On Hold in Quebec

posted in: montreal 0

One of the stranger parts about returning to Quebec has been seeing how little systems have been moved online. I’ve had to call so many call centres after moving to Montreal, whereas in Taipei I barely used my phone (as an actual phone) at all.

Case in point. I knew I wanted to move my business over and incorporate a new entity in Canada, so I dutifully completed all the Revenu Québec forms online (using the Démarrer votre entreprise site). Despite the forms being online, for some bureaucratic reason (or perhaps to secure the existence of Canada Post) they still have to confirm everything by postal mail.

Now I can accept that some documents may be important enough to send by snail mail. They sent my Quebec enterprise number by post, for example. However, I started entering the twilight zone when they sent my login username for a website by paper mail. This was for a service called clicSÉQUR Express:

Fine. I logged into that site, but quickly realized that I would need access to the full-blown clicSÉQUR entreprises. So I filled out the forms to register for that service, and then waited patiently for the inevitable postal response.

About a week later, I got confirmation that my clicSÉQUR registration was accepted. I also got some nearly identical letters saying that my registration for electronic services to several ministries succeeded.

All fine and good! But hold on a minute… how do I actually log in? They didn’t give the username this time!

So I did the logical thing and found the site online and requested a credential reset. Which repeatedly resulted in this email:

Er… At least I have my username? But that doesn’t get me logged in.

Despite days of my best efforts, I was unable to get a password through online means. So I bit the bullet and called the Montreal number listed in the email.

Now this was already September, so I had already a couple of months experience with call centres in Quebec: I punched in all the numbers, I listened to all the muzak… and I was on hold for 2 hours, 3 minutes and 7 seconds when it suddenly disconnected. !?!!


On a different day, I called a second time and was similarly disconnected at exactly 30 minutes (but it was a different number I called, not shown in the screenshot above). Ultimately, I gathered all my courage and called the Montreal number again on October 5th, and finally succeeded in getting my %$%!ing password reset (after 55 minutes and 27 seconds).

This whole experience does not make sense at all to me. My phone minutes in Canada are now predominantly used for sitting on hold with a call centre. What happened to the digital age? What have I gotten myself into? 😭