Computers & Electronics

Switching TV + Internet + Home Phone providers every two years, just to get a decent deal. How many of you do this?

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 26th, 2019 5:00 pm
[OP]
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
16413 posts
3498 upvotes
Toronto
Exp315 wrote:
Jan 7th, 2019 4:59 pm
1. Check competition and find an acceptable offer for switching.

2. Call your current provider and say that you're calling to cancel service. They'll send you to Retentions.

3. Listen to the offer from Retentions, then say you don't know, point out ways the other offer is better - see if they'll sweeten the retention offer.

4. Decide which is your best option, and either continue with cancellation or accept the retention offer.

You can try calling your current provider first to complain about the price to see what they'll do for you, but don't expect much. Usually the regular agents aren't authorized to make retention offers, and usually they won't send you to Retentions unless you are actually calling to cancel service. But there are exceptions. Depends if you want to take a chance and waste some time on this preliminary step.

When you call to cancel, mean it. Have an alternative that you are prepared to take if you don't get the offer you want from your current provider. Being prepared to go ahead with cancellation often produces a better offer - and if it doesn't, stop wasting time and get on with it. You'll be able to come back and get new customer offers after 90 days if things don't work out with the alternative.

Sometimes your current provider will even call back with a better offer after a few days, so you might want to put your service termination a few days out. But don't expect anything.

Quite often they'll try to bill you to the end of their current billing period when you cancel, even though they know that's illegal. It's about time the government started issuing fines for that.

The best time of year for deals is often around September, because the companies are trying to boost subscriber numbers in advance of their year-end report.

Adding extra services can get you a better offer - sometimes even better than without them. The agents get extra bonuses for selling you extra services, and they can allow you to qualify for "new customer" offers even though you're an existing customer for the services you have now.
The reason I switched in January 2017 is because there were good deals then. Same with Dec. 2018 / Jan. 2019. And for Rogers Ignite TV, some agents are claiming there will be new deals available in spring specifically for that. I'm not sure September is any better a time of year for promotions. The promotions seem to come at various times throughout the year.

Personally I've grown more and more impatient dealing with retentions. It actually sometimes takes longer and more effort to sit on the phone over multiple calls and negotiating with your existing provider than to simply switch completely for a deal I already know exists from a competitor. The biggest issues for me related to switching include the loss of pre-recorded TV programs as previously mentioned, and the fact I have to reprogram my Logitech remotes. Also as mentioned, my network is now set up so that it's fairly easy to switch the modem hardware out. Rejigging the network in this context takes less than an hour, and I have a networked printer and scanner, two networked NASes (which communicate with each other for networked backups), and multiple WiFi access points.
Sr. Member
Jun 11, 2010
976 posts
498 upvotes
ottawa
I feel like I switch every year actually.

First was sticking with Bell, but they kept jacking rates, then went to Rogers for 50% off for 12 months and wouldn't continue the pricing so left to Fido for 50% off for 12 months, I'm guessing I'll have to jump to another provider in 9 months but we'll see.
EugW wrote:
Jan 7th, 2019 5:24 pm
The reason I switched in January 2017 is because there were good deals then. Same with Dec. 2018 / Jan. 2019. And for Rogers Ignite TV, some agents are claiming there will be new deals available in spring specifically for that. I'm not sure September is any better a time of year for promotions. The promotions seem to come at various times throughout the year.

Personally I've grown more and more impatient dealing with retentions. It actually sometimes takes longer and more effort to sit on the phone over multiple calls and negotiating with your existing provider than to simply switch completely for a deal I already know exists from a competitor. The biggest issues for me related to switching include the loss of pre-recorded TV programs as previously mentioned, and the fact I have to reprogram my Logitech remotes. Also as mentioned, my network is now set up so that it's fairly easy to switch the modem hardware out. Rejigging the network in this context takes less than an hour, and I have a networked printer and scanner, two networked NASes (which communicate with each other for networked backups), and multiple WiFi access points.
I agree - I got a modem to be able to quickly switch Internet providers and keep my DHCP and other settings intact and not rely on verifying if the modem the ISP provides has the correct settings.
[OP]
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
16413 posts
3498 upvotes
Toronto
After the switch to Rogers I had some signal strength and signal to noise ratio issues. They brought another tech back to my place and reconfigured the splitters, and things were good after that. I was using the Rogers modem as the router, but it turns out it's not 100% stable for me as a router, and also had compatibility issues with my existing AirPort Extreme access points.

Luckily the Rogers modem can be placed in true bridge mode, and I used my own Apple AirPort as the router. Now I have 100% stability and no compatibility issues. Doing these switches are quick and easy though, due to the way I've set up the network, as I've mentioned before. The only problem with Bell is that they support no true bridge mode with their Home Hub 3000. They allow PPPoE passthrough, but my existing equipment slows down dramatically if routing a PPPoE connection. IIRC I was getting closer to 600 Mbps. That said, I don't care, as I'd be happy with any download speed over about 250 Mbps.

