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Shaw and Telus Internet alternative in Metro Vancouver, BC

First published on January 12, 2009

When searching for a home Internet (and phone) provider in British Columbia, it’s a bit discouraging to hear other people talk about the options. It’s mostly a two-headed Shaw Telus monster in Vancouver and the surrounding areas. Depending on who you ask, you hear stories with different combinations of bad or unreachable customer support, bad connection speed and reliability, and hidden fees.

If you’re in a supported building in Vancouver or Burnaby, you can try Novus, which has built its own fibre optic network. My building is not serviced by Novus…

I discovered Burnaby-based Lightspeed, aka Internet Lightspeed Communications, and their VoIP division, Dolphin Tel. Lightspeed / Dolphin Tel offers business or residential ADSL, high-speed Internet and phone services for both BC and Alberta. To see if they’re available in you’re area, search using your postal code here.

I’ve signed up for one of the “Freedom Plans” that combines an Internet and landline phone plan for $45 a month (that price includes a $5 system access fee). The up-front cost is a $140 modem, router, and phone adapter device. Of course, they have to use the building’s Telus wiring, but they do run their own network.

Lightspeed / Dolphin Tel does not have a 24/7 support line. Instead, it keeps a Monday through Saturday schedule of standard business hours. What’s nice is that when you call them during their business hours, an actual, qualified person answers the phone!

So far so good in that the Internet connection is speedy and the phone works. I’ll provide a review of Lightspeed / Dolphin Tel after I’ve used it for a bit longer. In the meantime, know that you have options! And if you’re a current or previous customer of Lightspeed / Dolphin Tel, I invite you to share your comments on them!

Update: I’ve now reviewed Lightspeed here. I’ve now reviewed Dolphin Tel here.

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53 Responses to “Shaw and Telus Internet alternative in Metro Vancouver, BC”


  1. Julia says:

    I use Novus – and have been pleased with it. The pricing is not rock bottom or anything, but somewhat better than shaw…


  2. Karin Koch says:

    Hi
    An alternative to TELUS (rip-off thiefs). Stealing $2.95 every month because I don’t have a long distance plan with them. TELUS you idiots , I don’t call anyone long distance. After having the same ph.# with you (BCtel) for 32 years+…. you can soon kiss my ass .
    So I need a land line. What is Novus? I worst case , I will use Voip, have the box already (linksys) w/router. Any good ideas appreciated.
    Will go back to old fashioned DIAL-UP for my internet service, after being ROYALLY ripped off , by CIA/3web.com, that ended up costing me $350.00+ for 2 months of high speed and never got the phone service they charged me for.
    Email me Karin1946@gmail.com


  3. L says:

    Karin,
    I have the same problem with Telus in regards to the long distance charge. Apparantly they will credit you back in 3-4 months. It’s ridiculous regardless that they are allowed to charge the money in the first place. I call them up every other month complaining about it and finally this last time, I was told that if you agree to absolutely no incoming or outgoing long distance, they will get rid of that charge. In the mean time, I am considering other phone choices such as Shaw and VOIP but the fact that neither will work during extended period of power outages is making me feel a bit undecided still. Is there any other alternatives out there?


  4. Leone says:

    Recently Shaw advertised on tv that they have increased their internet speed. But they did not increase the speed for their high speed lite customers, which is the cheapest, slowest, and most restrictive package available at $24 a month if you bundle. When confronted, they said this package’s target market is for people who rarely use the internet. I said, "Come off it…the target market is the poor saps who can’t afford your other packages…btw: I’m one of those poor saps. In this economic downturn, shaw is doing its part by raising prices, which will alienate even more people and contribute to the overall dumbing down of North America. Prices are going up $1.00 in April for all their packages.


  5. John says:

    Shaw (Richmond) seems to be the less of a rip off than Telus. However, they are charging me $9.95 extra a month for an extra ip address because I use a router so that the other computers in the house can access the internet. Nowhere else is this being done apparently and everyone I chatted with on online is telling me that Shaw is scamming me and that I do not need two ip addressed. is anyone else experiencing this?

    John

    Reply from Peter: If you have only one outlet and one router, I don’t see why you should need a second IP address.


  6. Stewart says:

    I’ve been using Novus and I’m very happy with them. However I’m moving soon and won’t be able to use them. I used Shaw in the past, but feel that whatever I do I won’t get the same internet experience as Novus, especially uploading speeds.

    Venturing into the small business/ SOHO internet space opens another can of worms that causes me more worry than anything else.

    For Phone service, I use Vonage which has been excellent. I know some folk worry about no power – but cellphones are normally around as an option. If power is out, due to lines down or something, then the same thing will effect telephone lines as well.

    I’m guessing it will be something like Shaw Extreme I + continued use of vonage (no need to change the number). I also restarted my skype account which seems a lot better than it used to be.


