Doing What it Takes… for our customers

Recently we’ve had a number of issues relating to delayed installations and customers offline for extended periods of time.  Frankly we are upset that we haven’t been able to provide the level of service that you have come to expect from us, and that we expect from ourselves.  We want you to know that we have our legal counsel, and the CRTC on it.

In the past 2 months we’ve had strong sales!  Which is amazing!  Our customer service center was staffed appropriately, the phones were beefed up. We were ready!  There was one factor we didn’t account for, vendor delays and outages.  Vendor delays and vendor network outages have impacted our customer service experience and have resulted in a much larger than expected volume of calls.  You may have been one of those who have experienced long wait times, delayed installations, extended outages, or delayed modem swaps.  While we were ready for our projected sales and technical support calls, we did not anticipate the ongoing vendor delays coupled with vendor network outages which have inflated our call volumes.

Normally when we sign you up we submit the request to the vendor along with information to get you connected.  The same process works for customers who request or need changes to their network profile.   Currently and in recent weeks the vendor has been taking longer than usual to complete these installations, profile changes and other repairs.

Behind the scenes we have been actively working with the vendor, legal counsel and the CRTC to get this fixed.  While the vendor continues work on its network, in the last week, the vendor has been responding to our new tickets more quickly, and started giving us ETA’s for individual issue resolution.  Unfortunately they are still significantly behind and there continues to be vendor network outages.  Together, we are currently working through the backlog of tickets, and we expect to be back to our normal service levels soon, not withstanding any more vendor network outages.

We are very concerned about our customers, old and new, and want you to know that we are taking this matter very seriously.  We need to ensure that these types of delays and poor service levels don’t happen again.  We have brought our concerns to both the CRTC and our incumbent partners, with the intent to pursue action preventing prolonged issues like this from happening in the future.

The events of these past few weeks have clearly identified flaws in the current wholesale model.  The model needs to be fixed.  We need a better structure to ensure that we can service our customers the way that they deserve.  We are working with other ISPs who have experienced similar service issues and plan to address the matter more formally with the CRTC in the weeks ahead.  We pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service, and we will do what it takes to ensure we are able to maintain our standards in the future.

In the meantime we have a quick fix to get those customers most seriously affected back online.  Courtesy of WIND Mobile and TekSavvy, we made a limited number of mobile hotspots and data sticks available for loan for up to 30 days with unlimited data.

Sincerely,

Marc – CEO TekSavvy

*Fair usage policy and terms of service apply www.windmobile.ca/fairusage, www.windmobile.ca/terms.  For more information on WIND Mobile Internet Plans –  http://www.windmobile.ca/en/Pages/data-plans.aspx

44 thoughts on “Doing What it Takes… for our customers

  1. mjbad2

    I am customer for last 3 years. Not much problems. As long as cable is good your connection is good is my experience.

    But I am not happy with what is going on with TS. When I joined almost 3 years ago it was same. Long delays in phone replies, Customer service and we got the same response like we are getting now. Then few months back I ordered new modem from TS and changed speed. No problems whatsoever.
    I had no reason t move to TS till Rogers increased the prices as Rogers was as stable or intermittent as TS can be. Whenever the problem faced t was with Rogers so nothing TS can do about that.

    And that is where the problem lies. You can not have CRTC to MAKE Rogers to have small ISP to create business using Rogers/Bell and other major providers. And then again go to CRTC to help them again.
    Then what? You become a real competitor for Rogers and Bell and then what? How TS going to solve the problem is Rogers/ell and others cut their prices? How can they (TS)compete?

    “The events of these past few weeks have clearly identified flaws in the current wholesale model. The model needs to be fixed. ”

    CRTC is not gong o fix the problems. It is TS who can solve.
    TS get out of Rogers/Bell basement have your own network you control the destiny. No more blame game and going to CRTC for help. How long TS is going to look at CRTC for help them every step on the way?

