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Absolutely appalled by Shaw Customer service reps

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  • Apr 19th, 2012 1:42 pm
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[OP]
Member
Jul 1, 2005
323 posts
31 upvotes

Absolutely appalled by Shaw Customer service reps

I'm sure my experience is not unique, but after the terrible treatment I received from Shaw, I felt compelled to share. BTW - I'm happy to publicly provide my real name and information is its required. If someone from Shaw reads this, feel free to PM me and we can connect to chat.

I called Shaw (Winnipeg) today to inquire about any sort of promotions or packages they offered, since my girlfriends 3 month promotional package and price was ending soon. I wasn't being mean, aggressive, or anything of the sort. I was just calling to inquire.

The first rep I spoke to immediately got hostile and defensive, saying - you can't expect any sort of discounts, we don't do that, we used to offer discounts but we were losing money so we stopped... all the while, she was speaking to me loudly, and was almost annoyed that I had the nerve to ask the question. I was surprized, but remained calm and talked about MTS, other deals, etc. In the end, she said she would transfer me to cancellations since there was nothing that could be done.

I waited 2 hours to speak to cancellations, and when a rep picked up the call, she asked me a few questions (she was actually polite), and then told me that I had reached the wrong dept to cancel, and I she would transfer me to another dept.

After another 30 minutes of waiting, the cancellation rep came on and asked me what the situation was. I told her that I wanted to cancel, and that we were going with MTS. She proceeded to say:

"So you're going to just keep going back and fourth between companies because you think you'll save money doing that?" And she said this VERY rudely. She actually repeated it a few times!

Really? really. I actually said, and I quote, "no, I'm actually moving from one cable and internet service provider to another who can offer me a more competitive price."

I don't see how a company can get away with treating customers like this. This is terrible.
32 replies
Deal Addict
Sep 23, 2005
1528 posts
182 upvotes
Burnaby
+1
It seems to me Shaw's cancellation reps must be taught to be deliberately nasty. All the retention staff at all the communications companies have a job to do, but some definitely have a distasteful way of going about it.

When I quit Shaw to go with Telus Optik about 18 months ago the Shaw cancellation rep was curt and rude from the start, then became aggressive and bullying, proceeding to run down Telus' services as basically crap and suggesting I was an idiot to let myself be sucked in by their marketing ploys. I cut short her rant by politely but forcefully stating that by taking Telus's year-long promo deal and then just paying their regular rates after that, I'd save over $1000 over the course of two years compared to Shaw. That shut her up completely and the call ended only a minute or two later with my cancellation order in process.

I find it ironic that these companies berate us for jumping back and forth from one service provider to the other, when they are the ones constantly trying to one-up each other to steal each others' customers! What exactly did they THINK was gonna come of that?

*sigh* Something tells me these promos are going to go the way of the dinosaur pretty soon. It's probably just a matter of time before we will all need to sign 3-year contracts for internet and cable service or else be forced to pay exhorbitantly inflated prices for the necessary equipment -- just like the cellphone industry.
...
"I count as braver he who conquers his desires than he who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over the self." - Aristotle
Deal Addict
Feb 26, 2003
4100 posts
113 upvotes
Tahsis
Have to agree, the shaw people are generally very pleasant unless you want to cancel a service, or drop service levels.

I took their HD PVR offer several years back, 1 year free rental + buyout for 50% off at the end. When I tried to do the buyout the 50% off deal was gone, and they would only accept the PVR back in person, and their closest location that would accept the return was an hour and a half away. Add to that being totally ignorant about the whole deal... they offered the PVR, I rarely used it, they tried to charge me 550 bucks for a used pvr... and surprised when I didn't want it?
Member
Jan 8, 2009
284 posts
71 upvotes
Wingding wrote: +1
It seems to me Shaw's cancellation reps must be taught to be deliberately nasty. All the retention staff at all the communications companies have a job to do, but some definitely have a distasteful way of going about it.

When I quit Shaw to go with Telus Optik about 18 months ago the Shaw cancellation rep was curt and rude from the start, then became aggressive and bullying, proceeding to run down Telus' services as basically crap and suggesting I was an idiot to let myself be sucked in by their marketing ploys. I cut short her rant by politely but forcefully stating that by taking Telus's year-long promo deal and then just paying their regular rates after that, I'd save over $1000 over the course of two years compared to Shaw. That shut her up completely and the call ended only a minute or two later with my cancellation order in process.

I find it ironic that these companies berate us for jumping back and forth from one service provider to the other, when they are the ones constantly trying to one-up each other to steal each others' customers! What exactly did they THINK was gonna come of that?