  7. Mabel says:

    Telus has rude customer reps. ever. They are a bunch of scammers and I am stressed out using their service. I have paid my bill regularly for the past 15yrs of $39.90 for phoneline and 1 call display although I have been offered deals for $19.95 for the same service which I declined.( just my homeline and caller id for $40.)
    Due to the economic hardship, I decided to take that offer from Shaw, when I phoned Telus to cancel, they decided to match the offer for 1 month free and $20.95 afterwards and 2 months of internet free and $19.95 afterwards just like Shawis offering.. My connection was done on the 21st of March and on the 27th of March, I received a bill which I expect to be 0 balance has a charge of $53 plus. When I called to complain, they were rude and called me a liar saying the reps. that gave me the deal has not documented a free service and therefore owe the amount.
    I have tried to get in touch with the rep. I dealt with to get in contact with me but to no avail. I have her name and ID no. but she wont contact me. Meanwhile shaw still have the offer going on as of today and Telus wouldnt cancel my service either. I have spoken to more than 6 reps. who tells me different things each time and cannot find a contact address and express my concern to any of their bosses.
    Can anyone help me with a contact address for any of Telus bosses?
    I am tired of calling every month when I receive my bill.
    These people need a lawsuit to staighten them up.
    you can contact me @cecemum@hotmail.com


  8. Vancouver604 says:

    With regards to John’s comment on Shaw.

    I use Shaw’s Extreme Internet package and the speed has been good to me for quite a long time.

    By default, the package comes with two IP address: Primary and Secondary. They may have changed this when they’ve introduced Highspeed Lite.

    Highspeed Lite is the same as the regular except they’ve capped it. Marketing ploy to get more customers. You’re better off with regular Hi-Speed.

    There’s no such thing as charging your extra $$$ for extra IP for using a router to "split" the internet access.

    Where the wall goes to the cable modem then to the router, put a 5-port or 8-port giga switch after the router and share out the Internet access. Duh!

    The router is capable of up to 100Mbps. The Giga Switch is capable of up to 1000, great for internal file transfer.

    This setup/method is ideal for home/home business network.

    If 25 and up, I’d look into reliable true fibre optic ISPs such as Skyway or Metro.


  9. Vancouver604 says:

    With regards to Mabel,

    Telus (formerly BC Tel) was the monopoly… they got away with everything…

    Then the Internet came along. First, it was Rogers…Rogers messed up with their negative billing crap. Shaw and Rogers made a deal to switch place.

    From what I had experienced, Rogers/Shaw cable Internet was and still is faster then Telus’s crappy ADSL Internet. End of argument.

    Because of the Internet with Rogers/Shaw, VoIP in its early infant stage was awesome…ie: Yahoo, Hotmail and Microoft voice chats. We were making calls to each other so easily. We just put up servers at every point where we make calls to.

    Then all the small companies started up VoIP reselling business. Geeze… welp, everyone wanted to cash in on the business. So be it. Because of all these VoIP resellers, BC Tel / Telus lost a lot of their business and home customers for local and LD.

    The bulk of Telus’s income was from Long Distance calls. They were slow to adapt and respond and terrible customer service, customers moved to VoIP. It is the future of cheaper alternative telecommunication.

    What you all may not know, all home owners can host their own VoIP Server (sort of).

    Cheapest alternative is to make use of Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail or Skype.

    All you need, is to have all your friends and family each have a PC/server with minimum Internet access and that’s it. Make as many calls and as long as you want. Only cost for making such calls is the Internet access.

    If you really want to get into the nitty gritty…. A SIP server in every strategic locations where you have your own VoIP network and only your friends, families, colleagues have SIP phones to call each other…local and/or long distance to each for FREE!

    For example, if you have a family in each city across Canada, have SIP server in each family home and configure them appropriately to make use of the local lines there and you have your own VoIP network.


  10. RaggedVixen says:

    I’m MAD AS HELL. I’ve been a Shaw customer for 3 years now, since moving back to Vancouver because it was the only option. Having been suckered in by the Xtreme internet promotion a while back, what was advertised as a $19.95/month service has ballooned into a $64.47/month service. I’m sitting here, looking at the first paper bill I’ve received from Shaw in more than 6 months, ABSOLUTELY APPALLED. What they do – and what they don’t tell you up-front when you buy into their promotion – is "pro-rate" the "savings" over time on your bill. So you know that first month that’s supposed to be "FREE"? It isn’t. I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t catching up on my payments since canceling basic cable and having no other shaw service – here’s the reason. Went to their website just now – the promotional prices are assigned to each category in nice big font bold-print but read the FINE PRINT. High Speed, advertised at $19.95/mo, is actually $41.95/mo. Xtreme, shown as $29.95/mo, is actually $51.95/mo. That’s BEFORE taxes and any other bonus charges – like $20 "late payment fees" plus taxes – they want to throw at you. So my bill for the current month looks like this: High-Speed Xtreme-1=$10. plus High-Speed Internet=$46.95; purchased modem discount -5$ to a total of $51.95 plus taxes to a total of $64.47. I cannot believe I’ve been paying this amount all this time, for what? My download and upload speeds have never been higher that 110kbs, despite all Shaw claims to the contrary. I landed on this blog because I’m searching for an alternative that is neither Shaw nor Telus. WTF????


