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Left The Building
8,376 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you're a Sympatico user, and use either Safari or Camino, have you had any trouble logging into Self Care lately?

They recently consolidated both the Get Email and Self Care log-ins into a single new page. The e-mail login works just fine but when I try to use Self Care all I get is a blank page. This happens in both Safari and Camino.

Before they consolidated the logins, I never had a problem like this. If you're a Sympatico client, try logging into Self Care & let me know what happens. I've e-mailed [email protected] about the problem. If you get a blank Self Care window too, e-mail them and complain.

I tried logging in using IE 5.2.1, and it worked. So, is Sympatico trying to force us to use IE, or is a stupid page-design error keeping Safari and Camino from working?

BTW, having used Internet Explorer this a.m. for the first time since last fall, it looks & behaves like a real pig next to Safari and Camino IMO. But I digress...

Left The Building
8,376 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Glad to see I'm not the only one.

Ironically (or not) my e-mail to Sympatico bounced back to me with the following text:

This Message was undeliverable due to the following reason:

The user(s) account is temporarily over quota.

Hmm. Perhaps their corporate inbox is full of similar complaints? Heh heh. Anyway, I'm gonna try re-sending my own complaint until it gets through.

173 Posts
Three years ago, I was living in a small rural town were Sympatico was the ONLY Internet provider. Inside of a year, customer service declined up to a point were any other solution was better than contacting them.

I'll never return been a Sympatico customer.

Bad service? Vote with your feet, or fingers. Go to the competition. BTW, Sympatico is one of the costlyest ISP, shop around.

How about giving your impression about costs and service quality from your ISP on this site.

In Quebec, I use Mediom. Low cost and extra service.

Left The Building
8,376 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Other than this stupid website thing (which may only be a problem with a newly-redesigned page, as the rest of the site works fine), I don't really have any complaints about Sympatico - the price of my DSL connection is okay, I haven't had any connection problems at all. When I was upgrading to DSL (from plain old dial up) last May, the service I received was quite satisfactory & I had my modem & service upgrade within 3 days of placing my order.

Before I originally subscribed to Sympatico last Autumn I asked acquaintances which ISP they use & how they found it. Some loved Sympatico, others hated it. Others loved Videotron, while others hated it. Rogers is great! No, Rogers is awful! I ONLY use AOL - it's fantastic! No, AOL sucks! Love this! Hate that! No concensus at all - there are as many stories & opinions as ISPs and subscribers. Chaque a son gout.

In any case, depending on how they respond to this website problem I'll either remain satisfied, or become dissatisfied & consider walking.

[ July 06, 2003, 02:29 PM: Message edited by: Doug Gardhouse ]

719 Posts
Darn, it does not work for me. I just e-mailed swinepatico.

As for changing your DSL provider, Bell still wins. Bell provides the phone lines, the network cards etc etc etc to the third party companies that "provide" DSL. The reality is that except in certain circumstances, Bell Sympatico gets their pound of flesh no matter who is your "provider".

And if things get dodgy with Sympatico because of the Microshaft involvement, we have 2 options. First is to launch a complaint to the CRTC and that would be the most effective. The second would be to ask Industy Canada to look into anti-competitive behaviour.

1,060 Posts
Well, in Ottawa, there really is only 2 big vendors for High Speed access.

You have on one hand the Bell-infused Sympathetico which up until my recent move, has been very good (I now can't seem to get more than 10-20% the actual transfer speed I used to get at my crappy apartment)

On the other hand you have "Mr. Roger's Cable Monopoly". aka "3 IQ points shy of a dead squirrel". I had them at the same apartment initially but the service dropped to pathetic after they changed from static IP addresses to DHCP (which never ended up working for me)

From my experiences over the past 5+ years of using both services over time, it can be very hit or miss depending on your location. Support service has been spotty, but mostly bad from my own experiences. And of course the cost always has hidden catches.

Bell requires a phone line. Usually ths means that your existing phone line will be fine, but if you are like me (and use a single cell phone service as opposed to a land-line) you fnd the cost is basically double because they are billed separately.

Roger's requires you take Cable TV with their service, but lacking the desire for 100+ channels with nothing worthwhile watching, you get hit with an extra $10/month on top of the advertised price.

Customer Support for both of these services border on retarded. You often end up dealing with a shmuck who is basically clueless about your services and can't comprehend the simplest of problems often enough. (That said, it's not always bad, but both companies apparently employ cro-magnon support personel as well as actual smart/saavy people).

