A Shaw sales representative stopped by my house last week. He had an amazing deal for me: TV, Phone and Internet for $28.95 per month for the first year plus two 500 GB DVRs and 2 digital boxes. Sounds too good to be true. Maybe it is. My monthly bills from Eastlink Delta Cable have been hovering around $135 per month for all three services. I had a good selection of channels and the customer service was impeccable; an actual person picked up the phone after a few button presses: no waiting in long phone queues. There was only the problem, so said the representative, that my existing phone number could not be ported over to Shaw’s services as it was linked to an old exchange.
I was at work when the Shaw technician stopped by and I heard that he was a man of few words. He went about his business, connected the new units and left. When I arrived home, everything was working and seemed ok. However I had to reconfigure my Apple Airport WIFI unit which was expected. Then my wife informed me that we were missing some channels, a lot of channels actually. Oh and we didn’t have voice mail or call waiting. We only had caller ID.
What the sales rep sold us was the absolute most basic TV package available. Now I suppose that I could be to blame here as I didn’t grill him as to exactly what channels would be included. Well I guess this will be my first experience with Shaw customer service.
I logged onto Shaw’s website and tried to start a chat session but got a server error -service unavailable. Ok fair enough, I’ll try the toll free support line – “all circuits are busy now – please hang up and try your call again later.” Yikes. I sent them an email. I hope somebody calls me back.
I still had the old modem from Eastlink so I decided to call them to see about returning the unit. As soon as I told the representative I was cancelling all my services she transferred me to a supervisor (I’m assuming). The supervisor seemed genuinely happy to talk to me and very concerned and saddened that I was leaving for another provided. A tear almost came to my eye when we said our final goodbyes. Anyways, this supervisor informed me that my existing phone number could have been ported to Shaw’s service if they had waited for 10 days or so. Interesting. Why did the Shaw representative lie to me? The supervisor thought it was because they wanted the new business before Eastlink had a chance to speak with me. Well, now I have a new phone number to memorize plus I have to inform all my friends and family of the new number.
Well I’ve been on hold for an hour now. It’s 6:55. I called in at 5:50. This hold music is driving me mental! And these messages every few minutes: “do it yourself on shaw.ca,” “we are experiencing higher than usual call volumes,” “your call is important to us.” I’m not sure if this is normal since this is the first time I have actually gotten through to the phone queue. I wonder if everyone’s gone home. I’ll tough it out for a few more minutes I guess.
On the brighter side, Shaw’s TV signal seems ok so far. One problem we had with Eastlink’s signal was sometimes the HD channels would crash, buffer or hang. I’m not sure of the exact terminology but it was frustrating watching a show and having it stop and start. I do miss the fast service though. Being on hold over an hour is nuts. I wonder if I can have my old phone number back. Maybe it’s too late now.
Did you know that if you have Shaw phone service you can simply dial 611 to access the phone queue? Should I hang up? Stay on hold? Hang up or not to hang up? Stay on hold? It’s 7:05 now. What position am I in the queue? If I at least knew that I would be able to plan out my evening a little better. If I knew that I was number 50 in the queue I would probably hang up. Did I mention that nobody replied to my email from yesterday?
Woah, the phone is ringing now! At 7:45 a Shaw rep actually picked my call out of the queue.
So the deal with the phone number is that an alias would have to be created in order to port to Shaw (this is likely what Delta Cable did when they ported over from Telus). The catch with that comes in when considering the 911 service. Shaw doesn’t want to be responsible if there is a 911 emergency call placed and the alias doesn’t redirect properly. Fair enough. Shaw can make the change but asks that I sign a waiver form. Maybe I should just stick with the new number.
Once I finally got talking to the Rep I realized he was very professional and the service was in fact excellent. It was the waiting that I had an issue with. He’s going to look into all my issues and as for doing Internet speed tests they recommend checking http://speedtest.shaw.ca. My average download speed is 11.65 Mbps. We finally got off the phone at 8:45 pm. The whole ordeal from dialing in took almost three hours.
The Shaw rep called me today to follow up. OK so now this is getting a little better and I have some contact names to refer to. To be continued…