  11. Peter Marshall says:

    Thank you for the feedback/opinions/experiences = caveat emptor indeed. I currently have TV/Internet/phone with Telus, but am not satisfied – I was looking to switch the whole bundle to Shaw, but….We (consumers) really do deserve better that what these two rascals offer.


  12. Bill says:

    HELP

    We have been with Shaw for 3 years MOST UNHAPPILY. Not once have they resolved any of our common problems as apparently we are part of the 10% that have shit service. Never had anyone offer us even a discount for the years! PAYING $130 a month!!!!!We had their first months free and bundled with Basic TV, Basic Net, and Home Phone (calls to US/Canada unlim). Thinking of switching to Telus or some other option IDEAS? Not sure if bundle is the way?

    1. Net–slow uploading, switching etc.
    2. Home Phone–echoing of users voice (mine) on local and usa calls; disconnecting; noises; clicks etc. etc. Too many problems!
    3. TV–black screen; freezing; voice and mouth not consistent; etc. etc. etc. etc. cannot tell you how many problems.!!!

    Reply from Peter: I don’t know the current deals, but I would suggest exploring a Telus bundle. You can probably get a basic bundle for about $80.


  13. sam says:

    I just went to upgrade my internet with Telus. I was told no service interruption at all, it would be a seamless upgrade. If anything, only a minute or two. It’s been three days now and still no internet. All I got from customer service is "I should have decided to pay for the more expensive business internet" which is a crazy amount of money. I was told as a home based business downtime has to be expected unless I want to pay for gauranteed up time, this is bull crap and rediculous. After the third day, I picked up a Shaw modem and had internet in minutes, using a router and several computers and using only 1 IP address for the whole thing.

    I think that they are like the devil and satan, try and pick the lesser evil of the two. I found that Shaw has a slight edge in customer service. The Telus phone support/customer service were either rude or did not have english 12, basically their understanding was cause of some concern. I don’t think really either ADSL or Cable is better than the other, overall about the same, but Shaw has the customer service part down a little better.


  14. claudette says:

    Just happened upon this searching for some info on Shaw-
    Just wanted to share with anyone looking for alternatives to long distance, home phone or internet- www.yak.ca
    I’ve been using their long distance cell plan and also land line LD (switched from Telus LD, where my monthly bill was totally outrageous) and have been SO HAPPY with the service. Anything to get me away from Telus is a relief, but their rates and easy to use services are excellent.
    They are gradually adding more services for more provinces it seems, so I’m hoping soon I can use them for everything.


  15. Shylakalaka says:

    Dolphin Tel and Highspeed Internet seems like a decent option at this moment, but my concern is their internet speed of 3.0 MBps peak transfer speed. I am a heavy gamer and a downloader since I have a sibling who uses internet often, so I am used to at least 7.0 MBps. I wouldn’t mind losing little bit of speed, but 3.0 MBps doesn’t sound too fast. Anyone know if their plan would support internet up to 6.0 MBps in a bundle?

    Reply from Peter: You’d have to contact Lightspeed directly about whether you can get 6.0MBps where you are. For my needs, 3.0MBps is plenty fast! You could also check teksavvy.com — another local ISP.


  16. Jackie says:

    Ok Peter… you have been with Lightspeed for about 11 months now… do you still think they’re great? What’s your experience been over the last year? I’m hunting for a new ISP since Shaw is getting too pricey for me, my bill is $50 for the internet portion alone. I came across Lightspeed’s site earlier but what to know just how good it really is.

    Thanks! :)

    Reply from Peter: Reliability has been great. In fact, I have not experienced an outage since the first month, which might have been a result of me fiddling around with my connection settings. My one issue is regarding the phone service: they’ve never sorted out outgoing caller ID for me — it shows up as “Unknown number” to others. Otherwise, I’m a happy customer!


  17. TAylor says:

    I want to vomit every time I jump on the internet. These prices are ridiculous and the fact that companies [ie; yak] are ADVERTISING UNLIMITED DOWNLOAD? I’m also freakishly outraged that both telus and shaw cap at 300gb transfer then start charging you. If we were in an eastern province we could get a gigabit connection to our home for the ridiculous price that shaw charges. I’m yet to find a decent alternative. Where is our fibre optic for LESS THAN ONE THOUSAND dollars a month. Could someone please tell me how it is, that we are so behind on the times? I want a Gigabit connection, and I want it now.


