s lips were trembling. “Am I a bad person?”
“I spent thousands of my tax dollars so Bell could do research, then they charge me hundred and fifty a month for TV!” said an elderly woman who self-identified as “Sally Y”. Sally’s arms were covered with crude tattoos and her hair was pulled back into the taut ponytail known as the “Ontario Works facelift”.
“They sent me to Penetanguishene for six months, eh, cause I hacked into American Netflix with an Android box. Jesus Christ, all I did was watch a couplea ‘Golden Girls’ re-runs!”
“Hi, I’m, like, Tiffany, and I’m three days Bell clean!” said a girl of around sixteen, to encouraging smiles and murmurs from the group. “But then I signed up with Virgin, is that, ummm, like, a relapse?”
Following up with Lloyd Spackle by phone, we asked whether Bell wasn’t being a little heavy-handed and even a teensy bit criminal, considering it was sustained for decades with public money but now seems determined to restrict, mislead, even terrorize its customers.
“You don’t seem to be in our system,” he explained.
“Can I have your ten-digit phone number followed by the pound key?”
“Talk To The Hold Button!”™