Bite Me, Telus Mobility

Here’s a tip – never ever ever ever ever sign up for a long-term cell phone contract. Nothing more than a year. No matter what.

When I had a year-by-year contract, Telus was usually almost not horrid to me most of the time. And at the end of the year, they’d offer me some piddly discounts and marginally fabulous new features just for signing for another year.

Then I got complacent and signed a 3-year contract.

I’ve been their bitch ever since.

I’m half-way through the 3 years and the daughter’s phone is toast. One would think it could either be fixed or replaced with relative ease and minimal cost.

One would be soooooooooooooooo mistaken. So very, very mistaken.

I go to the Telus store.

Cocky dipshit wanker “customer service representative” didn’t even get his ass out of his chair when I walked in,  nor for the entire 10 minutes I spent in the store.

First thing he does  is look up my account. (Ah ha – a long term contract. I don’t even have to pretend to be nice).

He scoffed and sneered at the idea of fixing a cell phone. My so-called loyalty points consisted of $200 off a smart phone provided I sign a new 3-year contract and get the whole digital web package thing.

Or I could get $100 off any other phone without a package, provided I sign a new 3-year contract.

 Not in this lifetime.

Or I could buy a refurbished phone for $80 with a 90-day warranty. Most of them are so old they have a rotary dial.

Or I could buy any phone in the store at full price ($300 – $500++)

“Those are not good options,” I say. He shrugs and goes back to his online porn or whatever it is he’s doing back there that prevents him from getting to his feet.

I try calling “customer service”.  I kept saying the wrong thing (customer service) to their voice-activated option system apparently because I kept getting sent back to the main menu.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t quite get that. Let me take you back to our main menu.”

“Customer Service” is apparently not an option Telus offers.

 No kidding.

When I finally managed to get someone who claimed to be human, they basically just offered me the same options as Desk Wanker, except there were a few more phones available at around the $100 mark.

Of course the phone would have to be sent by courier and I would have to be home to sign for the phone and the courier could come any day within 3-5 business days between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.

Much as I would love to spend a week at home waiting for a courier, I declined their kind offer.

Then I called to see what it would cost to buy out the rest of my contract.

$720.

I finally dug up a very, very old cell ph0ne and had that re-activated. I don’t know how long it’s going to last, and people will point and laugh at my daughter and her retro technology, but oh well. Take better care of your phone next time, honey.

Is there anyone not totally pissed off with their cell phone company? Is anyone happy with their cell phone company? Does anyone want to take over my Telus contract?

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39 responses to “Bite Me, Telus Mobility

  1. Cell phone insurance. I keep thinking it’s a complete waste of money, but I won’t put the money aside “just in case”. Plus the last time I thought about canceling it I found my son’s phone in the washer as I was taking clothes out. They replaced it immediately in-store. Another time my daughter had bounced hers off of the floor one too many times. That was a wait by mail thing, but I had it delivered to work.

    I still keep our prior phones though. You never know.

  2. I had a similar experience with Telus a few years ago, my phone broke halfway through the contract and they also scoffed at the idea of fixing it. Ever since, I have also been careful to only sign a one or two year contract. When it happened, and whenever I have had any other problem with my Telus contract, I always ask to speak to ‘customer retention’ (that is the keyword on the voice recognition system). This seems to be a level above customer service and they have much more freedom than the regular customer service folks or anyone in-store to cut you a deal or actually work with you to find a solution instead of just reading off a script.
    When it happened to me, I ended up buying a $50 phone through their lost or stolen program after consulting with those guys and that got me through my contract. Since then I have avoided the temptation of the 3-year deal.

  3. Retro phone are in. Think Zac Morris from Save by the Bell. If your phone is that old, it’s cool.

    There is another way to get around the Telus buying new phone issue. UsedOttawa.com. As long as the phone can work on a Bell or Telus network, it’s good. You can get pretty cool phone for under $150.

    I’m currently with Rogers and really like Rogers. BUT I do find that there is a big difference for customer service if you are a woman speaking to a man, vs. a woman speaking to a woman. I get much better service for customer service with the opposite sex.

    A. was with Bell and hated it. He actually paid the $400 to get out of his plan to move over to Rogers. He didn’t have reception with Bell in our own house, that’s why he switched. He has an iphone, reception and overall is pretty happy with Rogers sevice.

  4. Thanks for the warning about Telus! Wow! I’m with Fido but my phone is very old and I’m hoping to buy a new one. They’ve been o.k. so far, hopefully that will continue with my new phone. 🙂

  5. Back when Telus was Clearnet I had similar issues with them. I honestly wonder how they’re still in business. It sounds like they haven’t changed a bit, except that they no longer get up from the donkey porn when a customer walks into the store.

