**CONTINUED FROM LAST POST…..**
For the first part see HERE
For the second part, from which this one is continued from see HERE
When you call 611 it now gives you two options; “Thank you for choosing Shaw Digital Phone, please make your selection from the following two options; if you are experiencing problems with your Shaw Digital phone service press one, for self serve digital phone frequently asked questions and troubleshooting tips press two” and if you press one you go straight to digital phone technical support, and two will give you another menu where you can learn about voicemail, and how to connect a fax machine, and other common info that can be found on their website about calling features.
I just wish they could add a “press 3 if your problem is in relation to cable TV or internet” and take you back to the main menu when you would call Shaw directly, that would be nice to have in the future.
Call Trace (*57)
Which states when you call; “This is the customer originated call trace feature, to trace the last call received press one, otherwise please hang up”
This feature is free to use, and even if you trace a call, you will not be able to see the records. This feature is to be used when you are receiving harassing telephone calls and you would like to get the police involved and the records would be transferred over to the police.
Enhanced 911, Message Relay Service (711), and Operator Assistance
Enhanced 911 (E911), Message Relay Service (711) and Operator Assistance are all included in your Shaw Digital Phone monthly rate.
The Shaw website states “if you need to make an emergency 911 call, your telephone number and address are automatically displayed to emergency operators to ensure a quick and accurate response.”
I myself have never had to make a 911 call since I have had the service, but to my knowledge it works the exact same way as MTS, something you will not have with VOIP providers like Vonage.
Long Distance / Sound Quality
I have made lots of long distance calls in Canada, and many calls to England and a couple to Australia. The sound quality was fine; I have no complaints of echo’s or glitching.
After I added the phone service, in mid 2006 Shaw announced that 25 countries would be included for 1000 minutes a month for all Shaw Digital Phone customers, and then later it was increased to 50 countries, and let me say, it is a very nice feature. I call the UK once in a while, and I have never had a problem connecting, and the sound quality is the same I had when I was on MTS, and it’s a free call now. (If you’re a Shaw Digital Phone Lite customer, its four cents a minute).
Still the only issue with sound quality that I have noticed is when there is music involved, when I have music in the background, or the person I am talking to has music, the music is choppy, and this is very noticeable for example when you are on hold with Shaw when calling in. The best way to compare it would be to a cell phone, it’s almost like it cannot process all those different sounds. Voice quality is fine though when someone is speaking, so it must be a way the phone line processes sound, and it should be something to note, but when no music is being played on hold, or loudly in the background….sound quality is excellent.
Shaw Digital Phone Lite – Second Phone Line for only $1.95
Recently I added the second phone line to my account for only a $1.95 more because I have the full phone package (if you have lite phone service, its $19.95 to add another line), and I am very happy with this phone line. You have the option of whether or not you would like to have long distance enabled or not. Since I have unlimited long distance on the main line, there really isn’t a need to have it on this line and pay for long distance, and you can turn it off or on at your request. You get all the calling features mentioned on the digital phone lite phone page – caller ID, three way calling, etc, and You can have this number listed or not, and you can choose whether you want address displayed in the listing or not. Overall for $1.95 you can’t go wrong. If you have lite and are thinking about getting a second phone line, at least in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Thunder Bay it would be cheaper to upgrade to the full digital phone package ($40 a month compared to $55 in Alberta and BC) and add the second line…rather than two digital phone lite lines FYI
If you choose to have the long distance disabled on this line as stated above that you do have that option, if you try to dial a long distance number it will state the following: “You have entered a restricted code” and will not allow you to dial that number. This would be great if you are adding the second line for a child in your house.
Online Customer Care – Managing Digital Phone Features
Shaw recently launched the ability to manage digital phone features through online customer care at secure.shaw.ca. When you log into your account you would click under the digital phone heading on “Manage Digital Phone Features” and when you do that it will take you to a screen that allows you to select which phone number you would like to manage features for (if you have more than one line through Shaw) and once you do that you will have the following options on the left hand menu: manage features and other features. Under “manage features’ you have listed; Voicemail, Call Forward, and Voicemail to E-mail. Under “other features” you have listed; Caller ID, Call Waiting, Three Way Calling, and Call Return.
In the other features section it just will explain a brief explanation of what the feature is and will provide a link to the digital phone user guide for more information.
The three main features under the manage features are Voicemail, Call Forward, and Voicemail to E-mail. (Subject to you having these calling feature options active on your telephone line)
When you click on Voicemail, you will have the option to turn voicemail on or off. Note: if you turn it off, this does not cancel your voicemail service, but simply just temporarily turns off your voicemail service should you not wish to receive messages. It will also allow you to reset your voicemail pin should you have forgotten it. It does say though that if you reset your pin, you will have to re-set up the voicemail to e-mail service should you use that service.
