Saturday, August 27, 2011

Nonsensical is not good service - Shaw Internet Blues

I awoke at my usual Saturday morning time today (around 6am -- I am a terrible sleeper-inner) intent on writing my blog, reading and posting and getting caught up in cyberland.

Shaw Internet had other ideas.

No service.

Can't connect to Internet.

Blah. Blah. Blah.

I tried unplugging. The modem. The router.

I waited. Sometimes Shaw goes out (one minute. five minutes. fifteen -- it's variable and mercurial in its outages) and comes back of its own volition.

No luck.

I find my cellphone. Go online and find the number to call for service.

I wait online.

I wait some more (not long this time -- last time it was 52 minutes and then they dropped my call).

Finally, a human voice connects. I tell her my problem. Let me check your account, she says. (I know it's current). Yes. I see it is current, she confirms. I'll put you through to service.

I wait some more.

A friendly man seems surprised to find someone waiting on the end of the line when he answers. No -- Hello, my name is Patrick, or Jane, or Bobby-Sue. The question mark on the end of his "Hello?" tells me he wasn't expecting someone to be on the line -- maybe they assume that people hang up if they keep them waiting long enough.

Score one for the customer -- I am persistent and Will. Not. Hang. Up.

I want my Internet service. Now.

I keep my voice, light. Friendly.

I tell him my problem. I tell him what I have already done to try to fix the problem.

He tells me to unplug my modem.

I've already done that. Twice. I remind him.

Oh. Right. Hmmm.... Well, let me check your service feed. It could be your router. He quickly adds, or it could be our modem. It does happen that sometimes our modem isn't working properly.

And as he checks, the little yellow triangle showing me something's not working disappears and my Internet resumes its connection.

Hah! It did this last time and I told the technician it was fixed and we hung up without any further conversation.

Not this time.

I wait.

His voice echoes through the phone. Oh. Hmmmmm.... Interesting. It seems you have lots of outage sprees in your neighbourhood. Could be some quirk in the network just in your area. I see you had a whole bunch of them for a couple of weeks ten days ago, and then none, until yesterday.

That would be correct, I tell him. It happens. A lot.

Oh. Hmmmm... Well, it's pretty sporadic. You have outages and then it comes back steady for awhile and well, it's just one of those faulty little connections somewhere. Not worth sending a technician out at this point because it's working fine now.

Hello? The question marked hello is in my head -- I do not say it aloud. -- It may be working fine now but it goes out like this regularly.

Oh. Hmmm... Well, if it does it some more definitely do give us a call and we'll see what we can do.

Why can't you do anything now?

Because it's working just fine now.


Good-bye. Thanks for calling Shaw. We value your business.


I hang up.

If they value my business why don't they give me consistent, dependable, reliable service?


And now, the day awaits. it's gorgeous outside. I'm off to the Farmer's Market and then Ellie and I are off for a walk. My mother's 89th birthday dinner tonight and good-news -- my mouth is not hurting as much.

Just my head.

And that's only because I don't understand why working now but not working then doesn't result in better service! :)

Ahhh.... no sense in letting nonsense disrupt the beauty of my day.

Note to self -- check into a new Internet service provider.



Maureen said...

Happy Birthday to your mother. Have a splendid celebration!

Until we went to FIOS, any time service went down we were told it was a router or modem problem, though we knew perfectly well neither was. I think service reps are told to say that, because then they get to take you through that long list of steps; by the time you're done, you are just so thankful that the plugging in and taking out and trying again are over that you forget the problem had nothing at all to do with their guessing. I always want to ask, how come you got it working if it's my router or my outdated modem (or, once, the wire and plug we were using) that's the problem?

Claudia said...

reminds me of the calls i had with my mobile provider as i was unable to check my mails while i was in italy...and they said it should have been possible - but wasn't - and mails and calls back and forth...and i may change the provider as well....hmmm... wishing you a lovely day...your saturday program sounds good

Brian Miller said... not go to is just as bad...been battling with them since we got them...

S. Etole said...

I thought I was the only one that had these conversations! And I haven't even been praying for patience!

Glynn said...

This is standard operating conversation for all customer service departments in North America. The product or service is immaterial. I think they go to training school to learn this, too.

Fi said...

I think we've all experienced this frustration, no matter where in the world we are.

I'm glad to hear your mouth is not hurting as much. I finally think I'm also on the road to recovery - not before time.

Hope you have a splendid weekend.


Anonymous said...


sounds like several calls I've had with Telus and with Shaw over the years; change names and dates, the dialogue and the issues are much the same

I've learned, for the most part, 99% of it works 99% of the time

the same seems true for my web hosting company and the service I use to distribute my column

the trouble is, the 1% always seems to show up when I've got two critical things colliding on the same day

I doubt you'll get the attention of Mr. Entwistle and easier than that of Mr. Shaw .... they are too far removed from the great customer service they espouse to care enough to change the culture of their organization

and that, sadly, is true of them all


Louise Gallagher said...

Hi everyone! Isn't it amazing how we all experience similar situations and still, nothing changes.

When I told my daughter and his boyfriend about this call, her boyfriend asked if they'd given me a credit for the outages -- bet if you add them all up they add up to a whole bunch of days without service.

LOL -- I am so accustomed to poor service I didn't even think to ask for a credit.

Not that they'd have given me one.

It's all in the name of service, ya' know!