Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sticking It To Telus

Yesterday, after being a Telus Mobility customer for nearly 8 years, I finally freed myself from their evil money-grubbing, consumer-abusing clutches. The reason? Well, it started as far back as 2000, when Telus bought Clearnet.

- Per-second billing
- No contracts
- All rate plans included call waiting, voicemail, and call display

- Per-second billing removed
- Monthly plans still offered, but lots of pressure to sign a contract
- Pay extra for features such as voicemail and call display

For years, Telus customer service reps have been nagging me on an almost monthly basis to try to get me to sign up for a contract in lieu of my wonderful grandfathered Clearnet plan, but to no avail. Of course, that alone wasn't enough to draw me away. A number of factors have caused me to switch providers. Namely:

  • Most Telus phones have crippled Bluetooth. If I'm paying >$350 for a phone, it had better have Bluetooth working fully.

  • Most Telus phones typically do not come with data cables. I had to pay $50 for my LG8100's data cable, only to have to spend an extra day scouring the Internet for the cable driver (no, they didn't have the decency to include the driver with the cable) so I could sync up the phone to my computer.

  • When downloading a ringtone from Telus, you can't even preview the ringtone. I ended up spending $10 on ringtones I didn't actually want because I wasn't allowed to preview them.

  • Telus forces you to pay for their ringtones, rather than allow you to load them from the data cable (hence why the driver isn't included with the cable). Oh, and you have to pay a download fee plus the cost of the ringtone itself.

  • I have never received anything from Telus to thank me for my customer loyalty. Well, that's a bit of a lie. I once received a little stuffed pig in the mail. Oh, and last year, I convinced them to give me a $100 discount on a phone (a phone which SUCKED, BTW) after I complained to them. And last, but not least, just before I left Telus, I did get a letter in the mail offering me $50 off a new phone for my customer loyalty. Too little too late. Plus, I had to wait 8 years for a whole $50 off a new phone? Wow, geez, I sure do feel special.

  • They charge me for switching handsets. What's up with that? It's a 2-second job that a monkey could do. How does that warrant a whopping $30 or so??? Oh, but hey, if you do it online, it's *only* around $20.

  • Way too much fine print. I just went onto the Telus site and picked a random rate plan, and this is what I got. As you can see, there is way too much fine print. And of course, they do whatever they can to try to lock you into a contract.

  • Their customer service reps are snarky. Last time I spoke to a Telus CSR complaining about their crappy service, I was told that they're just running a business. First of all, she talked down to me like I was some sort of idiot. News flash - I worked in consulting for almost 4 years. I think I know how a business works a little better than she does. Secondly, that is a very poor example of customer service.

  • GSM is better. Phones are smaller, can be unlocked in case I decide to change providers, AND there's a high likelihood that I can use my phone abroad for emergency purposes when I travel.

  • Phone number portability. I've been resisting the temptation to change service providers because I've had my mobile # for the last 8 years. Now that cell phone numbers can be ported over in Canada, I am free to shop around at will.

  • My ugly piece of crap brick of an LG8100 phone sucks. I haven't even had it for a year, and it's already giving me problems. Namely, it shuts itself off spontaneously when I close it. When I took it to Telus to see what they could do, they said that they could send it out to be fixed and would give me a loaner (usually a crappier model). If I sent it out to git it fixed from a store other than the store from which I purchased it, I would be charged $30 for the piece of crap loaner, plus I would be without my phone for who knows how many weeks. Arrrrrgh!!!

So in a nutshell, Telus has over the years done their utmost not ratain me as a customer, so I have repaid the favor and have finally left for the greener pastures of GSM. I am now a Fido customer with a wicked rate plan (still no contract!) and per-second billing. So Telus Mobility, if you're listening: SCREW YOU!


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