Monday, February 04, 2008

The Letter

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is to report a problem following the purchase of a new phone with Telus (see copy of invoice attached).

Telus has been my sole means of telephone communication since September 2000. I do not have a landline telephone. In December 2006, I finally replaced the first Telus phone I had purchased. While I was never pleased with the reception or clarity of the calls, I figured I could last the two years of the contract. However due to the battery becoming less and less efficient, most recently lasting less than one hour, I decided it was time to replace the phone.

On February 1, 2008, I called your toll-free number and was very pleased with the service I received from two of your agents. They were able to match the discount I could have taken with my corporate plan and even upgraded several services for me as thanks for my continued loyalty with Telus. Later that afternoon I went to your flagship store in Montreal to obtain a new phone and thus complete the transfer to the new plan. Once that transaction was complete, I was informed that the phone would be up and running in approximately an hour or two. It was about 6:00 p.m. Some five hours later I turned the phone on and attempted to place a call.

This is where the problems begin. As I placed the first call, I was surprised to hear a recording informing me that the phone was not connected to the network. I hung up, turned this new phone off and decided to try placing a call using my old phone. This phone was still working, despite having been told that once the switch was complete I would not be able to use it other than to scroll through the information in the contact list, etc. I made a second call, this time to your 611 number in an attempt to find out where the problem might be, only to discover that the call centre wasn’t open 24 hours a day.

On Saturday, February 2, 2008, I attempted to make another call using the new phone. I got the same message telling me that the phone was not connected to the network. Once again, I turned on the old phone, called 611 and went through the process of reaching a customer service representative. The agent who answered the call wasn’t able to fix the problem because apparently there were some errors in the file. What type of errors these were, she was unable to explain, except that the call was being escalated to technical support. I then spoke to a support technician who assured me that the problems were being fixed and that the phone would be working in about an hour. However, she also advised that if the phone still wasn’t working by that time, I would need to call back so they could look at the problem again.

Following the instructions I was given and approximately one hour and 15 minutes later, I had my father, who was sitting beside me at the time, call me. The call went directly through to my voicemail even though I had the new phone turned on. (Yes, the old phone was off.) Luckily I was at Promenades St. Bruno shopping mall and was able to stop by your store. Your agent at the service counter was able to check my account and verified that the phone was indeed activated but she too was unable to place a call. She then contacted technical support and ended up with a “Ticket number” because they were investigating the problem. She also told me that it could be Monday (February 4, 2008) or Thursday (February 7, 2008) before the problem would be solved.

I was not pleased with this response and thought perhaps that returning to the store where I bought the phone there might be a better solution available. This was not to be. At the Downtown Montreal store, your agents simply pointed me to a phone that dialed directly to the customer service centre. The first phone I used had so much static that by the time I did get to speak to an agent, I discovered it was almost impossible to hear what the agent was saying, and then after spending nearly 30 minutes on the phone with her, the phone cut out in the middle of our conversation! The in-store agents weren’t terribly concerned with my problem and directed me over to another phone. I started the whole process over again, on an equally static telephone. Call, hold, wait, reach a new agent, explain the situation for what seemed the umpteenth time, and finally was transferred back to the person I had been speaking with originally. As much as I appreciate the agent was being as helpful as possible, there was so much static, and added to that the music playing in the store and the conversations taking place around me, it was extremely difficult to understand what the agent was trying to say about the situation. In the end, I became so frustrated and overwhelmed by the whole process that I had to apologize to your agent and hang up with no idea on how or when the problem may be resolved.

Sunday I tried repeatedly to use the phone to no avail. This morning, Monday, February 4, 2008, I called your toll-free number from my office and was told that the problem had been escalated to a second level technician and might be looked at today but probably only Wednesday or Thursday.

Being that the cell phone is my only telephone, it was unacceptable to me that I remain without a phone for nearly one week. As mentioned above, I do not have an alternate phone that I can pick up and use at will. The Telus cell phone is my only phone. It is my home phone, my emergency phone and to borrow the American Express tagline, I don’t leave home without it. Surely you understand my frustration in being told nothing but "our technicians are working on it." This was categorically the response I got from your telephone agents and your in-store sales representatives. I have been a long-standing and loyal customer for more than seven years. I have paid thousands of dollars in monthly fees during this period and do not feel this is any way to treat a client.

I have now been without a phone for more than 48-hours and have no idea when my phone will be in working order. I don’t know how anyone in my personal life will reach me in the next week. I don’t know how I will reach anyone should an emergency arise. Will a technician or customer service representative try to reach me to inform me that the phone is working? If so, where will they call?

Please understand that I want to remain a Telus customer for many more years to come but this entire process has soured my opinion of your service and your company to the extreme. It is incomprehensible that you have no other solutions to offer your clients other than "our technicians are working on it."

Should you have any questions concerning this matter ...


Sue Titcombe said...

Well put. I'm guessing this isn't your first draft. I certainly couldn't be so calm after all that!

Why said...

Wonderful letter. And I agree, that is just shoddy service.

Stef said...

It was about the 4th draft. Heh. The first one had an awful lot of CAPS, bold text and exclamation points. Oh and a few four-letter words. Thought whoever reads it might take it more seriously without all of that.