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Primus Talkbroadband page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating Unavailable
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Reviews:
bullet 39 reviews (24 good) (11 bad)
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Review by JeanInNepean See Profile

  • Location: Nepean,ON
  • Cost: $32 per month
Good "Lots of features (privacy guard, remote phone access, voicemail and many more)"
Bad "Price is no longer competitive"
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I have been using Primus Talk BroadBand since 2004. I've had the same MGCP ATA and rarely had problems, other than the odd DTMF tones every once in a while (when listening to music on hold or when talking with women). The audio quality is good enough to be able to send faxes through.

I'm porting out of Primus mainly because the price is too high for my limited usage of the service. I'm getting a similar service from my current ISP (TekSavvy) for 10$/month less and my dry-loop fees are waived...

The only real problems I've had were with billing errors (2 of them in 9 years) and porting of my alternate (ident-a-call) numbers. My alternate number wasn't registered in my name (even though I had been using it for 9 years) and the port was rejected twice (once because the name didn't match, the other time because the address hadn't been changed)... I find Primus' CSRs have always been very courteous and professional.

They do have a 30-day cancellation policy that applies even when you port a number out. I have downgraded my service to a cheaper basic plan for those last 30 days.

member for 1.9 years, 525 visits, last login: a few minutes ago
lodged 1.2 years ago

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Review by funkengruven See Profile

  • Location: Cambridge,ON
  • Cost: $29 per month (month by month)
  • Install: about 7 days
Good "Near POTS Quality phone service, good web portal, Easy to set up"
Bad "Tech support is atrocious."
Overall "When it works the service itself is pretty good, but hope that you never have to call them for anything."
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I've been with Primus for the past 6 years and have not had any major issues at all. At the time $25.95 a month for unlimited North American long distance seemed like a pretty good deal, and at that time it was. Portal is good, ability to use remote phone (call a local access number and call out from your service using that) is a bonus, Call quality is indistinguishable from a normal land line phone service, outbound caller ID always works, very easy to set up, overall not a bad service.

Their technical support and Customer Service lines were plagued with excruciating hold times, and after waiting sometimes up to an hour on hold for customer service you would reach an agent in India who has no clue about how to help you with your issue. This has improved significantly over the past couple years and continues to.

Because it's so easy to set up I'd recommend this service to non-technical users who have an internet connection who would prefer not to pay Bell rates for a phone line. If you are a more technical user you would be better served going with one of the less expensive voip providers available since call quality is much the same and configuration options are far more extensive.

Update: Ported number away from Primus to voip.ms and was a nightmare due to the incompetence of their provisioning department. Primus attached a fictional service address to my phone number which prevented voip.ms from moving the number to their service. The service address that Allstream had for the number was rejected in the LNP request too. Primus did very little to assist me with this and their teams could never provide me with any useful information regarding the correction of my service address. As a result of this incompetence I was forced to port from Primus to a Telus Mobility cellphone (for some reason porting to and from an ILEC is far easier) and then port from Telus to voip.ms.

If you don't plan on making any changes at all to your service and plan to just use this service and nothing more you will likely experience few issues. If you have to call them for anything be prepared for grief.

member for 7.1 years, 23 visits, last login: 2.6 years ago
updated 3.2 years ago

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Review by IamGimli See Profile

  • Location: Canada
  • Cost: $20 per month
Good "Nothing"
Bad "No QoS, Service down for days (weeks) at a time, no support, crooks"
Overall "Use only if you can live without the service being available and you got a money tree."
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Primus, although trying to fix the shortcomings of their mediocre hardware through firmware updates, also end up screwing up said hardware to a point where it's not usable anymore. After they do that, leaving you with only email to contact their support department, they will ignore any attempt you make to actually get support to fix their screw-up.

Unless you don't mind paying for a service you don't receive and you like being ignored stay as far away from Primus as you can.