  18. Daniel says:

    Check out Uniserve at www.uniserve.com. I am a second time ADSL uniserve customer and their service is great.

    Telus will block your HTTP and FTP ports, meaning that you cannot host anything without resorting to port redirection mechanisms ans Shaw I ahve no words to describe how bad the customer service is if you manage to get hold of them, plus their cable speed is not consistent.


  19. Delsey says:

    I cancelled my Telus internet because of terrible service (this could take a book to explain) and tried to switch to Lightspeed. However Telus has blocked my line and I can’t get my modem to connect to the DSL. Lightspeed’s service has been excellent in trying to find out why i can’t get internet. The signal was fine on my line until the night Telus disconnected my service so it should have been easy to switch. I Have spent days talking to Telus reps asking why my line was blocked (my bill for internet and phone were all paid up and the modem was sent back to Telus). They denied they block lines however Telus’s rep in the wholesale department told the Lightspeed tech that my line indeed had been blocked. Apparently it is has been unblocked however I still have no internet. It has been almost three weeks. At this point I am not sure what to do. Has anyone had this experience before.

    I was very vocal to the Telus support line how unhappy I was. At one point between my and my son’s cells, phone and internet I was spending over $350 a month. That was just too much especially after the crap customer service I was getting. I am in the process of deleting Telus from my life!
    Has anyone else had their line blocked?


  20. Carol A.K.A. Macgurrl says:

    There I was looking for info on other isp’s in the lower mainland of Vancouver and I stumbled upon your blog. Thank you Peter for all the info and help.

    I have been with Telus longer than I have ever been with Shaw. Where I live in the Cordova hub, Shaw is slow as molasses at midnight, so that is why I am with the Darth Vader of isps. Most months, I pay around 80 dollars for both my high-speed turbo internet and my phone with 3 calling features. Yesterday, I went to check my online bill and it came to a whopping 124 dollars. If that wasn’t enough, I couldn’t view the actual detailed bill to see where this price increase was coming from. At the best of times, there website, is useless. Once I waited in line on the phone to talk to one of their so-called customer service reps, he gave me some spiel about how they were giving me some kind of break for the last 6 months, and now I have to pay the price. The only thing he could do for me was give me a break on my phone if I were to get rid of all my calling features. I was, and am still furious with Telus. Luckily I am not under any kind of contract with them. Shaw is no better, my Mom is with them, and it seems that every month the price goes up little by little. Is there no other options for us Vancouverites? Someone please come and save us from David and Goliath. For now I will give either Uniserve or Lightspeed a try.


  21. geoff says:

    Hello all you happy interneters – I moved from shaw to telus & it looks as if I hit the frypan. Lightspeed I just read is fronting for shaw so what I would like to know IS THERE A HOPE of finding a safe (one that doesn’t read & clip emails as I know shaw does & suspect telus ditto – Has anyone tried satellite or a better broadband? price matters, of course but this time I may be more willing to pay more for privacy. Incidentally I
    will be leaving telus because they will not give me new tv remote and we can barely change channels now – let alone use the whole schmear. For anyone wanting shaw/telus "service" – be my guest-gf


  22. Alec says:

    Geoff,

    How’s Telus Optic? I saw some good posts about TV, but people say nothing about internet. Like ping, downtime, etc.

    I left Telus in 2002 due to their DSL downtime being too frequent for my liking and been with Shaw ever since. Just checked my bill recently and they increased my service $8 bucks over last 6 months, so now with taxes i’m paying $180 per month. Same deal from Telus is $30 less. (not counting promotions which are about $200 if I sign up for 3 years).

    Just thinking if $30 bucks is a good price for not dealing with Telus.


  23. Cat Thunder says:

    My complaint is this and I am really pissed off!I’ve being with Shaw for a couple months and they tried to put me on that E-Billing thingy.I told them over and over again I do not have a master card or visa.
    I waited for my mail to come and and how long after?A couple months and I keep asking for my mail when it is gonna come in.Another month goes by and still no mail.
    I even complained to the MLA guy here in new westminister.Complained to the Radio Telecommunications Ottawa somehwre.
    I finally got my mail and now it all pass dued now.That’s right Pass Due.After all these months waiting for my mail and I’m passed due?I’ll stop there for I am getting tired of repeating myself here.I don’t know how many times I’ve repeated this.Got to go.Oh,by the way my computers down for some strange reason.I tried to turn back the clock and somehow misscued.Burp….


  24. Cooperator604 says:

    Wow nice to see that people at least get together like this other then on the holidays.
    1. Could we offer our internet connection to others Via Wifi connection thus lower our payout for these services. I know that security is an issue but just change settings for privacy and open up your connection to the neighbor? There is an internet cafe across the street who I will approach in regard to using there wifi connection.
    2. Government should be requested to take part in providing all citizens with decent access to the internet – like the library is, the net should be more so. The government should have a cache of bandwidth set aside by the telcos that would supply email – content search and limited data transfer to a percentage of people. this percentage would be based on the cost threshhold of paying customers (lets say 30 per month real speed internet / 50 with home VOIP phone and 85 with basic TV.)

