Crawl Across the Ocean

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Telus - The Present is Indeed Hostile

I stole the title for this post from this recently set-up blog, which plans to accumulate stories of Telus' incompetence / poor customer service (hat tip to Azerbic).

From 'the Present is Hostile',
"So, in the coming days and weeks, I will make multiple posts of my experience with Telus from early April, 2005 to early June, 2005 and show you how blatantly disrespectful the Telus company is to it's customers. After reading my story, I guarantee that you, yourself, will not want to venture down this Telus "road to hell". You will know why I now advise you to stay away from Telus at all costs!!! And yes, you do have a choice to do so. I am now a customer with another local phone provider and DSL provider in British Columbia."

If nothing else, I figure I need to post something just to explain that the anonymous author of this blog is not *me*. After all, readers may recall my fairly recent rant against Telus (buried in this post), but the truth is, I can't hold a grudge to save my life so, despite my troubles with Telus, I was just going to let the anti-Telus blog pass without comment, figuring that my posted rant and move to Shaw for internet was enough punishment for Telus, at least on my behalf anyway.

But that was before I saw my last bill. Not only was I charged a late fee for being late with payment on my last bill (my payment was only late because I had been disputing the bill which they eventually fixed so as not to charge us for internet service for the week and a half we had no such service), but they added on a ~$60 charge for labour for them to come out and fix their own problem (which turned out to be a wire outside which had blown) which had caused all the service outage and hassle in the first place. This after explicitly telling us numerous times that we would only be charged for the service call if it turned out that the problem was our fault somehow (like our phone was busted or something like that).

I ended my last rant debating switching away from Telus for local phone service as well to be totally free of them, noting that,"it probably won't be long before Telus provokes me into switching." I guess at least one my recent predictions was accurate! At this point, I'm happy to do whatever I can to hurt Telus, including promoting, "The Present is Hostile" For all I know, it could be an astro-turf operation set up by Shaw or Sprint, but I have to say, it's certainly not the least bit implausible that it's just another unhappy Telus (former) customer looking for somewhere to vent.

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  • I have had the same crazy "service" from both Bell and Sprint here in Ontario, which are our two only choices. Hours, days and months (5) on hold and trying to get them to fix the line, then correct the bill etc. The poor service guys, when they finally do come, are great. They are given instrutions on how to look for excape routes etc. for dealing with all of the angry customers!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:19 AM  

  • telus customer service once reprimanded me due to my pottymouth. apparently, "damn" and "screw" are swear words, even when youre discussing some damn unsolicited surcharge on the bill and how it screws me over budget-wise.

    90% of telus people dont help you at all. if youre going telus because its free, or you smoke enough crack to voluntarily go telus, make sure you buy your phone from a store that has good customer service. dont get it from london drugs, they dont help you with anything.

    By Blogger ainge lotusland, at 12:45 PM  

  • Well if you're on DSL in BC or Alberta you are essentially on Telus whether you like it or not. They own all the copper. If it is another Telco providing your DSL they are, at best, leasing the copper from Telus, and at worst simply rebranding Telus' DSL service. Hopefully you get the former not the latter as with the former the CLEC has put their own DSLAM in the CO and connected from there into Telus' switches. It's the DSLAM and the condition of the copper (the number of taps on the line etc)that ultimately determines the quality of your connection.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:39 PM  

  • I switched to Shaw for the Internet, so it's just the local phone line left with Telus. At this point, I am willing to cut off my nose to spite, or at least get Telus out of, my face, so I imagine i'll be switching soon regardless of the service / cost implications (which are likely to be favourable anyway).

    By Blogger Declan, at 10:28 PM  

  • I signed up for a 15.00 long distance plan years ago. Some how, they now add an 4.95 adminastration fee. I've come to realize that they just keep adding these fees with your consent or notification. It's an insidious snake like operation. I am switching to an Internet phone service.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:47 PM  

  • A good plan Victor, I've switched to Rogers for now, but they're not much better, and the near-term plan (next year or two) is to switch to internet phone.