In this case, you don't even get what you pay for. On top of that when you cancel they charge you an extra month of service, "cancellation fees" that add up to more than a month's worth of service and "hardware handling fees". All around crooks overall, couldn't be more happy not to be in business with them and will never be caught again.

member for 10.5 years, 2267 visits, last login: 7 days ago
updated 3.4 years ago

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Review by Serbtastic See Profile

  • Location: Stoney Creek,ON
  • Cost: $30 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
Good "Great sound quality and web portal"
Bad "Can only notify one email address of new messages"
Overall "Highly recommend it"
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I dropped Primus Talkbroadband for Freephoneline.ca and ported my number over to them. So far so good.

member for 12.5 years, 4567 visits, last login: 3 days ago
updated 3.8 years ago

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Review by ohmer See Profile

  • Location: Quebec,QC
  • Cost: $15 per month (month by month)
  • Install: about 15 days
Good "Great price, many functions"
Bad "Level 1 Tech support/CS is horrible, cannot call 1-900 lines"
Overall "WARNING! they will charge you termination fees if you port your number!"
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On a technical side, Primus TBB is an excellent service. It just works and many functions included for free (no fees for things like caller id display, call forwards, voicemail like at bell).

But... hope you will not need to call 611. First, you will wait for at least 45 minutes before to be online with a technician. Second, you will receive averages answers. If you have a non-standard problem, many months can pass before Primus fix it (example : my 911 service is reduced to basic since September because I moved... they say my number/address cannot support E911, but Bell and my city say this is not true...)

EDIT March 2008: Tech support is better when you call directly a level 2 technician

EDIT August 2010: I ported my number from Primus TBB to VoIP.MS and got charged a full months as termination fees. Customer service don't understand 30 days notice is not compatible with number portability. They also charged me 8 days after my number was ported. Avoid them! They still have long waiting time when you have to call them (a little better but still too long).

member for 11 years, 3298 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 4 years ago

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Review by koreyb See Profile

  • Location: Etobicoke,ON
  • Cost: $29 per month (month by month)
Good "LOADS of features, fairly good support and priced perfectly!"
Bad "Level 1 Customer Service is sometimes not the best, Bell Thottle effects all VoIP.. even Primus"
Overall "WATCH OUT FOR TERMINATION FEES WHEN PORTING YOUR NUMBER AWAY!"
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My Other Reviews

·VMedia
·Rogers Hi-Speed
I have had Primus Talkbroadband now for a few years and I can't tell me enough how happy I am with the service. It's been rock solid, with only a few bumps in the road. You can expect this with NEW technology.

My only major beef is SOME of the call centers are overseas... but not all are.. Communication within the company on brand new features/policy doesn't always get echoed to all reps on the phone right away, but overall nothing has been a big deal to work out.

IF you have DSL in Bell Canada's area, you may find their throttle effects talkbroadband and any voip service, especially if you have a high bandwidth codec set. I was able to fix this during throttle hours by setting the line to a low bandwidth setting, giving the same sound quality as a normal line vs better than normal at the high setting. This is not any fault of Primus or any other voip provider.

I personally have been very happy with the service they have... GREAT value for the money, especially when you get all calling features, unlimited 24/7 North American long distance, and an option to save 4 bucks a month by buying your ATA box (which I have).

UPDATE July 27 2010:

After quite a few years, I have decided in late June to move to VOIP.MS to run my own PBX and save more money. Primus has always been fair to me for the most part, but nothing prepared me for the surprise I was going to have after getting my final bill. After having my number ported away, apparently the policies have changed to echo Bell's policy of charging a TERMINATION CHARGE that totals 1 full month of service. I was livid! This policy has been instated without advising customers that have agreed to a terms and conditions that did not have this and apparently did not advise any customers of this change. They also tried to say you need to give them 30 days notice even when porting your number away. Unfortunately, if you where to do this your number would be lost and not be able to be ported. After some heated moments and a supervisor being involved, the charge has been reversed, but I would advise anyone thinking of using Primus, to keep this in mind if they want to port their number away later. This is a very poor business practice for porting customers, and very unfair. I was thinking of perhaps coming back to Primus, but as long as this charge is on the books, I will not be returning now.

It's too bad, because it seems Primus is starting to take some play books from Bell on how to treat customers and I can tell you if you hope to get these customers back, this is not a good approach. 30 days to cancel or termination charge should only apply IF the customer is canceling the service outright and not porting numbers away, as I know for a fact had I given 30 days, the number would have been lost and/or impossible to coordinate to get the number ported on just the right day to avoid any fees.





member for 9.6 years, 1878 visits, last login: 2 days ago
updated 4 years ago

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Review by kiri_bhaskar See Profile

  • Location: Scarborough,ON
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Sound quality OK. Not the best and NOt the worst"
Bad "Suddenly HIKED the rates and started Charging"
Overall "Marketting SCAM"
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Primus had a promotion for 5 $/month for Unlimited calls to India. As my parents are in India, I chose 5 $/month extra for unlimited calls to India. After six months, suddenly a recorded version of warning came and started charging me 3 cents/minutes. No Notice, no email or NO advance notice is bill. Suddenly my bill skyrocketed through the roof.