*sigh* Something tells me these promos are going to go the way of the dinosaur pretty soon. It's probably just a matter of time before we will all need to sign 3-year contracts for internet and cable service or else be forced to pay exhorbitantly inflated prices for the necessary equipment -- just like the cellphone industry.
The solution to this is to give us loyalty discounts. Give us a reason to stay with them. Neither MTS nor SHAW offer anything the other doesn't and give me no reason to stay with them. But they do give me plenty of reason to switch back and forth.

Seriously, if both companies offered nothing to sign up, but gave me progressive discounts based on loyalty, I wouldn't jump ship every 6 months would I? The problem with that is if one offers intro promos and the other doesn't everyone will choose the promo because the general public would choose the instant reward rather than long term savings.

With customer's like me, they MIGHT be breaking even, after sending a tech out to start service, $19 a month for internet, and then another tech out to disconnect. But I guess I must be in the minority.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 15, 2006
3511 posts
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Kingston
sandman748 wrote: The solution to this is to give us loyalty discounts. Give us a reason to stay with them. Neither MTS nor SHAW offer anything the other doesn't and give me no reason to stay with them. But they do give me plenty of reason to switch back and forth.

Seriously, if both companies offered nothing to sign up, but gave me progressive discounts based on loyalty, I wouldn't jump ship every 6 months would I? The problem with that is if one offers intro promos and the other doesn't everyone will choose the promo because the general public would choose the instant reward rather than long term savings.

With customer's like me, they MIGHT be breaking even, after sending a tech out to start service, $19 a month for internet, and then another tech out to disconnect. But I guess I must be in the minority.
Not that I don't like watching these guys lose customers, but let me get this straight. You're basically admitting that these guys probably don't break even with you thus taking a loss every month by having you as a customer. You then complain for more discounts and offers thus causing them to lose more money every month and then you wonder why these guys are basically telling you to get lost?

From a business point of view, you are not the kind of customer that theses types of businesses want and that's why you bounce from service to service. I totally understand and support what you are doing, but I have a business background and from a business perspective you are a lost cause to these guys and thus they don't even try to retain you when you threaten and eventually cancel.
Member
Sep 11, 2011
347 posts
138 upvotes
Shaw customer service is the worst! I had a PVR problem again and the guy I dealt with on the phone was an extremly rude di**.
The problem I've been having with all the PVR's they replace is it only records for 1 second, or the machine makes super load noises. The rep kept arguing with me that it was my cable not the PVR, then he has the gall to argue with me the he couldn't find the serial # of the machine and it wasn't a shaw PVR. I asked him how did this fall under my problem as the PVR in my house was just replace 5 months ago by Shaw, and the one before, and the one before, etc. After 20 min. of dealing with this jerk I had a tech. sent out 2 days later and he said all their PVRs were refurbished machines and 99% of them don't work.
I sent a nasty email to Shaw about this guy and all the sent me was a standard oh, I'm sorry this happened to you email.
I'll be cancelling my cable with Shaw and will be going with MTS.
[OP]
Member
Jul 1, 2005
323 posts
31 upvotes
kcorscadden wrote: Not that I don't like watching these guys lose customers, but let me get this straight. You're basically admitting that these guys probably don't break even with you thus taking a loss every month by having you as a customer. You then complain for more discounts and offers thus causing them to lose more money every month and then you wonder why these guys are basically telling you to get lost?

From a business point of view, you are not the kind of customer that theses types of businesses want and that's why you bounce from service to service. I totally understand and support what you are doing, but I have a business background and from a business perspective you are a lost cause to these guys and thus they don't even try to retain you when you threaten and eventually cancel.

To add to the business point of view - the TV and Telco business is a huge fixed cost operation. Beyond the CapX, The big cost is in customer acquisition, not in maintaining that customer beyond a certain point. You have the $50 service visit, the free $400 PVR, and a discounted rate for 3 months. Let's say they break even over 6 months, with the PVR, service calls and billing resources factored in. Beyond that, they are profitable. Pure profit, with low customer maintenance costs.

It's beyond me why they would want to let a customer go after you have the equipment installed and are paying your bills on time. At that point, they have automated billing, may be taking a call or two a month from you for service, and that's it. And in return they are getting $60 to $140 in cash flow.
Newbie
Mar 8, 2012
6 posts
1 upvote
MOOSE JAW
Agree about the shaw reps. Called to complain about the 2 hour plus tech support wait and said I might switch companies. The rep said fine and sent me straight to the disconnect department. Ironically, that had a 30 min queue. Kinda tells you something about how well they must be doing when disconnections has a 30 min wait.