    The good news? In late 2006 I posted a rant about Leon’s Furniture delivery issues on my blog. It is now one of the top search results when someone types in ‘Leon’s Furniture delivery’ or other similar things. I feel like I’m getting just a wee bit of vindication for their stupidity and poor service.

    Telus, like Leon’s, needs to realize that this is the age of technology; anyone can put up a rant about their products or service. We no longer have to hope a news station or newspaper will pick up our story or print a letter to the editor. They should tread lightly.

  6. My phone died just before Christmas, fortunately I had one of the Motorola Rubberized Bouncing bricks so it actualy out lived my 2 year contract… But when I went on the Telus site all the phones they had required at least a 3 year contract to make them anywhere near affordable.

    So I went to ebay, payed 100 bucks for a year old phone, that they still charging $249 with a 3 year contract.

    When my new phone arrived I was able to just pop my sim card into it and my phone was going.

  7. Ugh! Yuck! I’m on a 3 year plan with Rogers and I’m still in the first year so all is well right now. of course, once my phone breaks (which it inevitably will, right?) I’ll be in your shoes and very po’d.
    At the moment, I love my phone, because it makes it very easy to talk with my sister in Dubai (who calls me on Skype), my hubby, even when I’m in Ottawa, and my other sis here in Montreal, as well as my parents. I spend so much time out now that I commute that the phone saves me. I do a lot of my living back and forth between cities, or on the oc transpo, or wherever, that the phone keeps me connected…

  8. Becky – Cell phone insurance? Never heard of it. Do we have that on this side of the border? Perhaps some insurance savvy Canadian reader could let us know. What a concept.

    Mark – Ah – customer “retention”. Hmm. No one told me about any lost or stolen program, but thanks for the tip. This is valuable because I very much doubt this old phone is going to last another 17 months. So many tricks and secrets. Did you have to get your phone by courier?

    A&J – Ya, I’m not as cute as you on the phone, so I wouldn’t get away with that opposite sex thing. I can’t even get some lazy assed rep in the store to give a shit about my business. I did look on the UsedOttawa and Kijiji, but those phones usually come with plans. And my first cell was with Rogers and I wasn’t all that impressed with them and then just before we signed the new deal with Telus we looked around and Rogers couldn’t offer us anything worth exploring.

    Hannah – Fido, eh? I’ll keep them in mind. Do you have a long term contract with them?

    Maven – Oh boy!! Becoming a top search result is definitely something to look forward to. Did Leon’s ever contact you directly? I’d never get anything from them anyway – what a scam. Just like The Brick. Don’t even get me started.

    Violetsky – No. I bought my way out of my. Bell home phone service. It was totally worth it. I now have internet help desk people who live in this country and actually understand technology. And holy crap that’s some recommendation that your own brother works for the company and you use another company. Very scary. Poor brother. He should be able to get another job, no? Good customer service reps are very, very, very thin on the ground.

    MG – Sim card?? I’m learning so much about cell phones today. I’m happy I did this post. So you can remove this “sim card” and it works in any phone? Is this the thing that makes that phone a Telus phone? Does it store all your information so you don’t even have to re-activate the new phone (which also costs $25-$35 at Telus on top of the fee for the new phone)

    Noha – Hey, if you take good care of your phone it might last you the whole 3 years. My daughter was very rough with her phone. And if you read through some of these comments there are some very useful tips and suggestions here. So don’t start worrying already. I do think customers everywhere should start refusing to sign 3-year contracts. They’re insane.

    Jobthingy – Yes. I don’t know what I was thinking. Never again. And never Telus again for sure.

  9. I had customer support (for my ISP) hang up on me yesterday. I am thoroughly fed up with any sort of customer support.

    But I live by the same rules: No contract under no circumstances for ISP or cell phone. I might have to switch to a contract-ISP now if i actually switch after that episode… but I refuse being treated like crap.

    The simple Nokia phones are only 40$ or something here in Germany, new ones – have you tried that yet? No MMS, camera etc, of course… but mine works a treat.

  10. Our biggest problem is that, at home, we usually have almost no service. We live 3 miles out in the country. The service is fine outside of the house.

    In June 2007, we were wading in the Platte River west of Omaha, Nebraska, and I had just got done with our daughter back home in Arkansas when I dropped the phone into the water!

