Toronto Dude - TekSavvy Reliability

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September 16th, 2012


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10:37 pm - TekSavvy Reliability
Few months ago I was thinking about switching my ISP from Rogers to TekSavvy, the premise seemed unresistable, ditch Rogers who loves to charge its customers an arm and leg and keep offering a service that is years behind while charging for overages over a quota that is simply not enough for today's average internet user. On the other hand TekSavvy, a young company who is giving excellent value for the money.

While on the surface that seemed great, the actual experience is far from. The essence of the issue is reliability! I had to go through the whole switch over process only to realize that the TekSavvy reliability is an overlooked metric. Not because they have poor customer service, or because they have subpar network, their problem is actually caused by Rogers themselves!

It is a know fact that TekSavvy actually doesn't own the network, they are simply a reseller for cable and DSL, but what I didn't know was the actual logistics involved between the reseller and the company providing the service, and in my case... it was Rogers.


What happened was that switching from one provider to another caused me an internet outage of over a week, and this was caused by the fact that Rogers just didn't want to cooperate. The SLA governing the relationship mandated a response within 48 hours, but guess what? Rogers always responded in the last minute. Obviously, their intention is to annoy the TekSavvy customer as much as they can till they feel they are getting less of a service. In my case, it was a modem activation issue, which Rogers claimed that I needed a tech visit to activate. Having done this many times, I know for a fact that a modem can be activated within minutes remotely, all they needed was commision the new modem on their network. But Rogers insisted that a tech was required, and this was all after the activation date, and then offering an appointment date few days after their response. This meant that I had to lose internet for more than the week of back and forth that I already lost. I spoke with the TekSavvy customer service and they said that they basically had no power to correct this problem, although they acknoledged that the issue can be fixed remotely. They are basically at the mercy of Rogers. Unfortunately, I discovered that I wasn't alone on this, a friend of mine had the exact problem, I wish I asked him before the switch.
What this means is that TekSavvy customers are second rate customers who not only rely on two companies, they are getting the worst Rogers customer service experience possible that meets the 48 SLA rules. This made me think that even if I did weather the 10 days downtime opon switch, any problem with the connection in the future meant that I would receive the same poor service from Rogers, which is a big red flag.
So I decided to cancel my TekSavvy switch and went back to Rogers, and sure enough, it only took 10 minutes to activate the modem without needing a tech visit!

So should you switch to TekSavvy? It depends, I wouldn't. But if you use internet as a secondary service and don't care if you had downtime for a while you can certainly save some. If you on the other hand consider internet an essential service, think elsewhere


(10 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 12th, 2012 03:26 pm (UTC)

Consumerism

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Hi, while I do understand your need to have reliable internet, at some point I hope more consumers like you, chose to weather the storm. I appreciate your candidness about the fact that Rogers is intentionally providing terrible service to you indirectly. As a consumer, it could be wise to not go back to a company that is monopolizing an industry, like Rogers or Bell, to show them that you also have some say in how they run things.

I'm with a second tier ISP and for me, its worth it. My ISP's internet runs really well, and I don't feel as if I am losing out with my speed, my monthly rate or the huge amount of monthly data I get.
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From:torontodude
Date:October 13th, 2012 03:42 am (UTC)

Re: Consumerism

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While I understand your point, I don't think the is the appropriate way to handle it.
It is TekSavvy's responsibility to defend its customers. When Rogers responds with intentional poor service TekSavvy needs to step up and fight for their own customers. Especially when it is obviously a blatant tactic like activating a modem which Rogers can do over the phone. So in a sense, part of the reliability is TekSavvy's inability to defend their own customers.
Being a passive reseller of internet might have its benefits, but to me the most important aspect is most reliability and I don't mind paying more if that's the only way to get it.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:April 19th, 2013 04:25 am (UTC)

Re: Consumerism

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What a lame response. You acknowledge that rogers is intentionally trying to stifle competition. Which makes the consumer pay more. Yet you blame teksavvy, when they have absultely no control over the situation, then recommend that people just pay rogers for "reliability". We're not talking about pennies here, we are talking about $20 - $50 per month per user for the same crtc mandated service.Even the crtc isn't as crooked as you.
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From:torontodude
Date:April 19th, 2013 06:39 am (UTC)

Re: Consumerism

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Expensive is in the eyes of the beholder. Some people buy Apple products because they know if something goes bad you can easily walk into an Apple store and have it replaced on the spot. Yes, you might actually do more things with a different brand but you pay for the convenience. Others buy 20,000 cars or even 100,000, you can also buy a $500 beater that takes you from point A-B but it might breakdown too. It really depends on how valuable your time is and what a disruption means to you. To me, losing internet for 1 day is a big deal, let alone for a whole week.

I am not saying that Rogers is right, in fact I have an entire posting about how they suck, but if you want to compete don't make your customers second rate citizens, TekSavvy needs to standup for their own customers, and they don't. That to me is a deal breaker, you cannot tell your customers, "well sorry, we don't control our service because we simply rent the infrastructure and rent the tech support from our competitor who is trying everything they can to give you a horrible service".
If TekSavvy cannot get their customers better service they need to go back to CRTC and demand more power, or build their own network.