When spoke to customer service, a very stubborn answer. No courtesy and No regrets...

EXTREMELY BAD SERVICE. Felt like a SCAM. Free for couple of months and suddenly start charging. Not a great way of doing business. It is NOT a business & just a LOOT.


member for 4.3 years, 1 visits, last login: 4.3 years ago
lodged 4.3 years ago

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Review by Martin See Profile

  • Location: Quebec,QC
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
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Review deleted!

member for 9.3 years, 3618 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 4.3 years ago

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Review by Tig See Profile

  • Location: Greely,ON
  • Cost: $34 per month
  • Install: about 10 days
Good "Call Screening"
Bad "Not very cheap. Online forums are hostile. Techinical support inept. Customer support very weak."
Overall "If you are a zombie seeking brains don't call Primus"
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My Other Reviews

·voip.ms
I tried out Vonage but opted for the Primus because it was cheaper for the unlimited package.

I have been a Primus VoIP customer for three years.

You can screen telemarketers and send their call to never never land. You can configure important callers to ring all your phones, cell, long distance. You never have to miss a call or take one you do not want.

Bad points are the online forums, where users and administrators treat frustrated customers to personal attacks. It's disgusting.

Technical support is sketchy. If your equipment has died and the green light is off, you should be able to get resolution after an hour or so on he phone and on hold. Otherwise you will have to live with what ever bugs you.

I opened a ticket for calls that were misdirected. eg; my phone shows I dialed one number but the call log shows that the numbers got jumbled and I was connected to a wrong number. This happens in spurts and is a real nuisance if you are calling long distance and wake someone up across time zones. The problem ticket was finally acknowledged and updated by Primus after 12 days. Comments were "Are you still having this problem" The problem ticket was closed 9 seconds later.

Update March 31/08

I tested my internet connect as per Primus. Scores came back very good as agreed by Primus. They have concluded that I must have an intermittent jitter problem. Their logic is that I will get a wrong number if "packets arrive out of sequence" This is an idiotic explanation. Makes me wonder why I even bother to ask them to fix anything.

Update Dec 2009. Still with Primus. Technical support is non-existent. Customer service is poor. Web interface call screening is nice.

Update March 23, 2010

Wow it's been 5 years and I finally bought my own gateway and signed up with another VOIP provider. They actually entertained intelligent discussion to resolve a problem rather than just dump the blame on my ISP. Working with the new VOIP provider's support illustrated how pathetic Primus support is. Primus support will work towards a position that your problem is not their problem. In my experience they were unable to escalate to a level that understood what a SIP invite was, which is stunning. This is a very basic technical detail. Even when faced with trace data, they will provide an explanation that is inconsistent with VOIP protocols and the universe in general.

The Primus amateur forums are just a flame fest for annoyed customers, immature admins and wanabe nerds. Don't waste your time there Primus is an "as is" VOIP offering. If you plug it in and it does not work, send it back as fast as you can. Anything beyond how to connect and check for a green light is not within Primus technical abilities or concerns.

If it does work for you, then get the unlimited LD package. It more expensive than competitors but it will save you hours of your life explaining to customer support how Primus billing records prove that the 6 day long phone call did not really happen because it shows that you used your phone to call all sorts of other people. Once that is done they will try to negotiate a fair price for their problems. When they finally accept your position that $0 is fair for a call that did not happen you will have to pry a refund out of them rather than accept a credit for more than a year of service. Don't expect an apology or any sort of credit for the hours of your life that this takes. That's not the Primus way.

Shop elsewhere, the VOIP market is maturing. "As is" providers like Primus are being out priced and out classed.

member for 8.1 years, 1069 visits, last login: 3 days ago
updated 4.4 years ago

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Review by kcorscadden See Profile

  • Location: Kingston,ON
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
  • Install: about 5 days
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member for 7.4 years, 277 visits, last login: 250 days ago
updated 4.7 years ago

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