Telus Long Distance Access Fee – Yours for $2.95 a Month!

Residential Telus customers not on a Telus Long Distance Plan will understand this tale of customer woe.

In November 2007, Telus Corp. introduced a “Long Distance Network Access” fee of $2.95 a month for those customers in Alberta and British Columbia who don’t have Telus long distance plans. Telus customers with long distance plans pay a fee of $4.95 per month.

About a year ago, I wrangled with Telus to cancel my useless long distance plan and associated $4.95 administration fee. I rarely used long distance, and those monthly calls I did make usually amounted to less than the cost of the administration fee. Rather than get hosed with Telus long distance, I’ve been using pre-paid long distance cards, which actually have WAY better rates than Telus with a plan!

Thinking back, I think I called Telus three times to CANCEL my long distance plan. I can understand why Telus loves their admin fee. Doing the math: five bucks a month, times 12 months, is a nice $60 bucks a year! Not convinced how sweet this fee is? Just multiply this $60 bucks by the number of years I paid this freaking fee…and I get $360 bucks! Now multiply this number again by the number of Telus long distance customers! Yikes! Now this figure doesn’t include compounding…so now I’m getting pissed all over again.

Anyhow, until this November 2007, I’ve been pretty darn happy NOT paying the Telus $4.95 administration fee and using my pre-paid phone cards. Then in November, I find a new Telus happy-go-lucky charge – the Long Distance Access Fee at $2.95 a month! Yikes!

Telus spokesperson Shawn Hall says the fee is not unlike a distribution fee charged by utility companies.

“It’s not uncommon to take fee increases to recoup costs,” says Hall. “The company has invested more than a billion on its wireline network to improve service.” Hall also says about 80 per cent of customers charged the $2.95 fee would benefit by signing up for a long-distance plan.

Do you see where I am going with this? Since I make sooo few long distance calls, I am one of the 20 per cent of customers who get screwed with the $2.95 fee. I simply do not make enough long distance calls per month to even exceed the dang alternative, the $4.95 administration fee!

When I called Telus last month to complain about this new fee, they tried to sell me a long distance plan. Can you feel my blood boil? Anyways, Telus Corp’s answer to customers like me is to put “Call Guardian” on my line. This means no long distance calls can be dialed from my line. I can still use my pre-paid 1-800 number phone cards, but if there’s ever an emergency I cannot quickly dial a long distance phone from my line. The addition of Call Guardian is the only way I can avoid paying either the $4.95 admin fee or the $2.95 access fee.

I’ve sent in a complaint to the CRTC. I think Telus is attempting to make third-party long distance providers less competitive with their fee structure.

Don’t be afraid to call Telus and complain. I’m waiting for Telus to refund me this access fee for the month of November. I’ll let you know how this works out for me.

fox

Your two cents:

  1. John Baine January 13th, 2009

    Well, did you get the refund from Telus re the long distance admin fee?

    John

  2. Kerry January 13th, 2009

    @John I did get the refund, only after calling and complaining AFTER the CRTC ruling. Before the CRTC ruling I got Telus to opt me out of the fee, and was forced to place “Call Guardian” on my line (with a $10 fee to remove Call Guardian).

    Since I use long distance phone cards, I have no interest in removing Call Guardian. More recently the CRTC ruled I could get the Call Guardian fee waived. The whole ordeal just instills my desire to eventually remove Telus from my life. I live in a rural area, so for now I’m waiting for options to present themselves.

    Here’s a recent article detailing the CRTC’s decision:

    CRTC orders Telus to repay customers long distance fee

  3. sybil March 10th, 2009

    how come telus gets away with charging fees to have access to long distance which we pay already , and since i have not signed a contract with them they charge me more then i was suppose to pay. i asked them to cancel my services and they told me i have to pay for a full year ,even if i had no contract, how can they hold us to a contract that i did not sign, this is robbery,

  4. Doug November 24th, 2010

    I was one of two people that agreed to be interviewed by Lea Williams Daugherty on consumer watch on C.F.C.N.
    That fee is just to grab money from everyone.
    the notice of this fee was printed on the back of the phone bill.

    multiply that fee by how many millions of telephones in Alberta?
    I canceled my business with them and it took 3 months to to collect an over payment I had made to them. I had enuf of their crap and went with Shaw. I’d advise anyone to get this leach fee off their bill even if you can afford it.and if you did the math loose their service entirely.

    thanks for reading.

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