    By Blogger Declan, at 7:51 PM  

  • As experienced by others users, the technical incompetence and blatant arrogance is beyond belief. I have had a Mike account with for a year and spend 3hrs per month speaking to their technical team. I have visited all their services centers across western Canada. On the top of that have had to change my handset at my expense 3X. Stay away from TELUS!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:07 PM  

  • TELUS SUCKS!!!!!!! I am so tired of having nothing but problems with these guys!! There internet works when it feels like it, you can never get anyone that knows what the !@#$!%^ they are doing on a computer...
    Rogers is just as stupid! It would be nice if someone brought in a company that could handle internet questions and do their job as har as customer care!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:15 PM  

  • Beware What They Telus

    Okay, you've probably already heard from some disgruntled people about the service - or rather - the lack of service Telus fails to provide.

    They've been on a recent campaign to recruit subscribers and you've probably already received a few calls by now to be sold on their "great deals". For your own sake, please be sure to thoroughly investigate what you're buying into VERY carefully first, before you regret it later.

    Sure, they may be able to provide what seems like a decent rate up front; and you may not need those "extra frills" they would nickel and dime you on every month. After all, the only thing that matters is that your telephone works when you need it to. Right?

    Of course.

    If it's always working, then there's nothing to bother worrying about. Landlines have been pretty stable for most of the last century, so there's not much to be concerned with. Right?

    Here's the real deal though, it's true; the Devil really does live in the details and it's in the details where you'll find yourself in Hell.

    Imagine a horror story like this one happening to you.

    It begins with octogenarian parents and one with a heart condition, a tight budget and regular calls from a variety of telemarketers offering solutions to save some money on their telephone service. Over time, temptation wears down one's natural disinclination to switch from the security and stability of a service one has grown accustomed to relying on. People are switching telephone companies all the time, so it shouldn't be too big a deal to try someone else; particularly if it helps to make ends meet.

    My senior citizen in-laws decided it was time to switch away from Telus to an up and coming service they'd heard was pretty decent Heck, even I had enjoyed the long-distance savings I had gotten from Yak. In my case though, I only used their 10-10 number to get my price breaks. I hadn't actually switched my service over to them. My in-laws went one step further and actually switched to them as a service provider.

    Here is where the irony meter kicks into overdrive.

    Sure, Yak took over their service by routing their calls through Yak's switches and sent them Yak-branded bills with Yak pricing; but when the phone stopped working, Yak went to Telus to provide a technician to (supposedly) fix the problem.

    Here is where the Devil introduced himself and took us all on his elevator ride to Hell.

    Several calls and several hours after the problem had been reported without achieving a resolution; my wife took over dealing with the situation on our end on behalf of her parents. Several calls and several hours later, a "trouble ticket" was issued and a technician was scheduled to be dispatched to initiate repairs within the next couple of days.

    The technician never arrived. Several calls and several hours later, a technician was scheduled to arrive the next day. Problem solved? Not hardly. The technician never arrived and it was now the end of the week.

    Minor delays like these are usually only annoying inconveniences; not life and death emergencies.

    My father in-law unfortunately, suffers from a heart condition. He has already had a couple of hospital stays to monitor his heart after two mild attacks. My wife hadn't been able to speak with him for several days by this point and was, as one might easily imagine, becoming very concerned.

    Several calls and several hours over the weekend to customer service representatives from across the globe speaking with nearly completely incomprehensible English; one of several rather polite and apologetic people managed to discover a problem in their issuances of "trouble tickets". They were never actually issued because of inconsistent policies due to the establishment of operations centres spanning diverse geographies and a variety of countries, each with their own unique sets of obstacles complicating a streamlined operating policy and procedures.