    Reply
    1. Nathaniel

      Building Infrastructure duplicate/better infrastructure now is going much more expensive than it was when Rogers put it’s lines in when the roads were being built.

      The road I live on would be incredibly difficult to start laying cable/fiber under for instance.

      Reply
    2. Kevin Driedger

      Getting infrastructure is the best way to move things forward. In Listowel, Ontario they are laying fiber. surely there are places that TS could lay fibre. This surely would show the incumbents.

      Reply
  2. Steven Look-Hong

    Teksavvy still down here in North London. Called tech services and they made me do the whole unplug modem and cable dance. Then the lady said because my software version was supposedly out of date, she can’t enter my ticket under the master ticket. Then untop of that, because my software version was supposedly out date, they can’t issue a refund and I still have to pay for all of the days the Internet service was and still will be down. P.S. My modem works just fine but it’s not purchased from teksavvy. Been working the entire time with them…. Now from my understanding, when someone says they’re gonna take my money, without me getting a “product” or “service” in return, is called theft, and the last person that stole from me things didn’t end well. Teksavvy…… I’m quite disappointed with the outcome of that phonecall. And obviously won’t be paying from this point forward and cancelling this service. The phonecall was at 9:30pm when I spoke to the tech lady.

    Reply
    1. Pir8pete

      Steven Look-Hong; there’s 2 things you can do to get that service ticket going. Either just tell them you have the right version, or contact me or one of the appropriate people in your area that will upgrade your modem’s firmware for you. my ad can me found on Kijiji search SB6120 or SB6121

      I hate to see people stuck like this, it’s not right, forced to buy new hardware while loosing days of have no connection.

      Reply
    2. TSI Andre

      Hi there,

      Unfortunately, if the modem firmware is not in spec, our vendor will refuse a ticket. The issue in London seems to be wide spread and we hope to have a resolutions shortly.

      The information we request to open a ticket is information we are asked for. Sometimes it may be tedious but it helps us have visibility before deeming a tech is needed.

      Andre

      Reply
    3. Anonymoose

      Guess what Steven, internet service IS rocket science and if you insist on bringing YOUR OWN ROCKET, then you damn well better know how to fix it.

      If YOU can’t be bothered to make YOUR equipment compliant with the network, then YOU get no refund. You want to cheap out on everything until it breaks, then it’s someone else’s fault not your own right?

      Reply
  3. Rob

    The issue for me is not so much the internet itself, but the lack of service in responding to support calls and emails. One colleague canceled and went with Bell, another STILL has no internet because no one will come fix (in the same area).

    My own net is slow and I still haven’t gotten support after 8 days.

    Reply
  4. marti garaughty

    Unfortunately my internet connection has been sporadic at best. Since last Wednesday I’ve been unable to use my DSL service for 95+% of the time. I can’t get anyone on the line at TekSavvy tech support, my emails have gone unanswered and my modem is still showing no internet signal.

    I’m tired of running to neighbors and friends to use the net. I was your biggest fan and supporter for the past few years, recommending your service to as many people as I could and now I’m just incredibly frustrated, looking for a new ISP and will be expecting a refund in full for my latest invoice.

    If you can’t provide service paid for, you shouldn’t expect us to pay invoices received.

    Reply
  5. AKFubar

    Great blog post Marc! That’s the Teksavvy I know and love. Putting your incumbent supplier on notice on behalf of your customers is the right thing to do on so many levels. I know how frustrating it can be sometimes to deal with single source suppliers. Keep up the fight. What your doing to fix this is what distinguishes Teksavvy from all the rest.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  6. Rav

    The comments, in my opinion, show the various types of customers TSI has. Some want a good deal but won’t put up with poor service. Some want TSI to succeed and are willing to stick it out. I am one of these customers. I always promote Teksavvy cable and a friend of mine is in the process of switching to TSI cable from another vendor’s DSL. I hope he does not get effected by these problems. He is our news letter editor and an Internet outage could be a major problem. I’m the webmaster for a charity TVTA.ca and I’ve been without Internet since Thursday. My birthday was on this weekend and could not Facetime with family. My father is visiting from the US and can’t get his email, news and ebooks.

