Telephone Service Review: Primus Canada - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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Somewhat Satisfied 8 27.59%
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 2008-09-10, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Toronto
Posts: 47,716
Telephone Service Review: Primus Canada

The purpose of this thread is for Digital Home members to review and relay their experience with Primus Canada's telephone service. (Please note this is for the POTS service and not the Primus VoIP service)

This is NOT a discussion thread so please limit yourself to one post which includes your review.

We welcome the input and opinions of all members whether they are good or bad, however, please note that this thread is NOT for rants. Whether you had a good or bad experience with this vendor we want to hear about it but in an OBJECTIVE manner.

If you post a rant or childish comments like, these guys "suck" or they're all a "bunch of idiots", then your comments will be considered trolling and your post will be deleted.

When you post, please try to include the following information:
  • What product or service you purchased.
  • Approximate timeframe you ordered the product
  • What location you dealt with if it’s a company with many stores or service locations
  • Your overall level of satisfaction
  • If you had a positive experience, please explain what made it such a positive experience.
  • If you had a negative experience, please read our guidelines below.

Guidelines for Posting Negative Reviews

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hugh is offline  
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 2008-09-10, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Toronto
Posts: 47,716
Primus is an terrible company to deal with.

Before I get to their customer service, let me discuss the actual service.

I have found the Primus telephone service to be very good. I expected it to be good because its using the Bell System. The one really great thing about Primus telephone service is telemarketing guard. This is a tremendous service.

Now to discuss Customer service and Billing

Primus has terrible, horrible, rotten customer service! I have been incorrectly billed and on multiple ocassions told that the overpayments were credited (they weren't). Their voicemail system is terrible and has changed so you can't even use the same numbers to quickly negotiate through it.

The hold times are interminable.

In my latest attempt to get to my credit, I spoke to one rep - Mario - who was the most arrogant SOB I have ever spoken to. After asking that my credit be applied to my next credit card bill, he told me that was impossible. I replied that after 2 months and multiple foul-ups, was it unreasonable to expect that Primus apply the credit to a credit card transaction that hadn't even occurred?

He said I was being "disagreeable", said he would reverse the credit and hung up on me! I then spent another 40 minutes on the line trying to get my credit.


I signed up for a bundle plan that gives me Internet, Phone, nine calling options and LD for $64.95 per month. So now I have decent phone and internet service at a great price but am dealing with terrible customer service.

I have decided to stay with Primus for the next 11 months simply because I think the worst is over (dealing with customer service) and hopefully I can use the actual service without a problem.

My advice to anyone considering Primus is this: Compare your current cost of phone service with what Primus is charging. If the savings are going to be huge then consider going with Primus and be prepared for problems up front.

hugh is offline  
post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 2008-09-10, 10:20 AM
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 5,469
I switched to a Primus phone/internet bundle in Feb.

There were some glitches with the initial setup that were caused by the fact I was an existing customer and they handled the change by shutting off my existing services instead of migrating them.

In my particular case the customer service folks were actually pretty helpful in sorting out the issues.

Since then I haven't had any problems with the service and I'm saving a bundle compared to what I was paying before.
jvincent is offline  
post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 2009-04-20, 05:54 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2
Primus Canada

I've been told by my bank TD, that once you sign them access to your
account there is no way to stop them from withdrawing funds other than
closing the account and starting a new one.
I was a few days late getting their voip modem back and they charged me $169 for it! I called and explained that I was on winter vacation and couldn't get back to return it on time..Only two days after the deadline!...A supervisor (Monique employee #5022) hung up on me after I tried to reason with her..diplomatically. ..I have after all been a long time good customer & other than this incident would have parted with good recommendations with this company.....Just a note, these companies with this kind of customer relations are on their way out..... many business are setting up a new paradigm of customer service based on
fair decent practices. I urge all to consider Skype phone instead..MUCH bill a year...and won't steal from your bank.
bobach is offline  
post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 2009-04-20, 10:11 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1