    I hope we learn to utilize the strength we have when we work together


  25. Mike says:

    Fed up with Telus, internet disconnects all the time and very slow. Thinking of Shaw but seems like moving from "frying pan to the fire"

    Uniserve seems like a good option so I may give it a go.

    Thanks


  26. geoff fenton says:

    Alec asked if I liked telus optik – haven’t used it – but telus did finally deliver a tv remote after three months – from Calgary yet! I have asked for a new modem or reset since I’m on a dial up internet modem & can’t get Windows 7 to operate on dial up (I know that there is a band-aid fix for this but the results are not consistent & I still get error code 651) As to getting help from the politicians we pay – forget it! Those animals are more than happy to see us pay more for service – Why? because of the tax revenue bunkies. Like we pay almost $1.20 for a squirt of gas that you can get in Williams Lake for 86 cents – But then we accept that so we have ‘no right’ to complain about the crap our man Peter complains about – We deserve no better because we won’t hang our baaad (and I mean bad) politics and their member ticians! This time around I’m going to listen to and evaluate the garbage called party politics and ask for written statements subject to what should be the law – and then make some law firm happy – Anybody ready for a class action lawsuit? It seems that this is only thing ‘lawmakers’ & big service businesses listen to – There are a lot of folks complaining in sites like this but nobody ever really does anything – maybe it’s time? Thanx Peter – but does anyone ever read this stuff other than us? luv, Geoff


  27. Cate says:

    @Geoff: Where did you read that Lightspeed is a front for Shaw? I’m thinking of switching to them from Uniserve based on Peter’s recommendation.

    FWIW, Uniserve’s internet service is OK but I’ve had nothing but problems with my digital phone service from them. Additionally, their tech support is atrocious. It was fair when it was based in BC, but now that it’s offshore (Philippines, I believe), it’s simply horrific.


  28. telusisrude says:

    yes, i have to agree with most of you. telus has the absolute worst customer reps. they are rude and condescending, and will try to upsell when you call. i wanted the high speed lite, and the rep would not sell it to me. she said it did not exist. seriously??? then she said it wasn’t recommended, and gave me a quote for high speed, and i specifically said high speed lite. i had to tell her that was what i wanted, 3 times, and then she said okay. she then, told me to hold, and then wouldnt process my order because she said her system was down. i highly do not recommend telus. they need to improve their customer service. she was so rude!


  29. Jess says:

    Well we should know very well that Telus being a US rip off company has government (CRTC)connection for monopoly. The have the usual corrupt and very highly paid CEO’s who make sure that government connections are maintained with all kind of kick backs /erks and goodies etc. Obviously they don’t care for ordinary people with phone line or internet connections.
    It is the corrupt government who should be kicked out of their office in next elections if we do not get competition for services or CRTC wakes up to control the profit gauging by these corrupt companies.


  30. Michael says:

    I too was lied to by Telus. I also find that their tech support has always been lousy. I used to run a computer services company several years ago – mainly custom applications, but also infrastructure – one customer wanted 2 static IPs. Telus could not supply more than 1 for about 3 weeks. The problem was not resolved until I harassed them enough to be connected with level 5 tech support!
    I used Telus for phone and internet for 2 years ending about a year ago. I was promised certain features for a particular price. When my bill came in it was about $25 higher. Telus insisted that their sales rep "could not have promised what I said." I pointed out that he could have LIED!
    Anyway, as soon as the term was up I switched to Shaw for my internet and phone (for less $) and discovered when I tried to cancel cable TV (which we rarely used), that this was "bundle pricing" for 12 months and canceling the cable would increase my phone and internet by about $20!.
    I am ready for a change and have decided to switch my home phone for chat-r mobile, cancel my existing mobile and just buy the lowest price high speed internet (3 GB/s is fine for our needs). Looking at either Lightspeed or Uniserve (my old provider of dial-up during the 90s). I am sorry to hear that Uniserve tech support is crappy – they used to be the best.
    Hopefully, we will someday get an ISP that is reliable and has good service for a decent price. It has already happened in the cell-phone world with chat-r ($35/mo unlimited-in-zone) and Mobilicity ($25/mo unlimited in-zone). Unfortunately, Mobilicity users have problems with connections and the zone is smaller than chat-r.
    It is really hard to find on their web site, but Rogers still has WIFI-Max internet available in Vancouver with a single option for $45/Mo. I used the "Lite" package for over a year (bought the wireless receiver/modem for $100), but it was too slow for VOIP – type use. Tried the higher speed version but still had problems as both have only 512 kbps upload speeds. Advantage was internet anywhere in the city with AC power – even on my boat! If you mostly download streaming video, etc. you may find this useful (you need a window facing south where I am on N. shore of False Creek). I’d be happy to sell the receiver/modem cheap…