    I finding it telling that TSI is able to resell Internet service from a wholesaler at a better price than the wholesaler’s own retail arm. This just shows that the incumbents are capable of providing to service at significantly cheaper rates but choose not to. Worse they now appear to be trying to undermine in dependant operators. The CBC news post was interesting where a customer called the incumbent to complain and was lured away from TSI.

    Reply
  7. William

    If only you had done this so that I would have had internet for the last week I might be happy, instead I’m guessing we get these sticks close to the day our internet finally gets set up

    Reply
  8. Kyle S

    This is great news. It brings a smile to my face when I read that two small yet amazing companies are coming together to overcome and issues caused by the giants in this country.

    Keep up the great work!

    Reply
  9. Al

    Just wanted to say despite the doom and gloom some are suffering, parts of the network are running nicely. I’ve not experienced any issues or slow downs here in Guelph so hopefully when Rogers/Bell pull the finger out of their a__ everyone can be back up to speed.

    Reply
  10. Jade

    TS have always been an excellent provider for us, and we love and support them to this day. I think that this statement from their CEO only confirms what a great company they are for admitting their flaws and trying to find quick fixes for their customers. This is why we switched from Rogers and why we continue to be happy TS customers who recommend you wherever we can.

    Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  11. Kienan V

    I’ve been with teksavvy almost a whole year (sign up anniversary is first week of october). In that time, i think i had ONE issue with the service, and it was a problem with the Rogers network, not something directly related to Teksavvy at all. I have also helped 4 or 5 friends switch over – both cable and DSL customers all over the GTA. All of them are extremely happy with their service so far, and so am I. thanks for providing us with another choice for our services!

    Reply
  12. AK

    It was Teksavvy’s recent issues that led me to signing up with another company. Too little, too late in my case unfortunately.

    Reply
  13. Victoria

    I’ve been with Teksavvy since 2009. The only problems I’ve ever had were very occasional service outages due to infrastructure problems, so not their fault. I was previously with Bell (Lite) and I couldn’t even understand the bill they would send me – I just knew it was way higher than the price I thought I was going to pay. In four years with Teksavvy, there’s never been a billing issue. THAT is huge.

    I did notice the delays in phone replies this past week and that was super frustrating. I was trying to move my service to a new address and it took two days to finally get someone on the line. Once I did, that person was polite and helpful, so that was nice. Recent issues aside, I’ll be sticking with Teksavvy for as long as possible because I want them to succeed. Good work guys!

    Reply
  14. Warren B

    All of August 16th and 17th and on the 18th until just after noon I went without Internet service and I work from home, doing the kind of work that requires an internet connection. I would have packed up and traveled to work somewhere else had I had any idea of how long it was going to be. I can’t remember any time that service was out for so long. Sure it wasn’t your fault, it was the vendor. That I can comprehend. I know you’re trying to do business in a system you had no part in designing. Whatever the reason, I’m paying for something that I’m not getting, but what really bothered me about that outage (and others from what I read on Twitter and in forums) was the lack of transparency. When I have no service, I don’t want to be asked to troubleshoot when nothing has changed in my setup to cause the issue and you know the vendors are messing around with their equipment. And I don’t want to hear that in order to be credited for the downtime, I need to jump through a bunch of hoops. Every time I call in, especially over the past year, there’s been a ridiculous wait time. I’ve called in the evening after getting home from work and waited in the queue for a half hour before hanging up. Call in the day and there’s an option to be called back, so why isn’t this available at night? The only way to get a response, I learned during the August downtime, was to use Twitter because the public would see if there was no reply.