I signed up for Primus home phone service late in 2007 after Bell kept charging for me for someone else s calls. Once i got the service it was great very good price the problems started when i moved and i called them to have my service moved to my new address. I called in October to have it moved by November 1st 2008. After the date came and went i called them to see what the problem was and why i had no phone service, i was told a that my service was working and that the service rep i was talking to was getting a ringing phone i told her that my phone was not ringing. I then asked if they had disconnected my service from my old address i as told that it had been done after a few minutes with 2 different service reps. It took a month and a half to get to the bottom of all the nonsense i received a e-mail from one of the mangers stating that it was their mistake and that the phone service had not been moved at all and that it would be done in 2 weeks i e-mailed back stating that i was no longer interested in their service (as they had continued to accuse me of having the problem with my line and that i should call a tech to come in and service my phone line at my expense) After canceling this service i was credited with the delay in the change the service charge to move my service was cancelled and my service credited with the delay i owed them nothing according to this person and if decided to come back they would be happy to have my business. ( fat chance) Ever since this i have consistently been receiving phone bills from Primus for monthly service and each time i e-mail them back telling them i do not have a account with them and that it was closed, AND I am now with another provider with a new phone number and each time i hear nothing back from them my next step is file a complaint with the BBB.
flytier4 is offline  
post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 2010-04-26, 09:09 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1
Primus = Frustration (and time+money)

This company is a frustration to deal with.

I had my home phone with them, and my cel phone with another company. Last October I moved, and decided to downsize to cel phone only. So I 'ported my home number to my cel phone account and canceled the home line with Primus.

We are now April and I got an email notification from Primus saying "Thank you for your payment"

Since I had canceled my home phone with them 5 months before, naturally I wanted to know what this was about, so I phoned their 1-800 number to inquire.

"You are calling from xxx-xxx-xxxx. If this number is not the number you are inquiring about, please enter the number now" -- the number repeated to me was one that I have never had, so, weirdness no 1. I input the relevant phone number and proceeded to wait on hold.

The machine voice then said "estimated wait time: 13 minutes". This is longer than I had hoped, but as my commute is 20 mins, I figured I might as well stay on the line.

I wanted 35 minutes before getting a live agent, and after he verified my identity, all he could tell me was "I'm not trained to handle home phone accounts, I'll have to transfer your call to another agent." I told him that I had already wasted 35 mins of airtime being on hold the first time, and was I going to have to wait another half hour? He said he'd put me through using conference call rather than put me on hold... and then he put me on hold.

After another 42 minutes waiting (!!) I got to talk to another agent (whom I immediately informed that being told "estimated 13 minutes" and then waiting for 1h07m was unacceptable). This agent told me that the bill I had received and paid by automatic CC charge was the residual balance from October, but that Primus only invoices quarterly for balances of less than $20.

So, I got to waste an 1h15m of my time and my airtime on my cel to find out useless information that should have been included in the e-invoice. The agent's response to my complaint was "Oh well, nothin' I can do."

Stay away from this company!
gchong is offline  
post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 2010-04-28, 09:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 150
I left Primus after just 10 months.

Same thing as everyone else here: bad CS. However, I was lucky to not have bank account issues with them.
JugglingReferee is offline  
post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 2010-05-19, 12:12 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 462
So, aside from bad customer service, the actual phone service works as advertised? I just want a home phone service. Bell is a fortune, and my current line is with Rogers, via cable.

My other question, is how are they going to handle that part.... Switching my line over to copper?
viper359 is offline  
post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 2010-09-25, 05:14 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 492
I DO NOT like Primus (kinda overall by now, .. that CS is horrible, beyond horrible.. - i dread to deal with them if ever have to, was already mentioned above.. - but overall - very skeptical and negative about Primus by now)

But .. i am still with them
(for the Phone only mind you)

I am in Winnipeg..
And switched to Primus Phone .. and then (or maybe at the same time) to Primus internet years ago.. when found out that they offer those services in Winnipeg here (their web site still says no High Speed internet.. - up until now.. but actually they do have it.. (well in my case became like they "don't have it".. - and my internet with them is cancelled like a year ago or so now)

was at the beginning like 20 and 20 dol. - 40 bucks (if bundled) .. phone and internet.. (then price for internet became 25 .. now i think the price is up to 30)

internet is supposed to be like 5.0 mb or something.. but in my case .. the fastest i ever got when downloading full blast was 300-330 kb / sec
They told me (their favorite story, lol) .. it's due to facility.. and how many killometers i am away from facility.. - told me i was like 3 km away.. (that for me wasn't a big deal anyhow) .. later on i think .. it proved to be actually i was much closer..