Mac support is often laughable. From badly selected hardware (USB-based modems will not work on the Mac, yet I've dealt with both Sympatico and Roger's foisting these crappy modems on the unsuspecting Mac populace) to the blanket response of "We do not support the Macintosh platform" for a host of things, even when they actually do, but the peanut-brained support person you end up with happens to be completely ignorant of these facts.

Being in tech support myself for so long and Mac tech support even longer, I am awed at the level of stupidity of their support services. I can tell you stories, but I have to get to work, so I'll hold that back for another rant (or thread).

My advice is to try both (often you can get a "free month or two" trial) and see how it goes. You may find one works better than another.


503 Posts
Check out this thread from when I first joined this group.

FYI, with the attached Apple instructions (using Terminal) I was able to correct my intial problem. Might help you Sympatico users. By the way, the speed issue I was having was non-existent. It seems I was getting 1.5 Mbs with their wireless service when I should have received 1.0 Mbs. When I switched to their dsl service, and it was slower -- well, it just meant I was getting their advertised speed at 1.0 Mbs.

So what's everyone's beef with Look again?

Left The Building
8,376 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Strongblade, allow me to thoroughly validate your comments about retarded customer service. Here is my latest e-mail exchange with Sympatico (see my other comments further below):

These instructions are useless to me, as I have explained several times now, I, and MANY other Sympatico subscribers do NOT use Internet Explorer. You have failed to grasp this, you have failed to provide me with any help whatsoever. Are you 10 years old?

Furthermore, despite my clear explanation that I use a Macintosh, you have provided me with instructions for Windows. Ridiculous! I will be in contact with your senior administration shortly.

On Wednesday, Jul 9, 2003, at 19:10 America/Montreal, Sympatico Service wrote:

Hello Mr. Gardhouse,

You have reached the Business Office at Bell Sympatico Internet service.

My name is Jamieson and I appreciate the opportunity to respond.

Please note that if you attempt to access our website while using Internet Explorer version 6, you may encounter some difficulties. In order to overcome this problem, please follow the instructions below:

1. Close all programs
2. Click Start
3. Click Settings
4. Click Control Panel
5. Double-click Internet Options
6. Click on the Privacy tab
7. Click on Edit
8. Where it says Address of Web site, type the following IP address: Please note that the periods(. .) must be included.
9. Click the Allow button.
10. Click OK 2 times
11. Close the Control Panel
12. Restart Internet Explorer

Should you have any difficulties viewing your bill, please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail or by phone at 310-SURF.

For your privacy and security, your User ID, Password and any other information you view, enter or submit during and after logging in, are encrypted using SSL and transmitted using a secure Internet server.

I trust that I have answered all of your questions or concerns regarding our self care site. Do not hesitate to contact us again.

Thank you for emailing Bell Sympatico and have a nice day.


Electronic Customer Care
Sympatico Member Services

Original Message Follows:
To Whom It May Concern,

I note the recent changes to the GetEmail and Self Care
log-in screen on the Sympatico website.

The new GetEmail log-in works fine with the web browsers
that I use on my Mac (running OS X): Camino, and Safari.

However when I try to log in to Self Care now, all that I get
is a BLANK PAGE. This occurs in Camino and Safari, but
before the log-in screen was changed, Self Care worked
just fine with both browsers. Why won't it work now? It
would seem that there is a programming or design error
on the new log-in screen.

I tried logging in to Self Care with IE 5.2 for Mac. I was able
to log in however I (and many other people) detest Internet
Explorer and refuse to use it. You should not force your
Sympatico clients to use a particular browser in order to
obtain services though your website.

I trust you will get this fixed in short order. I am unhappy
about this problem, and I know other Sympatico clients
are unhappy with this problem as well. Surely Sympatico
must have enough resources to employ web designers
competent enough to rectify this problem without very
much effort at all.

Doug Gardhouse

Ain't life stuuuuuupid sometimes?

Anyway, today at work I installed Mozilla 1.4 on my (ugh) WinXP box at work. Know what? Same problem with the Self Care page! My billing info is a big blank (does this mean i don't have to pay anymore?

So it proves that this is NOT a Mac-only problem, but that Sympatico has built this section of its web page to be IE friendly, and unfriendly to everything else. This might be worthwhile mentioning to the CRTC and perhaps Industry Canada too. No doubt this will only get worse in 2004 when Sympatico & Micro$oft cozy up in bed together.

Question: Does anyone know who the current president or CEO (or whatever) of Sympatico is? The last name I remember is Marc P. Tellier but I don't know if he's still there or not.

By the way, Mozilla 1.4 is WONDERFUL on my WinXP machine. BYE-BYE, IE!!!
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