The funny thing is Bell never contacted me again for a winback deal initially after I cancelled. It was several weeks after I had called in to cancel, and after I had already returned my equipment, before they sent me a letter to me asking me to call in try to work out a deal. Too late Bell. The time to negotiate is BEFORE I leave.

BTW, image quality on Rogers Digital TV is noticeably better than Bell Fibe TV on some channels. However, with Rogers Digital TV I lose the whole home PVR and cloud PVR features. I even lose the online PVR programming feature, which I used to have years ago, because Rogers has deactivated that feature, presumably to upsell people to Ignite TV which is cloud based. I was considering waiting to see what the Ignite TV promotions would be and if good would consider switching to that to get back those cloud features, but I won't do it now because I've heard that Ignite TV has many growing pains right now. Lots of people have TV outages for several hours at a time on Ignite TV, while Rogers Digital TV service functions fine in the same neighbourhoods at those times.
Deal Addict
Feb 16, 2012
1787 posts
577 upvotes
Toronto
I recently just had to call Rogers yesterday as my current promotions are set to expire and in April my price is going to jump up 70$ per month unless I do something.

Phone, tv and internet is what we have. Basically they said they can't do anything unless I switch to ignite tv.. then my monthly fees would stay about the same as they are now (instead of increase 70$ per month). Unfortunately there is a 149.99 installation charge for ignite tv.

Here is what pisses me off. On the website there is an offer "upgrade to ignite tv bundle, get a 150$ prepaid mastercard".. i.e. that would offset the installation charge and I would be happy. Offer Feb 28 to April 11 2019.

The first agent on the phone refused to waive the installation charge and insisted I would not be elligible for the prepaid MasterCard as that's for new customers only. The fine print on the website clearly includes "existing customers upgrading to ignite tv". Despite directing the agent to the text on their own website she still insisted we would not be elligible for the prepaid MasterCard.

They said if you have Rogers TV service, ignite tv is not considered an upgrade. It makes no sense as the website and the phone recording when calling in clearly say "existing digital TV customers upgrading to ignite tv"..

Anyway, later I tried a chat and the rep still insisted we would not be elligible for the prepaid card but was somehow able to waive 100$ off the installation fee. We took this offer but I'm still very disgusted with rogers' false advertising. I mean it wasn't vague. It's very clear English.

If the fine print didn't clearly include "existing digital tV customers upgrading to an ignite tv bundle" I wouldn't have cared. It clearly says

"New customers adding ignite tv service or existing digital TV customers upgrading to an ignite tv bundle"..

I even asked, do I currently have an ignite tv bundle? They responded no.

Then I asked, "am I a current Rogers digital TV customer?" They responded Yes.

So don't I fall into the category "existing digital TV customers upgrading to an ignite tv bundle"

And they said if you have Rogers digital TV service when you switch to ignite it is not considered an upgrade. The agents made no sense. If they don't want to consider that case why put that case on the site. It's clearly false advertising.
[OP]
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
16413 posts
3498 upvotes
Toronto
geogolem wrote:
Mar 7th, 2019 3:13 pm
I recently just had to call Rogers yesterday as my current promotions are set to expire and in April my price is going to jump up 70$ per month unless I do something.

Phone, tv and internet is what we have. Basically they said they can't do anything unless I switch to ignite tv.. then my monthly fees would stay about the same as they are now (instead of increase 70$ per month). Unfortunately there is a 149.99 installation charge for ignite tv.

Here is what pisses me off. On the website there is an offer "upgrade to ignite tv bundle, get a 150$ prepaid mastercard".. i.e. that would offset the installation charge and I would be happy. Offer Feb 28 to April 11 2019.

The first agent on the phone refused to waive the installation charge and insisted I would not be elligible for the prepaid MasterCard as that's for new customers only. The fine print on the website clearly includes "existing customers upgrading to ignite tv". Despite directing the agent to the text on their own website she still insisted we would not be elligible for the prepaid MasterCard.

They said if you have Rogers TV service, ignite tv is not considered an upgrade. It makes no sense as the website and the phone recording when calling in clearly say "existing digital TV customers upgrading to ignite tv"..

Anyway, later I tried a chat and the rep still insisted we would not be elligible for the prepaid card but was somehow able to waive 100$ off the installation fee. We took this offer but I'm still very disgusted with rogers' false advertising. I mean it wasn't vague. It's very clear English.

If the fine print didn't clearly include "existing digital tV customers upgrading to an ignite tv bundle" I wouldn't have cared. It clearly says

"New customers adding ignite tv service or existing digital TV customers upgrading to an ignite tv bundle"..

I even asked, do I currently have an ignite tv bundle? They responded no.

Then I asked, "am I a current Rogers digital TV customer?" They responded Yes.

So don't I fall into the category "existing digital TV customers upgrading to an ignite tv bundle"

And they said if you have Rogers digital TV service when you switch to ignite it is not considered an upgrade. The agents made no sense. If they don't want to consider that case why put that case on the site. It's clearly false advertising.
I wonder if they were just confused. BTW, I was told 2 months ago by an agent that come March, Digital TV subscribers would like be eligible for some of the Ignite TV bundle promotions, and I just checked the website and it shows just what you said:

Offer available February 28, 2019 to April 11, 2019 or while supplies last, within Rogers Ignite TV and cable service area in Ontario (where technology permits) to (i) new customers activating an eligible Rogers Ignite bundle, (ii) existing Internet customers adding an eligible Ignite TV tier, (iii) existing Digital TV customers upgrading to an Ignite TV bundle and (iv) wireless only customers.