So i stayed with them with that speed (upload actually was, as i am starting to understand now, not too bad.. - was gettng abou 90-95 kb/sec maximum.. then later on it dropped somehow to like 60-70 kb/sec (who knows why) .. but still currently i am with MTS .. and my max upload is like 0.5 mb (which is about 45-50 kb/sec when uploading full blast)

SO stayed with Primus at 300-330 kb/sec d/l speed (probably around 3.0 mb, eh?) .. and after about 2 years.. - the d/l speed started to drop..
One day .. it just dropped to like 1.0 .. and stayed around there.. never could go back up..
Won't go into that long cruel story.. - but they tried everything.. finally sending here some guy (lol, repair man).. that didn't even have any tools (Primus, he said, have to send him tools, etc.. COMICAL) ..
Then after about a month.. he got his tools or whatever they sent him (maybe it was just a Primus modem, who knows)
Meanwhile i kept putting up with Speed of 1.0 (100 kb/sec download max.. - almost like their Light one.. which is about 0.8 - 0.9 mb)
He got his "tools" .. and could not fix me anyhow..
tried outside on the post (or wherever).. tried with his comp.. his laptop.. - same thing .. slow speed..
Primus meanwhile tried to tweek me on their end there.. (in Toronto or wherever they are)..
Multiple calls to them .. from them to me.. supervisors .. whoever.. sent me few replacement modes (just in case) - no use.. could not fix me anyhow..
then i think they hired MTS people to check at their facility.. (should have done it right away anyhow) .. and MTS people could not fix either...

So then Manager (or whoever) called me and said "Sorry" .. - they can't fix me up.. they tried everything.. etc
don't know why my speed went down to 1.0
LOL - i was always unhappy (those 2 years) .that i am at 3.0 (instead of 5.0) .. but put up with it.. BUT with 1.0 i wasn't going to put up..
The dude tried to tell me even .. that they share same facility with MTS .. and it goes over the same lines even (say as their phone lines when switchiing the Phone service.. - even though.. i now think.. that even though the lines / wires are the same.. MTS is using different facility and / or equipment) ... and told me that if i switch to MTS, say.. - will lbe the same slow speed..
He knows "jack" anyhow.. - cuz before them i WAS with MTS (and sometimes with Shaw cable also. - jumped back and force often due to various promotional offers for "new customers")))) .. and my speed with MTS was normal..

So i cancelled.. but kept the Phone Service..
So .. MTS took me .. and i think, maybe .. installed a separate jack (even though i don't have phone with them..) ..and more likely "dry loop" or whatever (not sure .. it's good by the way to be on separate jack etc.. - not using any filters etc.. don't have to basically) ..
and my speed with MTS is normal.. - as was told (by MTS) would be .. - my maximum download now is around 750 kb/sec or so (max upload is around 50 kb/sec .. which is standard with this service i found out, even though i would not mind faster one .. as say peopl have in Europe.. for the same money or cheaper even.. and not for like 100 - 150 dollars , as say their (and Shaw's) fastest internet plan..

S Primus guy was wrong.. MTS gave normal speed.. as i thought they would..

My phone is still with Primus.
I guess i am keeping it for the Price.. (like 19.95 a month + i think, 40 cents for 911, minus, i think 50 cents for the Ebill (paperless bill) .. plus taxes. .- paying 22.23 i think all together.. which is about a dollar or 1.50 dol. less than Shaw's phone (which is 20.95 plus taxes) ..
So the only reason i am staying with Primus (for now anyhow) .. not cuz it's "dollar less" but cuz i think, i "grandfathered" (for no extra cost basically) Call Display (which Shaw gives you also, by the way, for 20.95) + Call Waiting (which Shaw does NOT give me for their 20.95)
Those 2 features with Primus .. i think, should be 10 bucks a month extra (so would have been 30 instead of 20 basically).. - but at one point, long time ago, they were offering on a Promo, those for FREE.. and i think i got them

Other than that.. The Phone finally is working without glitches (say last year or two).. before that.. MANY times.. i had problems with the service.. - the Phone just "died" often.. "No Dial Tone" etc..
or was often .. - dial tone.. but when calling you get "There is a Problem at Facility. Sorry about it" etc etc..
Or few times was - People can call you, but you can't call them (can't dial out).. few times was vice versa.. - you Can call them .. but they can't call you..
It was terrible and rediculous!
Especially when was "No dial tone" .. - i had to go to Pay Phone (and call for FREE, lol, their Toll Free customer service.. - if they were open (they are not open 24/7) .. or go to the neibours say.. and do the same)..
Rediculous.. with MTS for like 10 or 15 years .. never once happened that i "didn't have dial tone" (and they dare say it's over the same lines .. from same facility.. BS .. - it's not... at the very leaslt not the same facility and / or equipment at facility)
I told CSRs (not that they cared anyhow) : "What if someone is dying and i NEED to call 911"???

