Telus On “Unlimited Internet”

From the company’sFAQ:

Q. Why do you call your service unlimited, when my monthly usage islimited?
A. We refer to TELUS High Speed as being unlimited because you getunlimited hours of monthly access.

Update (10:20 pm): It appears that TELUS has removed this Q & A from its FAQ. 


  1. Bwahahaha.

    Dear Telus, a month can have a maximum of 744 hours, which is far from being “unlimited”….

    🙂 🙂 🙂


  2. What year is it?
    This reminds me of the dial-up days… Always on != unlimited…..

  3. Treefingers says:

    Funny how language is becoming an impediment to communication, at least in the ad world. Do they have a “limited” service? If not, this is on par with calling a lowest-tier service “Premium” or a base model product “Enhanced”.

  4. I believe this calls for a double facepalm.

  5. Time traveler says:

    If only could cram an unlimited amount of hours into a month…

  6. No consumer example
    This is a primo example of gaps in either the law or enforcement to protect consumers. Canada seems to be lacking a lot of both.

  7. Telus gives you more
    With regard to the comment about only 744 hours in a month. When time change occurs and you set your clock back an hour you end up with 745 hours. TELUS will not shut down your internet access for that extra hour because they are your friend. See, unlimited.

  8. David Burgess says:

    great marketing!
    “Funny how language is becoming an impediment to communication, at least in the ad world. Do they have a “limited” service? If not, this is on par with calling a lowest-tier service “Premium” or a base model product “Enhanced”.”

    You reminded me of a particular brand of laundry detergent I saw in France, which came in two varieties: “Original” and “New Classic”.

  9. Makes me…
    Makes me want to throw an unlimited number of bricks through the windows of their headquaters….

  10. Trevoe Scott says:

    What do you expect
    TELUS hires the cheapest and most incopetent people and then assigns them to Customer Dis-service.

  11. At least they’re not Bell! Not much better, but anything>Bell.

  12. WOW, that’s some bold slight of word!!! They must think people are idiots these days. Unbelieveable!!! Back in the early 2000’s, I remember when Telus high speed was “actually” unlimited…and you know what, it’s still no faster. If anything, it seems slower than it did back then.

  13. Jim Johannsson says:

    Jim Johannsson here from TELUS. I thought it might be helpful for you to have the context for our “unlimited” statement. While there is an entire generation of Canadians who have only known the “always on” broadband internet there are some Canadians who use dial-up. As you know, access to dial-up is generally billed on the basis of connect time. So when our dial up customers upgrade from dial-up to our “always on” broadband services they frequently have questions about any time limits with their plan. Since none of our broadband internet plans have connect time limits we refer to them as unlimited.

  14. @Jim Johannsson – Thanks for the marketing spin… NOT! Responses like that confirm that you (a) think your customers are stupid; (b) think your customers are naive; (c) got stuck in a marketing competition when unlimited really meant “without limit on quantity of Internet used” and are now trying to avoid being sued for false advertising; and/or (d) all of the above.

    Try being honest and forthright for a refreshing change. Yes, I understand that “unlimited” sounds better than “usage caps apply,” but if you honestly and genuinely mean “always on” then why don’t you (i.e., DIDN’T you previously) simply say, “always on” and leave it unambiguous? Answer: because it is likely that you initially really did mean unlimited (which it was), and now you’re reneging (which is probably technically not quite legal, and if it is technically legal then it is certainly… what’s the hip word I’m looking for?…. oh yeah, douchebaggy).

  15. So, would a restaurant, that is open 24 hours/day, 7 days/week be able to advertise unlimited eating?

  16. Jim Johannsson says:

    Marco, I would be happy to engage in a respectful and intelligent dialogue with you but your hurling insults and allegations from an anonymous tag suggests that is not your intent – it is also disrespectful to others who use this forum for legitimate discussion. If you change your mind, my direct contact information is on our TELUS website.

  17. Harold Jarche says:

    Always on
    Hey Jim; it seems you’re trying to stop the flood in the dyke. You are a member of an oligopoly that is controlling the pipes and selling your own content; hence, you want to cap the access. You are not neutral. We’re laughing at your corporate-speak (That’s Cluetrain Thesis #20 – Companies need to realize their markets are often laughing. At them). Yes, your service is always-on, but so is your billing. You should be regulated, like any other utility.

  18. @Jim Johannsson:

    I also would like to engage in a respectful and intelligent discussion. I hope you understand that that needs to go both ways.

    Honestly, you and I know full well that “Unlimited” is taken to mean by nearly everyone as “without limit.” Telus knows that, and they are trying to cash in on that general understanding from a marketing perspective without living up to those consumer expectations on the technical side of things.

    If you want to be treated as an intelligent individual worthy of respect, then you need to treat others with intelligence and respect. None of us appreciate you trying to cover up this blatant bait-and-switch.

    “Ooooh! You thought we meant unlimited bandwidth! How cute! Of course we meant ‘unlimited’ as in you can keep it on for as long as you want without using it! How could you even make that mistake?!!”

  19. Craig Hartel says:

    We Canadians will bitch and moan…
    …but in the end, that’s all we will do. We will still pay the UBB fees. The ISPs know this. The government and CRTC know this. We’ll sit in Tim Horton’s and complain and complain but ultimately we won’t DO anything.

