Primus Canada is Mean

I am spreading the word about an incident involving some very egregious customer service on the part of Primus. My friend’s father was on vacation in the Dominican Republic when he had a medical emergency that required surgery. His departure from that country was delayed and his son flew in from Canada to assist him. This unexpected adverse event required an unusual amount of telephone usage and a exorbitant amount of roaming charges. Shortly after this 75 year old man finally returned to Canada, his telecommunications provider contacted him about the abnormal charges and demanded IMMEDIATE payment.

His bill was not due and he insisted that he wanted to see the bill before he made any payment. Almost immediately after this exchange, they cut off his mobile service, his land line telephone service and his internet service. That’s mean. He made no indication that he was unable or unwilling to pay his bill, he simply wanted to see it in black and white first.

I am not going to make the argument that they can’t do this. They say in careful language on their TOS that they can. Here is the specific statement that seem to cover this situation:

Primus may cancel, suspend or Terminate this Agreement and Your Services and will charge a suspension fee if you present an abnormal risk of loss (including, incurrent a significant amount of billable charges) as determined in Primus’ sole discretion

I have to wonder if they have a policy of pulling this crap on customers that incur large bills because they are a group that is most likely to leave for another carrier. They may want to get that suspension fee before the customers cancel on their own. Cutting off a 75 year old man’s phone service without notice is not something that most of us would do simply because we can.


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5 Responses to “Primus Canada is Mean”

  1. Jay Says:

    Are you kidding me? they cut if off just like that? I tried to get Primus to cancel my phone for 8 months, and after several emails, about 8 calls, with names and times and dates written down. I FINALLY got them to cut it off. Only to be told i had to wait another 30 days! The phone worked for 3 weeks out of the year I payed for it. and when i moved into my new condo back last may, it wouldnt work at all Countless calls with the shortest wait time to talk to a human was 30 min. To which i would get disconnected, or transfered upwards to 5 different people.I have yet to speak to one that spoke proper english and understood me. They keep sending me bills for the phone that never worked and i keep insisting that its not going to get paid. Why would i pay for a service that i never used? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE MENTALLITY OF PRIMUS CANADA? i would rather use the automated machines throught TELUS than these guys, (the customer at Telus is amazing) They answer your call, listen to what you have to say, cancel your phone when you ask them to. I am complaining to the BBB and have about 10 other peopel who have encoutered problems with this poor excuse for a company. I woudlnt recommend this company or any of its services to ANYONE! AMEN!

  2. thatgirl Says:

    In November of last year, we signed up for Primus TalkBroadband Canada. We asked for a new and unlisted number, and waited for our stuff to arrive.

    Originally we tried to sign up online. For some reason that didn’t go through, so I called them via phone. They processed my order from there. I asked them to make sure they closed off or somehow linked the order I filled out on the web. They assured me all would be ok.

    First issue was… yeah… on day 1. Like a bunch of people, we already have a router in our house, that delegates our traffic out to different machines. The one thing that may be a little different is that, we had a web server too, which our home router directed web traffic to. So, I open up the Primus box o’ stuff… I do what they tell me to do. That is, I plug their phone router into my cable modem, then plug my regular router into my new phone router. The phone appeared to work ok… we had internet access… so ok, it was a start.

    Problem was, when I tried to get to my web server via the internet, I couldn’t get there. Ok, I’ll call Primus support. I explain my situation. The guy on the other end starts talking me through how to configure my own router to allow Primus voice traffic through. Wait a second… you are telling me to configure my router to allow voice traffic through? “Yes.” But that’s not an issue because your router is the 1st device after the modem. Clearly voice traffic is getting through since I’m talking to you on the phone. “So” he asks “what is the problem?” I explain again. I also mentioned that, I was a bit confused because usually when you set up a router, you have to configure what machine should receive certain traffic (ie. I need to tell it to send web traffic to my web server, otherwise it won’t work) and I didn’t see any such setting in their router config. He insisted that, no firewall was running on their router. Well… be that as it may - I believe him… but if I didn’t tell the router which machine is the web server, how does it know how to route web traffic? “Well, it will send it to the web server” Oh….kay, but… how does the router know which machine is the web server, unless I tell it? “It just knows.” Hmmk. I think I gave up on support, at this point. Partly because they weren’t helping, partly because, thick asian accent on top of crackly phone line, I couldn’t really make out what he was saying anyway.

    Oh, one thing worth mentioning at this point as well… I noticed while picking through the router setup that, the router configuration that basically contains ALL of my telephone logs and setup… that configuration tool is left WIDE open to the ENTIRE internet the way that they ship it to you. Better yet, the default password on the router is generic for every customer. Just for kicks, I did a Google search on the default password for the model of router I received and found the login in about 60 seconds. Nice. Even better, nothing in Primus’ setup instructions suggested changing the login password on the router, or locking down how it could be accessed. Even better still, I decided to do just that while I was picking through the router settings, and the support guy I spoke to assured me that no, I shouldn’t have changed those settings, I should instead have left the gaping security hole as is. Since I didn’t accomplish what I wanted to whether I took his advice or not, I decided to close up the security hole.