  31. Adrian says:

    the corporate model for cable companies in canada, is to not be significantly worse than your rivals – if they have any.

    for most of the country you either "owned" by shaw or rogers, though telus speeds are improving.

    all of them will happily sell you high speeds – but won’t generally let you use it. while they advertise "download movies in seconds/minutes" try and actually download the most common sort of files – torrents – and you may as well be on dial up.

    and now they are adding – or reducing download limits. – this in answer to services like netflix coming to canada. – their argument that this is to preserve bandwidth is nonsense, most users do not come close to their download limits, but are offered no discounts or "roll-overs".

    it is simply that shaw and rogers both believe that they are entitled to $100+ from every household in their regions. as more and more people cancel their tv services, so (they believe) they are entitled to charge more for internet. – i would theoretically pay half the amount i do for internet if i would buy their tv service.

    this is the equivalent of living in vancouver and being charged double the fare on the skytrain if i should choose to walk the rest of the journey rather than pay to ride the bus.

    unfortunately, as in many situations in this country, consumer protection doesn’t exist, as those who could legislate an end to business practices like this do very nicely from the sales tax.


  32. CM says:

    I have been using Primus for long distance for a while and had great customer service and I just found out they have internet and home phone. Seems a lot cheaper and they have unlimited downloading so you do not get nailed with extra fees!


  33. GE says:

    I’m currently using Shaw for digital home phone, internet and HD tv. I’m looking to switch to something more affordable and reliable. In the past I have been a Telus and Rogers customer and will not be returning. Any ideas or input greatly appreciated.


  34. Sherry says:

    I have been with novus for about ten years and never considered any other service. It is fibre optic, no modem, straightforward. I pay quite a bit $109.00 per month because of my particular requirements, but they have way cheaper options as well. The customer service is very good and I seldom am on hold for more than a few minutes and often get right through immediately.

    The only reason I have had to call them over the years is setting up a new router I can’t figure out (which has nothing to do with them but they have helped me out anyhow). Sadly, I am now moving out of the downtown over to Kits. I seriously considered staying downtown just to retain my novus service and I think I may regret the shaw/telus can o’worms I am about to open.


  35. ballyhoo says:

    I signed with Shaw for their combined phone, internet and cable special offer for a year…at the end of that time I contacted them to find out how much I would be paying now. I was told a significantly higher rate…and the operator then advised I woud be getting about 40 channels. I said I am getting up to 125 now…he said well you shouldn’t be!! So I said…you mean you want me to pay $50 more a month for far less channels..that is ridiculous…he said…do you want me to cancel your subscription right now?? Totally obnoxious guy. Customer service indeed. The next day they were out and cut off my extra channels…never had such prompt service, of course, no benefit to me. I called a few days later to cancel all of their services…surprise surprise…that will take 10 days to get a guy out!!! Telus is no better..


  36. BC Doc says:

    Almost identical situation to ballyhoo… moved to Vancouver a year ago and signed up for Shaw’s 1 year bundle promotion (home phone, internet and cable) for around $30 per month. A year goes by, I decide to temporarily cancel my services while I shop around… unfortunately, end up staying with Shaw because I need fax capability and Novus currently doesn’t offer fax. Call Shaw back to reinstate my services (now paying over $100 per month for internet, phone and around 40 channels), then got an e-bill yesterday charging me over $600 (including HST) for "unreturned equipment" dated the day I phoned to cancel.

    ***SO, a warning to all Shaw users!!! (And possibly Telus, I wouldn’t be surprised if they use these tactics as well***

    Make sure you check your bills even after you have canceled your services, because apparently these companies frequently "forget" to reverse the charges. I guess "forgetting" makes the difference from straight up theft, which last time I checked was ILLEGAL, and an "innocent mistake". If I hadn’t called Shaw today to complain about my bill, I’m sure they would have happily withdrawn the $600+ from my account and said nothing.

    Pathetic that big companies get away with this. I encourage you all to file complaints with the Better Business Bureau if you have had similar experiences. Hopefully we will see the rise of more cable companies in the future, much as we’ve seen with mobile phone providers. I’m not holding my breath though…


  37. Matthew says:

    A word of warning to those thinking of Primus. I also had them for long distance, and thought I’d try them for internet. Big mistake. Took them a month of no internet before they got it working, then a few months passed by again and it screwed up and they just couldn’t fix it. So I had to switch away. And then they still charged me a disconnection fee even when it was their fault I had to move. So stay away from them.


  38. Jesse Hearne says:

    Why don’t we set up a facebook site to gather together all of we telecommunications victims into class action suites against our particular big corporate abusers (typically Telus, Shaw, Primus)? Should be able to bring a whole lot of unhappy people into that. Law firms would quickly become interested. This would be the only thing that would make those companies nervous. The government would then sit up and begin pondering how to make the voters more contect. I am sure of this!


