Over the past few weeks Christopher Smith noticed the Internet speed he had been enjoying for over 11 years had been slowing to the point of being unbearable.
So the Glenmerry resident accessed the Telus website to see what service was available in his area and was startled to find the high speed service he had been paying for during that time no longer existed.
However, he had still been paying an extra $10 per month for high speed since the service was changed last year, but the service he had been receiving was only high speed lite.
When Smith called Telus he received a further shock when he asked why he had not been contacted when the service changed, and if he would be issued a refund for the extra service he was paying for but not receiving.
“The customer service rep. said it wasn’t up to Telus to let the customer know,” Smith said. “The rep. said it was up to the customer to find out about changes.”
That Telus representative was wrong, said Shawn Hall, Telus communications for B.C.
“It really goes down to our customer service rep., in speaking with this customer, made some mistakes,” he said. “Our customer rep misread what was happening here.”
The company puts out information on changes to service in everybody’s bills, but not everybody reads the material, said Hall. And when Telus makes its annual call to customers, not everyone wants to talk about service levels, or it might not always be a good time to talk.
“We try and talk to customers about these things about once per year to make sure people are in the right plan,” Hall said.
“But some people might be missed.”
Telus used to offer a high speed Internet service but that was discontinued because “technology evolved and changed over time,” said Hall.
With their new range of services in hand they grandfathered existing customers who wanted to stay with the package they were already paying for.
Those customers, like Smith, ended up with the same level of service but on an old plan, said Hall. However, that did not explain why the speed had slowed, something which could have occurred under a number of scenarios, he said.
A line degrades over time, Hall explained. The Kootenay region also has issues with woodpeckers who like to poke holes in the lines.
Or Smith’s problem might be with an older modem that is just deteriorating with time, Hall added.
He said he would have a customer service manager give the customer a call, apologize for the misunderstanding that’s happening, have a Telus employee troubleshoot the line or the modem if necessary.
“We’ll make it right,” he said.
Although it looked like the situation might be resolved, Smith left Trailites with a word of warning as he planned to switch his service over to another company.
“I think everyone in the Glenmerry area who is using Telus for their Internet should check their bills and ensure they are paying for the service they are receiving,” he said.