If you click on Call Forward once again you will have the option to turn call forward on or off, and it allows you to enter which number you want to have your calls forwarded to. I think this is great, should you be away from your home, you can now log in, and forward calls to your cell or another number without having to be at your phone. Or if you have call forward on already you can shut it off and clear the number you had it forwarded to.
The Voicemail to E-mail option once again allows you to turn the service off or on and then provides a drop down list that you can choose which Shaw e-mail address you want your copies of your voicemail sent to. Note: You must be a Shaw phone and Shaw residential internet customer for this service to work and have at least one @shaw.ca e-mail address. I have this active on my line and it’s great. If I get a voicemail, my telephone lights up like normal to tell me I have a voicemail, and I can log in to *98 and check my voicemail and delete it like normal, but that voicemail message is also sent to your e-mail account and you have the Date and Time of the call, calling number (person who called you), message length, and message priority (always normal unless caller chooses otherwise). When you open the e-mail, the voicemail is attached as a .wav file for you to open and listen to, and the nice part is you have that hard copy on your computer now, and it’s not taking up storage space on your voicemail inbox. Over all it’s a very nice feature to help manage voicemail.
One feature I would like to see added to this service in the future is the ability to manage your Selective Call Blocking (*60) on here, as it would be great to be able to view my 32 numbers that I have blocked and just pick and choose which ones I want to keep or delete rather than listening on the phone or the ability to add new numbers quick and easy. And if you they incorporate that into this online manager in the future, I would only assume they would add the ability to enable or disable Anonymous Call Blocking (*77/*87) at the same time. This would be a great addition to an already nice feature.
- Shaw still does not allow you to accept collect calls at this time.
- You will continue to receive a phone book delivered to your home, even if your local phone company is the one who normally supplies the books, and your name will still be in there if you specified so.
- Shaw is governed by the same CRTC requirements as the traditional phone companies and must have 99% uptime. If you are having problems with your Shaw phone service, a service tech will be sent SAME DAY if it is a severe problem or next day if its not, unlike TV and Internet which is next day or next week service I have found in my experiences.
Another thing I have to commend Shaw for doing, is when they are about to perform service work in your area, that may temporarily cause your digital phone to stop working, for example when they are upgrading lines and equipment in your area, the day before you will get a call to your house and if your not there it will leave a recording on voicemail. The voicemail courtesy message they leave is: “This is to advise you that we will be performing work in your area between the hours of eight am and four thirty pm on (Month and Day). This work will intermittently cause interruptions to your Shaw Digital Phone service. We apologize for any inconvenience while we work to upgrade the services in your area. Should you have any questions please press one now to speak with a Shaw Digital Phone Technical support representative or dial 611 from your Shaw Digital Phone”
Another thing I noticed was interesting that Shaw can do but MTS can not is when calling on an MTS landline if you dial a number that is not long distance, for example 1-204-480-7429 (Shaw) it will tell you that, it is not a long distance call, and to dial again without using one or zero and to dial directly (example: 480-7429). I found with Shaw that I can dial 1-204-480-7429 and it will still dial and connect which I found odd – I realize long distance is free with Shaw – but would that not cost them more money if people were dialing long distance when its clearly local? Also if every call is a local call, then you would think I could call Selkirk and not have to dial 1-204 first, but oh well, just thought I would point that out.
A feature I would eventually like to see added to Shaw phone in the future would be Call Again (*66). As defined on the MTS website: “Call Again redials the busy number for you until the line becomes free, for up to 30 minutes. You’ll hear a distinctive ring when the line becomes free. Pick up the receiver and your call will be connected. It’s that easy.” If they can do this for *69 and monitor the line for thirty minutes, why cannot they implement something like this and have *66 added for all customers. It would be a very nice addition to already great service.
Shaw Pre-Paid Calling Option
From the Shaw website: “Shaw’s Prepaid Calling Plan lets you enjoy great international calling rates even when you’re not using Shaw Digital Phone. You can use Shaw’s prepaid plan from virtually any phone from almost any country.”
I do not have experience with this as when I want to call long distance and I am not at home I simply use a long distance card that I buy at superstore (125 minutes for $5). But essentially this Shaw pre-paid service is like a pre-paid long distance card which you top up with your credit card but it never expires unlike the in store long distance cards which expire six months from activation. You could essentially also give out the Shaw access number and code to family and friends since they cannot call you collect, as an alternative to collect calls.
For more information on Shaw’s pre-paid calling plan see HERE
**CONTINUED BELOW IN NEXT POST**
For the fourth part see HERE