    I quickly grabbed it up, hoping for the best, but, of course, it didn’t work. After giving a couple days to dry, it still didn’t work, even though it showed good service.

    On down the road a ways on our trip, hoping to trade it in for something that worked, I stopped at a AT&T kiosk in a mall outside Kansas City. The guy I talked to was very friendly and, when I told him what had happened, he asked for the phone and said, “Let me try something.”

    He popped the battery off, put it back on, turned the phone on — and it worked!

    I’m still using it.

    Except for the lack of service at home, we’re not unhappy with our cell phone company, but, then, we have our cell phones primarily for when were away anyhow.

  11. That was weird. I haven’t used that “skedaddle” on comments for well over a year.

    I signed in to WordPress.com to get the Askimet key for the new location of Exit78 and hadn’t signed out, so it “automatically” used my old blogging name. 😉

  12. Depending on the phone you have depends on weather you have a sim card. Some of the lower end ones don’t have them.

    Check your manual and they should tell you if you have one.

    They charge you to activate a new phone? That’s crap. Especially if they are selling you the phone.

  13. I swear I am the only living Canadian who has never had a cell phone. Hell, I don’t even have a GPS! (Sorry I can’t be more helpful.)

  14. We went with Virgin Mobile pay as you go and we’ve saved a ton of money. Instead of $45 a month we now pay $40 every three months for air time.

  15. What fortune!

    My mom is with Telus and just upgraded her phone and gave me her ‘old’ one to use but I don’t use cell phones so it’s just sitting in a drawer. It works just fine and has a camera and is red and has chargers and everything and YOU CAN HAVE IT!

    If you want I can actually look up the model because all I know about it is that it’s a flip phone…

  16. It’s certainly no different here in the states with verizon…when I went to replace a phone because of its lackluster performance I got the same answers you did from THE SAME WANKER.

    I’m having the same kind of issue with my satellite television. There oughta be a law, right? This can’t be right.

  17. Funny thing is that I LOVE Telus, having had to deal with Bell Mobility in the past. I recall when I left Bell and cancelled my phone with them they were all of a sudden helpful and generous and so full of lies and bullshit (I wanted a phone and 2 way radio like hte mike network and then told me that they were going to have it 12 or 14 months later – which of course didn’t mean that they had it NOW when I needed it)
    Personally I just bite the bullet and buy a new phone when mine dies – no contract. But then again I also pay a nominal fee for my phone. I guess paying out 5 to 600 dollars a month really helps out.

  18. I had some really positive experiences with Telus and with Clearnet. (But I never signed a contract.) Go to their corporate site, find out who the CEO And VP Customer Relations is and email them. (Customer retention should work.)

    I echo the Bell Canada sentiment. I ended up paying them $14 for no apparent reason so they wouldn’t send me to collection. They still owe me $75 — the amount of time I have spent trying to cancel this account has been incredible.

  19. lmao @ goes back to his online porn or whatever it is he’s doing back there. I was just discussing this with someone yesterday, the cell phone companies have the worst plans ever at the most outrageous prices. And I don’t know about Canada, but here in the U.S. customer service is at an all time noticeable low. With the so-called global economic crisis and all that, they really ought to be kissing my ass with gratitude just for spending money in their establishment! But nooo instead of gratitude, we get attitude! Grrr!

  20. I’m on Rogers. Their service is awful.
    – Their “unlimited browsing” option (at $7) costs me $.50/kb for anything other than webpages. My smartphone happily blows through three or four megs a day, so that’s not a possibility, even though the salesweenie told me it wouldn’t be a problem.

    – Their website is periodically broken. Links don’t work. I can’t check my account balance online. Links to my internet usage (different service, same site) occasionally break.

    – Their customer service is painful. When I called to complain about the problems above, they started passing me around between departments. I gave up after 45 minutes of being on hold.

    I had slightly better experience with Virgin, but I wasn’t using a smartphone.

  21. Gila – I’ll have to come to Germany and buy some cheap phones. I don’t think we even have Nokia here anymore, do we?

    Mike – I wonder if the US has many more options than we do? We have 3 basic companies: Bell, Rogers and Telus and then there are a lot of pretend other companies which are really just part of one of the 3 big ones. So, rates, contracts, etc. are pretty much all the same. I wouldn’t even be surprised if somewhere down the line one big rich guy owned all three companies anyway.

    MG – I’ve been doing a little reading on SIM cards since your last comment. And yes, they charge us to activate and they charge us a monthly “system access fee” of $7 – $9 which no one knows what that even is for.

    Tom – No, my mother doesn’t have a cell phone either. So that’s two of you. You and my mom. Have you met?