Finally, there is no need to insult me on my blog, you don't even know me.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 23rd, 2013 05:23 pm (UTC)

Re: Consumerism

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Sony has stores all over the place. The cell provider the phone was bought from likely has stores all over the place. All will answer questions and both will replace/repair hardware as necessary. More than likely, your cell provider has significantly more stores than any specific brand as they're "local". It's actually more inconvenient because you have to drive halfway across town to get to a branded store for most people (i.e. Eaton's, Fairview, Yorkdale vs Rogers stores in all major malls, and dozens of smaller malls -- probably within a block of where ever you are)

Most people pay the premium because it's a fashion item, "because everyone else is doing it", they don't know any better, or don't care.

Teksavvy can't stand up to Rogers, especially without a "critical mass" of users. Google "Dropbox banned from app store" and you'll see a small company trying to simply say "subscribe from web, it's cheaper!". Without people to say "this is enough", the net effect of their attempted protest is Dropbox being banned from the store and nothing changing. Now, imagine if there was a mass migration of users from that platform to another...

Either way, if I were to switch and Internet were absolutely important to me, I'd arrange for an alternate source. Phone tethering (especially with LTE and a large data plan), getting DSL temporarily, mobile "data sticks", renting a neighbour's wifi are all options if it's absolutely critical.
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From:torontodude
Date:July 24th, 2013 03:55 pm (UTC)

Re: Consumerism

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Not entirely true actually. I have had iPhones break and also my Android broke. My iPhone was fixed in less than 30 minutes, walked into an Apple Store they replaced it with no questions asked, and I left with a brand new phone.
I had to take my Android to the nearest cell provider store, they took it and said they need to assess the damage, kept it for a week then called me to tell me that my phone needed $300 worth of repair, so I told them that I don't want it fixed, I can pay a little bit more to get a brand new phone instead of spending all this money on this phone.
There simply is no other smartphone brand that has the same service as Apple, even Sony, which has stores all over the place they will not replace your phone within 30 minutes. I am not known to follow others because it is fashion, far from it in fact. It really comes down to how much is that inconvenience worth to you? Different people value their time differently that's it.

As for arranging alternative source, my point is not really only about the move, of course I had an alternate source, but of course all those alternate source don't have enough bandwidth.
The main reason for me dumping TekSavvy wasn't the problem during the switch, but rather the worry that if something goes wrong with our line again at some point in the future, which does happen, I would be put in the same spot again with Rogers putting all obstacles they can.
And if I had to keep an alternate source the whole time, just because TekSavvy's reliability is hostage to Rogers that really speaks to the point of this article, which is "TechSavvy Relability"! I would basically have to for an extra service I don't need, because I refuse to pay premium for the service that is more reliable.

Anyway, the point here is that it is TeckSavvy's problem that they have an unreliable service, and even if it wasn't the fault of their technical team, it is still the fault of the business, that they make their service hostage to Rogers, they need to fight them in court and get better SLAs than what they now have. They make millions of dollars and have millions of subscribers, they are not the little guy anymore.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 28th, 2013 12:18 am (UTC)

Re: Consumerism

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I am with independent ISP for about 3 years now and while this is true -- initial switch takes time, I don't think I had any Internet outages during this time, and I really enjoy unlimited bandwidth and 30 MBits download speed for $45/month -- the deal you will never get from a mainstream ISP. And I do feel great that my money support competition.

If downtime is a big issue for you then don't cancel Rogers internet until your new modem is activated.
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From:torontodude
Date:August 29th, 2013 02:19 pm (UTC)

Re: Consumerism

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That's great that you didn't have any issues. Unfortunately that wasn't my experience.
It is important to understand that your current ISP does not provide the infrastructure, so if something goes wrong (e.g your line gets busted) and they need to send a tech to check things, your ISP will have very little to do with it, and it is all Rogers that will handle it from there on, and they will do everything in their power to make things terrible for you. This should be illegal, but we (as consumers) can't fight that fight, the providers have far much power to fight for you as they are the ones that benefit the most when you switch.

As for getting a great deal, you can always get good deals from Rogers, but you have to do the silly dance every year to get the deal.

As for cancellation, unless you are switching from cable to DSL or vice versa, you have to de-activate the older service first before they process your new request (that's what the independent providers tell you anyway)

Again, I really don't like rogers or Bell for that matter, but sadly they have really created a very unfair and anti-competitive market, and unless absolute reliability is not an issue for you, you are at their mercy when you switch elsewhere.
I am really hoping that Verizon manages to win in a couple of months, and end this ridiculous situation.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:September 30th, 2013 05:38 pm (UTC)

Re: Consumerism

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TorontoDude, this is exactly my experience and I am switching back to Rogers, with a heavy heart. But until Teksavvy or others get the actual hold on their wires, there is nothing we can do.

Thanks for sharing your experience.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:April 2nd, 2014 09:47 pm (UTC)

Cannot agree more. TekSavvy reliability is the worst. Stay from it.

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I had a similar painful experience. Switched from Rogers to TekSavvy and purchased a new modem. In a single year I had more than 4 incidents that kept me disconnected for a few days each time. Rogers was always the scape goat, so for each one of my issues, TekSavvy deflected the issue to Rogers opening a ticket as described above. Same experience as above, Rogers was just not cooperating or rather sabotaging operations. Anyway, I switched to another provider and I'm quite happy with the move. Stay away from TekSavvy... Cheap doesn't need to be unreliable... In this case IT IS.

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