A little history here, I hate paper bills. And Telus is king of sending a pile of useless paper each month in your monthly bill. So a while ago I setup electronic delivery of my phone bill.

Well, each month, Telus sends you an email to indicate your bill is ready to view. You then have to login to view the bill. Pretty simple so far.

What’s the problem?

For starters, the interface for the online bill is ass. When the paper equivalent can be viewed in 2-3 pages then why should the electronic version take 10 or more? It doesn’t make much sense to add complexity to something so simple.

So they have built a fancy little web application that builds, searches, filters and pages your bill. This is great, and something the developer must be proud of. Where did the user or the usability go? Must not be important.

The killer is when you go to “download” your bill; you must first “request” it. Which returns a message indicating “your bill will be ready in 24 to 48 hours”.

Are you kidding me? With such a feature-rich web application to view your “e-bill” it seems crazy to think it will take 24-48 hours to generate one which you can download. Amazing!

24 – 48 hours later

The least they could do is notify me when the bill is ready; right? Nope.

So I go back into ‘my account’ and get the bill which is now ready for me to download. To my surprise they have zipped it up for me. How nice. I look inside and find 4 separate text files. Dare I look inside? (personal details replaced)

“JOHN DOE” Client No: “123456789″
” ” Purchase Order No:
Invoice Date: 10-Jul-06 Unique Invoice No: “000123456789″
“Account Number 123456789″

“CURRENT CHARGES” Contract Term 1 yr
“Monthly Service Plan” $30.00
“Additional Local Airtime” $2.75
“Long Distance Charges” $4.50
“Value-Added Services” $5.00
“Network and Licensing Charges” $7.20
“Provincial Tax” $4.04
“GST” $6.61
“Total Taxes:” $9.65
“Total Current Charges:” $49.10

And that pretty well sums up what the formatting of this e-bill looks like.

In the 24-48 hours it took to generate this puppy, I expected a designer or art director must have touched this thing to make it look like a piece of art.

Boy was I disappointed. At least I have the bill though.

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