I signed up on this site just to share my recent experience with Shaw Direct. I hope that someone at Shaw reads my post and realizes their mistake. Unfortunately, it's too late for me as they have lost me as a customer.
I currently own a 531 HDPVR and a 630 HDPVR (as well as a couple of old 505s no longer in use.) I have been a StarChoice customer since 1997. I've pay them thousands over the years, never making a late payment. For several years, my bill was over $120 a month, although I've since cut back my programming to the lowest cost package @ $32 a month (plus taxes) ($25+extra [email protected]
/month+$1 time shift option=$32/month).
Now, it would appear that with their new(ish) policies, Shaw Direct has decided they didn't need my money anymore.
Yesterday, I called Shaw Direct to switch off my 531 receiver since we hardly ever used it anymore since I got the 630 receiver in December (why pay $5.99 a month for nothing?) All was smooth until I realized that I had lost my time-shifting channels on the 630.
Thinking it was an error, I called Shaw to ask them to re-enable the west coast channels, only to find out that these channels were no longer offered with my current package. I was told that the only way to get those channels back was to move up to the bronze package at $41.99 a month. Since I had made a change to my services, my account had been reset and there was no way for the rep to give me those channels with the lite package. Their computer simply would not allow it. The rep I spoke to earlier in the day to switch off my 531 did not tell me this beforehand!
After some back and forth and speaking to a supervisor, the best Shaw could do for me was to offer me one month of the bronze package for $25, but if I wanted to keep it, my new monthly charge would be $41.99 a month thereafter (over $200 a year more!)
And so after 14 years with StarChoice/ShawDirect, I'll be canceling my account at the end of the month. That's too bad, because I actually liked their service over the years(except for a few bugs a few years ago with the 531) and always thought they did their customers right (i.e. they gave me a $150 credit when I complained that it was unfair for new customers to get such a discount on their new 630 receiver when I was stuck with my aging 531.)
I told the rep that I hoped Shaw treats their employees better than their customers (highly unlikely from my perspective) and that he should be worried about his job if they continue with this type of policies. I also told the supervisor that if they keep this up (i.e. squeeze every penny out of customers they can while alienating them) in this competitive environment (especially coming from Internet offerings), I fully expect Shaw Direct to be out of business in 4-5 years or less. Time will tell.
I can't wait to see how much I get from selling my Shaw Direct receivers on Kijiji. Hopefully enough to pay for a couple more Apple TV 2s.