    Second issue was probably day 3 or 4. In spite of them assuring me that they had my order issues figured out, a second router arrived in the mail. I called them again, they mailed me a box to return back the 2nd router which I did. Sigh. Ok, whatever.

    Third issue came right after that. My Primus router couldn’t get connected at all, so I had no phone service. I called their support via cellphone (which is great, 30 min wait time on my cell minutes - appreciated). Turns out when they shipped the 2nd router, they changed things on their end so that only the new router could connect to their phone service. The existing router was not allowed to connect. So… some tweaking on their end, and we’re back up again. Ok.

    A couple of months follow, of semi-working phone, poor audio quality, etc, etc. The next big drama happened was an old friend called and said they lost our new number but they got it from 411. Wait… but we asked for an unlisted number ?! So I called Primus support (again). Told them that yes, I definitely needed an unlisted number, and since I had wanted an unlisted number from the get-go, I needed my number changed. They told me that there was a $35 charge for a new number. I explained to them that I asked for an unlisted number a couple months back, and paying $35 to fix a mistake that they made is not something I’m really into. I also pointed out that I had requested an unlisted number both when I signed up for TalkBroadband on the web site, and again when I called to sign up - and that I thought that after asking twice for an unlisted number it would be reasonable to expect to get it. Their support guy was extremely rude, told me they had no record of me requesting an unlisted number (which was odd, their billing department had a record of it since they remembered to charge me for it) and basically strongly implied I was lying and contradicting my own “story”. I explained that I have no desire to justify myself to a support gimp (ok, I didn’t say “gimp” but I wish I had) and I wanted to terminate my service.

    I asked what the process was for shutting down my service. He explained that they would cancel in about a month. They would send shipping details for us to send back the router to them. After a month passed, I heard nothing at all, so I wrote again and asked what was going on. A few days later, the shipping info arrived so I boxed up the router and sent it along. Yay, got rid of them right?

    Wrong. My last bill arrived and on there was a $100 charge for cancelling my service. I asked them about this and they said that they do impose cancellation charges sometimes. They pointed me to their terms and conditions (which, by the way, says that Primus “may impose cancellation charges ‘from time to time’” - hardly legally binding). I responded that, if their terms and conditions are not specific about a cancellation charge, and their support people don’t disclose it when asked specifically, how am I to know that there is a cancellation charge? No answer to that one. I’ve basically given up fighting and decided that the lousy $100 is a bargain to get these people out of my life.

  3. Chris Says:

    DON’T USE PRIMUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We used them for awhile and were informed we could have a second number on our phone using the same hand set for 4$ this was great for our family situation. We had had some service interuption but it was gettiing worse.

    Strangly we were told by more and more people when they phoned they received a message that we were unavailable when we were home missing more calls. Also they had call long distance to phone us even from across the street.

    -The phone was not hooked up in our area as they lied saying they had local service in our area but they didn’t

    -They changed our plan when the second number was added it was not just 4$ as they took our unlimted long distance away without telling us
    Our bill went from $35/mnth to appox $70/mnth

    -They started charging rent on our phone modem which we had purchaed from them.

    -Try to cancel? GOOD LUCK. It took 11 phone calls just to get to one of there nasty uncooperative reps. The phone kept dropping the call over and over. what a surprise from there crappy service. They would only credit me two months of errors and there calculations were worng and told me they had to charge one more bill for the 30 day notice. Its been 30 days . * No credit back, * another over charge, * Still charging for equipment rental on what i own.

    This story to continue i am sure.

  4. capegal67 Says:

    This is the nightmare of Canada, Primus. I was with Wintel, Primus took over from my servicer and I was not aware of it until my bill came in. I had charges that amounted to about 25.00 and I did not even make a phone call. I also had 6 calls on my bill that were to Richmond, Virginia and I don’t know anyone there. I e.mailed them and told them and they still sent me bills. I said, I was cancelled out and I owe them what I owed Wintel as far as I am concerned. I only had them for long distance and that is all. They ARE NOT GETTING ONE RED CENT OUT OF ME NOW. I tried contacting, phoning and e.mailing and they ignore me and still send bills. Yes, they suck for sure and anybody who gets their phone system throught them is entering the TWILIGHT ZONE.

  5. capegal67 Says:

    TO THATGIRL, I am not paying them 40.00 that they say I owe, because I don’t owe it. I cancelled out a month ago and they have charged me with this month and do not even have a disconnect on there that I had asked for. You should have went out to dinner with that 100 and to heck with them, have steak and salad. I sure as hell am not paying them a dime and they can whistle dixie. I am returning everything they send to me, Return to Sender and if that is not enough, I’ll send them a copy of Elvis singing it.

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