Last year (back in 2009), I had a land-line and a roommate who wanted some sort of long distance package. We decided to go with Primus, I having dealt with them previously and found them to be one of the cheapest. We signed up for their long distance service.
At the beginning of December (2009) we called Primus to let them know that we would no longer be needing their services. They informed us that in order to disconnect them as being our long distance provider, we would need to call Telus – the provider of our land line, and tell them to become our new long distance provider. This in and of itself seems fishy, and the telecommunications industry is the only industry I know of where something like this is even remotely possible. Think about car insurance – if you want to cancel the insurance on your car (and park it in your yard), you can do that. You aren’t required to call some other insurance company and have them take it over – if you no longer want the service you don’t need to have someone else pick it up. Same with cable TV, or any other utility for that matter – if you don’t want the service, you cancel it. Apparently Primus somehow works differently. To that, we responded that we would be having the land line disconnected at the beginning of January. They responded that they would charge one month’s service beyond that as a sort of disconnection fee. Again, this sounded bogus to me, as we were giving them 30 days notice prior to the disconnection.
Again, at the end of December we called to make sure that everything was going to be fine when we disconnected the land line. They replied that it would be.
Late February: Low and behold, what do I get in the mail? A bill from Primus charging for long distance up into February 15th. I wasn’t particularly pleased about this, as we had given them 30 days notice, and the fact that I was still being charged for long distance more than a month after I had the line disconnected. A bit presumptuous to be charging for a service which is not wanted and cannot be delivered, no? I was rather stern with the poor fellow on the phone, and clearly stated that I was not paying for long distance service which I did not want and could not have received. To this he replied that someone would look into it, and that they’d get back to me within 5-10 business days.
Late March: Oh boy, guess what came in the mail! If you’d guessed another bill from Primus, you’d be right! This time it had an additional charge for long distance (this time up into March – more than 2 months after the line had been disconnected), as well as a disconnection fee. You can bet that I wasn’t happy about this. I emailed Primus stating the situation, to which they replied saying that I do owe them, but that they were willing to knock a few days off because they said I had service disconnected on February 25th (when I called and reamed them out for charging me up into February). Real nice of them, eh? I also contacted the Better Business Bureau, who is in the process of contacting Primus. To top it all off, in the email from Primus they stated that if I don’t pay they’ll send a collection agency after me.
Someone seriously needs to be done about this. There’s no way I’m paying for service that I did not want, and could not have received. I’ll see how things go with the Better Business Bureau, otherwise I’ll be hauling Primus’ sorry carcass to small claims court. I don’t care if the amount on the bill is all that much, it’s the principle behind it – of not screwing people over.
My recommendation – don’t ever do business with Primus Canada. Save yourself the trouble and find someone else to handle your long distance needs.
EDIT: It turns out the email they sent me is pretty much a canned response. We’ll see what the BBB has to say, and if it doesn’t get resolved there I’ll escalate things to the CCTS.
EDIT2: March 26th – I just got an email from Primus Canada saying that all the outstanding balance has been waived. I think talking to the Better Business Bureau really helped. I’ll give it a month to wait and see if I do indeed get any further bills from them. I still do stand by my statement of never doing business with Primus. Despite their cheap rates, I still can’t recommend their service after going through Customer Support Hell.