    A rather pleasant fellow named Ragu assuaged my wife's nerves somewhat by explaining what had happened and by assuring her that a technician had been scheduled for the next day. This was on Sunday. Monday morning came and business hours went. My wife tried calling again. After another hour of listening to what was initially soothing but was now aggravating "hold music", the connection was lost.

    It was at this point where I became more actively involved. I was fortunate. My call connected me with a customer service representative in Toronto who spoke perfect English. I felt bad for her, but I felt by this point that it was necessary for me to light a fire under her to get some results. I was forceful, but not rude. The result was for me to discover that Yak has apparently made service agreements with a variety of carriers across the globe. At first, she believed that Bell would be handling the issuance of a technician. Bell cleared up that misconception for her after she made a few calls while I waited on hold.

    The ball had bounced squarely back into Telus' court.

    There was nothing more she could do until the next day because Telus' office was closed. I confirmed the chronology of events with her. I carefully delineated the complex relationships as clearly as I could with her. The gaps in her understanding made it clear to me that I was asking questions which were above her pay grade and beyond the limits of her training.

    Nevertheless, I felt armed with enough information to be able to speak directly with an after-hours representative from Telus to get some additional questions answered. I had hoped to be able to speak with someone at Telus who could provide enough insight to help facilitate a resolution.

    I found myself speaking instead with a rude, obnoxious and fast-talking brick wall named Val.

    I tried to explain my situation and was quickly stymied by a rote response delivered at a rate which would make an auctioneer jealous. I attempted uttering a couple of more words in an effort to pose another question and was interrupted once again by his "party line". I tried again and was again stymied before finishing my first sentence. I tried once more and was immediately blocked again.

    That was when I popped my cork. "I'm the customer", I started yelling. He yelled back. I yelled more loudly. He yelled more loudly and I went into overdrive. He hung up. I called back and after getting through the robot driven menu system, was back in the service queue.

    Soon, I heard the robot tell me I was being transferred. It was then that I heard the system "hiccup". "Your call is being transferred." I then heard a beep, then "Your call is being transferred", and another beep. This went on like a broken record for at least a half-dozen times and the robot returned. "I'm sorry, there seems to be a problem in connecting you, please try back later."

    The connection died and I was back to hearing my dial tone.

    While I fumed, I contemplated my experience. Val had been well trained to avoid providing service to "neo-customers" that Telus wasn't directly billing. It apparently doesn't matter if Telus actually makes money off customers whose service is paid for on an indirect basis. To not be registered to receive bills branded by their logo is apparently an incentive to them to treat people like dirt.

    Perhaps I'm just too naive, but I always treat the customers of my customers like they are also my customers. Hey, I try to treat everyone I meet like they're a customer. Perhaps that's only because I operate a small business and I'm more motivated to grow my customer base.

    As Confucius once said, "A man thinks differently in a palace than in a hut", and perhaps if I was a large business that had been transformed literally overnight from a government run operation with decades of secure operation into a capitalist enterprise, I might think differently about customer service. Perhaps I might choose to nickel and dime my customers with penalties for incremental features to pad my shareholders' profits while the competition nipping at my heels includes them for free. Perhaps if I had inherited a monopolistically grown customer base instead of having to win each one by one, I might be more inclined to care less about each as individuals.

    If that's the case, then I hope never to grow so big as a business, because to me, the relationships I develop are what make my business worthwhile.

    I do remember some customer research I encountered decades ago in my career that a happy customer will recommend a service to about two in ten people whereas an unhappy customer will tell up to eight in ten people about their negative experience. It's been a long time since I learned that memorable lesson so I am not certain if the statistic still holds true to this day.

    What I do know for certain is that my Telus mobile phone is going to be dumped as soon as I find a better provider.

