This Post Is Three Hours Old Already

Shaw Cable released its Shaw Digital Phone last week to much hoopla. I was suspicious. They go down all the time and their technical support sucks. For a while I used to do their dance of unplug the modem, unplug the hub, et cetera.The techies were so clueless that for a while I faked it. Then I started to refuse: "I'm not doing that. That won't get us closer to a solution." I'm sorry. I asked for an outtage estimate. They give me a bunch of busy work, meanwhile a Shaw service truck is pulling up out front and the techie is still trying to get to the bottom of whether it's my router or my cabling at fault.
Shaw is offering all phone services for $55/month. Oohh! Of course if I plug in a $30 headset I can Skype unlimited anywhere in the world. Better still, I can pick up my laptop, go to an Internet cafe and Skype from there. If you don't like Skype, there's Google Talk or MSN or AOL. Trust me: using Shaw for VOIP telephony is like paying AOL to see movie listings. Somebody has to go to talk to Shaw and tell that its not 1995 and they've missed the boat.
Back to the age of my post. Shaw goes down. Now I'm screwed. What do I do? Right now, I phone them. What happens if I have Shaw telephone servce? Well, nothing. Shaw's digital telephone service will actually improve their service. How? Well, customer complaints and levels of service are monitored. When you call and complain, that call gets logged. If an outtage generated 1000 angry calls, it was a more severe incident than the outtage that generated 700 calls. If 20% of the users switch to Shaw telephony, what happens when service goes down? Nothing! Where before you would have 1000 angry callers, now you have 800 because 200 (20% of 1000) users couldn't complaint. As they penetrate the telephone service market, the size of their customer service logs will shrink.
What would happen if during this outtage there was an emergency? Could I call 9-1-1? Sure. Hang on...
...
There. I just stood on top of my chair and shouted "Nine! One! One!" With Shaw telephony that's as close as I get to help.
Am I saying that Telus is great and Shaw sucks? No. They both suck, but from a bandwidth perspective they're about the same. Shaw provides a much wider array of services and that service cuts out. Telus has a narrow focus and less interruptions. By running in a line of communication from each of the two providers, I have an overlap of service. If Telus cuts out, I can email and Skype to others that I am screwed. When Shaw does the same, I can phone in a complaint.

Comments

Cheryl said…
Next time, warn me before you yell. ;)
Falcona said…
Take a look at Vonage at vonage.ca

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