TELUS vs Shaw – My Experiences One Year Later

I posted a blog entry in June 2010 that I was looking to switch from Shaw to TELUS as my ‘bundle’ service provider.  At the time, TELUS was offering a new Fibre optic based service to a near proximity of residences which promised to provide the ultimate experience for Internet and HD digital television viewing experience.

I switched to TELUS as Shaw at the time was not willing to be competitive in the marketplace and didn’t view TELUS as a strong competitor in this area.  That view changed within two months as they responded by offering very competitive ‘Don’t leave’ incentive packages.  Regardless, I made the decision to switch an in July of 2010 I welcomed TELUS into my home and had their Internet, TV and home phone service installed.

Overall throughout the year, I have been mostly satisfied with the service.  In the beginning couple of months, the Internet was rocking!  I was obtaining greater than 25Mbps download speeds and everything was very responsive.  My family was very happy as they could all be on the Internet and access any services they wished such as Netflix, AppleTV movies, etc. without any lag or bandwidth issues.

One year later and I am shocked to say that the honeymoon is over.  In the year, I have experienced four system outages where their set top box (Cisco IPTV) required a complete hard reset which also required that the DSL modem and Ethernet switch also be rebooted.  The TELUS support representative did not have any explanation other than to say that this happens sometimes with the only resolution being a complete reboot of everything.  Further surprise came today when I received my most recent TELUS bill.  Let me first say that I subscribe to quite a few HD TV packs.  Not for my entertainment, but rather to provide choice and options for my family.  So, over time the TELUS services became more than I originally envisioned but it was still very competitive and reasonable.  Back to the TELUS bill that arrived today.  For unexplained reasons the cost of my services inexplicably increased by approximately $80/mth!  Where I was getting a 12 month “welcome to TELUS” discount for my Internet and Optik TV packages, TELUS is now charging me not only the unsubsidized pricing but are applying a surcharge for both services.  Suffice it to say, TELUS… you got some explaining to do.

I went through the scenario of comparing TELUS to Shaw again tonight and of course, being in a competitive and non-monopolistic market, Shaw has evolved and provides many more attractive options.  You can now get a standard Internet package which provides 50Mbps download speed.  I am currently experiencing approximately 15Mbps on my TELUS service.  All in, Shaw is now showing that for an equally configured subscription of services, they are quite favourably lower cost.  The only negative factor is that you can not watch PVR content at all television sets.  TELUS with the Optik TV service and more specifically with the Cisco IPTV set top boxes let the content on the PVR be displayed on any IPTV set top box.  Shaw utilizes a different technology which does not provide a ‘networked’ set top box environment.

I am looking again.. I’m sad to say.  I’m thankful that I did not commit to a contract and kept my options open.

About Grant Fengstad

I’m a technology professional in the travel and transportation sector and have been very involved with the Internet for over 20 years.