    Dr. Monkey – We’d go broke with a pay as you go. The kid is attached to that thing 24/7. For me a pay as you go would be perfect. Kids are so friggin’ expensive. HOWEVER, I like to be able to contact her and vice versa, so I got her a cell phone. And thus a monster was created.

    Tiana – I’m actually okay with the old one for now, but thanks so much for the kind offer. If I were you, I’d hold on to that phone because you never know when you might decide you need a cell. Very nice of you. Really.

    Laura – I don’t know why we put up with all this crap. The fees are insane, the complicated contracts, the shitty service. What are we? Stupid? I guess we must be. Add up what you pay every month just for telecommunications – it’s nuts.

    Lebowski – Do you ALWAYS have to be contrary? But ya, if they don’t have you over a barrel with some long-term contract or something they can be just fine and dandy. What are you paying $600 a month for?

    Nat – Again, if you don’t have a contract they’re sweet as pie to you, I know. Just don’t ever sign a contract or you’ll meet the real Telus.

    Charlene – Exactly the same world wide it seems. They figure they’ve got us anyway, so they don’t need to suck up or try. The whole telecom industry is owned by a handful of people, so you can leave one service provider and think you’re going to another, but it’s really just the same company. We’re totally screwed unless we go live in the woods with no phones or tv or computers

    Erigami – I think Virgin is a subsidiary of Bell. Fido is a subsidiary of Rogers. Koodoo is a subsidiary of Telus. The big 3 own everything. I had a Rogers phone the first time around and got away from that pdq. Bell is just right off my list for anything so I was left with Telus. What do I do next? There has to be some new regulation put in place for these things. It’s unconscionable what they get away with.

  22. When our cell phone broke, Telus told us it would cost us $75 for them to ship it to a Telus Mobility centre to have a highly trained technician look at it. The technician’s fee for looking: a further $150.

    Not to fix it. Just to look at it. $150.

    I was afraid to ask how much it would cost to actually repair it — I’m sure it would’ve drained my savings. Telus has designed the system so that it’s cheaper to buy a new phone than actually fix the old one…..bah!

  23. I wish I could help, but I can’t. 1) I’m a little too far south of the border and have never heard of Telus. 2) I’ve had the same cell phone company for TEN YEARS. 3) They love me, so I usually get a free brand-new phone every two years by signing a one-year contract.

    Don’t hate me.
    🙂

  24. In my country, there are several websites that allow you to sell your lease to someone else. Here’s one such site:

    http://celltradeusa.com/

    Alternatively, they allow you to exchange leases across carriers. I’m sure a country as progressive as Canada would have something similar. I, for one, wonder if all this super-connectivity has improved my life.

  25. Customer service??? Bwahahahahahahahaha — what an oxymoron!
    Don’t get me started, but if you do want to, ask me about Zellers and why I won’t darken the doors of any HBC store (i.e. The Bay and Home Outfitters, too).
    Alright, so I slipped and bought one item at Zellers last week. One lousy 16-dollar dish drying rack. But it’s all I needed, and hardly worth the drive to WalMart. The shun is back on, however.
    And don’t get me started with IP-related help desks, either. Just last week, I went through hell with three different companies. I finally called Little Bro Dan and less than ten minutes later, he had all my problems taken care of. The only attitude I got was “Bob, how often do I have to tell you not to bother with those clowns? Call me first instead.” Lesson learned. Again.
    Customer service, indeed.

  26. I’m with Fido and have never had a contract. They never even HAD contracts when I first signed up with them lo these many years ago. Interestingly, my home phone was Telus, and when phone service was deregulated and we finally had a choice, I switched to Shaw. Why? Crappy customer service from Telus. So I guess it’s not just their mobility division. (Wonder how it is for their cable and TV service?)

  27. Ah, yes. Been there, done that. I got out of my 3-years Rogers contract when I declared bankruptcy. (No, I’m not advocating that as a way to get out of a long-term cell phone contract, but it certainly was effective.) Now I have a cheap little, out-of-production Nokia phone with a month-to-month plan that I barely use. Probably shouldn’t have a phone at all except that it’s a way to check my email away from home.

  28. I’ve never had a problem and when we finally went in for new phones a while back, they were free. I guess that doesn’t make you feel better, but I bet you know where your camera is.

  29. Kimber – Thanks for visiting! You guys have been enjoying the Telus experience for a lot longer than we have – including home service, I understand? Nothing is made to last – least of all technology. It certainly isn’t made to be repaired. Have you seen the picutures of cell phones in landfills? If nothing else some environmental group ought to lobby to have these things last better.

