Like many others here, the only complaint I have about Shaw Direct has to do with the constant price increases.
I've kept every SD bill since I signed up with them in May 2009 and I've always noticed a price increase of about $3-4 between March and May, and then another price increase, again about $3-4 between October and December.
So basically, my bill has been going up by approximately $6-7 a year. Now mind you, I have the grandfathered Digital Basic plan with the Extra Value Pack, which is now $34 + $20. I also have one $3 pick-n-pay and a $2 Superstations pack added on, but when you combine all of this with their mandatory $6 multi-receiver warranty, my bill comes to about $73/month with tax.
I called SD in March to complain about the $4 price increase and after spending almost 1.5 hours on the phone with a Customer Relations rep from Montreal who kept telling me that there was nothing they could do since my account had already received too many credits in the past, right before I hung up, she finally relented and gave me a $5 discount for 6 months to offset the price increase.
This has really been the only issue I've had with Shaw Direct -- the constant price increases twice per year. I can understand that their expenses might be going up from acquiring new channels and equipment and that new satellite they just launched, but still. My internet bill has stayed at $50 for 4 years now with no price increases.
I've debated switching over to Bell, but I still can't justify it. The only positives I can see are that Bell seems to get the newest channels first (they've had channels like YTV HD, Teletoon HD, Disney XD HD for 2 years before Shaw just got them with this new Anik G1 satellite SD launched), and also that Bell has the better PVR in the 9400. But other than that... I don't like how Bell simsubs all of their channels, as opposed to SD who only seems to do it with Global and City. I don't like how Bell's customer service is extremely poor and that most of the time, it sounds like you're talking to an outsourced rep when calling them. I don't like how they charge you $2 for a paper bill (mind you, $2 for paper + $3 digital contribution fee comes out to the same as SD's mandatory $6 warranty fee).
And a few years ago, I was at a friend's house who had Bell, and the signal constantly dropped out even when it was only lightly raining outside. Now maybe their technology has improved in recent years, but at least from what I've encountered with SD, the signal only cuts out during a severe thunderstorm or when too much snow piles up on the dish itself.
My only options have always been either Bell or SD, and it's always been difficult in weighing the pros vs the cons. Do I sacrifice good customer service and only two channels being simsubbed, in exchange for getting better hardware and the newest channels first?
Then again, maybe with this new satellite, SD will launch more HD channels in the future to compete with Bell...
Sigh, tough choices... and for now, the only thing I can be sure of is that SD will institute another $3 price increase sometime this fall. Well, at least they clearly warn about the increases a month before they happen on my bill, instead of not telling anyone about them...