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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 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 7.2 years, 23 visits, last login: 2.6 years ago
updated 3.2 years ago

Comments:

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, 2277 visits, last login: 1 days ago
updated 3.5 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 11.1 years, 3318 visits, last login: a few hours 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

Comments:

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 8.2 years, 1074 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 4.4 years ago

Comments:

Review by Darkev See Profile

  • Location: Gatineau,QC
  • Cost: $29 per month (month by month)
  • Install: about 2 days
Good "Excellent call quality, unlimited plans, powerful features, excellent website"
Bad "BYOD not permitted, Poor technical support, Customer Service not eager to help"
Overall "The service is good once you get it working, but they charge hefty fees for changes and support is mostly incompetent"
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*UPDATE - 11-JUN-2009*

My phone number was reinstated on June 7, 2009. So it was disconnected for a total of 8 days. It's not acceptable, but what can one do? I asked what caused this and was told that it was a procedural error made by the customer service person I spoke with a week earlier. She made no attempt to call me whatsoever to let me know about the error. The last customer service person told me that there was no way to get the number back. I ended up having to contact the CEO's office to get it back. Now I'm back to square one - the original request to have the change made to my number still has not been completed.

As far as my sister's problem is concerned, they fixed her outgoing caller id name, but they are unable to fully change her name on the TalkBroadband service. It still shows her first, middle, and last names. The problem is that they are using her middle name as her first name. There is a list of caller id name options on the Talkbroadband web portal, and all of them are referencing her middle name except for one entry. Primus is unable to fix her name on the portal. She was told that the name must remain whatever name was keyed when signing up. So if you get married, divorced, etc., you cannot change your name on the Primus TBB system. This is definitely not an item that should be locked as name changes are common occurrences in the real world. The only way around this is to cancel service and re-add it again? It's quite ridiculous.

***********************************************************************************************************

*UPDATE - 01-JUN-2009*

I have had an unbelievable experience this evening with Primus Canada. The saga regarding my alternate number seems to have come to an end. This is a number that I've had for several years. Last Friday I called to make a change to it, and one of the Primus employees removed the number from their system. Everyone trying to call me is getting a recorded message stating that the number is no longer in service. They assured me it would be fixed by today (Monday). However, it's still not in service, and it's getting late. So I called them. The person I spoke with this evening tells me that the number was canceled and there is no way to get it back! Can you believe it? I've never in my life heard of such nonsense. There was no apology, no compensation, nothing. The only thing he said was, "Would you like me to assign you a new number?" Of course my answer was a big fat NO!!

Honestly, Primus was never a bad company to deal with when I signed up a few years ago, but now they just don't give a damn about the customer. The customer service staff seem to have the power to say and do whatever they want to the customer, as if they were running the company themselves. Technical Support and Customer Service staff that I've dealt with are incompetent. What used to be my favorite company is now the company I would never deal with again. I blame this nonsense on the management there. They need to keep a closer eye on their staff.

*UPDATED - 31-MAY-2009*

I convinced my sister to try Primus and I'm now so sorry that I did. When signing up to the service she was asked for her first name and middle name along with her last name. They sent her the ATA, but coded her middle name as her first name. Every time she dialed a number her middle name and last name would show up. She tried calling them and waited on the line for 45 minutes before hanging up. So she sent customer service an email instead. They replied the next day stating that they fixed her name. She did a test call and it was still not working. The story goes on and on, but after a week they still don't have her name corrected on their system, and she got into a bit of an argument with one of the "customer service" representatives named Michael who scolded her for making personal remarks because she mentioned in her email very articulately that the people working there didn't seem to want to do their jobs. This was after dealing with 3 people, Michael being the last.

