Not any more

Hey deadbeats, Telus doesn’t want you – The Globe and Mail

In Canada on August 11, 2010 at 08:43

Telus reports earnings, Friday

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 11:06 AM

Hey deadbeats, Telus doesn’t want you

Iain Marlow

Telus thinks you could be a “deadbeat.”

At least someone at Telus (or someone with access to the Telus website) thinks that. And so that’s why you need to undergo a credit check.

On the Telus site near the end of July, a blogger at tech vibes discovered a ludicrous FAQ in which the company attempts to answer the question, “Why do I need a credit check?”

“You may be broke, therefore highly unlikely to pay your bill,” the site read. “We just don’t want to lose money, you dead beat. You know how it is…”

Wow,” was my reaction. And the reaction of CBC reporter Peter Nowak, who tweeted the original blog post to my attention.

It was also the reaction of the Telus PR guy, to whom I e-mailed a couple of questions, chief among them: Um, what is this?

“It was an internal error,” the Telus PR guy wrote back. “As soon as this came to our attention we immediately removed it. The errant text does not represent Telus’ policy or our view and we apologize for the error.”

The company, after being alerted to the text, removed it back on July 28th. But Globe Tech HQ only saw it today (in our defence, it’s summer…). Likely, it was placeholder text that accidentally got left on the site.

As someone who works at a newspaper, I have great sympathy. Occasionally, newspapers will be printed with stuff like “HEADLINE GOES HERE.” Or: “ASDFASDFASDF.” Or this, somewhere in the text: “Waiting for this idiot guy to get back to me…” Or even phone numbers of sources, or names of people we talked to but didn’t want to identify. It’s a frightening world. And the 24-hour newscycle has only made it more freaky.

Depending on how much of a class warrior you are, the Telus text is either incredibly offensive or pretty funny. As a reporter who covers this industry, I have to admit I find it amusing, especially since Telus has made a point of not repositioning its flanker brand (Koodo Mobile) as an unlimited urban plan, the way Bell is going to do so with Solo Mobile and Rogers is doing with its new Chatr brand.

Although I very, very much doubt this was written by a top telecom executive, it might as well have been, since Telus and Bell and Rogers are all busy chasing after new smart phone customers who pay way higher monthly bills than the unlimited talk-and-text set — the deadbeats, in other words.

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