The only thing I can see that isn't specifically addressed is those on a Digital TV bundle upgrading to a Ignite TV bundle. Maybe the fine print means you can only upgrade from TV alone to bundle, not bundle to bundle.
Deal Addict
Feb 16, 2012
1787 posts
577 upvotes
Toronto
EugW wrote:
Mar 7th, 2019 7:25 pm
I wonder if they were just confused. BTW, I was told 2 months ago by an agent that come March, Digital TV subscribers would like be eligible for some of the Ignite TV bundle promotions, and I just checked the website and it shows just what you said:

Offer available February 28, 2019 to April 11, 2019 or while supplies last, within Rogers Ignite TV and cable service area in Ontario (where technology permits) to (i) new customers activating an eligible Rogers Ignite bundle, (ii) existing Internet customers adding an eligible Ignite TV tier, (iii) existing Digital TV customers upgrading to an Ignite TV bundle and (iv) wireless only customers.

The only thing I can see that isn't specifically addressed is those on a Digital TV bundle upgrading to a Ignite TV bundle. Maybe the fine print means you can only upgrade from TV alone to bundle, not bundle to bundle.
If you call and ask about it. They won't address what it says. They'll just talk as though what it says doesn't matter. Even if you make them read it to you themselves.

If it was ambiguous at least one could tell them they should clarify it.

In straight up English it is very clear in this case. There are no exclusions as someone with an existing bundle looking to get an ignite bundle clearly falls into the category of "existing digital tv customer upgrading to ignite the bundle"

It's very clear English. But it's almost impossible to get anybody to either (A) acknowledge and honour the deal as advertised or (b) admit there is an error that needs to be resolved. It's not an ambiguity or unspecific. It's actually very clear and specific.
Deal Addict
Feb 16, 2012
1787 posts
577 upvotes
Toronto
They couldn't have been confused either. The second agent I spoke to starting talking to me as though I was trying to scam Rogers because the first person I talked to already gave me the answer. I was really pissed off about it lol. because they wouldn't acknowledge or take responsibility for anything. They would say things in direct contradiction to the website.

It's not the first time I've run into issues with Rogers advertising certain things and not honouring them despite clearly meeting all the requirements and giving no real explanation why the deal was advertised in the first place. It's just bad customer service to gave a promotion like that and exclude a customer for arbitrary reasons.

If it said "new customers only"... I'm used to that.. I might make a remark about how they treat their existing customers poorly compared to new customers but that would be it .. it wouldn't bother me as much as this situation where there is no reason they should not be honouring the deal.
Deal Addict
Feb 16, 2012
1787 posts
577 upvotes
Toronto
Well, the installation happened on March 13th. It seemed to go without a hitch. We called to confirm immediately after the installation that 100$ of the $150 installation fee would be waived, as promised. They confirmed it.

On March 20th the bill came out, and it did not have any of the installation fee waived and despite the installer taking the old modem/cable box, it appears as though we have been charged for both the old tv/phone/internet service, as well as the ignite tv/phone/internet service.

We called in, and they are in the process of fixing it, hopefully they will in the next few days .. otherwise we will have to call in again.

Also noticed, that ROGERS website changed the fine print for the prepaid mastercard with exactly the changes discussed in this thread.

Its good that the fine print now corresponds to what they are actually offering, but it kind of irritates me, that they refused to honor what was printed when I initially tried to sign up for the deal on March 7th nor would they even acknowledge that the website had a mistake. lol.. oh well, that is ROGERS for you. I prefer them over BELL because when there are severe billing issues etc. it is usually possible to get them resolved after a phone call (sometimes a few).

My experience with BELL in the far far past, was worse, as it was difficult to find someone via the phone who could actually resolve the issues since most of their call centers are in the Phillipines etc. Once with BELL, I just kept getting bounced all over the place and it took almost forever to eventually find someone who could resolve the problem.

Generally with ROGERS - once things are up and running, they are fine but I find changes to be always difficult with telecoms - one must always watch the bill closely to make sure everything is done correctly.

The good thing about the IGNITE bundle - is that it is not a contract, nor is it a "special deal".. i.e. in a year the price wont be changing. (i.e.it could change, but what I mean is, we currently aren't on a promotional price that will expire in a year. We are just with the regular 149.99 ignite popular bundle with 150Mbps internet and homephone)

It has been a pain calling in every year, to renegotiate or try and keep the same services without an increase of like 60 -80$.

This year, they said there was nothing they could do, and that the services we had would increase about 70$ once the promotions expires in April; however, by switching to this IGNITE bundle our price remains about what it was before with about the same level of service (actually higher level), so it will work out ok, once the billing fiascos are resolved.

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