Avert your eyes if you’ve heard this one before…
My router began acting up a few weeks ago, so I contacted Telus and they replaced it for me. The rebooting problems were solved with the new machine, but the internet service continued to move at a glacial pace. I’ve been massively deep in an edit recently, and between that and #SiWC14 work have not had much time to come up for air, but by this morning, things were crazy.
So I took a deep breath and called Telus.
I’ve been a customer for a LONG time. [I’m old, okay?] Almost 20 years in this house. In fact, since there WAS a telus, as I used to pay AGT bills when I lived in Calgary.
Anyway, of course it turned out that, though they advertise 50 mbpm service, the max I can get in my area is 15. I am currently getting 1.5, [though they record it as 3]. Regardless, substandard service.
So the Telus guy told me that I can pay an extra $5/month to bump my service to 15, the best possible in my area. Okay, sez I. Go for it.
We ring off and I go online to check prices. Here’s what I find:
To save you the click-through, it says the SLOWEST of the available services, 15 mbpm, will be $30/month.
This burns me.
So I follow the link from the confirmation email they’d sent me, log onto a chat line and ask why. I explained what had happened already and asked why they would offer me a higher price for lesser service than they advertise on their own site.
Here’s a transcript of the conversation, missing only my initial question and edited only to take out account info:
You are now chatting with ‘Jane’
Jane: Welcome to TELUS Care Chat Support. My name is Jane and I will be your Care Chat Expert for today.
Jane: Hello KC. I’m glad you chatted in today. How are you?
kc: Did you read my question? [Ed: Referring to the initial explanation and question on the log-in page.]
Jane: I’m sorry to hear that.
Jane: I’ll be more than happy to assist you with your concern.
Jane: To assist you better, is it okay to ask some account information?
kc: Yes. Here is the confirmation number from today: Confirmation number: xxxx
Jane: Thank you.
Jane: May I please have your name and billing account number to pull up your account?
kc: My account # is xxxxx
Jane: Please wait while I search for your account.
Jane: I checked your account and you’re paying $54 for home phone with LD and $42 for internet.
Jane: For your home phone package, would you still like to have the same LD plan or change it?
kc: The phone is fine. The internet is TOO SLOW. I want the fastest available internet. Keep the phone the same.
Jane: I can give you a better home phone package though.
kc: Whatever the cheapest phone package is. I almost never use my landline.
Jane: I can be able to upgrade your internet to Internet 15.
kc: I am asking today about my internet. Please don’t up-sell my phone package.
Jane: Internet 15 is from 3 to 15 mbps with 150gb/mo for $50/mo for 6 mos, $55/mo after.
kc: Why not to Internet 50?
Jane: Internet 50 is not available yet in your area.
Jane: The fastest internet in your area is Intenret 15.
kc: Okay, I get that. But here it says Internet 15 is $30/mo:
kc: This feels like false advertising to me. Offering services and prices that you don’t back up.
Jane: The $30/mo for 6 mos price for Internet 15 is for new clients who is not with TELUS for the past 90 days.
Jane: The advertisement on the website is for new client sonly.
Jane: *clients only
kc: WHAT KIND OF A WAY IS THAT TO TREAT LONG-TERM CUSTOMERS????
Jane: For clients who would like to upgrade, it’s $50/mo for 6 mos, $55/mo after.
kc: Fine. I will go with this system as ordered. But as soon as I chat with [Ed: your competitor], I’ll be moving to their system. THIS IS APPALLING SERVICE.
Jane: I understand.
kc: You understand???? And yet you won’t fix this? Unbelievable
Jane: For your home phone package, what calling feature would you like to keep so we can change it to the basic package?
Jane: It includes 1 calling feature of your choice and the Pay Per Minute LD plan.
kc: NO CHANGE TO THE HOME PACKAGE. Sheesh.
kc: I am, by the way, putting this conversation up on line. Telus’s cute teddy bears do not make up for terrible service. [Ed: Note poorly photoshopped Telus Panda, above]
Jane: You are paying $54/mo for the home phone package with LD and we can give you a lower monthly charge for it that’s why I’m offering it to you.
Jane: The best price I can give for Internet 15 is $40/mo for 6 mos, $55/mo after.
kc: Why wasn’t I offered the best price to begin with? Is it in Telus’s best interests to make me furious?
Jane: I’m sorry for the inconvenience.
kc: Exactly. Now, I know you are not the person who makes the rules, but surely you can see this is ridiculous. Perhaps you can transfer me to someone who can actually give me the same price you offer some JOE off the street who hasn’t been paying a telus bill at this location for 20 YEARS. [Ed: Actually 19 years, but I was feeling testy, okay, and that affects my math skills…]
Jane: I checked your account and there is already a pending request to upgrade your internet service.
Jane: I will apply the additional discount on your next bill onwards.
kc: That is why I signed in today. I called earlier to see why my internet was so slow. They told me they could upgrade it by tomorrow to Internet 15. I agreed. I then went online to see why I was paying $50 for sub-par service, and saw that a better price was being offered online by YOU, Telus. I said all this at the beginning of this conversation.
kc: What additional discount? What will be the amount paid per month? $30 or $40?
Jane: $40/mo for 6 mos, $55/mo after.
Jane: I cannot apply the discount right now because of the pending request to upgrade it.
Jane: Once that request has been processed by the system, I will apply the discount to make the monthly charge $40/mo for 6 mos, $55/mo after.
kc: Man, this is crazy.
kc: Why will you give a NEW customer a better deal than someone who has been paying their Telus bill for 20 years? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND.
Jane: I understand you would like to get the promotional pricing for new clients and that will be processed by the Loyalty Department. I can submit a callback request. They will call you within 24 hours. Will that work for you?
kc: Yes. Thank you. You might want to mention that I’m feeling mighty cranky about this situation.
Jane: I have submitted your callback request.
Jane: Is there anything else that I can assist you with?
kc: No, that’s fine. Thank you.
Jane: TELUS would like to ensure that you can get help 24/7. You may check this link anytime if you need more information: www.telus.com/help
Jane: I hope I was able to give you the information that you need so that the right department can assist you with your concern.
Jane: Thank you for using TELUS Care Chat Support. Have a great night! 🙂
So there you have it. I’m pretty sure the people at Telus are spitting on my internet, or whatever the equivalent is. But the way I see it, the current policy is to offer sub-standard service until you complain, then try to up-sell you on something else as a distraction, and THEN charge you MORE than someone who hasn’t been paying them regularly for 20+ years.
It’s moments like this that I wish my friend James McCann was here. He’s never let corporate greed go unchallenged.
James, I tried to channel you today. We’ll see what comes of it.
What do YOU think? Let me know in the comments!