While preparing to move into our new place, I called Telus to arrange to have my Internet connection transferred. As luck would have it, they could have a technician come the very same day as we moved our stuff in. As soon as I had the thought, “Wow, things don’t usually go this smoothly with telecom companies!”, I should have known that I was doomed.

Error the First

Telus dude shows up on the afternoon of March 17, about an hour after the “sometime between 2 and 4 pm” timeslot in which I was expecting him. He plugs something into the telephone jack and then says, “Looks like I’ll need to get into the telephone room in the parkade.” “The what?” I say. Apparently there is some room where he needs to flip some switch. A room to which, of course, I do not have the key. “Why didn’t Telus tell me you might need access to this room?” I ask. Because the building manager who had been there a few hours before for our move, is the one with the key. “I don’t know,” he says. There’s nothing he can do, so I have to call Telus to arrange for another technician to come on another day and then coordinate for the building manager to be there with the key as well.

Error the Second

So I arrange for them to come out the following Friday evening, but since I’m going to be in class, I give them Devon’s number to call when we get there (because, as it happens, you also need access to that telephone room to hook up our apartment buzzer). So, of course, on Friday evening, I get a phone call from the technician saying that he’s at the building. Thankfully, I happened to be on my dinner break when the call came, so I was able to give Devon’s phone number to the technician. When I get home and ask expectantly, “Do we have the Internet?” And Devon shakes his head “no,” Because, apparently, flipping the switch was not sufficient to turn on our Internet connection – someone needed to flip a switch at some relay station, but when the technician called Telus to get them to do that, he just got a “our office hours are 8 to 4 message.” Why, exactly, do they send out technicians in the evening if they don’t have the support they need to do their jobs? Why??

Error the Third

So Devon arranges for a technician to come out again the next day. I, of course, don’t trust that they will call Devon’s number even though we’ve given it to them multiple times, so I keep my phone on the table during class and, of course, Telus calls me to say the technician is on the way. I manage to restrain my anger as I yet again give them Devon’s number. And then, thinking my job is done, I put my phone away so that I can concentrate on my very important1 class. And then when I check my phone at lunch, there’s a friggin’ voicemail message from the technician saying “I’m here!” Aaaaaaahhhh! Thankfully, the technician must have called Telus and gotten Devon’s number, because I called Devon and the technician had managed to reach him. And, after having to go to the freaking relay station himself, the technician managed to hook up the Internet. And he claimed to have hooked up the buzzer too. But the buzzer doesn’t work.

And Then There Was The Survey

So the other day I get an automated call from Telus asking me if I’d like to do a survey about my recent Telus experience. And I’m excited, because I think that this will be my chance to tell them how very, very crappy their service is. But it turns out that their crappy service is rivaled only by their crappy, crappy survey design. The survey consisted of seven multiple choice questions which did not even come close to capturing my experience as a customer. Some examples:

  • Did the technician call before they arrived? Press 1 for yes, 2 for no
  • Did the technician tell you their name and give you a business card? Press 1 for yes, 2 for no
  • Did the technician tell you when they were done? Press 1 for yes, 2 for no

Well, yes, yes, and yes. The technician… or should I say technicians, since we ended up with *three* visits from technicians since Telus wasn’t doing their job properly…. were all fine. But there were *no* questions like:

  • Did Telus neglect to tell you pertinent information like that they need access to a locked room that you couldn’t possibly have the key to?
  • Did Telus repeatedly call the wrong phone number, even though you gave them the correct phone number several times?
  • Did they tell you that they hooked up the buzzer, but they didn’t??

You suck, Telus. You suck long time.

  1. And very expensive! []

Comments |9|

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  • Just wanted to say that’s outrageous and their shit surveys sound a lot like TransLink’s shit surveys where they are just SO OBVIOUSLY designed to give them the answers they want to hear, as opposed to actually capturing some semblance of reality.

    And is your buzzer still fucked?

    It’s stunning to me just how awful the telcos are at customer service–but I guess you don’t have to put any effort into it when you’re part of an oligopoly.


  • Moving itself is not so bad – it is all the residual garbage that becomes a pain – you were lucky – you had it over 3 days – imagine – 3 weeks of no phone nor internet because each time there was a problem – there was a 5 day turnaround to get the next piece done. I’m never moving again! (and since your Mom and your Aunt Eileen helped me out and I’m now in a 2 flight walkup – they told me I’m never moving again too!)


  • Hi Beth,

    I’m Katie, from TELUS. We’re sorry to hear about your recent experience – we strive to give our customers great service every time, and clearly we didn’t meet your expectations. Thanks for reaching out to us on Twitter – we’re going to work with you to make this right.


  • Katie – I did get a phone call from an “executive customer relations” person last night and they are sending a “top-level” manager technician to come over and fix my buzzer today (which I had been told on the phone by a regular customer service rep was nothing to do with Telus earlier in the day). It’s nice to finally get some attentive service from Telus, but it’s sad that I have throw a tantrum on Twitter and my blog to get treated well.


  • Did you read about Loren and my recent experience with Telus on FB? Cause if you didn’t, ask us to relay the story to you, as it is always wonderful to bond over mutual aggravation AND since we have been upgraded to the “Executive Escalations Department” once Loren complained in the right place. If you had any trouble with your “top-level” manager, let me know and I’ll give you our version of complaining in the right way to get the right attention.

    Also, just to be fair to the company, once we got to the Executive Escalations Department, our issues were eventually resolved. It’s a bit ridiculous that we had to get that far to get resolution, but still… we no longer have a problem with them.


  • Funnily enough, I got top notch service from the “Executive Customer Relations” person as well. They couldn’t, in the end, resolve the issue because apparently it’s an issue with my building’s enterphone system, but they were polite, responsive, and did everything they could. But, like you say, it’s ridiculous that I needed to throw a tantrum on Twitter (which is how I got escalated) in order to get decent service.


  • As a (some company) employee… that sounds typical of Shaw and Telus contractors. Next time (if ever) you need an install from Telus, ask for a Telus employee and demand that they do not send a contractor. As shitty of a company as Telus is, the technicians are all very good… it is the contractors that receive 0 training and are sent out to represent Telus.

    The technical side, there is no switch to flip. Depending on the set up and way cables run (miles and miles) from the Central Office (Relay Station?) an install can be done within minutes, hours or days…. or weeks… I have had them done in months (Where I was the installer…). Generally, a simple apartment install is literally moving 2 wires in the Comm Room, and moving 2 wires at the CO. Best case scenario, plus all the computer work and conditioning the lines. For Shaw it is unscrew one cable, screw in the other cable. However, many problems do arise (squirrels/gophers eating cables…) and that is why you demand that they compensate you some how (free time/rebate). Also, the call centres that matter, for techs, are open 24 hours as they are all in the Phillipines and India (Good Canadian Jobs?)


    • Contractors have less repeat rates and better 5 star surveys while making twice the money you in house techs. Dont be jealous and work hard may be that will help your sorry ass.


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