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Discussion Starter #1
This discussion started in the Shaw Cable programming and pricing discussion thread but I moved the topic here as it is probably more relevant under Internet.

First some background on how this got started...
In examining my Shaw bill last month I was looking at ways to perhaps reduce it. I then noticed that the base price of my Digital TV/ Movies & High-Speed Internet was $121.95, which was $5 more than the price stated on Shaw's website, but with my $5 "Purchased Modem Discount" the final cost was $116.95 (the base price quoted on the website) When I asked Shaw about it they just said "When I review your bill you are being billed $121.95. We then give you a $5 modem discount. This will bring your bill to the same rate you see online for $116.95." That did not answer my question but I didn't pursue it.

With the upcoming increase in pricing combined with their new "Personalized Bundles" I wanted to find out exactly why the base price on my bill seemed to be inflated by $5 which was then reduced by the modem discount to $116.95 instead of starting at $116.95 and being reduced to $111.95 like it should be. Shaw Guru (one of their reps) says the Purchased Modem Discount is still valid, so I am waiting for them/him to confirm that it will be applied to the current pricing.

The discount I'm talking about came from when I signed up for Shaw Internet in Aug. 2003, when the modem cost $59.95 + tax and the discount has been on every bill since then. As it has been over 7 years, I don't really care if they actually still have the discount or not. I do care that they try to make it look like there is one when there actually isn't, especially when they continue to this day to say it should still be there.

So the purpose of this thread is to try and determine when Shaw stopped "selling" their internet modems, and to try and figure out when they added the extra $5 to the base cost of the cable/internet bundle to people who were supposedly receiving the same $5 discount I was. I'm also interested in how many out there were also getting the alleged "$5 Purchase Modem Discount".

Sorry for the long post, but I think that Shaw has come very close to defrauding their long-time customers and I am sure most others who might see the discount on their bill expect to actually get it. Granted it is only $5 a month, but this has gone on for at least 6 months as far as I can tell, so it adds up.
 

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Back in 2006, or maybe late 2005, Shaw convinced us to purchase the modem we had been using for the past 4 or so years for some $30 or 60, saving $5 a month. We switched to Telus in 2007 so haven't fallen into that trap.
 

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I just had a similar interaction with Shaw while trying to reduce my bill as well.
I've since gone to Telus for a variety of reasons but this alleged $5.00 discount was part of it.

The bottom line for me was that I cold not get a straight answer from anyone there. I had one CSR rep. tell me I could buy my modem to try to reduce my monthly bill only to tell him that I already had purchased it. Spoke with a "loyalty" rep telling my that the bill reflected the discount even though I, like you, was telling him that they were inflating my monthly bill by adding this modem charge. He then went on to tell me why Shaw was better than Telus because they offer "discounts" when you purchase your equipment.

As far as I'm concerned when I purchase something I own it and therefore it should not be a "value added" feature for a service. Another Shaw fail.

I would advise to move on Telus.
 

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My monthly Shaw services are exactly the same as yours, $116.95 net of the $5.00 purchased modem discount. If there is no charge for a rental modem now I would at least like to have a new modem and keep my purchased one as an emergency spare. I haven't approached Shaw about this yet but it is on my "to do" list now.
 

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I will be calling tomorrow as well. My bill clearly has $52 showing for high speed internet, Shaw's page shows price at $47. I do have the $5 modem discount on the bill as well.
 

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The price for internet is set at $52 (going up to $54 in April) then there is a modem discount of $5 (rental and purchased modems both now receive the $5 discount) which nets a price of $47. After that if you have cable it will drop $10 and if you have phone it drops $20.
 

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No no - its simple

1. Internet cost $47 (as per Shaw's website)

2. Several years ago Shaw said "If you buy our modem we will give you a $5 discount on your internet charge"

3. $47 - $5 = $42

Shaw are reneging on their deal! They can't sell you something and then say "It doesn't apply any more".

So Shaw should buy back my modem, for $60 + inflation$, and then charge me $47. A deal is a deal.

It wasn't until I started to look closer at my Shaw bill that I realised I was in this group. When did it change? I am sure they never notified me, or if they did it was some obscure message on my bill, a message I probably wouldn't see. This is a typical Shaw strategy, and they sure go out of their way piss-off their customers, me being a triple-player to boot!

There is no competition for the same level of speed where I am or else I would seriously look at jumping ship..

E
 

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I'm with you Wetcoaster. I also purchased a modem at a time when Shaw and Telus was providing you a $5 discount when you took the risk of maintaining your own equipment. They also told me that now everyone is getting a $5 discount. I looked on the website and I told the CSR my internet plan was $5 more than posted and the CSR said that the price on my invoice was before the discount and the post internet price was including the discount (there was no indication of that on the website) which was available to everyone. Bullsh*t!

