It seems like that no matter where you live, people will have countless stories about being unhappy with their Internet service provider. Sadly, I am here with a tale of that sort. In a recent post, I detailed my successful attempt at getting free HDTV over the air with a cheap antenna. In doing so, I decided to cancel my TV subscription with Telus, the company that provided both my TV and Internet services. I contacted them and got them to cancel the TV but keep the Internet. You’d think this kind of thing would be something that they’ve handled before. Based on my experience, Telus appears to have no idea what they’re doing.

As a consequence of canceling the TV service, I had to step down to another level of Internet service. I understood this and I was ok with it. While the speed I had before was crazy fast, I didn’t really use up the maximum bandwidth very often so decreasing my speed was fine. I’d still be at least one level up from the most basic and slow service. I agreed to make the changes happen at the end of February just so was neat and tidy with billing. The 1st of March rolled around and everything was fine and dandy. I’d removed the TV set top box and my Internet was still working. I just assumed everything had switch over with no problems. I was wrong. Little did I know that Telus’ billing cycle for the month of March started today and not last week on the 1st.

I woke up this morning, grabbed my phone and tried to check my e-mail via wifi. I was connected to the router but I couldn’t get a connection to the Internet itself. I grabbed my laptop and tried connecting that way. No dice. I then booted up my desktop to see if it was just the wifi. That did not work either. I rebooted my router three times and it still didn’t work. It was then I called technical support at Telus. I had to get escalated to a Tier 2 person but I finally got an answer. Telus had completely screwed up the change in Internet service levels. The network settings on their end had not been changed correctly. The person I was talking to on the phone told me it would probably be a five minute change but they would call me when it was all fixed. I hung up and went about my day. The five minute fix wound up being closer to an hour. I was at lunch with a friend when they finally called back. Apparently, they had screwed up more than they had initially thought. I don’t know a lot about networking services but it appears a full re-build of the network path for a customer is not a five minute fix.

I didn’t get back home until the evening because I had to run some errands. That meant that I couldn’t observe Telus’ “fix” in detail until after dinner. When I got back in front of my computer, I noticed the porn scientific papers I was downloading was coming in really slow. At first I thought it was just that single site but I then noticed everything was coming in at a crawl. I then ran several download speed tests over and over again, from several different sources. They all capped out consistently at the same very low speed. That meant the slowness had nothing to do with varying network conditions. I called Telus technical support a second time. I again had to be escalated to a Tier 2 person. That dude made me wait for about 15 minutes on hold while I listened to some soft rock favourites that seem to always be a staple of all “holding” music. When he finally returned he explained that whoever tried to fix my problem earlier only partially fixed it and left something else completely broken. I was told he couldn’t fix it right away as the work order had to go to some other network group to be processed. He also warned me that the fix could take as long as 48 hours to be completed. Wonderful.

To add insult to injury, I then checked my Telus account online after I got off the phone. Telus billed my credit card today the same amount that I was billed last month. Going over the items charged to me, I saw that I was billed for the TV service which I had indicated I wanted cancelled after the end of February. So not only did Telus deprive me of Internet service for several hours, then left it slow as molasses, they also charged me money for a service I no longer had.

It’s this type of terrible customer service that leaves people with a huge distrust of large corporations. They seem to have no trouble charging you money, as Telus did in my case, they never get that part wrong. Whenever they have to do something for you though, they always seem to find a way to screw it up completely. When the billing and customer service departments open up tomorrow, I am going to give them whatever ineffective rage one wronged customer can possibly give out against a faceless, cold corporate entity.

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