Anyhow .. year or two put up with that on frequently.. but last year or two.. didn't happen like that any more (maybe only once.. long time ago.. i can't recall now)

So i am STILL with them )))

Customer Service if have to deal with them (G*d forbid) - TERRIBLE most of the time..
Most of the Time (if not always..) when press 1 for ENGLISH .. - you ll end up in with India's CSR (which sometimes, though, maybe actually better than to deal with Primus Canadian CSRs, lol)
If want to speak to Canadian CSRs .. (i found a "loophole"))) .. - gotto press 2 for French.. go through some menues (that don't understand (cuz i don't speak french) .. press some buttons 1, 2 or 3 (to move forward)...and then press 0 or something.. and fanally you ll be on hold.. and then CSR would come and speak french to you, when you'll tell him / her : "i don't speak french.. Can we speak English" (hehe) .. and they will)))
Later i tell them.. i do that so i don't go to India.. and they Laugh)))

But several times .. MANY times actualyl.. would end up with some supervisor.. who are stuck up and rude..and hang up on you.. and don't want to give you credit.. or threaten you to reverse the credit (cuz i am rude to them etc)
In those cases .. actually DID help.. to call back.. (in desparation) and press 1 .. and end up in India.. and talk to them.. or supervisor in India.. and hussle for credit.. and few times actually got the credit (that deserved) that Canadians or Canadian supervisor(s) .. moronically refused to give (or didn't even want to listen my story etc)

At one point i was being charged for some "Collect calls to myself" (AHAAHA) ..
I don't even use their long distance.. cuz have better choices (cheaper ones - with phone cards overseas.. or with some Just Dial / Goldline "dial-up first" service etc)
So never called once long distance with Primus (by the way, when with Primus for Local Phone.. you CAN NOT switch to any other Long distance provider for "direct dialing" you have to remain with Primus.. "don't use it basically .. - but have to remain"
.. Nor EVER i called "collect anywhere" .. or called "collect to Myself" (as the bill clearly showed), which is phisically impossible, LOL

and then had to prove myself to some morons CSRs .. who either that moronic from birth to apprehand it.. or just "play Morons" .. to frastrate "da heck out of you" (softly spoken) .. including many of their supervisors .. who are NOT any better in most cases.. and even worse .. cuz "stuck up" and think of themselves as gods)))

they wanted me to pay like 8 dollars extra for those "Collect calls to Myself" that i never placed of course..
Of course i never paid.. and fought as heck to hussle for my credit.. - even if had to do that in India .. or with French CSRs, supervisors or whoever..
Finally then .. i demanded to put some kinda "Block" on my Long distance" , direct dialing .. so it would be phisically impossible to place direct dialing long distance call. (tall free - yes.. but long distance - not)
and they finally DID.. (i tested it, LOL.. to make sure) .. Now if want to .. i can NOT place a direct dialing long distance phone call (for about two or three years now) .. don't need to anyhow.. (i have other ways to call long distance if needed)
Since then .. i was never charged any Long Distance charges .. , Collect calls to myself .. etc.. (VERY HAPPY about that)

SO it's been like "pulling teeth" often..

maybe it's better if you live in Ontario or Quebec (not sure) .. but getting service from Primus . and / or dealing with Customer Service from here Winnipeg Manitoba.. - most of the time is Horrible.

Sorry for the long post (and for spelling / slang))))
Darkman00 is offline  
post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 2011-06-06, 10:10 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1
Do not give them pre-autorized withdraw from your bank account or credit card

I've had bad experience with Primus and my bank can not do anything with it. Basically, I cancelled their service and they sent a bag to return the modem. I did it right away because I didn't want to get charged for the modem. 2 months after, they charged me 168 dollars to my credit card. I called them back and they confirmed that they already got the modem back but it's their mistake to charge me. The representative told me they couldn't do anything with it until 3 weeks after, so I waited. They didn't reimburse the amount even it's almost a week after so I called back. Now they told me to contact my bank to reverse the transaction. I told them that's not practical, they should do it on my behalf. I called VISA and No they couldn't do it for me, however, VISA could reverse it 2 months after as someone from Primus wrote me a letter that they have a holding period. But I'm telling you that that's not fair. It's their fault and they tend to hold the money to their company. And I have to pay for the interest because I'm not gonna pay VISA for that amount that I didn't pay for.