On the plus side, I have been with ExpressVu for satellite TV for almost 10 years. Their front line Reps are almost useless, but when you get to the "Retention Department", they have been nothing short of amazing to retain customers. In every case, I can get the same deal that a new customer would get i.e. hardware upgrade/installation.

I know they have made a ton of money from me as a customer for over a decade, but at least they have met me halfway to keep my equipment up to date....

Having only been a shaw customer home phone/internet, I don't have the same hopes when it comes time to renegoatiate with them based on the experiences it looks like others have had with retention.
Deal Fanatic
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Mar 12, 2005
9665 posts
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Victoria
Sybersport wrote: To add to the business point of view - the TV and Telco business is a huge fixed cost operation. Beyond the CapX, The big cost is in customer acquisition, not in maintaining that customer beyond a certain point. You have the $50 service visit, the free $400 PVR, and a discounted rate for 3 months. Let's say they break even over 6 months, with the PVR, service calls and billing resources factored in. Beyond that, they are profitable. Pure profit, with low customer maintenance costs.

It's beyond me why they would want to let a customer go after you have the equipment installed and are paying your bills on time. At that point, they have automated billing, may be taking a call or two a month from you for service, and that's it. And in return they are getting $60 to $140 in cash flow.

It sounds like you're making an assumption that shaw gets the programming they sell for free.

I would think the biggest cost to Shaw is the carriage fees. The intro packages probably charge below what shaw has to pay to the broadcasters to carry the channels. With ad revenue decreasing, its been carriage fees making up the difference. I'm guessing intro packages charge below the monthly carriage fees. Hence why shaw can't keep people on intro packages indefinitely.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 19, 2010
1611 posts
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Vancouver
Sybersport wrote: I called Shaw (Winnipeg) today to inquire about any sort of promotions or packages they offered, since my girlfriends 3 month promotional package and price was ending soon. I wasn't being mean, aggressive, or anything of the sort. I was just calling to inquire.
What were you expecting though? Shaw wouldn't be making very much money if they gave their existing customers promos every 3 months. Besides Shaw is well known for not giving retention deals.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 13, 2008
6122 posts
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Fort Saskatchewan
On the plus side: I am 99% of the time very happy with my shaw services.

On the negative side - Ever waited on hold for hours just to be connected to someone, the phone picks up, and all you hear is breathing for a few minutes, and then snoring? Yup, happened to me, with Shaw.
˙dlǝɥ ɹoɟ ǝɯ WԀ oʇ ǝɯoɔlǝʍ lǝǝℲ ˙spɹolɹǝʌO pℲɹ ʎɯ ɟo ǝɔᴉʌɹǝs uᴉ ƃuᴉʇɐɹǝpoW ʎlᴉddɐH
Deal Addict
Jan 10, 2009
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Boom and Bust Calgar…
I know a few people that used to work at Shaw. Jim Shaw once had an employee take the corporate jet to pick up some furniture for him from the US.
Deal Expert
Jun 14, 2001
15556 posts
1020 upvotes
kcorscadden wrote: Not that I don't like watching these guys lose customers, but let me get this straight. You're basically admitting that these guys probably don't break even with you thus taking a loss every month by having you as a customer. You then complain for more discounts and offers thus causing them to lose more money every month and then you wonder why these guys are basically telling you to get lost?

From a business point of view, you are not the kind of customer that theses types of businesses want and that's why you bounce from service to service. I totally understand and support what you are doing, but I have a business background and from a business perspective you are a lost cause to these guys and thus they don't even try to retain you when you threaten and eventually cancel.

They're going to have to get used to having a lot more lost causes then since more and more are cutting the cord and ditching cable/sat. With service like this it sounds like they'll be loosing even more to any company that is polite on the phone.
Should we have open retail markets to bring more UK and US retailers to Canada?wegmans-tops-trader-joes-americas-favou ... #p27788812
Deal Addict
Jun 7, 2005
4368 posts
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I'm appalled at people who keep calling retention departments of various providers asking for discounts, then complain when they don't get what they want. ;)

I'm also appalled at people who abuse retention promotions and ruin things for the rest of us so they can save $5 a month.
Deal Expert
Jun 14, 2001
15556 posts
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caltran wrote: I know a few people that used to work at Shaw. Jim Shaw once had an employee take the corporate jet to pick up some furniture for him from the US.

Isn't that the guy who went psycho a couple years ago and started yelling and swearing at his own shareholders at a conference?
Should we have open retail markets to bring more UK and US retailers to Canada?wegmans-tops-trader-joes-americas-favou ... #p27788812

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