Tag Archives: Shaw

Rising Cable Bills – Shrinking Customer Base

The cost of cable and internet keep rising while the number of customers keeps shrinking. For the first time, less than half of Canadians have cable TV from Shaw, Bell or Telus. That’s a massive drop from just six years ago when three-quarters of us had cable TV!


However, I couldn’t bring myself to cut the cord this month when my Shaw contract was up. But I also decided that there was no chance I’d be paying the $165 (pre-GST) I had on my previous two-year contract. (Most channels, no specialty channels, so-called 600 internet, time-shift and Crave).

Shaw no longer has a retention department that I dealt with two years ago. Supposedly every customer service person is now responsible for keeping customers – if not happy, at least staying with the company. The only real way to get a deal is to give your current provider their 30-day notice. You will always, always get a better deal as a new customer somewhere else. That applies to cell carriers just as much as subscriptions, internet and cable providers, and many other industries.

I went on the Shaw website “chat” to give my cancellation notice, because you need to always remember: If it’s not in writing it didn’t happen! This way I could do a screen print as confirmation. The agent certainly asked why, but only came up with some changes around the margin to possibly get my bill to $145. No thanks. I had three Telus mail offers to “occupant” in my hands and all of them were significantly less.

The Telus website had the offer information but no details. I had no idea what I was getting for channels, whether it included a news package, what time-shift would cost, etc. (Dear Telus: If you hadn’t decided to hide all the details, I’d now be customer!) But before I had to worry about it (since I had a month) Shaw actually called me! Within 10 days of my cancellation notice, someone was phoning me, and even left some contract options on the voice message.

When I returned the call the following week, all of a sudden I was down to $102 (giving up my $5 time-shift, Crave and reducing my internet speed from their 600 to 300, and after a one-time $300 bill credit which works out to a $12.50 reduction each of the 24 months on the contract.) That 38% rate drop, even if I had to part with a couple of downgrades) was reasonable, and close enough to the Telus offer to stay with Shaw for another two years.

Even if you hate the thought of haggling, or changing providers, give your current company their 30-days notice and wait a couple of weeks. Then you can re-decide if you want to stay put or switch providers. Since our numbers keep plummeting, it’s likely someone will reach out to you and show you some love…or at least the common sense of treating existing customers close to the same as the smokin’ deals new customers get!

Internet & Cable Bills Are Up…Again…

Two months ago I started writing a heads up that home internet prices are going to have another big increase this year. Well, it’s here with about a 7% price increase by Shaw effective April 1st. Ah, the joy of having a semi monopoly!

The reason is really simple: Cable companies are losing hundreds of thousands of subscribers who are cutting the cord. It’s now a quarter of households who don’t have cable TV. But those people still want to watch TV – Netflix, Amazon, Hulu or whatever – but it’ll be on their phones or computers. So, the cable companies are losing massive amounts of money on TV packages, and will simply increase the cost of internet to offset their losses.

While their income from cable is down because of fewer subscribers, higher prices offset that. On the other hand, the mostly millennials do have unlimited data on their phones. That’s where the cable companies are making huge increases in profits. Shaw alone was up 60% in revenues last year from internet charges!

I would love to not have my cable TV bill. But I don’t have the know-how in what I need to still get what I want. I do have my laptop set up to talk to my TV, but for pictures only. And I’m not sure I can get CNN or the likes without cable. The biggest part of our cable bill are the sports channels. They’re a huge part of the cost. If you want Sportsnet and/or TSN, I think you’re stuck with that big cable bill for the time being. But do look through the channels you get and your cable company internet site as to what you can cut out to reduce your bill. It’s the only way to offset the continuous price increases!

They’re also going to try to get you into a longer-term internet contract at all costs. 5G speed is now a reality for later this year, and it’s 100 times faster than you now get from your phone company, and 16 times faster than cable companies currently offer. But if you’re in a long-term contract, you’ll be stuck at the higher rates and turtle-like speed for the life of your contract.

George Boelcke – Money Tools & Rules book – yourmoneybook.com

I Didn’t Know – But You Need To!

I would bet that the two fastest changing industries are probably the medical field and the world of finance and credit. What was true one month gets changed, amended, legislated, or moved around, in one way or another.

Over the last couple of days I came across a number of things that are brand new, and that we all need to know:

-Scotiabank has changed their credit card agreement. That means others have, or will, follow soon. Starting in September, if you miss, or are late, on three payments in any 12 month period, your rate will go through the roof. The statement I saw jumps it by 7%.

-The two-tier interest rate charges started in the U.S. and is now here. Along with that, you will no longer receive credit limit increases automatically. You will now actually have to OK them. And that’s a good thing. Almost none of us NEED a bigger limit. The card issuers will send you the limit offer and you can accept or decline. Of course, you can still contact them to request one, if you need to.

-Scam phone calls are something that happens to millions of people. But you can no longer rely on call display for the accuracy of the number popping up. With internet calling, fraudsters can now spoof phone numbers being displayed to read almost anything they choose. You THINK you’re getting a call from your bank, because that’s what it reads on the call display, but it’s not. Always, always, get their name and department, hang up, and call the number on the back of your credit or debit card. It is the ONLY way you know you are actually reaching your bank.

Millions of us deal with Shaw, as do I. But I found out two days ago how nasty they get with one month past due. My company pays the bill, but there wasn’t a statement in April. May got paid, June got paid, July got paid, but it was always dragging by a month. My fault – no doubt. But they simply went in to disconnect my internet one morning.

All companies love you when you pay – and I’ve paid them close to $30,000 over the years, but don’t care when there’s a slight problem – no matter what the reason. Media relations chose not to respond to my inquiry, but their computers can only tell I’ve dealt with them since September 2008, instead of April 1995. Whether it’s Shaw, your bank, or your mortgage company – they’re ruthless on any past due amount, no matter what the reason, track record, etc. So, as the kids say: Don’t go there.