customer service

Shaw Cable: Efficient, not Perky

Sometimes in your life, you have to streamline. Seems to be my mantra these days. Do I need it or want it? The debt has added up over the years…school, travelling, questionable life decisions. One of things I didn’t think I could do without was my cable TV. I grew up on TV and still pay attention to a few shows so why did I decide to get rid of it? Because, I have enough mediums vying for my entertainment dollar/time.  Socializing, movies, books, video games (I’m 11)…that exercise thing.  So at the end of the current Shaw Cable promotion I was on, I biked down to the outlet to cancel the service.

The Shaw Cable Service Centre is a pretty non-descript building undergoing some renovations. It’s a pretty unwelcoming, low-brow building for a techie company but it is what it is. The format is pretty standard…almost like a bank. Line up and wait for a teller. On this particular occasion, the cue was so long it was pushing on the entrance door. Some people actually came in and left when they noticed they’d have to wait outside. Apparently Victorians will wait 10 people deep outside for a Belgian Waffle or an Eggs Benedict brunch but not for tech support.

Once I made my way to the counter, the customer service rep. (teller) asked me what I wanted, did a little routine on a their computer and cancelled my service there. The biggest shock was the operating system they use.  You go to the Shaw website and it’s flashy, promising the fastest, slickest products but the computer system they use is a step up from Ms. Pac-Man (I was going to say Lode Runner but I didn’t want to lose you). Sure it might be more durable from crashes but appearance wise…lame.

I’d only been to the Shaw Cable Service Centre on Blanshard once before. Unfortunately it was too long ago to remember so I couldn’t compare it to this.

That long line? Yes, people did look and leave but if they’d only stuck around a few minutes they would have noticed a very smooth moving cue.   I must have stood there for about 15 minutes and that’s pretty damn impressive if you’d seen how long it was. The place is fairly cramped and probably could benefit from a coiled, determined path but all in all, very nice.

At the counter, a lot of the same. Quick, efficient, no muss. Unfortunately, I’m dealing with a person now which really doesn’t say a lot about her personality but I got out of there quick. I can’t say she loved her job…or if she had a pulse. It was the bare minimum when it came to service. Basically, she did her job and that was it. I overheard another couple a few tellers over from me who were having a bit of a issue with whatever and even though they raised their voices a few times, the teller just calmly and monotonely (it’s a word) explained the situation. It probably didn’t help their frustration but it got the job done.

I went, I cued, I cancelled my cable. Service? I don’t know. I left content and not frustrated. I can’t even say that about some of the dates I’ve been on.

2nd Date – I’ll give you a second chance. You gave me what I needed. I’m not saying this is a long-term thing…you didn’t give me enough attention for that…but it was very meat and potatoes. Sometimes, I like meat and potatoes.

Service Rating System:

Friend Zone – I just don’t like you in “that way.”
Booty Call – If I don’t have anything else better going on, I’ll stop by.
2nd Date – I’ll give you a second chance.
Going steady – This could be the beginning of something major.

How important is personality? Does it depend on the job? I’ve noticed lately that sometimes I’ll really be OK with no eye contact and or a smile, if I can get out of there faster.  Other times, I’ve almost wanted to scream, “LOOK. AT. ME!”

Do you care? I understand we like a little bit of effort from our waiters/servers but sometimes it’s too much.

For me, I need the basics – eye contact and a smile. At least pretend your focus is on me while I’m being helped.



  • Adelio Trinidad

    Like you we needed to make some changes to our monthly expenses and considering that we found better value online, we decided to end our cable subscription. We did it through their call centre and I found it to be effecient and friendly. They did make the effort to win our business back through various promotions and discounts. Not pushy though. I figure that the phone call took about 10minutes.

    I wish I could say the same about my experience dealing with XM.

    • 10 minutes including being on hold? That’s not bad. Did you call non-peak hours? I have found a much more laid back attitude on the phone which I appreciate. More the “solve your problem” vibe than “here to sell” attitude.

  • I’ve always had good customer service from Shaw, although it’s always on the phone. The people were polite, helpful, and sounded friendly. Compared with the service I’ve had from Telus, which is probably the worst EVER, I’d take efficient but not much personality. As for servers, if I’m at a restaurant, a smile and eye contact is a minimum. If I’m at McDonald’s, especially the drive-thru, I don’t need your life story. Just get my order right and be fast.

    • I can’t say I’ve dealt with Telus anytime recently. I did have an issue with them a few years ago but it was also a matter of living in a smaller community with accessibility issues.
      So you pay for the experience when at a restaurant and efficiency everywhere else? Makes sense.

  • I’ve always had great service from Shaw. Even their in-house service has been exceptional and from what I have been told from staff, this is their goal. They know that many of their competitors suck (I’m looking at you Telus).

    In the end, they continually suck me in to delay canceling my service or I end up upgrading.

    My only question for you is…why did you go to the outlet at all? Why not just phone? Was it an excuse to exercise?

    • My previous experience of Shaw coming to my house has always been friendly, timelyish (it is a cable company) and quick.
      The only reason I went to the centre was that I knew I had to return the cable box and I thought I’d do it in one shot – cancel/return. The exercise was a bonus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *