Telus Service – Questionable Intentions

Perhaps a knock-on effect from Friday’s telephone disaster, but the phones were out today as well. The blackout was only three hours in the middle of the day, but that’s still well beyond what is generally considered acceptable in the 21st Century. Telus purports to “continually upgrade to better meet our needs“, though with the level of education that kids are getting these days, I suppose one could excuse them for not fully understanding the meaning of the word “better”.

Sarcasm aside, what we saw today did indeed show that Telus does not want the world to know what they are doing here. The lines went dead around 2:25 p.m. Checking the Telus Home Services Outages web page still showed nothing up until four o’clock or so. One could assume that Tulameen (the only near choice there) was not effected. However, a little while later, there it was. Click on “Current outages” and the area (though not Coalmont) was listed.

The phones came back on before 6 p.m. Not long thereafter, if one clicked on the “Resolved outages” link there was nothing there. What is particularly interesting is that right underneath it says “If you no longer see your outage here, we resolved the issue more than 24 hours ago.”  Oh really?

This outage was listed for a couple of hours, with not even a nod to Coalmont, and taken off right away. Clearly Telus doesn’t want the world to know that there is a problem here.

It gets worse than that. As mentioned many times before, most people have no alternate ability to call the phone company when the lines break. Nevertheless, Telus suggests that one “call 310-2255 to inform us of your service interruption“. What is particularly interesting is that these 310 numbers are only reliable within the company that owns them. You often can’t call them from another service such as a cell or other phone. Adding an area code will sometimes work, but likely not.

There is, however, a number for general use which can be used. Try (888) 811-2323 and after going through a lot of menus, you will end up talking to a real, and polite, person. Unfortunately you won’t be connected to the repair service. The best this agent can do is file a report. How quickly that gets picked up by the relevant repair people is unknown, but the agent will try very hard to set up an appointment to have someone come out to look at your telephone next week. Apparently people’s telephones are very interesting and they have technicians who enjoy looking at them. It is impossible to tell a Telus agent that the cable which supplies connection to this town has been pulled up by the snow plow again.

This is not looking good. In fact, Telus is not looking good. I made some effort to get a telephone number which would lead to a service centre where they could address broken lines immediately. It was my hope to be useful to both Telus and this community. As it turns out, the people at Telus were unable to give me such a number. After first giving me one which turns out to be wildly wrong, they consulted with others in the office and came up with a number which they thought might work – it didn’t.

Putting all this together, it becomes clear that although they have pleasant and polite people manning the front desk, Telus as a company has questionable intentions. They don’t want to hear from us. And they don’t want anybody else to know what is going on here. If Coalmontians are to have regular telephone service such as we’ve had for the better part of a century, it’s looking like Telus isn’t a company who can do that. As for 24/7 access to 911. Forget it.

~ Ole Juul

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