Confounded Shaw

We’ve had Shaw internet and cable for many years. The only other option locally is Telus and frankly both businesses suck so even with all our moves, we’ve stayed with the devil we know. After reading about Shaw’s intention to start billing for overages in bandwidth use, I was trying to determine which High Speed plan we were using because on our bill it lists our High Speed Internet as $52. Online, it lists High Speed at $37/mo and the next level up at $97/mo* — both list  “modem included.” The only other concern I had was that maybe we were still on High Speed for business (from way back when Mike had a home-based business) which is advertised at $54.95/mo.

High Speed Internet pricing

After not one but TWO calls to customer service, I finally got it figured out.

Our bill looks like this:

Digital TV + Movies $79.95
Double Play Discount -$10.00 (bundle price savings)
Timeshift $3.95
Shaw Digital Terminal $2.95
Purchased Modem Discount -$5.00 (this is what I have an issue with… see below)
High-Speed Internet $52.00

Total services $123.85

HST  $14.86
TOTAL $138.71

So… it turns out when you look at the small print on the High Speed Internet it says the stand-alone (i.e. unbundled) price is $47.

So where the hell does the other $5.00 come from? It’s that “purchased modem discount.”  I find this misleading. If we had not, long ago, paid the “lifetime modem purchase price” (whatever it was), we would presumably be paying $52 (or $42 bundled) but there is NO mention of that ANYWHERE on the website (if you find proof, please let me know in the comments; I really want to see it.) I find this misleading and underhanded and I will be making a complaint to the Competition Bureau who oversee such things.

In the meantime, at least I now have my answer — we have a 60GB/mo bandwidth cap and my concern is that with the amount we (ab)use Netflix that we will exceed that allowance.  Happily, our router keeps statistics so I will be monitoring this in coming weeks. If we do exceed that allowance, Shaw will be charging us $2.00 per GB we go over — at that rate, it might be cheaper to bump our package up.

I also want to say that, unlike past experiences, both customer service reps were pleasant and patient. The second CSR was also more helpful and offered to send a survey I could fill out to express my frustration to Shaw more effectively. I will note however that the survey was supposed to arrive by email and I haven’t seen it yet, nearly half an hour later.


*there is actually another level between the $37 and $97 — High Speed Extreme which is currently listed at $29.95/mo for the first 6 mo then $57/mo ($47 bundled) after that.

3 Replies to “Confounded Shaw”

  1. Wait for the bandwidth monitoring to kick in. When it does, call them to complaint about ANY add-on charges, request specifics and dispute the charges. If they don’t provide a decent answer / reversal, then complain to the CRTC about their practices.

  2. I actually linked to that article in the post — it’s what prompted me to pull out my bill in the first place just to figure out how far Shaw intended to reach up my back-end!! Yeah, not pleased. But you should also sign the Stop the Meter petition which deals with the decision that made all this possible: