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Refurbished phones

Friendly Neighbour

Less than 3 months after pruchasing a new phone it was in need of repair.  The phone was sen for repair but what came back was a refurbshed model.  The cost of the new phone was in the region of $1200.  The online cost of the rebubished model is in the region of $600.  If Telus has the right to substitute phones then why isn't the billing adjusted accordingly?


Community Power User
Community Power User

The questions is going to be was it actually Telus specifically that was repairing it or were you going through the manufacturer, a third party repair company, or insurance? If the manufacturer/repair place/insurance sent back a refurbished phone, you'll need to deal with them. Telus would have no control over what they do.

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Paid Telus for the phone, contract, etc., not the manufacturer, also Telus didn't have to do the repair. It shouldn't be on the customer to deal with the manufacturer but Telus who gets the phone from the manufacturer and makes the profit from selling the phone, etc.  The question is valid. 

Why did the phone need repair, was there a defect covered by warranty or was there damage? These are completely different situations.

Friendly Neighbour

The phone was being returned due to a manufacturer defect.

Just Moved In

I purchased a new Pixel 3 back in November/December when they first started being SOLD BY Telus. Paid several hundred dollars at the start of the contract and had a device balance of over a thousand dollars at the start. Within the first month, I called to complain about call issues, echo on the call, people could hear themselves talking when I talked to them on the phone. This echo was so bad it was difficult to talk. I was by told by Telus it was a software issue and that Google would be releasing a patch to fix it, that this was a known issue and that "Telus" had an open case with Google. After several months and repeated calls for updates, I was told that the Pixel 3 needed to be sent in to be repaired. So reluctantly (the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know, as the saying goes) I gave them my phone to be repaired only to receive a 'refurbished' one a little over a week later. (about 10 days)

The refurbished phone HAD NO AUDIO AT ALL while making calls, I couldn't hear anything when talking on the phone, there was also noticeable defects in the screen, pixelation along the right edge. Ony the speakerphone or the hands-free in my car would work to make a phone call. 


Currently, this refurbished Pixel 3 has been sent in for "repair". I put this in quotes as I'm sure I'll get another refurbished phone back that was "repaired" previously from something else. This really bothers me. Spending as much money as I did on this phone, that originally only had an "audio" echo in phone calls, only to get back one that appears to have had extensive damages previously. I believe they should be repairing my 'actual' phone and sending it back. I know the history of my phone, I know how I take care of my property. Honestly, I believe due to the fact the issue was reported within the first month of my getting the phone, I should have been given a new one to start with, then and there, as the original was defective, but for some reason, they thought it was a 'software' issue.  I currently have several devices with Telus, on a shared data plan with my wife, pay them a lot of money each month. If this second phone has so much as a scratch on it, I'm paying off my balance and will be saying goodbye to Telus. 

I called to complain, they said if there is an issue with the device again (this would be the third time) they will pay off my balance owing so as to "let me" get another contract (but I would have to send them the phone, they would need the phone back!). Say what?  One, what makes them think I would want another contract after this mess, and what happens to the $800+ I've already paid towards the balance?

I'm so upset with Telus and Google right now.  I've been with them for years, paying several hundred dollars every month, and get this nonsense with a defective device. I'm not a happy camper. To be honest I don't know if I'm going to stay even if the device is defect-free when I get it back.

Friendly Neighbour

It seems that according to Canadian consumer law, after an established period of time (in the case of cell phones, 15 days) it is acceptable practise to substitute new faulty merchandise with as good as new refurbished substitutes.  This law is not limited to cell phones.  The argument goes far beyond a personal relationship with a retailier, extending to those who draft consumer protection in Canada.  That said, it is at the retailer's discretion if they chose to replace defective new with working new. A quick check suggests that Telus policy is no different from other Canadian cell phone providers.  If the telecom market in Canada ever becomes a true free market system, these small customer considerations will become one of the issues that determines where consumers will take their business. 

Friendly Neighbour

One more note, I would have to say that all Telus employees and Tom Harrs employees  I have dealt concerning this issue have been extremely courteous and have done the maximum allowed by Telus policy.  

I think one of the reasons for supplying a refurbished phone is to get a working phone back in the hands of the customer as soon as possible. Not having a working phone for any length of time can be a major problem for some people.

I've repaired quite a few phones over the years. Sometimes it's hit and miss with swapping parts so a repair can drag on unexpectedly.

In the end it's a compromise. I personally would like to get my original phone back. It's not possible in some cases because the cost to repair (time and parts) could end up costing more than the value of the phone.

It is what it is.

Friendly Neighbour
If the defective phone is still under warranty the quickest solution would be to replace it with a new phone and this is what a customer would expect. As for consumer protection in Canada, Canadian consumer law allows any shop to replace any defective item with a refurbished version of the same item. The issue remains one of a lack of consumer law in Canada and not just in the telecom industry. That being said, terms and condition should be presented in a clear and concise manner to a potential customer and not tacked on in 4 point font at the bottom of a sales agreement.