This is a short story of how Rogers acted inappropriately, shutting off my TekSavvy Internet connection on purpose.
Many of you regular readers know that I ditched Rogers cable Internet last year to move to TekSavvy. It was all about the bandwidth cap. I get 300 gigs now, for a few bucks less than I paid Rogers for only 60 gigs. I’ve been loving TekSavvy. Only a few minor outages that were mostly related to Rogers RF issues in Toronto, so all Rogers customers were affected by these same issues too.
Up until a few weeks ago I only had one Rogers service. It was my home phone line. I left it in service after cancelling cable Internet because I planned to move it to VoIP.ms and just hadn’t gotten around to it yet. I finally made the switch in November, and that ended my relationship as a Rogers customer.
On Friday, November 30th just after lunch time, my Internet went down. I figured it was another RF issue in Toronto and waited. After four hours I got in touch with TekSavvy via Twitter (they’re great and reply fast). They told me I must have a signal issue at my house. Since there had been construction on the sidewalk in front of the house, I thought a cable got damaged. So I filed a trouble ticket, and waited. I really thought it was due to the road work, and I was totally wrong.
On Saturday I spoke to my neighbours on both sides of me. They reported no problems with cable. That made me realize the problem was likely at my house, and Rogers must have come by to shut down my connection. Perfectly honest mistake, right? They see me as having deactivated my last remaining cable service, so they disconnect me at the secure box stuck to the side of my house.
I don’t have a way into the house-mounted grey box, but I can see inside (from below) with a flashlight. I notice what appears to be a terminator on my line. I consider the possibility that it’s a filter, but dismiss it because I’m a tech geek and I’m pretty sure Rogers doesn’t use filters for the setup that I had previously (home phone + cable Internet but no cable TV). I’m suspicious at this point, but I can’t be positive it’s a terminator, and I can’t be positive that it wasn’t in place before the outage.
Looking inside the box with my flashlight, There is also a very clear, bright orange TPIA tag on my cable line. This stands for “Third Party Internet Access”. It’s a signal to a Rogers tech that my line is in use through a third party like TekSavvy, and to not disconnect. Rogers is the one that puts those labels on the cable!
Anyway, long story short – I was right. Rogers came by and disconnected me by installing a terminator on the line. A terminator is a small silver cylinder that accepts a male RF cable at both ends. It looks like it just joins the two cables together, but there is no electrical connection for the centre conductor, so it effectively acts as a disconnection device. The terminator is supposed to be difficult to remove without a special tool, and prevents people from stealing Cable TV service. Unfortunately, when you put it there on purpose despite knowing the customer has a valid third party Internet connection, it’s called being an a$$hole.
The terminator has been removed. I am not saying that I removed it myself. I would never say that.
The bottom line is that Rogers dispatched a tech to shut down my cable, which could have been an accident. But the tech then carries out the job after clearly seeing the bright orange TPIA tag. Tell me that’s not a broken operation. As it turns out, after doing some research, I learn that these techs are paid by the job. So they’d rather carry out the disconnection knowing it shouldn’t be done. This gets them paid even if the home owner is now without Internet for several days until some other tech gets dispatched to come back and reconnect the cable.
As a customer, I do not trust Rogers.
As an investor, I feel it is a broken business.
I fully recommend TekSavvy as an alternative to Rogers.
UPDATE: Once the terminator was removed from my line, I sent a Twitter message to TekSavvy to close my ticket. They did. On Monday morning at 9am I got a nice call from TekSavvy to check in with me, making sure everything was resolved to my satisfaction. Talk about good service from them (at least in terms of what they can control).