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Check your Telus contract before new data charges kick in

Internet customer says company downgraded his monthly data limit
If you watch a lot of movies online, your bill could be going up.


Telus Internet subscribers should check their service agreement fine print before the communications giant starts charging customers who exceed their monthly data limits.

Starting March 30, Telus will automatically bill customers for additional 50 gigabyte “data buckets” if they slip past their allowance. The first bucket will be $5, with additional 50 GB data pails costing $10 each.

As someone who works three days a week online at home, Victoria’s Clint Lalonde, an educational technologist and Telus customer, was curious to see if his regular Internet activities would put him over his 250-gigabyte limit.

But when he logged onto the Telus website on Thursday he was surprised to see that his 250 GB allowance had been downgraded to 150 GB.

“That didn’t ring true to me. I knew my limit was more than 150 gigabytes,” said Lalonde, who documented his Telus experience on his blog, “I had to go through all my files to find my original agreement from 2012.”

His original three-year agreement, a bundled package that also includes TV and phone service, outlines that Lalonde’s Internet service should include 250 GB of monthly data.

Lalonde said a Telus customer service representative offered to upgrade him to a 250 GB plan for an extra $5 a month.

“You want me to pay an extra $5 a month to get something from you that we have already agreed to in a contract that you would provide? I mean, we have a contract,” Lalonde wrote in his blog post. “This is exactly the type of behaviour that contracts are supposed to avoid. I agree to pay you each month for a service, and you agree to give me what we paid for the term of the contract which, in my case, runs until April.”

Telus eventually agreed to upgrade his service at a reduced rate of $30 a month for six months, which is a promotional rate for new customers.

Telus spokesman Shawn Hall told The Vancouver Sun on Friday that all Internet service providers regularly make changes to their offerings.

“We change plans from time to time and when we do, we communicate with our customers. Our last change was in 2012,” he said.