Thursday, April 24, 2008

I hate Telus TOO!

Man, I am not alone in my extensive dislike for this company's customer 'service' practices. Whilst on hold or trying to make myself understood to SEVEN agents today, I receieved three "I hate Telus" websites from someone I was on Messenger with...

Telus Sucks Info
Rant Vancouver
Follow Steph

I know there are more of those sites out there and I KNOW there are way more people who think Telus's 'service' is so poor that it should win an award.

So, as I'm not afeared of anything or anyone, I sent the following email to the president of Telus and to another guy who has something to do with human resources, which I'm sure he administrates from the golf course somewhere....
I wanted to let you know directly about my experience with Telus customer service today and in the six preceding months. The short form is that there should be an award for such appallingness….

Since Telus merged its two services, I have been unable to log in and administrate my account on line. My internet works perfectly, as does my phone, and I’ve always had access to WebMail via Telus, so none of that was at issue. I could not, however, log in to my services at and have not been able to since whenever Telus merged services. I made my first call to Telus some six months ago.

You will note that I said six MONTHS. Yes.

I have tried on several occasions to call Telus for help. The usual scenario is that I’m passed about from department to department only to be cut off somewhere during the transfers. Massively frustrating. It seems that an ability to transfer a call without disconnecting the caller should be a baseline ability for a job in customer service but apparently that is not the case with Telus. Strange that a telephone company does not have this requirement of it’s employees.

Being cut off after having been on hold for ages and not having got any resolution led me to essentially giving up and resorting to trying again another time. One ‘customer service agent’ gave me the helpful advice that I would have to go in to the Telus (mobility!) kiosk in the mall nearest me to have my problem resolved. Hilarious.

Today, I called the number listed on the Telus site. I reached a young man whose first language is not English, which is not a problem in itself as I have a very mixed family and am quite comfortable with various accents; however, he could not understand ME. In order to get to him, I had to navigate the levels of your ‘helpful’ electronic system, which asked me my phone number in order to get me to the right department. When I reached said “right” department, the young man in question asked me again for my phone number, which I gave to him – FOUR TIMES; he could not understand me! I’m sure if you check the recording of this call, you will ascertain that I was very clear in my delivery but I finally had to slow down to one digit per second speed.

I explained to the fellow that everything on my end was working just fine but that I could not log in to my account to administrate it and that I wanted to change a password and add an alias. His next question was “so your internet is not working?” I explained again – having to stop him each time he interrupted me – that everything was working except that I could not log in and I gave him the corresponding error code. I presumed, wrongly it turns out, he would be able to look up said code and find a solution. Nope. He didn’t know where to look so passed me on.

He transferred me to a second person, but did not advise that person of why I was calling. The second person asked me the same questions again and then transferred me to a third who asked again for the information. He passed me on to a fourth, who passed me to a fifth, who passed me on to a sixth. That person said that I had to call a SEVENTH and that they couldn’t put me through because they didn’t have the means to transfer my call. WHAT? Time elapsed? 50 minutes….

I told each person I spoke to NOT to put me on hold, because if they did and I were disconnected, I would in their offices in 20 minutes, which is how long it takes me to drive to Telus’s office in my city.

The seventh call I made was back to the original number! By that time, I had either been explaining my problem again and again and giving my phone number over and over or I had been on hold. Total time on hold today? 35+ minutes. UNacceptable.

I finally reached Greg ... who was able to fix my problem with little disruption – except that Telus’s own servers are so slow today that neither of us could advance from one Telus page to the next without at least a TWO minute wait between pages. As it turned out, and as I’d suspected, the fix was relatively simple: it required that my existing account be decoupled and re-established. Pretty simple. Additionally, Greg sent me five very useful websites. Well above the scope of his job, I’m sure.

Greg was able to resolve a problem that it has taken six months and probably 12 previous calls to have resolved. I told him how I’d finally got to him and he observed that not everyone in customer service is as diligent as they could be. Actually, he was more pointed in his comments but in order to protect him, because he actually cares about the job he does, I’ll leave off with that. Suffice to say that he is very right.

If only one in seven Telus employees actually cares to find a solution to customer problems, you have a serious issue at Telus. I might add that the myriad “I hate Telus sites” that can be found on the internet should be a huge wakeup call to your organisation. Those customer satisfaction surveys you spend money on can be done away with, as there is an answer to every “how are we doing?” question at those websites.

Greg, on the other hand, deserves serious recognition and a huge raise. He is a key player at Telus, simply for his attitude; he derives personal satisfaction and has some personal honour from making things right.

I bill out at $65 an hour in my business. I am a writer and have recently worked for two years as a corporate trainer. My area of speciality? Customer Service. Suffice to say that as much as I am very glad to have regained access to my account on line, I’m quite certain that Telus is not about to reimburse me for the time it took today to make that happen – which amounts to about $98 not including GST… two months, approximately, of Telus service fees… relating to today’s merry-go-round - nor, I’m sure, will Telus be interested in the time I’ve spend in the last six months trying to resolve this issue.

I take it there are many clients calling in and receiving very poor service, if those websites are any indication, but I also take it that the cost to Telus of this poor service is not enough to inspire a change.

So, Mr. President, how’re your Telus services working today?

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