TELUS iPhone 5 User Disputes Bill Over Lack of Network Coverage



According to a report by CTV BC, one particular iPhone 5 user in South Surrey was unhappy with his TELUS network reception to the point where he decided to cancel his contract early with the company.

Steve Lee’s neighbourhood in South Surrey previously had decent cell reception but as of last April, the coverage had deteriorated. On the west side of his house, his wife gets good Fido service but there is weak TELUS coverage, with similar results from Bell (the latter and TELUS have a shared 4G HSPA+/LTE network)

“I have to run to the east side of my home to try to get a signal, try to keep the conversation before it drops,” said Lee.

TELUS said it was a hardware issue with his smartphones and provided him with six new smartphones over the past 11 months, but Lee was confident it was a network issue.

With TELUS unable to solve the network issue, Lee wanted to cancel his contract early, which also came with $450 in cancellation fees; he argued he should not pay for network service he can’t get reception from his home office. That’s when he contacted CTV consumer reporter Lynda Steele, who spoke with TELUS. The company agreed to waive cancellation fees and cancel the contract.

TELUS acknowledged the network issue in South Surrey and notes it will attempt to find a new spot in the neighbourhood for new antennas and have it up and running by 2014:

“We didn’t handle this particular customer interaction as well as we should have. There’s no question, we’ll apologize for that,” said Shawn Hall, senior communications manager for Telus.


“We’ve gone out and we’ve physically tilted antennas to point towards that site, trying to really maximize the amount of coverage we have in that area,” said Hall.

The company announced last March it would be investing $3 billion in BC to expand its 4G LTE coverage over the next three years. The TELUS 4G LTE network, according to the company covers 70 per cent of the Canadian population.

What do you think should happen in a situation like this?

Update: @TELUS updates us with the following:


  • gweed123

    Interesting test case. If I switch to a carrier, and their cell service in my home is weaker than I anticipated, should I be able to cancel my contract? Especially if the service map on their website shows my location as being ‘covered’.

  • Forrest

    As long as you can prove the service is not being provide they are not living up to the contract. so the contract should be ended at no cost to the customer and the customer should be refund the monthly payments up to that point. But the probably have a clause voiding it.

  • Chris R

    I switched from Rogers to Telus in Nov. 2012. I can report, that Telus has HORRIBLE coverage in the Lower Mainland. I know several spots around the Lower Mainland that I have zero reception with Telus when I used to have full service with Rogers. It’s rather frustrating actually.

  • Anthony W

    Well it depends if you get a discount on your phone by signing your contract. Some carriers will allow you to just pay off that discount and off you go.

  • Bell shows LTE covering all of Whitehorse, Yukon. But I can only find LTE over 2 square blocks right downtown. The coverage maps aren’t very accurate.

  • Smac6ca

    I had the same problem when I moved to Ottawa. Within a one block radius from my home I had no signal on my Telus phone (my friend had the same issue on her Bell phone while my other mates on Fido and Rogers had full signal).
    Telus told me that they could not cancel the contract because the contract deals with the phone and not for service. I had to take my complaint the CRTC before Telus finally called me, on my new Fido phone might I add, to inform me that I don’t have to pay for cancelling early.

    What’s the use of signing up with a company on contract when we can’t even make a call from home….

  • Jason

    Its very misleading to say we cover 70% of the population knowing that most of the population lives in lower Canada. i Think we all know someone who has had crap cell reception in the GVA. I’m with fido and while in surrey i go through several of pockets of no service. When i was with Bell i couldn’t make a call from my surrey phone at all. I argued with customer service and got nothing from it. I guess the lesson learned here is get the media involved.

  • Whisskigirl

    I have had to turn the LTE off on my phone. The signal was so sporadic and only proved to drain my battery in a matter of hours, with hardly any use. (Im based in Whistler) And I have to stand by a window in my apartment to ensure my signal doesn’t drop (even on just the 3G). I NEVER had any of these issues with Rogers!! If it wasn’t for being required to move to a corporate plan (with Telus) by a former employer, I definitely would have stuck with the lesser of two evils in Rogers!!

  • Douglas Sheridan

    I am newly in Ocean Park /Crescent Beach and we have three Telus mobiles (all different) and no coverage. Linda Steele wil be notified. Telus said it is not an issue anymore, IT IS

  • Josh Jones

    Actually coverage in all of the lower mainland out to Chilliwack is poor. There are many areas where I get 1 or 2 bars on my iphone. In comparison, when I did a nine state trip in America this summer I never got less than 3 bars even in the middle of Wyoming. It appears Canadian carriers have not put in the infrastructure investment before selling the products. I’m talking about coverage for all not just the high population areas.

  • Rickie Tran

    I switched from Rogers to Telus, after an hours with the paper work, got home and gave the phone to my wife, left to work, make a first called to my wife (both phone from telus) but got cut off 2-3 times, this was a shocked to me, It’s worse more than a third world country, nowadays. I can’t believe it that Telus signal is so weak, most of the time I got only 2-3 dots when I stand beside the window, I live in Toronto.

    I make a stupid mistake to switch from ROGERS to TELUS, I hope if I can get out of 2 years Telus jail time early.