Did Telus Truly Deserve the Canadian Exclusive on The BlackBerry Passport?


Telus’ slogan is “We Put YOU First”.  The question is, who is “you”? Is is Apple? Samsung? Because it certainly isn’t the customer.

On September 24th, BlackBerry launched their most innovative device to date to much fan fair and buzz with Telus getting a one week exclusive in all Canadian Market and devices being available the very same day.  Being a huge BlackBerry fan and chomping at the bit to see this device first hand. I stopped in at a local Telus store here in Saskatoon. At the time, I was told they had a few in stock but did not have a display unit just yet.  I though this was fair enough as it was the first day and maybe not everything was ready to go yet.

Today, a full 4 days lets, I went in to the same Telus store and still did not see the Passport on display. I asked the sales rep if I could see it.  He pulled the device out of the drawer and handed to me (wasn’t even booted up).  I asked why they didn’t have it on display especially since Telus had an exclusive on the device till October 1st.  He stated he was aware of the exclusive but they didn’t yet have the “plastic box” that the display model sits on.

Really? No plastic box?  That is the reason BlackBerry’s most innovative and best selling device in recent memory wasn’t on display?  Guess it would take a PHD in engineering to just use the Z10 box for a few days or maybe even one of those boxes the prop up the 6 iPhones on display…considering they are all the same device.

After I played with the Passport for a few minutes, I decided, that’s it, I can’t wait any longer. I am buying this thing right now. I asked him if I could by the device outright and have it unlocked as I pulled out my credit card.  He said “absolutely…its $700 plus $35 for unlocking.  Do you have a Telus account?”.  I don’t have an account with Telus and was told that all I need was to find someone with a Telus account to unlock the device. There was one other person in the store dealing with the other sales rep. I asked if they could use his account.   Apparently he was a new customer and an account has to be active for at least 90 days.

So not only did they not have anything on display because of the unsolvable problem of a plastic box, they turned away a sale because of some illogical rule in which they would receive the same amount of money whether a friend with a Telus account came in with me or not.   And I know what you might say, this is their rule and you have to follow it….well that’s not the case as a “corporate” customer friend of ours went in to a Telus store in another part of the country and walked out with a Passport without even being asked for a phone number or account number.

So with that said, the Telus exclusive is almost expired and those darn plastic display boxes are still in the mail….come on Fedex hurry up or Telus may miss out on an exclusive they were handed on a silver platter.