  39. James Colby says:

    Let do it Jesse!


  40. Bubba says:

    "#

    January 29th, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Cate says:

    @Geoff: Where did you read that Lightspeed is a front for Shaw? I’m thinking of switching to them from Uniserve based on Peter’s recommendation.

    FWIW, Uniserve’s internet service is OK but I’ve had nothing but problems with my digital phone service from them. Additionally, their tech support is atrocious. It was fair when it was based in BC, but now that it’s offshore (Philippines, I believe), it’s simply horrific."

    Yeah, what Cate said. Uniserve is horrific. And they lie. Took me 6 months to find out that the Vanc rep who gave me a great deal to keep my business, was fired. Why was he fired? For giving great deals to pissed off existing customers to keep their business. Not the best business plan.

    Telus and Shaw are just as evil.

    "THE GREATEST DRUG STORE ON EARTH" London Drugs is making noises about starting up their own ISP. Please call head office and give them your vote. They still have Canadian ethics (people not the politicians).

    Don’t forget to encourage them to make little bundles of users under 100 count so that the Cyber Act can’t force them to make our accounts open to the Globalists. You know…like Google is, and gmail etc etc etc.


  41. ang says:

    TELUS AND SHAW RIPPED ME OFF ON MYU BILL NOW I OWE TRHEM 6000 DOLLAR

    I ORDERED ALL 3 TV INTERNET AND PHONE I GOT 1 YEAR FREE MY FIRST BILL WAS 120.00 DOLLARS PAYED THAT THE NEXT BILL CAME IT WAS 250$ THEN I PAYED THAT TO 0 THEN ANOTHER BILL AND IT WAS 300 DOLLARS I PHONE AND ASKED HOW COULD THAT BE 1 YEAR FREE BUT ME BILL IS 300 DOLLARS BUT LAST MTH IT WAS 0 THEY DID NIT HAVE A ANSWER SO THEY PUT ME THREW TO TO ROYOLITYIES THEY CREDITED ME 100 DOLLERS BUT THEY NEVER CHANGED THE BILL SO I CUT SERVICES THEN THEY SENT ME A LAST BILL AND IT WAS $6000 I ASKED HOW DO I OWE THAT THEY SAID FOR THE MODEM WHAT THYE MADE UP
    I CAN N OT PAY THAT BUT IT IS GOING ON MY CREDIT FILE WHAT DO I DO


  42. James says:

    Lighteed is such a good idea but after a year with them and their poor quality lines and many service and billing mistakes, I’m switching. As expected, I am looking at a couple of sweet "welcome back" packages from Telus and Shaw.


  43. Burned says:

    I am happy with my services.
    I have a Telus 6MB ADSL service that I pay $20 a month for. When it goes back up after 6 months I phone and get it lowered back down or I threaten to move to the competition. For TV I have the Shaw HD Plus package that is $45 a month no time limit.
    Be a smart shopper and you too can be happy. LOL


  44. 88kanaka says:

    Is the current bundle really a good deal for Optik TV, Internet and Phone?

    6 Mo. 30 Mo.
    Telus Promo Thereafter

    Phone 15 25
    Internet 24 39
    Medium TV 33 53

    Per Month 72 117

    Total 3 Years 3942

    Freebies
    Free Tablet 500
    3 Mo Super Channel 51
    One Time Credit 50
    Free Rent PVR – 3yr 540
    Free Rent 2 STB’s – 3yr 360
    Installation? ??
    Internet Modem ??
    Value of Freebies 1501

    Total minus freebies 2441
    This is what you should be able to pay.

    Per month over 3 years $67.81

    Based on TV – Medium Combo (3 TV’s)
    Phone – with caller ID
    Internet @ 15 Mbps

    Buy 1 PVR and 2 STB’s at Future Shop on Sale for 350.00
    Cost per month based on 36 months $9.72

    How do you get a good rate, no frills?????

    Reply from Peter: I only have Internet and basic TV, so I can’t comment on the best full bundle deals. However, the best rates I’ve had were from calling their retention department.


  45. boongee says:

    if you can access novus. I’d definitely go with Novus.
    Their internet is supppppppppper fast. Like ridiculous, I had shaw for YEARS and my bill was kinda crazy considering I had all my services with them (they tried to offer me a bundle package 2 times and failed everytime!).
    With Novus, my internet speed is like quadruple what it use to be and I pay less?! My hands down recommendation is Novus (if you can get it, cause I think they are mostly available in apartments and condos).