    CP – I don’t hate you. As long as we have a one-year or less contract, I think (from past experience) they actually have to be nicer to you. I didn’t mind Telus back in the day either. It’s just when I got into a long-term relationship with them that things started to go sour.

    Brad – Yes, we can buy and sell leases up here in the wilderness, too. I don’t know how successful this program is because I sure wouldn’t want to take over someone else’s headache. I could try and sell my lease, but then I’d just have to sign up with one of the other 2 cell-phone mob families who, I suspect are all in bed with each other anyway. Nice to see you out and about again, Brad.

    Jazz – OMG!!! How do you LIVE? Are you still able to maintain a heart-rate? Breathe? Digest food? All without a cell phone? Anthropologists speak of peoples like you. I wish I could meet you so I could poke you tentatively with a stick and see if you’re for real. (PS: Smart woman)

    Bob – I know. I know. The customer service oxymoron deserves a rant all its own. Zellars has some rockin’ prices on stuff so I do go in there sometimes, but yes, their customer service is non-existent. However, I would still rather go there than WalMart any day. If for no other reason that those incessant loudspeaker announcements at Walmart drive me nuts.

    Pinklea – Fido is now part of Rogers. We don’t have Shaw out here. Who owns that? My home phone and internet is with Primus. So far, so good.

    Leah – Will they take on Canadians, too? Not that I’m planning to suit. I just want Telus to be nicer. Is that too much to ask?

    Louise – Hmmm, that DOES seem a bit drastic. But way to pull a fast one on Rogers!! Ha ha.

    Geewits – YES! I do know where my camera is. And our phones are “free” too if we sign a 3-year contract. You guys have much better deals –more competition probably. And it makes me happy just to know you’re happy.

  30. I won’t!

    I used to have a cell phone, but the reception was no good inside my house. I had to go out on the porch to make a call. It was just stupid.

    At least i wasn’t on a plan. It was Rogers pay-as-you-go.

    After that I used to put $10 on it whenever I went on a road trip, so I could call 911 if I found myself upside down in a ditch. Then I found out you don’t even have to put money on a phone for 911 to work, so I don’t anymore.

  31. Robin – So do you have a phone? And you only keep it charged up in case you have to call 911? Cool. If I didn’t have an offspring I would have very little use for a cell phone. Damn kids are expensive AND totally screw up your breakfast plans

  32. As you know, I am very happy with AT&T. We get reception, when we don’t even get land line reception half the time. When a phone breaks, I go on eBay and find one that works with AT&T for $30. I’m not sure if I have ever been without a contract. I think I started with a two year contract and then added a phone and got another year, but they have literally written off a total of $400 over the last couple of years. I’m sure they wouldn’t on a monthly basis, it was a two time thing, but gosh those people are pleasant on the phone.

    Can’t say that about just anyone now-a-days.

    I think that machines should not be allowed to answer the phone or make phone calls. Let’s start writing our politicians. They never have the right option that you want. That is the point, so you will hang up and leave them alone.

  33. Was with Rogers. Similar maddening run around. Switched to Fido. Better but best plans was going without a cell. The ring at a bad moment? It’s never mine. lalalala I’m out of reach of phones. and loving it.

  34. Savanvleck – We don’t get AT&T here or I’d switch. They sound unbelievable. And I agree !00% on the stupid machines answering the phones. Just think of how many people are unemployed because no real people are answering phones anymore. Just hink how a company’s stock would rise if they employed real people to speak with their customers AS SOON AS THEY CALLED!! No button pushing, no being on hold for hours waiting for my call which is “very important to them” to be answered.

    Pearl – I could live without a cell phone if it wasn’t for the kid. It’s very handy to keep in touch with her when she’s out gadding about.

  35. I chose Telus’ $20 for 200 minute plan in a 3 year contract (and a Motorola Razr2 PCS phone). I also agreed to try out some additional options like web access and text messaging knowing that each time “I used those options” there would be a charge but I wanted these options in case I needed to download updates from the web or if I wanted to send a text message. Unknown to me, simply by agreeing to have web access, Telus took it upon themselves to send my phone web update requests so each time I used my cell phone, it would check the web for updates and simply by agreeing to text messaging, Telus decided to send me daily informational text messages each of which cost me an additional $1.00. I was not a heavy cell phone user but I typically used my phone 3 or 4 times a month and I never sent a text message or checked the web myself but my monthly bills were close to $70.00 for this $20/200 plan. That is gouging the customer.