    Today I received my Virgin Mobile bill and there is $40 in charges for iPad data after tethering with my laptop on the 16th so I could send work-related emails, upload files and look online and see what was going on with your service. I’ve had to figure out issues at my current address in the past when signal power threw my modem out of sync off and on for months and I had hoped to find a solution for this outage too. I didn’t open a ticket, ‘cause the issue wasn’t going to be helped by a technician being sent to my house. I knew the service would be back up whenever your vendor was good and ready to turn it back on. There are likely a lot of recent customers who signed up because of the advertising and they want cheaper service, but the other type of customer, like myself, joined back in the day because we were fed up with what was going on in the market and we wanted something different. Excuse the pun, but we’re a little more savvy than the usual customer and understand more than the basics. Having us run through the troubleshooting script with customer service over the phone to keep us busy until the service comes back on isn’t the way to keep our trust or respect. Your staff told me that my signal was perfect, based on the signal stats, implying there was nothing wrong with the service when I was getting T3 errors.

    I’m moving soon and ready to try someone new because I’m so tired of the work involved in having TekSavvy; filling in support form emails, forwarding screenshots of the modem config pages and signal stats, paying a third-party for modem firmware upgrades, buying DC taps/splitters and cables in the hope that they fix my signal issues. I don’t think that being a customer should involve this much work.

    Reply
  15. Bahero

    We’ve had TSI for almost a year now. I called to move our services to new address in August and I was told it was going to be here by the 1st of September. Nothing came. No one cared to call or email me and tell me what was going on. I had to keep calling in and then I was told to wait until either the 16,17,18 of September. Nothing came today neither was there any call to tell me why. We always like to support small companies but when you don’t live up to your words let alone call and notify us of any delays, we are bound to switch. Tomorrow will be the last day I wait for your services to switch overseeing that it has been 16 days from the original date given to me. If I don’t have service that I need by 11am today, 17th September 2013, then I might as well call your vendor and sign up with them.

    Reply
  16. Anthony C

    I have been a TekSavvy customer for several years and have been quite happy with the service. However, when I recently decided to switch from Cable to DSL it was an exercise in total frustration. It took 3 weeks to get my DSL service working and in the end I was the one who figured out what the problem was and fixed it. 5 different techs were dispatched to fix the problem and despite my efforts to detail the problem and spending many many hours on the phone speaking to various techs and having to take time off to be home for the ridiculously large service windows I was left with non functional DSL service. After being told that I could not cancel the order and would not be getting a refund I went out to the Bell box and found the wiring issue that was causing the problem. After complaining on Twitter I spoke to someone higher up who got me a paltry one month of free service for my trouble. I should have sent them a bill for my time. :( I am happy that TekSavvy is trying to address the issue and the Wind offer is a good way of providing service while tech issues are being sorted, but more responsibility needs to be taken on by Teksavvy. The CRTC will not fix this. Improper installs need to be better dealt with. Why should I have to go back into the queue if my scheduled install was not completed properly? These should take priority over new installs. Service windows also need to be smaller. A 2 hour window is reasonable. Taking a day off waiting for a tech who may or may not come is not. I used to happily recommend TSI to anyone and everyone looking for service, but this issue has given me some pause and I always warn them of possible install issues if they ask me about TSI. I sincerely hope that these issue can be addressed.

    Reply
  17. Alan

    Last year I got sufficiently pissed off with Big Telecom that I switched to WIND and TekSavvy at the same time. Now when Bell has an outage, or flakiness, or even when they think it’s okay to screw with their wholesale customers (I’ve had dozens of sub-minute outages over the past two weeks), I just fire up the wireless hotspot feature on my Android phone and work around the problem.

    By the way the solution to this problem is to put you guys on an even footing. The backbone and retail operations of the big three should be split into separate corporate entities, let them buy from the same wholesaler as you and at the same price. Then you can all be on a level playing field. Time to change “equal access” from a charade into a reality.

