Telus Customer Complaints of Cellphone Bill For Service That Doesn’t Exist

by Istvan Fekete on March 13, 2013

Early cancellation fees in cellphone bills is among the top issues Canadians complain about. But what about paying for a service that doesn’t exist? And I am not referring to the 911 case now in court in Yellowknife. Here is a story of a Telus customer that had a happy ending for the cellphone subscriber.

Owning the latest smartphone comes with a price: A three-year contract and subsidized costs included in the monthly bill, even if not disclosed to the customer. For a Telus customer from South Surrey this meant an iPhone 5, but unfortunately for him, the phone received marginal to no coverage when he was in his house.

“I have to run to the east side of my home to try to get a signal, try to keep the conversation before it drops,” said Lee.

Steve Lee’s major problem became his earlier benefit: He works from his home office, but because of the weak signal, he was restricted to using one side of the house in order to keep his iPhone within range of Telus’ coverage.

According to CTV BC, Lee’s neighborhood used to receive good coverage, but last April something changed. Since then, his wife’s Fido phone has had good signal on the west side of house, but the iPhone 5 on the Telus network has a very weak service. And the further east you walk in the house, Lee says, the stronger the signal gets.

The carrier has provided Lee with six brand-new smartphones over the past 11 months, claiming the signal issue is a hardware problem, but the handset experienced the same failures his iPhone 5.

“I said ‘look guys, I think we can conclude it’s not a hardware problem. It’s your network problem,’” said Lee.

Since Telus couldn’t fix the problem, Lee took the next step: He contacted the carrier, saying he wanted to cancel his contract, but he had to face the harsh reality that he needed to shell out a $450 early termination fee. The Telus consumer argued he shouldn’t be charged for a service he is not receiving.

The positive turn came after a CTV reporter contacted Telus on Lee’s behalf. “We didn’t handle this particular customer interaction as well as we should have. There’s no question, we’ll apologize for that,” said Shawn Hall, senior communications manager for Telus.

The carrier agreed to terminate his contract with no penalty and also admitted it had coverage issues in the South Surrey neighborhood and is searching for a spot for a new antenna. Telus had already invested $20 million in Surrey infrastructure last year alone.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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JR April 19, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Wireless network providers should indicate the relative signal strengths in their network area maps on their websites instead of just blanketing everything as either being covered or not. Clearly, most of these companies’ coverage maps are incorrect and should be considered as false marketing because some areas they claim to cover are just not covered. Having to run to the other side of the house or outside of the house to avoid a dropped call is unacceptable. If you live in an area with less coverage then you shouldn’t pay the same amount of fees as a person living in an area with great coverage because the level of service is incomparable.

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