August 17, 2019 9:43 pm
Updated: August 18, 2019 3:01 pm

Telus email outage stretches into 3rd day, and customers say this is ‘intolerable’

WATCH: Telus customers are outraged three days into a webmail outage, but they say the worst part has been the lack of communication from the communications giant. Jill Bennett reports.

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UPDATE: 9:45 p.m. PT — Telus has issued a video statement apologizing for the disruption in its email services.

For three days, Telus customers have complained of an outage that has affected the company’s email services.

Telus has offered reassurances that most of its customers can access their email now.

But complaints continue to pour in to the company’s support page on Twitter. And at least one business owner said the manner in which the corporation has communicated is “intolerable.”

WATCH: Nov. 28, 2017 — Complaints about Canadian telecom companies up

In a statement to Global News on Saturday afternoon, Telus said hundreds of team members, including technicians, are working to restore access to email.

“This is a fluid situation, and we are doing everything we can to stabilize all servers as we bring our final customers back online,” said Tony Geheran, Telus’ chief customer officer.

“Unfortunately, the issues with the remaining servers are very complex, which is why this is taking much longer than we would like. We know that our customers are frustrated, and we are incredibly sorry.

“We want to reiterate that we take this issue extremely seriously, which is why today, we reached out to customers who are still without email service with an SMS text message to apologize directly.”

Reports of the outage first emerged on Thursday morning.

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Telus issued a statement later that day, saying that customers could expect a “full restoration by the morning.”

Friday morning came, and Telus issued another statement, this time saying that “most customers are now able to access their Telus.net email.”

READ MORE: Telus says email is restored for 90% of customers now

That was news to several Telus customers, including Ian Davidson-Newby, who runs International Movie Services, an Aldergrove, B.C.-based business that offers costumes and props for the film industry.

For him, email worked briefly, but then went down again at 9 a.m.

“Then it stayed off again into yesterday afternoon,” Davidson-Newby told Global News.

Telus issued another statement on Twitter at around 4:45 p.m., saying that “more than 90 per cent of customers are now able to access their Telus.net email.”

By this time, Davidson-Newby’s email was working again. But he was nevertheless disappointed at what he saw as a lack of information from the company.

“I personally am wondering why, now that they seem to have solved the problem, that all the explanation is that they had a hardware problem at a location,” he said.

“Were they hacked, was this a system design problem? Give us an explanation we can work with.”

“From the aspect of a business, which lives and dies by their ability to communicate, and communicate in a timely fashion, this is intolerable.”

Davidson-Newby could at least say he had email service back.

Kevin McGladdery could not say the same.

The North Vancouver-based man owns a sales and marketing business that deals with auto parts. He said 90 per cent of his work depends on email, as he deals with clients in Eastern Canada and the U.S.

WATCH: Oct. 22, 2018 — CRTC opens review of sales practices by major telecoms

His email account was still out of service on Saturday morning — he said Telus told him it could take as long as 72 hours to be restored.

“I’m totally in the dark,” he told Global News.

“Thirty years in the business, this is probably one of the worst situations that I’ve dealt with. There’s people that are sitting there, twiddling their thumbs.

“Without email, businesses are shutting down.”

READ MORE: Canadian telco networks working to fix widespread outages of voice services

Telus has not responded to the question of whether it would offer compensation to those who may have lost business due to the outage.​

McGladdery sent an email to Telus CEO Darren Entwistle, saying, “Brutal. Where is the backup server? I will never buy another service from Telus.”

He said he then received a reply from Entwistle’s email address apologizing for the inconvenience and saying the issue was being addressed as quickly as possible.

WATCH: June 14, 2018 — Canada orders investigation into telecom companies’ sales practices

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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