    Reply
  18. Kelly Madsen

    I just wanted to say – unfortunately this was the reason I had to stop using you guys. TELUS repeatedly had “surprise” outages that would happen every couple month on a Friday afternoon when no one could possibly fix it until the following week. These “unplanned” outages happened so consistently you could set your watch to them, but it was an accident.

    I then tried Distributel, a competitor of yours but one that faces the same challenges. I tried Cable instead of a dry loop ADSL this time. Same issues, “unplanned” outages except this time the Wholesaler (SHAW) would claim they see no problem with the network… back and forth and back and forth I had a 6 day outage before I signed up for SHAW internet and lo and behold suddenly it was working the day SHAW came to install.

    So now I am a shaw customer… not quite a Rogers, Bell or Telus (Big 3) but a to close for comfort company in my books… I want to supprt the small ISP, I want to be a customer of yours. But the anticompetitive practices these wholesalers repeatedly and systematically engage in make that impossible unless I’m will to have multi day outages over and over again. Sadly I’m not.

    If you ever need a customer to testify that their behavior is a direct result of you losing business I’d be more than happy to do that…

    Reply
  19. Rav

    I wrote in asking for the data stick. No response. I don’t know if my application was received. We sat in the car outside Tim hortons for an hour today to use their Internet . (I bought a coffee and a bagle).

    Reply
    1. tsiblogadmin

      Rav – You should be receiving a phone call from our team confirming your request today or at the latest tomorrow morning. Happy to continue to have you as a customer.

      Reply
  20. Adam

    TS needs to install their own lines or find a way to provide service without using Bell or Rogers. Yes it’s expensive, but you will never be in full control of your service until you become independent.

    Reply
    1. Kelly Madsen

      Kind of defeats the purpose Adam… logistically impossible – tearing up every neighborhood in Toronto/rest of Canada every time new company comes in to run yet more lines when the existing ones are sitting there and have capacity, ridiculously expensive and silly. But that is basically exactly what the big three want… they know it’s impossible for any real competition to come in and do that… that’s why they claim it’s the only “fair” way for them to exists and actively sabotage the CRTC’s laws that force them to share. The reward for putting in the network everyone uses is you get a piece of everyone’s customer’s pie and all of your own – profit wise. They pretend this costs them money and that they lose money on it… it’s not true. They look for loopholes like long SLA’s and outages to make any competitors life difficult and for it to be painful experience for customers of these companies… by doing this they do a great disservice to all Canadians and it’s why we pay so much more than all other countries for a lesser service.

      Reply
  21. Renaud Lepage

    I do realise that my Google+ post will make me look and sound like a big baby without his toy, but I don’t exactly enjoy being promised things only for said things to be cancelled at the last minute by a system that can’t take previously existing dates into account and force a Human check.

    See https://plus.google.com/101944768401732053431/posts/HQKdA74rnBc for details.

    Suffice it to say that I’m pretty peeved at the moment. I need the internet for work and media equally, and I have none.

    Reply
  22. Catalin

    Wish TekSavvy had a solution a month ago when I was cut off from service. Or just two weeks after… Too bad they took so long.

    Reply
  23. Andrew

    Rotten!! Missed my service window with a provider because they give teksavvy an awesome window of 8am-5pm.
    Have to request a re-schedule through teksavvy. Teksavvy should have found out the reschedule time in 48 hours, I had to go and PM forum mods to actually find out when it was rescheduled to (no call backs, no nothing).
    The moderator informs me that the provider is backlogged 2 weeks minimum with the work orders from teksavvy. Which pushed my internet cable install to October 8th. 3 weeks away….again 8am-5pm time frame.
    I’m sorry, but that plain sucks! I feel for Teksavvy, but something needs to be done to force the hands of these companies. Maybe Teksavvy can get licensed technicians and approval from these infrastructure providers to do some damn work and work with the clients more!

