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And now for something completely different

June 25, 2010
by

I am interrupting this (ir)regularly scheduled eco-blog for a wee rant about the atrocious “service” our non-profit society has received from #Telus.  Being a small town, our selection of telephone service providers is limited to #Telus so if you don’t like it, you can take your business … well, nowhere I guess. (NB: I was advised that many companies regularly troll the internet for mentions so they can mitigate any possible online negativity, so I’m using hashtags in the hope that I might get a quicker response than my email directly to the CEO has received.)

When I was researching costs for our funding application last summer, I called #Telus and explained exactly what we were doing (short-term office with 4 staff so will need 4 phone lines, plus fax & internet – no contract) and was quoted some pricing.  I quizzed the sales rep extensively to be sure I wasn’t missing anything, including taxes and the dreaded ‘extra fees’ like 911 service and all that and was assured that I had all the costs.

When the funding was approved, I went ahead and set up our telephone service exactly as discussed months earlier so imagine my surprise when the first bill came through and it was more than $100 over what I had been quoted!!  Over the term of our 9-month funding, that would put us almost $1000 over budget on phone service.  I called immediately, of course, and explained the situation and was assured there would be a credit.  The following month’s bill arrived and there was no credit anywhere to be seen, and our billing was still $100 more than quoted.  This dragged on for another 3 months until I finally was able to hit upon a Telus representative who actually knew what they were doing and was able to fix our account properly.  This seems to be the trick:  one must keep calling and calling and calling until you can find that magical #Telus employee (as difficult to find as a leprachaun with a pot of gold) who actually knows what they are doing.

Our funding is ending this month (today in fact) and as we have been unable to secure long-term funding yet, we need to cut costs drastically.  The absolute cheapest rate I could get at Telus amounts to almost $60 per month which is well out of our budget.  They don’t even have a way that you can keep the number alive cheaply with just a voicemail box or something.  And so I started looking at cel phones and we decided that a Pay-As-You-Go phone would be the cheapest at $10/month minimum; unfortunately, this would mean losing the phone number we have established over the last 9 months, but there was nothing else for it.

I went into the #Telus Mobility dealer to pick up the phone and there I discovered that if we signed up for a #Telus Mobility 2-year contract ($20/month), we COULD port our number over.  Hurrah!  What follows is the letter I sent to the CEO of #Telus on Monday, June 21 briefly outlining my experience with this:

Hi,

After spending many hours waiting on hold and speaking with more than a dozen different representatives at Telus, Telus Mobility and the Porting Administration Centre as well as several visits to the local Telus Mobility dealer, I have at last been advised that I should write an email to you to resolve the issue of whether or not we can port our number from a Telus landline to a Telus Mobility cel phone.

Pebble in the Pond is a small environmental non-profit society.  In October, we received short-term funding to start up an office and because the funding was short-term, we did not sign a contract for telephone service; however, we hoped to secure longer-term funding before it expired and sign a contract then.  Unfortunately, we were not successful and this funding runs out on Friday June 25.

We’ve been running the office for 9 months now and I’m sure you can understand that keeping the existing phone number is very important.  The cheapest possible rate I could get from a Telus representative amounted to roughly $60/month with all taxes & fees.  We can’t afford this so I looked into the possibility of getting a cel account.  In my hours of investigations and dealer visits, I was advised on June 10 that if I signed a contract for cel service, we could port the number over.  Hurrah!!  I should point out here that at every step of the way, each representative asked me what my existing phone number is.

As we still needed the landlines until this week, I waited until today to do the switch.  Unfortunately when I went into the dealer, the cel phone in question was not in stock and, although they have ordered it, I won’t know until Thursday afternoon if they will get it. I decided that if I couldn’t walk out with a cel phone, it didn’t make any difference whether I did the switch at the dealer or over the phone so I called in to make the switch.

Imagine my shock after the hours of investigation I had done earlier when I was advised that our number can not be ported over to Telus Mobility!  Of course, I questioned this and was referred to the Porting Administration Centre who advised that the number could be ported but that it would not be a local Powell River number.  The reason given was that “there is no local calling zone that matches the one I have now.”  I asked the representative at the Porting Administration Centre (Mike) what the local calling zone is and he explained that it is the first 6 digits of the phone number.

This makes no sense to me at all because I personally know many Telus Mobility customers in Powell River whose numbers all start with the same 6 digits that our number starts with:  604-483-xxxx.   I pointed this out to Mike but he could not explain any further and referred me to Telus engineering at 310-2255.  I spent more than an hour on hold (and somehow wound up being transferred away from that number) and spoke to a couple of representatives, the last of whom finally told me I should email you for a resolution to this matter.

Please contact me ASAP as we must get this matter sorted out early this week before our funding runs out.

To this, I received an auto response advising me that the #Telus’ “commitment is to address your email within five business days.”  Today is day four, and my rage-o-meter is still firmly at 11 …

Anyone else have a similar experience and wish to vent?  Our lines are open.  Well, for the time being anyway …  The eco-blog will resume shortly.  Thank you so much for your attention.

*** UPDATE *** It works!!! Within 40 minutes of this blog post, I got a call from the CEO’s office.  This doesn’t make any sense to them either.  Am I surprised?  Not one bit!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2010 7:52 pm

    Hi Karen, I had to smile at your rant as I had just gone through almost verbatim what you had just experience with Telus. I have a cousin with learning disabilities who recently moved. The new place didn’t have a landline, so we decided to go Pay & Talk cell, also it would work out cheaper for him. (he is on limited income). I also was told we could ‘port’ his number over from landline to cell, HAH, apparently NOT….however I was told finally that once his automatic number selection for his new cell was in place (all done online, as no agent was cabable, I may add) that we could go back online and request the old number, once it was cancelled. OMG, what a nightmare…we finally gave up, and he now had to learn a new number (not an easy task, not to mention calling everyone who knew him with the new number). I was just angry that in this day of supertechnology, that Telus does not have these systems in place? I am sure it’s not an uncommon request?
    Anyway suffice to say, we gave up, so good luck with your endeavours. I sympathise completely…Linda

  2. Dropping By permalink
    June 26, 2010 11:39 pm

    hey – thanks for sharing – I hope Telus gets the message this is totally insane!!!

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