I was really impressed with the comments and discussion when a post on VOIP services (and specifically Vonage) generated a lively discussion last year. Along similar lines, I’d be very interested in what people have been using for their ISP in Canada, especially anyone based in Ontario.
I used Bell years ago, and without fail they messed up everything they had the chance to mess up. Recently a man called me asking what it would take to get me back at Bell. I told him straight-up that I didn’t believe anything Bell offered me, so there wasn’t really any way they could get me back (which seemed to be the right answer as it got me off the cell phone quickly). A friend in Toronto got a similar call where the woman was VERY hard sell trying to get her to switch from Rogers to Bell. After my friend asked if she could review the numbers and call back if she wanted Bell’s offer (the answer was no, she had to accept immediately) I figured that Bell is the same old company it has always been, despite how they keep claiming they’ve changed.
I’ve been happy overall with Rogers, but the one thing they do that’s driving me nuts is that they’ve started charging a “usage overage fee” (basically a bandwidth cap that you get charged per gigabyte if you exceed). The fee itself doesn’t really bother me, but they snuck it into their service (after I purchased “unlimited Internet” I don’t like that they’ve suddenly and quietly changed it to “very limited Internet”). It’s also no fun checking every day what your usage is to make sure you aren’t using up your monthly allotment too quickly.
Recently I’ve gotten to the point that I’m ready for a change.
Most of the small ISPs are Bell re-sellers, which basically uses the same technology Bell uses, but you interact with another company. I’ve dealt with a number of these over the years, and they’re ok for the most part, but inevitably problems seem to come up that they blame on Bell (and Bell blames on the re-seller), which from a customer’s perspective gets annoying in a hurry too.
I was originally going to sign up with “Yak” when I moved to Waterloo, but they had this stupid policy that you have to set up your home phone with them, THEN you can sign up for Internet with them (and they’ll be delivered in 2 installation trips). This was silly enough that I decided not to do business with them.
I used Primus for my home phone / Internet years ago and at the time I didn’t have any complaints with them. I switched to Vonage for a cheaper price and regretted it.
Teksavvy has come up a few times when I’ve been researching ISPs and is supposedly good, but I’ve never talked to anyone who is actually their customer.
One thing Rogers claims about Bell (and their re-sellers) is that they supposedly have a hidden cap as well, above which your speed suddenly slows down dramatically. So instead of charging you when you exceed their cap, they just slow your transfers to a crawl. Has anyone experienced this or know enough to verify / disprove it?
I’m currently paying about $70 / month for Internet and phone (before usage fees and long distance charges, last month’s bill was $100 which prompted this post). I’m willing to pay this rate ($70), ideally without a transfer cap. Unlimited long distance (within Canada is good, to the US as well is even better) would be gravy.
What is your phone / Internet plan? What company is it with? How much are you paying and how happy have you been with the service?
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