Official: Bell Drops System Access Fee

As reported earlier this week, this morning Bell has officially dropped their $6.95 system access fee and 911 fee, whose rate varies between the Canadian provinces (Quebec will still pay the upcoming $0.40 911 fee for their province only).

As originally reported, the dropped fees came with a $5.00 (and even $10) plan increase, which is exactly the same move made by Telus earlier in November 2009. The only difference is Bell is only throwing in Call Forwarding, where Telus also included Voicemail 3.

Existing Bell customers will continue to pay the SAF and 911 fees unless they upgrade their accounts to one of the new plans. New customers to Bell will automatically have no SAF and 911 fee as those new customers will have a new price plan.

Below is the internal Bell Document received earlier this morning:

Effective November 20, 2009, Bell is simplifying billing and saving money for our clients by eliminating SAF and carrier 911 fees from the following price plan groups:
• Consumer Share price plans
• Small Business Share price plan
• Consumer U760 Turbo Stick Flex Plan
• Turbo Stick Card price plans
• Corporate price plans
• Smartphone Combo price plans
• Smartphone Combo Share price plans
• Modem price plans
o Tracking
o Vertical data
• Combo price plans for iPhone – shared and single user
• Uber price plans and Atlantic Uber price plans
• Value $25 price plan
• North America price plan
• Fab 10 Student Plans Exclusive to Dalhousie University
• BlackBerry BIS data only PPs
• PDA data only PPs
• PDA data only shareable PPs
• BlackBerry BIS data only shareable PPs
• BlackBerry BES PPs
• BlackBerry BES Shareable PPs

As a result, clients activating on these plans will now only see one monthly charge on their bill – the cost of their price plan – instead of 3 individual charges.

Changes to plans include:
• SAF and carrier 911 fees being removed (a savings of $7.70).
• Call Forwarding being included on Consumer and Small Business plans (a $3 value)
• The monthly fee increasing by $5 to $10 depending on the price plan
• Provincial government imposed 911 fees will still apply

In addition, there is a $5 price increase on 2 BlackBerry BIS and PDA smartphone SOCs.

Impacts to existing clients:
• SAF and carrier 911 fees are not being waived for existing clients on their current price plan. However, existing clients can migrate to an in-market “no SAF or 911” price plan with no restrictions (i.e. no contract renewal required; no migration fee). Advise migrating clients that they will forfeit the benefits and features of their existing price plan.
• As always, if a client calls in and requests a rate plan review, continue to apply your better value migration tactics.
• Clients migrating to the new plans will be charged the $2 paper bill fee unless they register for ebill and suppress their paper bill.
• Existing clients will continue to be able to renew on their current plan as it exists