Getting a Better Deal on Your Internet: Because You Deserve Better!

“As someone who is a fan of technology, you are likely unimpressed with your internet provider (unless you live in an internet paradise like South Korea or something). This makes sense because, although developments with regards to the internet have been advancing at an astonishing pace the infrastructure to support those developments hasn’t been leaping forward in quite the same fashion.

A few months ago, I started looking at different internet options to replace my current internet provider Shaw (a Canadian telecommunications company). Now, it wasn’t that the internet from Shaw was especially offensively bad. It’s just that we were paying them $60/month and there were equivalent options at around $35 or $40 a month. So, I did the research, found that Teksavvy, a smaller, but reliable, provider, offered the same speeds for $20 less per month. This would mean that we would have to purchase or rent a new modem to be able to use their service but it would pay for itself over 3 or 4 months.

Armed with this information I called Shaw and informed them of my predicament. I like Shaw and I like the service they provide and they’ve always been good with customer service. So I told them that, but I also told them that they were simply too expensive as compared  to the competition. After some maneuvering, with myself consistently conveying the message that we would switching providers if they didn’t offer us a better detail, I was able to secure a $15/month discount for the duration of a year in order for them to keep our service. A few months later, I was able to get a boost to our upload speed by showing them that an equivalent plan from Telus had the same download speed but a much higher upload speed and there was no way for us to get the same upload without going to a much more expensive tier. Shaw, ever reasonable, gave us the upload speed boost without charging us the higher price.

Now, how can you attempt to produce the same results? I know many of you live in America where, in many cases, you are lucky if you have even two, awful choices to choose from. But, if you do have alternatives, it’s worth giving these pointers a shot.

  • Do your research and find out if there are other options out there that would give you better value than your current arrangement with your provider. Ideally, these alternatives are a little bit more robust than a bearded man travelling in a beat-up van and stitching you into your neighbor’s with some frayed wiring.
  • Once you’ve done your research on the alternatives, consider what it would entail for if you were to switch (like for us, a consideration was the loss of the Shaw Open WiFi service). Try and reach a state of mind where you are actually ready to switch providers if need be (otherwise you’ll be a lot less convincing over the phone).
  • Call in over the phone ( I found that this is much more effective than attempting to negotiate a discount over an instant chat) and present your facts and situation to the representative calmly and politely (belligerency is unlikely to get you anywhere productive).
  • Hear them out on their pitch (which they’ll try to do to convince you to give up). Continue to insist that you will switch unless offered a matching, or close to matching, deal.
  • You may be transferred to retention where you will have to present your case and facts again.
  • Complete your final presentation of facts and hopefully they’ll have heard you out and will offer to bring you to parity with the other options you presented. It will likely help if you’ve had a decent history with the company and have been a good customer over the years.
  • Pat yourself on the back! You’ve done your own little bit to contribute to a more competitive ecosystem.

Check back on Wednesday for a comparison of internet providers in Vancouver. That’s all for now. Have a pezant day!

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