Telus update: I finally called Loyalty & Retention yesterday and explained the whole sordid tale, beginning with the dead battery from last October. The result is a new HTC Snap on the truck and into my hands today. I hope that receiving this FREE toy will placate the desire for a new laptop.
Not that it was free, with the bill I paid back in November plus all the time and aggravation on the phone and in person since then. But I'll take what I can get.