Meanwhile, on Friday afternoon I decided to make a change myself to my phone line. I had 2 numbers, but one was a virtual (alternate) number. I could only receive calls on this number. I called customer service and unlike my sister I got through right away. I asked to have my alternate number provisioned to the LINE 2 jack of the ATA, leaving my main number alone on LINE 1. She said that this would be done sometime on Saturday or Sunday. Later that evening, my mother and a friend were trying to call me on my alternate number, but I didn't know because the calls never came through. I called my mother on Saturday and she asked me if I had my line disconnected. She said since Friday she has been getting a recording stating, "The number you have dialed is not in service". I called Primus on Saturday morning and once again got through right away. The man I spoke to was very friendly, and he said he could see that my 2nd line had been disconnected but he did not know why. He put me on hold for about 7 minutes, then a lady came on the line and said that there was a technical problem with my number. After removing it from my main line, the system would not allow them to provision it to my LINE 2. They were getting an error. She said on the weekend the technical staff are not as well versed with the system and I would have to wait until 2 PM on Monday before it could be looked at again. So I asked if my line would remain disconnected during that time and she said it would. I mentioned that Primus was charging me $55 to perform this switch, and since I've been with them since 2005 and now have my number disconnected until Monday that maybe they could waive the $55 fee. She said she couldn't do that. She began to explain again that it was a technical issue. I mentioned I was aware of that but it's inconveniencing me and since this is a problem on their end I should be compensated. She said she was only authorized to give me a $15 credit. So that's what I got. It's better than nothing, but the customer should not even have to ask for a credit when a company removes service and cannot restore it for days. So I have been thinking over the weekend:

- My sister's problem has never been resolved.

- They disconnected my number and say it will be resolved Monday - but who knows!

- The people my sister was dealing with were not great.

- They wouldn't give me my $55 back after being with them for 4 years.

- Why am I still with them?

I reduced the technical support rating, reliability, and value for money for Primus since they have not been able to resolve these issues (as of yet). I think I have been with them long enough. Although they have better features than most VoIP companies, the customer service and ethics of Primus don't sit well with me. I'm therefore going to be canceling my service with them. My sister has already asked them to cancel her service. The attitude of the woman I spoke to yesterday was not great. I got the impression that she could not care any less about customer satisfaction.

***********************************************************************************************************

ORIGINAL THOUGHTS:

The other voip providers could take lessons from Primus TBB as this company provides the most innovative features I have come across so far. They offer unlimited plans (locally or long distance). Many of the features can be set using star codes from your phone. They offer:

Do Not Disturb

Call Forwarding

Call Waiting

Extremely flexible call treatments

Caller id with name, as well your name is displayed when calling a number

The ability to alter the name that shows up when you call someone (limited to a list of choices)

The ability to override the name of the person calling you with something more personal

Remote Phone using local-area gateway numbers

Find-me, Follow-me

Music on-hold can be set on and off

Call Log

Speed Dial

Telemarketer Block

Call Privacy

I can't think of more but I'm sure there are some more features. It's the most extensive number of features that I've ever come across so kudos to Primus for being so ingenious.

One might think a company with all of these fancy features would allow customers to bring their own device (Bring Your Own Device - BYOD) considering how adaptable they have been coming up with these features. However, this is the only drawback that I can find with Primus, and it's a big one unfortunately. There are lots of IP phones on the horizon (wired and cordless flavors), and these phones provide cool features. One thing I like about them is the fact the name and number of the caller is on the screen the moment the IP phone starts to ring. With the analog ATA that Primus provides, the experience of VoIP is more like a POTS old fashioned line with some new features. I've called Technical Support a few times asking if they are now allowing BYOD but the answer is always no, and the reason? They want to be able to control the device connected. Why? Primus seems to think it is less risky if they can provision the gateways themselves. However, two years ago they provisioned everyone's ATA right out of service. A new firmware upgrade rendered the devices useless and they sent their customers an email with instructions on how to get it up and running again. So much for that!

I've been using my own equipment for over a year now with other companies and I have not run into problems with it. There is no reason Primus could not offer both BYOD and their own gateways (should the customer desire).

