Primus: The Exact Opposite of Customer Service


So, despite the unpleasant recent experiences my organization has had with Primus Canada — essentially they disconnected a critical data line and took over a month to even respond to our panicked cries for help, let alone reconnect — I decided to check out their TalkBroadband VoIP (Voice over IP) service, dutifully filled out the online registration form and sent it off, hoping that I’d soon be able to toss my Bell service into the trash (where it belongs).

Well, easier said than done.

Twelve days after submitting the application, I called up to see why I’d received nothing. No box of goodies, no email message, no phone call.

Turns out that somehow a character got dropped from my credit card number — odd, considering I’m looking at a screenshot right now of the submission and it’s not missing that character — so the semi-helpful Credit Department person with whom I spoke said I’d get a call the next day about the approval. (Of course, one wonders why a simple phone call, which would have cleared everything up, couldn’t be made during the previous 12 days. One now knows why.) Well after the close of (normal) business the next day, having received no call, I once again called and spoke with yet another Credit Department person who told me that I’d definitely be called the day after that with the approval.

Not receiving a call by noon, I called, yet again, and spoke with someone in the Credit Department. I was told that, despite the fact that I’ve paid for many hundreds of dollars in goods with my credit card, my credit history — which is, by the way, pristine — is not extensive enough to sign me up for their $30/month service and that I needed to pay a $250 deposit. Bullshit. I asked to speak with Customer Service.

At least the first CS person with whom I spoke made an attempt to be helpful, stating that perhaps her supervisor could act as my advocate and call the Credit Department to plead my case. Terrific. He was far from helpful. Belligerent, even. (Thanks ever so much, Gene.) Told me, completely contrary to what his underling had said (and with not even the slightest degree of concern, interest or sincerity in his voice), that he could do nothing for me and that I needed to speak with the Credit Department.

So… I made my telephonic way back to the Credit Department (for those keeping count, this is Primus Robot #6) and spoke with one of the most singularly unhelpful, discourteous and uninterested corporate drones in recent memory. (You’re the best, Tracy!) Nope, they would not budge. Would not even consider automatic withdrawl from my chequing account without the $250 deposit. For a $30/month service.

Memo to Gene and Tracy at Primus: there’s no need for you to demand a deposit because you have my Visa credit card number, you morons!!!

Now, at this point it might be helpful to note that my whole reason for going to Primus was that I was sick and tired of the runaround from Bell concerning every issue I’ve ever had with my phone line. Not to mention the gouging. Similarly, since Rogers Internet service bites the big one, I was prepared, if Primus TalkBroadband was a success, to switch my ISP to Primus, too.

Now? That’s as likely as me eating my testicles, one after the other.

I cannot stress enough that my experience with Primus was as unpleasant and ridiculous as any I’ve ever had. And I strongly urge anyone who may be reading this to avoid Primus Canada like the plague.

Try Vonage instead.

Other pissed-off Primus customers:

9 Responses to “Primus: The Exact Opposite of Customer Service”

  1. 1 bstewart23

    Guess what was waiting for me in my mailbox when I got home today? Yup. A junkmail brochure for Primus TalkBroadband.

  2. 2 Chantelle

    I had similar experiences with Primus, and unfortunately, I actually did get connected. However, only to have a horrible connection, gaps in service, and technical difficulties. Every time I called, it seemed they wanted to do anything but help. I also got numerous annoying messages about payment, even though it was mandatory that I sign up for preauthorized payments, which I had done in the beginning. It was not my fault they were not withdrawing them! When I called, they would not let my pay the outstanding balance any other way, and kept insisting it would be cleared up. I finally called after months of this, and they had added a number to my bank transit number, but nobody had called for this information, instead they hounded me for money while at the same time insisting I could not pay any other way.

    I then moved, and asked they switch the number, which they did not do. Again, I hounded them, while at the same time they did not fix my problem, which was that my phone was not working. Then eventually I asked them to discontinue the service. They kept withdrawing money from my account for another six months. Again, I had to call several times for them to send me a 'return package' for my gateway, and ask that they refund me six months worth of payments for a service I had disconnected. I am still waiting.

  3. 3 bstewart23

    Yikes! If stories like ours are any lesson, it's to always Google "companyname 'customer service'" prior to any financial or legal entanglement. Good luck with your… disentanglement from Primus!

    In competitive news, I'm still very pleased with my Vonage service, with only minor annoyances (like the marked decline in audio quality whilst doing some heavy-duty P2P — totally expected, by the way — and a "message waiting" light which won't stop blinking when voicemail messages are remotely deleted).

  4. 4 robert shuttleworth

    I have had a terrible 45 days with primus dsl. It always disconnects but sometimes reconnects if I pick up the phone and dial 1 and then any 4 numbers.
    The entire experience has been a disaster from day 1 even before I received my modem. I had no incomming calls for 12 days while they changed the line. I am so fed up. STOP SURFING AND START WAITING is my slogan for this disasterous company/ They don’t give a damn and of course keep the money. The download speed comes nowhere near the 4mbps they said I would get at my location in Toronto.
    Class action anyone? These companies are laughing all the way to the bank with our money.
    I am going to start a Primus service blog and everyone can post there so others don’t get sucked into their stupid advertising tricks.

  5. 5 mike

    RE:robert shuttleworth

    i also have had a bad experience with primus dsl. the speed beats the shit out of bell sympatico but i can’t stay connected for any amount of time. now i can (kinda) understand it dropping when im doing heavy p2p but when im talking to 1 person on msn and it drops 7 times in a span of 5 minutes? wtf?

  6. 6 john kennedy


  1. 1 bstewart23 » Bell’s Freudian Offer to “Meet My Needs”
  2. 2 Primus Canada Sucks Redux « bstewart23

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