  46. Alfred says:

    All of these problems have a common source, the CRTC. They have allowed the big telcons (as they are called by the CRTC) to monopolize telecommunications in Canada, or at least have made it so difficult to compete that there is effectively a monopoly. Instead of blaming Telus, Shaw and Bell, who are just acting like any protected monopoly, blame the CRTC. Why have they become the best friends of these giant corporations? I have heard all of the justifications over the years, like "this is the best way to ensure that all Canadian get reasonably priced access" and the other rationaliztions. Well, the start up period is long gone, but the big telcons still get favourable treatment at the expense of consumers. Why?


  47. me says:

    Totally agree with you, Alfred. But you forgot rogers. Lighspeed has no own infrastructure, they just are telus reseller, the DSLAM for dsl is Telus HW. The physical line till your demarcation point (the little mostly grey box at your house) is Telus. Lighspeed pays it’s fees to telus, the bandwith and so on. Their telephone is not a landline, it’s just a Linuxbox (actually 2) which run asterisk, so it’s VoIP nothing else. I was with them almost 3 years, had from time to time trouble which I had to fix by myself, their techsupport just identified working HW as broken and were about to sell me new stuff. I already tested it with my new VoIP provider and it worked without any trouble. So if you don’t have enough technical knowledge you’re gonna be there best customer, sure you have to buy every year or so new HW from them and Telus gets a percentage of your money as well.


  48. Lynn says:

    Telus’s advertised package sounds like a great deal but by the time all the additional charges are included, it is actually more expensive than Shaw. The price diference is even higher after the 6 month deal expires.
    Read the fine print before you sign up, if you do not give them 30 days notice for cancelation, they will charge you a full month of service.
    Bottom line, do not get sucked into fee computer, tablets etc. It is not worth it.


  49. Spoj says:

    I just switched from shaw to telus. I had been with shaw for 5 years , I had high speed Internet 25 mps and in July of 2012 I observed that I am getting 10-13 mps downloading speed whereas I am paying $60 every month for 25mps high speed. I complained and still didn’t get fixed. I had to cancel shaw because I was told that with shaw I m actually sharing Internet with the other people in my are. So I would recommend telus or novus if you need higher downloading speed.


  50. Peter Carr says:

    Unsatisfied is hardly the word to use regarding Telus; Equipment & Service. Unfortunately my father was an employee of B.C. Tel & though the home phone, T.V. & Internet ‘bundle’ they offered ex-employees was a terrific deal when he signed up for three years. Since March of 2010 we had our Telus’s ‘Optic TV Box’s’ replaced 7 times, Service Technicians visit our house 11 times, had the line from the poll to house replaced, countless Internet connections lost, phone service down 8 times and lost T.V. signal way to many times to remember. I stopped keeping track last year but, seriously, it was up in the 200’s. What’s really annoying is they aren’t prepared to do anything about it when it comes billing time.

    No matter how many times you’ve complained, no matter how many times you’ve had their equipment replaced, (which by the way you have to take into a Telus Store yourself), no matter how many times a Repair Technician has had to come over they’ll fight it to the end with your credit card company to get the $145.00 per month. Even more they have never, ever even offered a free movie or even $5 credit towards long distance. Nothing, nothing at all for their lack of Customer Service, bad equipment and crappy signal.

    Do yourself a huge favor and DON’T GO WITH TELUS!


  51. Daniel says:

    I am using Shaw. I am not happy with Shaw or Telus because they put a limit on the usage and they will charge you an un-believable rate when you go over the limit. All their bundle price with shaw have to be bundle with phone, internet and TV. Nowaday, cellphone is very cheap and VoIP is free (freephoneline.ca). Why do I want to pay for FREE phone service?

    I want to get TV, Internet individually but Shaw or TELUS charge the basic TV for very high price. Even I can swap to the cheaper and better internet service provider.

    Shaw and TELUS want to drag my pocket as much as they can.


  52. ilia says:

    After Telus called me and offered special deal i had dropped Shaw for taking adventage of the customer, They never confirm the deal by email so you cannot prove the deals that been offered to you. Both companies had to be watched for the amounts they charge you.And than you spend 2hours on the phone montly only to find the same overcharge in your invoice.
    I do appritiate Telus special help with charges, thank you Marina,Tony.
    But recently I wasrefused the special deal from Telus and the cost went up over 4 times. Being on pention i would have to choose between internet and my meal, It isfrustrating that company makes millions of income cannot help anymore disable man. Where is CRTC? Do they care? Only about their packets and interest. Where is federal govement we vote to protect us. They work on their next compain. I fill sorry for people who build this country and today are on their neease.


  53. James says:

    I use axsit.ca for my IP phone. I pay about $120 dollars a annually. All calls are free in North America and long distance charges to other countries is supper low. You get all kinds of calling features like call display, messaging, call screening and much more. I’ve been with this company for a 3 years and I’ve never experienced a problem. This company was called Voipgo before, now its called axsit.

    I can’t stand Telus or Shaw asking people to pay 30 box a month and hardly any features, what a rip-off.

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