So, if you deal with primus, don't give them the right to withdraw the money from your account. and there are so many company out their giving better deal than them like Magic Jack. $19 per year with long distance US Canada, and also mailbox that send the voice mail direct to your email.
Toniol is offline  
post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 2011-06-11, 10:33 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 492
Cancelled with Primus...

and they owe me around 20 bucks (final credit)

they said .. they will not give it now.. but in 2 or 3 months or something like that.. HAHA

What a joke... When they want your money - they take it right away .. not in 2 or 3 months...
But to give it back....

Time to call them soon i think.. - it's been around 2 months now or so

Junk company all around...
Darkman00 is offline  
post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 2011-06-24, 11:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Richmond Hill
Posts: 142
my phone lines were migrated from Rogers back in March as Rogers no longer wanted analog lines... so to start I lost my bundle package that went along with cell phones.... The migration was a disaster and Bell took one line and primus took 2 but billed me for all 3 and then Bell was billing me as well. I spent many hours on hold with Primus and in the end I basically begged Bell to take me back, which they did at better rates.
I sent Primus a scathing email of just how horrible the experience was and as of late have heard nothing...however I did receive a call this week from them requesting money..... I put them on hold and never picked up lol
gabagoo is offline  
post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 2012-08-23, 11:28 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2
Primus Tech Support is the BEST

Have been with Primus for three years. Had to call their tech support twice. Both times was extremely painless and pleasant. Spoke to Mike the first time and Bryce the 2nd time. My voip box was not working and it took Mike ten minutes to figure out that it was the box itself. He sent me a new box. He mentioned that when the new box came I had to call back in as it had to be registered with the MAC address. He sent me an email to remind me. I got another email from somebody else and Primus to tell me it was shipped, and I got it a couple of days later. I called back in and spoke to Bryce, gave him the mac address, and he said it would be working within a few hours. True to their word, it was working in a few hours. Never had a problem with this world class company.
MichaelF is offline  
post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 2013-03-14, 07:54 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1
Angry Billing Errors, Poor CS, Zero Management and Conflict Resolution skills

I just got off the phone with Primus Canada. I've been a client since 2005 and things were ok until the last 2 years where I started to notice that I am being Double-Billed for Network charges and Mobile fees. Since then I have been calling every month requesting for an adjustment and they keep telling me that it was a system error and they will make a manual adjustment. I got so fed up with calling them back for almost 2 years for the adjustment so I decided to cancel the Long Distance service November 27, 2012 and paid my last bill based on what was provided by the customer service rep. They even credited my account for $7 for error adjustments.

Out of the blue I started to get bills from Primus again in February indicating that I have used their services in February 1 for the following calls:
0.18 Edm
0.18 Edm
0.24 Edm for a total of $0.60 however the bill shows the amount owing of $31.95 due to network fees of $4.50 and $4.95 every month going back to December 2012. I requested to speak with a Primus Canada supervisor who was not a bit helpful and started to pass the blame to me that it was my responsibility to notify my new LD provider to take over the service. When I cancelled my acct with Primus I never used Telus LD (didn't use them even before I switched to Primus) as they are way too expensive so I used Phone cards. They refuse to adjust the bill as it was not their mistake and the fact that I called them to terminate my account means nothing at all!

They admit that it was noted on the account that I made the request to Terminate the service. However, the manager said as well that at the time of my call I was instructed to contact the new LD provider to complete the request. Who was I supposed to call again? I didn't have a new LD provider. I explained to them that I have been using Prepaid LD Calling Cards to call the Philippines. They refused to adjust the account in spite of all the notes on the account. They offered to reverse the Termination Liability Fee as I called back in November 2012 but the rest of the bill is valid and outstanding. I will warn anyone who might be thinking of switching to Primus Canada for any of their services. You will get the following as promised:
1. Total lack of professionalism
2. Unethical in their business practice (billing error, system error). CS explained to me that the billing error occurred 2009 but since I didn't call to report they can only go back 1 year to fix the problem.
3. Read the fine print even if it doesn't exist ask them!
4. Never assume anything. Just because they said its been fixed doesn't mean its not going to happen again!

BTW, they can't use the Termination Fee on me because I called them back in November and my account was never cancelled until February 12 when it was ported over to Shaw.
ruecooks2 is offline  
post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 2013-03-22, 05:24 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Kingston, ON
Posts: 8
Been with them for 5 years. Phone, unlimited North America long distance, and internet (7 mbps down, 1 mbps up, no cap) for 80 bucks a month. No problems ever. They email me the bill and I pay it myself via online banking.

P.S. I would not do automatic billing by credit card or bank account for any company ever. It always ends in grief.
makuribu is offline  

primus , review , telephone service

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