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oh bell canada. i thought you were getting better. well, i don't know if i thought your customer service was getting better, but i at least thought that you were doing some good stuff with the cause of mental health, which would help divert people from your shitty customer service. anything that works, right?

but just a week after your annual "let's talk" awareness-fest, one of your employees decides to lash out at a customer via email, calling her a "bitch" and a "slut". her offense? giving said employee a less than perfect rating on a customer satisfaction survey after he was unable to help her. she didn't even say he gave her bad service, and left a comment that it wasn't his fault that her overall experience wasn't satisfying.

one would hope that this isn't typical behaviour of bell canada's employees. i got called a liar during my dispute with them, but only when i called them. no one ever thought to contact me proactively to call me names. [well, it's possible they did. i received a couple of abusive messages on my voice mail, which i attributed to the fact that i'd recently been torturing sleazy scam callers from "microsoft". the timing still makes me think the scammers were the most likely culprits, but now that i know bell likes to do that too, i'll never be certain.]

i've noticed that a lot of the reactions to this incident have focused on the fact that the employee was in north africa, touching off a lot of anger that many jobs have been "offshored" to areas where employees are cheaper. i don't think that's quite fair. i've personally been treated rudely by all sorts of bell employees, some of whom were clearly canadian. true, i haven't heard of any of them contacting a customer to call them a "slut", but the fact is that with the massive number of complaints against them, it's impossible that all the abuse is coming from one ill-tempered guy in morocco.

furthermore, talking about the problem as if it's just a problem with cheap employees in other countries masks the greater problem: bell canada is letting this survey information pass directly to the employees being evaluated, employees who have access to all a customer's personal information, like their email, their phone numbers and their home address. and apparently they have no concept of why that might be a bad idea. surely, no employee in history has taken a bad evaluation personally, right?

hey bell: let's talk about the mental health problems you're causing for your customers.

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