    The link to Telus’ FAQ does not show the quoted information.

    PPS: @Jim Johannsson – we can’t have a dialogue with you or any company representative because you don’t care about your customers. We’re not against anyone making money, but we are against monopolies and lobbyists controlling the CRTC and pressuring ignorant politicians in Ottawa and across the country. It doesn’t matter how you try to disguise it; a shit sandwich is a shit sandwich and you expect Canadians to take a bite of it and smile and thank you for giving it to us.

  20. Telecommunications Workers Union says:

    Get ready for a Telus/Bell merger folks. It is inevitable once the Conservatives lift foreign ownership laws. And all the union people will be laid off. At least the Liberals will retain foreign ownership restrictions and protect Canadian workers.

  21. @Craig Hartel

    Isn’t that interesting. I checked earlier (about 2 hours ago) and the quote was accurate then. I guess the ‘unlimited’ question isn’t so ‘frequently asked’ after all.

    Re: Shit Sandwich. Well said, sir, well said!

  22. @Jim:

    Now that was fast. I happen to have some idea of the levels of approval and paperwork needed to do an unplanned change to the public-facing web site of a big corporation… there must have been some frantic internal e-mail exchanges at Telus today 🙂


  23. Thanks for the update Jim. It’s good to see an attempt at outreach to the public (I say that sincerely).

    You are obviously doing your job and taking flack for it. But I think you can appreciate consumer frustration with telecom providers regarding their deceptive practices. Advertising low prices with hidden fees (6.95 system access for example), ‘unlimited’ data with tons of limits, surreptitious changes to contracts (and more!) all leave bitter tastes in the proverbial mouths of consumers.

    No one has any problems with a business wanting to make money, but just do it honestly for Pete’s sake!

  24. Neighborhood Intranet
    It has occurred to me that there may be more motivation for a “cooperative intranet”, now; an unrestricted network, limited (initially) by physical proximity, paid for and built by the digital equivalent of a community league/ co-op.

    For instance, a fibre-based LAN for a neighborhood/high-rise (I don’t think wireless is up to the task, yet), which is capable of connecting to other, similar-minded networks. Given a dense enough population, it seems likely that a significant amount of a person’s online needs can be met with a city-wide local net, separate from the internet. But frankly, I’m not entirely certain I know how much (and what kind of) hardware this would take, was wondering what the cost of setting up a neighborhood of, say, 100 dwellings, would run? I think a single, inexpensive UNIX/Linux box could manage the network administration (perhaps an ad-hoc network), without any real difficulty. Does anyone know the hardware side of infrastructure (materials & approximate cost)?

    Not long ago I read an article about how, in Finland, if you want to save on the initial internet connection fees, you can dig & lay your own fibre optic cable out to your connection point. I guess I’m wondering how difficult it would be to take this one step further? The hardware side of the endeavour seems like something that is inexpensive enough to be within reach of a relatively small group of households, now.

    To speculate further, it might even be possible for participants to “pool” portions of their commercially purchased monthly bandwidth allotment, allowing (for instance) web caches and a usenet server on their intranet, to stay current. Gaming with locals, video conferencing, local VOIP, or anything else, could all be done outside the bandwidth restrictions placed on our commercial accounts. Given a robust interest, I think a local net could replace a fair amount of traffic currently being funneled through commercial lines, probably allow a few new types of interaction to emerge.

    Anyone familiar with an established co-operative intranet, already in use? Maybe a small-ish town is already running a local net, with local webserver(s), that kinda thing, probably wireless?

    If our neighborhoods were interested in making an unlimited intranet, what barriers/restriction would have to be overcome, to make it work?

  25. Many new lobbyists from Bell
    If you do a search on the government website of registered lobbyists,

    there are quite a few new ones representing Bell and Telus. Must be getting ready for something big.

  26. Wierd, this “unlimited” thing from ISPs started a long time ago and it was obvious what it meant when it started. I never re-evaluated that definition until now and I didn’t realize people these days would naturally assume unlimited bandwidth rather than unlimited time. Probably it’s time for the marketting to change 🙂

  27. Mr. Angry Consumer says:

    Long time customer wonders…
    Beyond the present kerfuffle that has been occurring, I too ask:

    No one has any problems with a business wanting to make money, but just do it honestly for Pete’s sake! — quoting a previous poster. We aren’t blind. We aren’t stupid. We have long memories. You know what else? We’re loyal. Be fair, that’s all we ask.

  28. Brian Mason says:

    Jim Johannsson,
    Thanks for stopping by and explaining both why Telus had it the way it did and explaining why it took it down. (It took courage, IMHO.) Looking at my own websites, it’s easy to see how old info can hang on for far too long. Still, when people show me where I’ve screwed up, I always try to give them credit somewhere. Do you think it appropriate for Telus to publicly give credit to Mr. Geist in this case?

  29. The HUB Disaster
    I too see your position on the collective. One night whilst WAR DRIVING for the fun of it and not connecting to anyones network (as that would be illegal), i cannot help but notice in my minds eye. Every household in my area has at least one ROUTER connected to the fiberous network and then onto the oversized Oligopoly. What would it take to get neighbors to talk to one another, to join together and share a central router and deminish the neverending stream of fees to BIG BROTHER. How could the cash machine be reduced and bring back community. Reduce Segregation, share a router!!