    Reply
  24. Wammy

    I’m not even a Teksavvy customer and I just want to send them a donation because they are good people. Can’t remember ever feeling this way while being with Rogers for 24 years.

    Reply
  25. Sam

    There is only one reason that the big 3 have become as powerful as they are: it is us, the consumer. We let them, indeed, empowered them, to do so. Yes, our geography is such that it is a massive undertaking to build a far-reaching network, financially feasible for only those with the deepest pockets. However, when these deep pocket players start engaging in outright deceptive and uncscrupulous busniess practices, it is up to us, the consumer, to not tolerate it by continuing to buy the goods and services they offer. This applies to all business, not just telcos. We have let it happen in our oil and gas industries because we have built an utter dependence on them. We are now letting it happen to our telco industry because of, what we are at least perceiving to be, out dependence on them. The difference here is that we have some choices we can make. They are difficult choices and require sacrifices, but if we are not willing to make them, then things will only get worse.

    As soon as Rogers was nabbed for negative billing, I vowed to never buy their services again, and I haven’t. While I at one time found Bell’s practices slightly less unpalletable, they too have over the years felt it necessary to sink to Rogers’ level. I actually like the notion of a strong and healthy large Canadian telco with the muscle to build a robust network to all corners of our great country, and I would still be a customer today if they only treated me with a little respect. After repeated violations, I vowed to rid myself of all Bell services, too, and I am well on my way to meeting that objective, and TSI has been a big part of it.

    In my case, it has become a little more difficult to be a TSI customer of late. For others, I gather it has become virtually untollerable. However, if we do not take up the fight, then we simply cannot expect anything to change. The very fact that TSI has experienced such tremendous growth is a clear sign that we all feel jilted as consumers and are looking for something better. TSI, I believe, truly endeavours to do that and is, for the most part, successful in doing so. The network owners know this and are clearly feeling the pinch. However, instead of introducing better, more respectful, business practices to try and replicate what has drawn so may to TSI and other TPIAs, they sink even deeper and just try and cut them off to preserve the greedy model that made them the monsters they are today. It is shameful and embarrassing, and (at least it used to be ) un-Canadian.

    So, I would encourage everyone to keep fighting the fight. We need to stick with companies like TSI to make sure they remain viable. It is the only way to make real change. Find an alternative to TV – use an antenna or the internet. Use an internet stick or your local coffee shop for internet access while your internet service is being sorted out. I had to do this myself for 4 weeks and it was no picnic and I still had to lose my temper with TSI and ensure hours of being on hold, but in the end, I got what I wanted and in doing so, have sent a message to big boys. When I cancel my TV in the coming weeks, I will be sending that message again, perhaps even louder. I know these services seem essential, and perhaps for some, they are. But I think for most of us, we can find alternatives/work-arounds or simply do without. And when TSI becomes too big and/or a public company, we may have to start all over, but that is how it works if you want your consumer dollars to have some power.

    My sympathies to all those langushing in the mess that is our current telco environment, but please do not give up until you are certain you cannot go any further. You have the ultimate power to make change – don’t give in to pressure of the unscrupulous and dishonest tactics of the big boys.

    Reply
    1. Kelly Madsen

      While I agree with you Sam and I am one of those that has tried to change to multiple smaller ISP’s like TSI (not sure if you read my comment(s) above) I think you missed out on one very key aspect here. I took the time to hand write Mr. Moore a letter when he became the new Industry Minister. While its great that movements like openmedia offer online tools to send the message a hand written letter means so much more. To see an idividual took the time to write a letter and put it in the mail means something to these men and women that rely on us to vote and give them thier jobs.

      I would encourage everyone to write their MP and wroite James Moore, let them know in your own words why you need them to protect our consumer rights and promote a diverse non-monopolized environment.

      If you can’t possibly write a leeter then at least follow the link that by my comment and fill out the openmedia form… preferably do both.

      Reply

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