Telus sucks

by Rachel Evans
October 2003

Telus sucks. Youíve probably heard or said these words a lot in the last year. I certainly have. Just the other day a girl in my art history class fell to the floor in a violent fit chanting, ďTelus sucks, Telus sucks, Telus sucks.Ē Okay so maybe that didnít really happen, but if it did, would you be surprised? The CRTC (Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission) recently reported that complaints about Telus have risen ten times since last year. Interestingly, Telus eliminated a total of 6,500 positions last year.

Iíve always held a blanket disdain for huge corporations willing to lay off thousands of skilled workers and replace them with robots, but my hatred for this particular monster began more recently when I had to deal with the greedy bastard first hand. After hearing so often that ďTelus sucks,Ē I tried my darndest to find another company to set up my land line with, there werenít any. Telus is the only company providing land lines and long distance in Nanaimo, which, though Iím no economics major, looks a lot like a monopoly and isnít that illegal in Canada? Privatization fails the people yet again. But I digress ... so, Telus is the only company providing the services I need. I reluctantly call them up and a recording tells me Iíll have to wait on the phone for 45 minutes to talk to a customer service rep. Forty five minutes. Um Ö yeah Ö remember how I donít have a phone line yet? So I try to find a store location. There isnít one. In addition to the job cuts in 2002/2003, Telus closed 33 of its 40 stores in Alberta and BC, leaving only those in the major centres. This kind of action is bad for everyone except Telus. It takes money and jobs from small, local economies and it means that people like me, who havenít the time or funds to jet off to Vancouver for a weekend and set up a phone line, have no choice but to call the dreaded customer service line with our woes.

Dealing with this department has got to be one of the weirdest, most depressing experiences of the 21st century. You know what Iím talking about. A machine answers and tells you how long youíve got to wait before you can talk to another machine. Sure itís some pretty crazy, impressive technology theyíve got there and Iíve spent many a gleeful Friday night screaming imaginative combinations of curses at the mechanized voice on the other line, but sometimes I just want a real human being to swear at.

Kidding! I resist the temptation to swear at Telus customer service reps. They are just ordinary working class folk, abused and exploited by the massive all-controlling, insatiable corporation that employs them. Plus, since the cuts, itís been difficult for remaining employees to handle the increased workload. So where does a compassionate but pissed off commie like myself go to vent her frustrations? Straight to CEO Darren Entwhistleís inbox. Try to get ahold of this guy at ceo@telus.ca. Or if you really want to be heard, call the CRTC at 1-877-249-2782 and add your name to the growing list of dissatisfied customers. Telus says that they are taking these complaints seriously and plan to hire more people. Great! Maybe some of the workers laid off in the last year can go back and beg for a low-paid entry-level position! That is if C3PO doesnít get there first. Complain people, complain.