This would be the perfect voip company if they allowed BYOD. With more and more IP products entering the market, it would be a foolish decision for them to deny their customers this freedom. I have no other issues with Primus, and am pleased with the other features and rates.

member for 5.7 years, 120 visits, last login: 1.6 years ago
updated 5.2 years ago

Comments:

Review by joshb See Profile

  • Location: Calgary,AB
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Solid platform, support, makes moving easy..."
Bad "when things go wrong they go really wrong"
Overall "If it works it's great... otherwise move your eggs to another baskit"
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I know longer have service with this company.

member for 8.5 years, 1837 visits, last login: 6 days ago
updated 5.3 years ago

Comments:






Review by (hidden by request)

  • Location: Kennesaw,Cobb,GA
  • Cost: $250 per month (12 month contract)
Good "It appear as though the phone system has a lot of good features"
Bad "They need to learn to follow up, keep committments, and improve customer service"
Overall "Quick call a different provider"
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I wanted to help others from making the same mistake our company did. We
signed up for Primus Communication for our phone system and needed the
service by a specific date. The day before we called to ensure everything
was going well and because no one had called us. They have not even
submitted the order. 20 days later and we still do not have phone service
nor do we know how to use the phone system we purchased and no one at Primus
will return our telephone call, even after we sent a cancellation notice.
Hope this helps you!



Thanks



Rhonda



(review was emailed from domain energyadvisoryservice.com)
lodged 6.3 years ago

Comments:

Review by dsm122 See Profile

  • Location: Vancouver,BC
  • Cost: $25 per month
  • Install: about 60 days
Good "N/A"
Bad "Terrible, clueless customer service"
Overall "Stay Away."
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I have had Primus Talkbroadband on two different occasions at two different locations for approximately 2 years. The first time it was relatively painless although I had poor call quality at time which was blamed on my internet provider. My second and current experience has been nothing but problem plagued and highlights the real problem with Primus Talkbroadband and that is they are incompetent. My problems started with the port of my number it took over 60 days and was all because someone at Primus made a typo on my address. This has created a spiral of problems which includes them turning off my service twice for no apparent reason other than that I requested they correct the address mistake. I have now been without phone service for 17 days and counting even though they are billing my credit card every month. Many hours on hold and talking with tech support have not led to my service being restored. I have had enough the minute they restore my service I will be porting back to Telus. Be warned don't be fooled by the low cost its not worth it if you have problems.

member for 11 years, 1502 visits, last login: 6 years ago
lodged 6.7 years ago

Comments:

Review by (hidden by request)

  • Location: M4J3S
  • Cost: $25 per month
Good "For three years it worked fine with some minor glitches, like mini rings in the middle of the night."
Bad "Nonexistent customer service, could not reach anyone via cell after 7 hours in total of waiting (4+3hrs), no response to email."
Overall "Nonexistent customer service, tech service number permanently busy, DO NOT get Talk Broadband from this company!!!!!!"
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Our Primus Broadband phone service is down and the Primus website
lists a software update by the company as the problem. It suggests a
number of steps which must be taken by the D-Link customers in order
to reestablish a connection. I have done everything they have
instructed me to do, repeatedly, but I still have no service, for a
second day. I called Primus last night and was waiting for someone to
pick up the phone for four hours before I gave up. The statement that
"someone will be with you shortly" really added to the irony.

In addition, my Primus Talkbroadband home phone number has been forwarded to
someone's cell phone, who is getting quite irate about his experience of having
to waste air time on answering my home phone. Not to mention that no one
can get hold of us.

I find this to be a really bad treatment of customers, the least
someone could have done was to pick up when I called and tell me what
is going on, instead of wasting my very busy evening. I think that
four hours on hold is, to say the least, ridiculous. I have never met
with worse case of disorganization and irresponsibility. By the way,
today I gave up after only three hours of waiting for them to answer.

The tech service number has a permanently busy tone and there is absolutely
no one that a customer could get hold of at this company.



(review was emailed from domain utoronto.ca)
lodged 7.6 years ago

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