Sunday, July 12, 2009

Annoyed at Shaw Internet

OK, this one is a rant...

Just got off the phone with Shaw billing support. I called them on June 26th and asked them to stop my service on August 13th - plenty of time to allow for the 30-day-advance-notice and to match my billing cycle. In my mind that would result in me paying the usual monthly amount for the next two billing cycles and then my service will stop. No extra fees, no unusual transactions, just two more monthly bills and that's it.

Now this is what happened in reality: my June 14 - July 13 bill is more than double the usual amount! Now it would somewhat make sense if the amount was exactly double, then I would guess they decided to charge me in advance for the final month, but it was a few bucks more, so called Shaw.

About 20 minutes later I got to the billing rep. By the way, in my 4 years experience with Shaw's service I have never had less than a 15 min waiting time, and I tried to call at various times of the day hoping to make it during the "quiet time". In all fairness, though, with MTS it used to be 30 min minimum and I've had more reasons to call. Anyways, after getting the rep to look at my bill, and waiting another few minutes for her to power on from "mental standby" state, I was put on a 10 min hold. Couple of Beatles songs later she admitted that there was a "glitch in the system" and I was overcharged by a couple of bucks, but my total this month is going to be the sum of June-July and July-August billing periods. Apparently it's a "standard procedure" [translation: bogus rules designed to screw the customer], and when you cancel the service, you are given the "final bill" for the rest of the remaining service time. Obviously, my objection that I was never informed of such "standard procedure" fell on deaf ears - it's my word against the other rep's, no proof on my side and no accountability on theirs.

In the end after a 30 min call I was promised a "call-back" from the super in the next 24-48 hours... Yay! I'll be waiting with bated breath. So the moral of the story, if your planning to cancel you monthly Shaw service, follow these steps in this order:

  1. Check the terms of service for "advance notice of termination" (i.e. how many days you'll be paying for after you cancel your service).
  2. Change you payment method from pre-authorised to manual at least two weeks + advance notice period before cancellation.
  3. Cancel your service exactly advance notice period + 1 day before you want it stopped, but specify the exact date you want the service terminated.
  4. Watch your bills like a hawk for the next little while in case of any shenanigans.

UPDATE: I did get a call just about two hours later, and, surprisingly, a very fast talking supervisor (she must have had a lot of calls to get through) quickly offered me a couple of potential solutions. The impressive part was that: she knew exactly what my complaint was, why I wasn't happy and what I have requested to be done earlier, without me having to reiterate the whole thing again. One of the solutions was almost exactly what I wanted from the very beginning, so I told her to go ahead with it. We'll see how it goes.

UPDATE 2: Well none of the promises came true as of yesterday, 13 days later. The only thing that happened was me getting a credit of $2.45 on my SHAW account. I had to call again and got another apology and a promise that $46.99+$2.45 will be returned to my credit card ASAP. We'll see...