I recently made the jump to TekSavvy for the internet and wanted to share my experiences about the whole transition. Now I’m not new to TekSavvy, we had at 2 different times had them as our service provider for DSL. Originally we had them when we rented a place in Cambridge. We were quite happy with their service, but subsequently had to cancel when we moved to Clyde, an area that DSL service was unavailable. When we did move back to Cambridge I jumped at the opportunity to sign back up with them. Unfortunately for us we discovered our new house was in a bad DSL zone, where we at max received 2.5mb service, even though we were paying for 5mb. This was when we unfortunately had to make the jump to Rogers cable internet, as 2.5mb service was really insufficient to run VOIP phone service. That was back in 2009.
Recently I discovered that TekSavvy was now offering cable internet in the region and was quite excited about the opportunity to jump away from Rogers. Now my issue with Rogers was never the service, it was more the constraints Rogers put on its services. As people who don’t have cable we do a lot of online streaming and we were hitting our heads on the 60gb cap Rogers imposed. I was always mindful of it and made sure not to go over, often rationing bandwidth towards the end of our billing cycle. So when I discovered TekSavvy could offer me faster internet, more upload and download bandwidth, a 300gb usage cap and save $13 a month off of my bill as compared to Rogers, I was sold.
The thing I discovered when switching was that it wasn’t very easy to coordinate a seamless transition from Rogers to TekSavvy. First I tried to align the shutoff day to be close to the end of my billing cycle with Rogers. TekSavvy required at minimum at 7 day window before it could activate the service. This in and of itself cost me 2 months before being able to switch, as I managed to miss setting up the window in time to align with my Rogers billing cycle. So finally in July I contacted TekSavvy, arranged a date to service activation and set the gears in motion. This was a misstep on my part. I then called Rogers and discovered that they need a months notice for any cancellations. I was mightily ticked about this, but there wasn’t much I could do about it.
So Sunday, August 7th rolls around and Rogers finally turns off the service, which then allows TekSavvy to use the line. I try hooking up a modem I already owned and had used a few years before and discover it doesn’t want to work with TekSavvy. I went through all the troubleshooting steps with TekSavvy and the conclusion is it’s kaput. So now I need a new modem. As I’m cheap and refuse to pay $80-100+ for a modem, I purchased one on eBay for $35 from a guy in Mississauga. I’m told by TekSavvy that they need 48 hours to activate a new modem on their system, so now I have to wait until the modem is delivered, then give them the info, then there would be 2 whole days before we could have internet. The modem arrives Thursday and I call TekSavvy immediately to relay the info so they can get the process started. I wait patiently until 6pm on Saturday.
The modem itself is a refurbed Rogers modem, so the process was that they needed to request that Rogers release the modem so that TekSavvy could use it. So 6pm on Saturday comes and goes and we still don’t have a working modem. This is when things start to go off the rails for me. We’ve now been without internet for a week and have been patient and courteous to this point. I phone TekSavvy and the rep tells me that the ticket was apparently never pushed over to Rogers, so even though I called on Thursday, no progress has been made. Upon finding this I manage to stay relatively calm and let them sort it out. I wait another 24 hours and call again. I talk to another rep who looks into it and I am told again that the ticket wasn’t pushed over to Rogers and that we’re still at square one. I’m pretty livid at this point and send an email to support about this issue and ask someone to actually take responsibility for this issue instead of passing the buck and nothing getting done. I finally get someone to tell me that Rogers will activate it between 9am and 12am on Monday.
Finally on Monday evening at around 9pm my modem roars to life and we have internet again. After 8 days without service my wife and I are just happy to finally have internet back and to hopefully put this whole pain in the ass behind us.
The first thing I do, because I’m a geek and all, is head to SpeedTest.net and see what type of speed we were getting. The package we signed up for was 15mb down/ 1mb up/ 300gb cap for $42.99. Upon testing I discover we were actually getting 22mb down which was pretty awesome. With all the grief we had to go through it looked like it was all going to be worth it.
Fast forward 2 weeks later. Sunday at 6pm the internet and cable goes out. While we didn’t subscribe to cable, a few local channels still came through on the line, so those were now gone along with the internet. Initially we think it might just be an outage, so we wait until Monday to take action. I call TekSavvy support again and get walked through the idiot’s guide to internet troubleshooting. They’re trying to troubleshoot issues with my modem and router, when it seems pretty apparent since the TV wasn’t working that the whole cable line had been disconnected. This didn’t really shock me as another recent TekSavvy switcher, Dawn Wentzell, had the same problem. The best TekSavvy could do was arrange a Rogers tech to come and check it out and see what’s wrong. The earliest they could book a time was Wednesday, so I gave them an option of Wednesday or Thursday to come after 5. Teksavvy calls me on Wednesday to inform me the best Rogers could do is next Monday.
At this point I am again furious with the whole situation. I write a nasty email to TekSavvy again outlining how it’s unacceptable to be disconnected for over a week. But this time I decided to see if I could sort things out on my own account and not be bothered with Rogers or TekSavvy. I remembered I had a friend from high school who worked for a local Rogers subcontractor. While feeling awful about asking a favour after not seeing him in close to a year, I outline what my situation was and ask if he could help me out. Less than an hour later there is a truck out front of my house and someone digging through the Rogers box on my neighbours yard and a few minutes later we had internet again.
About 10 minutes later we get a phone call and our friend explained what probably happened. Apparently when you cancel service with Rogers they deactivate the line from their end, but usually it will be 2 or 3 weeks later they will send someone around to physically disconnect the service. This is pretty common, as I’m sure many people who have moved into a new house and discovered cable still connected even though the previous tenants had moved out. So with his company, it could very well be his guys disconnecting the service last week, and just as likely for his guys to reconnect it when they were supposed to come Monday.
The part that drives me nuts about this whole thing is how TekSavvy and Rogers don’t have any system for avoiding this from happening. I told Rogers I was going to TekSavvy, yet this still happened, and as can be seen with it happening to Dawn too, it isn’t a rare occurrence. Obviously I was able to expedite the reactivation process by having connections, but how many people out there are waiting a week for Rogers to finally get around to doing things? This is the type of stuff the CRTC needs to crack down on. Rogers will very deliberately sabotage my service with TekSavvy, then when asked to rectify the problem will put it at the bottom of their queue when it comes to service calls. And we wonder why providers outside of Rogers/Bell/Telus/Shaw can’t gain a strong foothold in the market? It’s this type of garbage.
While I’ve obviously written a longwinded blog about this whole topic, I really don’t begrudge TekSavvy. Sure their customer service hasn’t necessarily been top rate along the way, but when their service has functioned its been awesome. And with Rogers seemingly doing everything in their power to screw over TekSavvy, I have to wonder how much undue strain that puts on their support system. What happened to me in the last week was 100% preventable and really just served to make me use their support system unnecessarily. I just hope my story will help others along the way and can help them avoid some of the pitfalls I’ve encountered. People need a choice that isn’t Rogers or Bell and TekSavvy is really trying to provide that.