What they did was not right so I have also decided to reneg on my loyalty and I now just jump from deal to deal between Telus-Shaw. I've setup my office so that I have both a telephone line and cable line. In the future, I may also include Windmobile in the rotation: Telus-Shaw-Windmobile.

BTW, you can use an internet stick in a Cradlepoint router.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I am still trying to determine when the change happened. It was likely when they stopped charging for modems, but I will be going through my bills in the next couple days to determine when there was an increase in the base price that was not an increase in the actual advertised price. If anyone out there knows people who signed up for Shaw Internet but did not have to purchase a modem, please let me know when they signed up so I can narrow down the timing.

I have asked a few more friends and the bogus discount also applies to people with only internet and phone bundles, and from what some poster's above are saying, also to just internet customers. It is always the same thing where they add $5 to the base advertised price before subtracting the discount, so the price you are actually paying is the same as the advertised price without a discount.

Once I determine the date that this started happening, I will be formally sending Shaw management a letter about it. I will also be contacting the CRTC as well as several media outlets. As it seems to be affecting all customers who purchased the modem and has likely been going on for quite some time, I will also be investigating whether this fraudulent overcharging could be certified as a class action lawsuit.

I'll post a list of when price increases happened within the next couple days, and keep people updated.
 

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Thanks for your efforts on this issue.

I questioned Shaw on this modem overcharge a week ago but have yet to get a response from them. I at least want a free rental modem from Shaw if it is included in the rate I am paying.
 

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If what some of you are alleging is true, and this was in the U.S., the state Attorney General's office and/or army of trial lawyers will be all over Shaw.
 

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Hmm, to me it seems that Shaw has advertised the lowest price that you could get. It's like when you see the new Mazda 3 at 0%. That 0% is lowest you could get(on approved credit)...doesn't mean you will get it.

Shaw has always advertised like this.

So many places do it, yet because it's Shaw, people tend to think it's their right to fight it.
I say to those people, fight Superstore when you only buy one item and don't get the low price marked on the tag. Fight Mazda when you don't get 0% financing.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I disagree Richard. While they often have promotional pricing for new subscribers for certain periods of time, that is not what I am talking about. Currently if a person who does not get the modem discount signs up Digital TV/ MovieCentral/HighSpeed Internet they would have a normal base price of $116.95, that is not including any other promotional discounts Shaw offers new customers.

What Shaw is doing is putting a price of $121.95 on our bills for the exact same package then subtracting the $5 modem discount. We end up at the same price, but it should not be. If they were to have said they are no longer giving the discount, I can accept that. But do not artificially jack up my rate $5 just to pretend that I am still getting the discount.

I looked back in the forum and noticed a couple previous mentions about the issue back in June 2010 http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=125921

So it obviously goes back at least until June 2010. It looks like it was probably sometime in 2009 (or possibly earlier) as the only increase I saw in 2010 was in September and was announced system wide. My difficulty so far is trying to figure out what the advertised package price actually was at a given time and determining the changes in my bills unrelated to service changes. I am going through 2009 now and should have details by tomorrow.
 

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Currently if a person who does not get the modem discount signs up Digital TV/ MovieCentral/HighSpeed Internet they would have a normal base price of $116.95, that is not including any other promotional discounts Shaw offers new customers.

What Shaw is doing is putting a price of $121.95 on our bills for the exact same package then subtracting the $5 modem discount.
Shaw Guru's post above seems to explain this:

Shaw Guru said:
The price for internet is set at $52 (going up to $54 in April) then there is a modem discount of $5 (rental and purchased modems both now receive the $5 discount) which nets a price of $47. After that if you have cable it will drop $10 and if you have phone it drops $20.
The way I read this, everyone's bill is inflated by $5, and everyone gets the $5 discount, whether you purchased the modem in the past, or are a new renter. it's an odd way to do the billing and marketing, but it's probably a hold over from when modem were available for purchase.

The bottom line, from what I can tell, is that new subscribers are not getting a better deal than you; they are getting the same deal. Sucks that we don't save the extra $5 anymore, but things change. My HD Plus isn't free anymore either.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It goes back to December 2007

Sorry for another long post. I have had a chance to go back in my bills and have also done some research on Internet Archive and have found out it was August of 2007 when Shaw stopped charging for modems. Earlier in that year (in June) they changed the name of "Total Home Bundle" to "Digital TV/Movies & High-Speed" on their bills. There had also been a small annual increase on July 1st of that year. Prior to August internet pricing was $40.95 with a purchased modem and $45.95 without, though I believe there was also a bundle discount. At that time there was only a single entry on the bills with no breakdown of parts of the bundle, so it is hard to know what each part cost, and the purchased modem discount was built-in. After they stopped selling modems the advertised price of high speed internet was still $45.95, but there was a discounted high speed bundle price of $32. I had no change in my bills from July to November 2007, the cost of Digital TV/Movies & High-Speed was $97.95 (before taxes) but there was no mention of a $5 purchased modem discount and no price increase.

