I just got off the phone with a guy at Telus who told me that I’ve only had a phone with them for two days while I know the real time to be closer to five years.

I admit I am in a bit of an odd position because I changed the name on my account a month ago. Strangely enough, the Telus man readily admitted that I’d been a client since August 8th but refused to believe that I had a cell phone during that time. I tried to ask why I have any reason to pay my invoice for August if he thinks I haven’t been using any services, but he didn’t seem to get my point.

After spending much time trying to convince him there was a mistake on his end, my old phone record “just popped up” on his screen. Lucky for him. Maybe my threat of not paying really did work.

At about this time, my call was dropped, and when I called back I got a much friendlier woman. I explained my situation from scratch and she told me, without fuss, just exactly what the situation was. Quite simply, the fee I was calling to ask about hadn’t been invoiced yet, but my September invoice would be generated tomorrow and I could just call back then. In the meantime, she’d put a note on my account so that whoever I spoke to would know exactly what to do.

That was a much better response, but I can’t help but still be steamed over the first guy who couldn’t wrap it around his head that I had a Telus phone for a month let alone the first years prior. I was calling about the change of handset fee they charge, but he didn’t believe it had ever changed. He thought I was a completely new customer.

The conclusion I have come to is that Telus doesn’t value their existing customers any more than new ones that walk off the street. They advertise, for example, that they will give you a new phone every three years. This is completely false, or at best intentionally misleading. What actually happens is that after three years, you can go to the store and if you sign up for a new 3 year contract you can get the phone that comes free with a 3 year contract, and you still have to pay a $25 fee to switch handsets. If you want a better phone, you have to pay for that too.

This is exactly the same as if you were a brand new customer—sign a contract and get a free phone—PLUS an extra fee for doing it. How does this, in any way, sound like Telus giving you a phone as a thanks for staying with them for 3 years? What incentive at all I do have for staying with a company if I can just as easily switch to another and be treated the same?

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