    Oh, and for those who have cared enough to get this far down in my diatribe; thank you for your concern, but my father in-law now has a mobile phone and has switched his landline provider to Shaw.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 1:54 AM  

  • I used to be with Rogers. Just switched to Teles only last Sept 2008, but 1 problems with Telus continues. First, when I got my phone I was never told that I need to pay $2000 just to have intl call access, 2) I had a Mike then switched to PCS so I bought another ph again, an Instinct, but after a day, I have to return it back to Telus as the phones keys are not working, only to be returned to me after about almost 3 wks 3) I lost incoming SMS facility msg from United Arab Emirates. I was told later that SMS is not in their contract with the carrier there. I couldn't believe what I heard. They do not have a contract with United Arab Emirates, where a lot of Canadians are working. United Arab Emirates where Dubai is, the most cosmopolitan city in the Middle East, the major business hub in the Middle East, where the only 7 stars hotel in the world is, and they do not have a contract? But, they have a contract with Afghanistan. Who's in Afghanistan by the way? I tried to cancel my contract but was told that I need to pay $700 for early contract termination. Anybody out there, will you be interested with Telus? I never encountered any problems with Rogers. And their pretermination fee is only $400, cheaper. Can anybody email me who I can approach in Canada to file a complaint? I just want to get out of Telus SOON. My email is Thanks.

    By Blogger TV ADS, at 8:05 AM  

  • I'm in Winnipeg Manitoba and have been a Telus customer for the last 9 years. That is about to change, however, as after I signed on for a 3 year contract with a BB Storm, I have been enduring an actual customer service storm ever since. Forget the the last year of the official OS 4.7 on the crippled device. I had to go out and find and hack os 5.0 myself. To this day there isn't an official update for Storm 1 on Telus. Forget the fact that I have had to go through 4 faulty devices, suffering from manufacturing defects. Forget the fact that Telus promoted the Storm as Mac friendly, even though the supposed free solution via Pocket Mac was unstable, buggy and un-usable. Forget the fact that the call quality on the handset is un-comprehensible to the person that you are speaking to. Forget all of that.

    Remember this: everytime I walked into a Telus store to complain about the brutal and unusable piece of crap that Telus sold me with a 3 year contract, I was met with rude, condescending attitude of the staff and resistance to replace the hardware until tempers flared .

    The store I refer to is at Polo Park in Winnipeg. Buyer beware.

    My plan now is to come January, get rid of the data plan, voice mail plan, text plan as after Jan 1st it will be free to do so.. Keep the Talk Winnipeg plan, activate my 5 year old Samsung flip phone, turn it off and throw it in the drawer for the remainder of the contract. May be give the phone to my parents, or sell the contract on ebay. Regardless, my job requires me to have a large screen phone. iPhone on Rogers is the one.

    Telus should not be playing the aggressive card here. They put out a broken handset and tried to blame the customer for expecting too much from it. A broken iPhone will work a heck of a lot better than a well functioning Blackberry. I use that last term loosely.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:00 PM  

  • how are you doing? Happy New Year

    Recently I was pissed off by Telus, My story as below:

    On Oct 11, 2009, Telus has a promotion on Telus TV. it is a good deal (I have to say).

    Before I sign the contract with telus tv service, I asked the sales several times: "I also need a Internet, but I am worry about the Telus Internet speed.",
    The sales say it is okay, he gived a month free to try the Internet service out and he said if it does not work with me, then I can cancel the Internet service any time. and he also marked it on the contract. From the contract says there is no contract on Internet service.

    now the bad things came, after I tried out on Internet service, I do not satisfied with the Internet service, the TV service is okay after several times fixes. so I decided to cancel the Internet service. I called Telus to do it, I was pissed off by them.

    They said I can not cancel the Internet service and keep the TV service, if I need to cancel I have to cancel both. furthermore, I have to pay the 120 dollar for breaking Telus TV contract.

    From the contract, it says no contract on Internet, and sales said I can cancel Internet service at any time.

    Right now they denied it, they charge me 120 dollar and asked me to cancel both TV and Internet.

    they are really a big lie

    we need to find a way to stop them.

    thank you

    By Blogger Unknown, at 11:56 AM  

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