Thursday, January 10, 2008

Shaw: This call may be recorded for training and quality control purposes.

With only one other television provider, there isn't a heck of a whole lot of choice when you want to watch television. But then, considering that we're amidst a writer's strike (stretching into 9 weeks, as of this writing), there isn't much choice PERIOD. That is, unless you like watching nothing but news, music videos, and reality based television.

While there is Bell ExpressVu, if you want to get a deal with high-speed internet, you probably want to stick with Shaw. But I am not really a big fan of their customer service, where it's pretty clear that you don't want certain services, but they'll continue to attempt to ram them down your throat as much as possible.

My first personal encounter came when I moved out of my mom's basement. All I wanted was basic cable and basic high-speed internet, at which point he continued to really push for additional channels and faster high-speed internet. He offered a free trial offer for the faster high speed internet. Conversation ensues:

Me: So, once the 30 day trial is up, will it be up to me to call to discontinue the service or will it be disconnected automatically?

Customer Service Rep: It will be up to you to call.

Me: Okay, that's fine. I know that you have sales quotas, but I'd prefer that you didn't attempt to upsell me on anything.

Customer Service Rep: But it's much faster than the regular...

Me: I. Just. Want. The. Basic.

There's a certain level of desperation when it comes to CSRs over at Shaw, as if they're in danger of losing bonuses or their jobs. If people were treated better, they wouldn't be resorting to tactics like that, don'tcha think?

Flash forward to present day. I was paying $60/mo for basic cable and high-speed Internet, but with the Writer's Guild strike, I haven't been watching television, so I made a point of disconnecting basic cable. Considering that the last WGA strike caused a 10% drop-off in American television viewing (which apparently hasn't recovered), I'm definitely not the first one to think of this.

The girl on the other line still tries to convince me that it's still worth my while to continue getting basic cable, saying that I'll be saving a lot of money, because as it is, I'll be paying $40/month for high speed internet.

So, let me get this straight. They want me to pay $60/month for one service I'm using, vs. $40/month for one service that I'm using.

Somehow, I'm thinking about the blogger who attempted to cancel his AOL account but was on the phone for a good 15 minutes when the CSR refused to honour his request.

Follow up: I received my bill in the mail today (January 17th) and they didn't actually take the cable off the bill, even though the request was placed December 24th. Apparently, they weren't able to access the building and nobody bothered to tell me, so in the mean time, I'm still getting cable and paying for it even though I asked for it to be disconnected. I politely talk to the girl on the other line and she is gracious enough to credit me the difference and she doesn't try to sell me any more service.

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