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Shaw Cable Monopoly "2011 Grinch"

Running a global business focused on meeting the needs of entertainment professionals around the planet is a task that requires a constant flow of market intelligence, especially in this challenging economic environment.

In addition to constant personal contact with our thousands of customers, we spend countless hours day and night on the Internet, and we monitor entertainment programming on our television(s) via Shaw Cable. We pay a very high price for all of this media access, connectivity and bandwidth . . and fairly so.

However, last night we returned home to discover that the programming on FOUR of the six television sets in our home had lost most of the cable access we had previously been utilizing. Instead of the regular 58 channels we were paying for, we now only had access to 28 channels. No CNN. No BNN. No BBC.

It seems that the Shaw Cable Monopoly had introduced a new digital "service" yesterday, that required us to purchase four additional signal converters. The cost of the Shaw converters runs from $58 to $199 each.

When we went to the local Shaw retail outlet this morning to obtain the new digital boxes, there was a very large lineup of very unhappy angry customers. Moving through the line took more than half an hour, then another half hour dealing with the counter clerk.

Never mind the unexpected expense. Never mind the disruption and inconvenience that this has caused to so many people's lives. Never mind the disrespect that the Shaw Cable Monopoly has demonstrated to its customers by forcing this new technology and unexpected expense upon them . . . especially at this time of year!

The thing that REALLY BURNED us was the fact that everyone behind the counter was smiling and clearly having a wonderful time at everyone else's expense . . . LITERALLY! This was a bonanza for the Shaw cable Monopoly and all of the staff were basking in the glow of an easy buck and a big payday . . . all at the expense of you and I folks.

Monopolies are often EVIL. Monopolies are often IMMORAL. Monopolies are always INEFFICIENT.

Anyone who subscribes to the Shaw Cable Monopoly "service" knows how inefficient it is. Our personal experience has consistently proven that: Cable signals are often scrambled, and are generally of poor quality. Their equipment is often faulty. Contacting a service person by telephone is almost impossible, often taking more than two hours waiting until someone is available to speak with you. Customer "service" people often know very little and are usually unable to resolve a problem. I could go on, and you could likely add a few things that I have overlooked, based on your experience with the Shaw Cable Monopoly.

Quoting directly from Shaw's 2010 Annual Report To Shareholders: "Consolidated service revenue of $3.72 billion improved over 9%". Clearly, these guys are not hurting . . . But this latest move of theirs is clearly "hurting" their customers in many ways other than in their pocketbooks.

We have high-speed cable Internet from the Shaw Cable Monopoly in our business. We have high-speed cable Internet from the Shaw Cable Monopoly in our home. We also subscribe to the Shaw Cable Monopoly's HD television cable product. Now, we own SIX of the Shaw Cable Monopoly's digital boxes.

If a company, its Directors, and its Management can be perceived as having a "personality", that personality can be reflected in the quality of its products and of its service. Based on our personal experience with the Shaw Cable Monopoly over many many years of doing business with them, our judgement is that the character of the Shaw cable Monopoly can best be described by words like: Greed, Avarice, Incompetence, and an overall failure to conduct its business with integrity relative to its representations to shareholders;

"We have never been more committed to providing exceptional customer service while creating best in class products and services."

NOT!!!


Shame on you Shaw. If you truly believe that your current product offerings, actions, and level of service represent "exceptional customer service" and that you are truly "creating best in class products and services" then your Directors, Managers, and Employees seriously need to go back to business school, and back to the drawing board. You are failing your customers in a major way and your most recent actions have forced us to aggressively look for alternate technology solutions. I am sure we are not alone in this.

Shaw Cable enjoys a highly profitable monopoly. Based on results, it does not have to deliver quality products, quality service, or quality equipment. Its customers are forced to accept whatever the monopoly is willing to provide and there is no opportunity to complain . . . nobody cares. We know this to be true because we have often complained but nothing ever changes. If we ran our business like you do, we would not be in business!

Sorry for my rant everyone, but I just had to get this off my chest. Someone has to call it like they see it. Multiply our inconvenience and expense today by the 3,200,000 Canadian subscribers it boasts of "servicing", and you have a company that has just caused a great deal of pain to Canadians everywhere.

In my estimation, Shaw Cable qualifies as this year's "Grinch that Stole Christmas" . . . from millions of Canadians.
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