In December 2007 the base price of Digital TV/Movies & High-Speed on my bill jumped $5 to $102.95 but they then added the $5 Purchased Modem Discount, so the actual cost did not increase. There was no mention of any regular increase so this was when they started adding the $5 to the base package price then subtracting the discount to get back to the regular rate, to make it appear like you were getting a discount. I think this may have been a result of changes to their billing system at that time but I am not sure.

I have tried to determine what their advertised pricing was at the end of 2007, but they had also changed their website at that time to add a regional selector to bundle pricing which makes it hard to determine their actual pricing. Internet Archive is showing pages with pricing of $67.95 for Digital Cable and Movies as well as $32 for bundled internet which is a total of $99.95 I am not sure why there is a $2 difference between the total rates unless there was a regional pricing difference in Winnipeg vs. the standard rate on the website.

If anyone else has bills going back to the end of 2007 let me know what you see. Also if anyone signed up for Shaw internet after that time let me know what the base rates of the package you have. Especially if you are in Winnipeg, so I can compare apples to apples.

g011um, while I agree that things change, I am certain anyone who signed up for service after 2007 does not have a line item for the $5 discount and has a base price of $5 less than anyone who is getting the 'discount'. If Shaw had just stated the discount is no longer applicable and had the package price the same for everyone I would have no problem. But to make it look like they are giving us a discount when they obviously are not, and to have been doing this for over 3 years is ridiculous. (40 months x $5=$200)

For those that are curious Shaw also raised prices on the following dates:
July 1st, 2007 $3
April 1st, 2008 $3 ($2 cable $1 Movie Central)
April 1st, 2009 $4 ($3 cable $1 internet)
September 1st, 2010 $5
(Increase amounts are for Digital Cable and High Speed in Winnipeg)

I will be composing the formal letter to Shaw over the next couple days, to try and get an answer as to why they have this bogus discount.
 

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Modem "discount" and new packages

The question of the "Purchased Modem Discount" has come up in some of the other threads as part of the pricing discussion on the new packages.

It is clear that this has been a billing fiction for quite a while now, and that the right thing for Shaw to do would be to credit to customers who had purchased their modems the value of the purchase.

Here is a portion of a log from a live chat I had recently with a Shaw CSR, some unrelated questions before and after the "purchased modem" part of the discussion have been deleted.
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(me) (16:16:28):
If I go to Extreme only, will I actually get the "Purchased Modem Discount"?

(Shaw CSR) (16:16:37):
Yes.
(Shaw CSR) (16:16:46):
But the $59 already factors that in

(me) (16:17:16):
That is the reason I checked... the 59.00 is what is advertised to anyone.
(me) (16:17:43):
Will Shaw credit me back the 60.00 I paid for my modem, which was supposed to get me a discount?

(Shaw CSR) (16:20:36):
One second (me) while I review your account details.
(Shaw CSR) (16:22:32):
Thanks for waiting (me). I can verify that purchasing a modem previously did give you an extra discount of $5 a month; however, that offer was later extended to include those that simply had our internet services

(me) (16:24:57):
I don't understand your reply. Is there still such as thing as a "Purchased Modem Discount" or not? If I change my services to internet only, which is advertised at 59.00 per month with no other bundled services, will I pay 59.00 plus tax, or 54.00 plus tax?

(Shaw CSR) (16:26:43):
It will be $59 + Tax. There was a purchased modem discount a few years ago; however, this year, we included the discount to include those that simply had internet services with us. The $5 discount is now applied to all customers that have internet services with us. So all prices that you see now factor that in, meaning you will not receive an extra $5 off.
 

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It's no use to fight this. Shaw says they no longer charge the $5 for modem rental and for anyone who previosuly purchased it, your overall bill will be $5 more, then subtracted $5 to make it look like you have a discount. BUT... you will be paying the same amount as they person who did not purchase the modem. Shaw's answer (with 3 separate reps at 3 different times) = you are getting the $5 discount. It says so right on the bill. Not going to win this one I am afraid. Shaw's only response now is that you can keep the modem when you disconnect the service - as if this is going to make things right.
 

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I should just sell my modem (if a buyer was out there - $20? - doubtful) - and then shaw can provide me a free one like they do for other customers.
 

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I do see a few of them listed on Craigslist now but do people really buy these? Why wouldn't they just get a free one from Shaw? Curious.
 

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I think that we need to form a Class Action law suit that Shaw is charging each and every customer with cusotmer owned modems.
 
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