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HSBC was sold to the Royal Bank of Canada this week for an obscene amount. I’m not an expert in banking but thought I would discuss what this means to me.


The Royal Bank of Canada has signed a deal to buy HSBC Canada for CAD $13.5 billion. The deal will close by the end of 2023 and at that stage, it will take several months to migrate current HSBC customers to its bank.  RBC thinks it’s a way to expand internationally and add to its client base. They are supposedly going to integrate technology to meet the commercial capability and globally connected client base.

The deal will need regulatory approval so there will be some obstacles that they will have to get through.

The Good and the Bad

HSBC Canada is a little backward compared to other Canadian banks and its UK equivalent. The benefits that other people enjoy with other banks I don’t have with HSBC. I can’t add Debit to my iPhone since HSBC hasn’t signed up for Visa Debit or a similar service. I can’t use online verification services as HSBC hasn’t signed up for them, these include a login to Canadian government services. It would be a major benefit to me should RBC provide these services to migrated customers.

One of the major must-have facilities for me is to transfer money from HSBC UK to HSBC Canada. If money comes into my UK account I can then transfer it to my pound-sterling account in Canada, at no cost. Then, when the transfer rate is to my benefit, I convert it into my CAD$ account. Transferring at a time that is convenient to me vs getting it paid directly into my Canadian account from future pension payments and other reasons allows me to earn more from my money. HSBC Canada has many Asian clients for exactly that reason, transferring cash from HSBC Hong Kong is one such example. RBC need to think globally and provide equivalent or better services, otherwise, I would not be happy.

There has been a lot in the news about the reputation of HSBC being linked with unglamorous customers who may have a slightly dodgy background. I believe that will be a risk to reputation exercise for RBC so it had better review the security aspect of this deal.

HSBC vs RBC Customer Service

HSBC has not been great over the years.

I am supposed to have a named contact at HSBC Belgravia, London, but despite reaching out that person has never had the courtesy of replying.

It took over 1 year for HSBC to respond to a question here in Canada, then I just gave up on a service I was going to buy.

At this stage I don’t know too much about the customer service of RBC, however, looking through Yelp reviews it’s not great. Our local branch receives a 3/5, and other nearby branches don’t receive any greater than 2/5.

Online Feedback

I was checking out online what people are saying about this story. According to The Financial Post, it could affect mortgages. Some are saying that HSBC is beholden to China. Some have put an anti-Trudeau slant on it saying companies have no appetite to invest in Canada anymore. Some say it gives more power to the minority of banks. So, I’m not an expert on this subject, I really can’t comment on what they say.


It’s an excellent opportunity to review who I want to do business with. For example, I don’t have to move to RBC if another bank, with a better reputation, can provide equal or better services. It’s always good to bank with more than one institution too, if one goes belly up I would have another for continuity.

2022-12-01T00:03:06+00:001 December 2022|Customer Service|

Customer Service Restoration

Back in February two apartments above us had a leaky pipe, the water mainly affected the apartment above us but also did some minor damage to our kitchen as well. This is our journey to get the issue fixed.

In The Beginning

The day that it happened we called the local handyman and he drilled a hole in our kitchen ceiling so that the water would spread further into our walls. That did the trick and only affected a small part of the ceiling.  I felt sorry for those people above us as the water did affect them more.

Then we started on our journey to get this fixed which was more stressful than the actual leak.


This is the company we have our insurance with. Initially, we had hoped that the apartment where the issue came from would get their insurance company to deal with all claims, we didn’t cause the incident, why should we pay for it out of our insurance. In fact, those are in the strata rules of where we live. However, when we initially contacted BCAA they said this was a building infrastructure problem rather than an accident caused by that apartment, so we would have to pay for it. I still don’t agree with this path but there wasn’t a lot I could do about it.

After that initial disappointment dealing with BCAA was ok. They were quite communicative, responding to our questions quickly, providing us with good explanations, and explaining things well. They paid us for certain expenses and the cheque came through very quickly.

First OnSite

This is a restoration company that was recommended to us and they were an approved supplier with BCAA. Our experience with First OnSite was very poor.

  • They said “we get bad reviews”, well, now we know why.
  • They said they would start the work in 2-3 weeks, 2 months later…sigh.
  • Their so-called “project management” was non-existent and through most of it, we did it. Project Management was about 10% of the bill, that was 10% more than they actually did. What they know about project management couldn’t fill up the backside of a postage stamp.
  • Their communication was really bad. The project manager never writes back to us. The scope of the project was poorly communicated. Really didn’t have a handle on scheduling their sub-contractor. Two people arrived unannounced by their project manager.
  • We provided feedback but there was still no improvement in their service levels.
  • 3-4 times they tried to sell us their moving services, however, no move was required. I think they just tried to sell us something that wasn’t really necessary, we only learned the scope and move requirement (ie minimal move that we could handle) when their sub-contractor arrived. Really, a restoration company should know the scope of work of such a simple project.
  • They mixed up the final sign off documentation, the project manager thought it had been sent to us, but wasn’t.
  • We project managed with the sub-contractor, First OnSite said they couldn’t start for another two weeks but when we dealt with them directly they started on Monday after we called them.
  • Their cleaners didn’t do the deep clean that we asked for, I had to clean after they cleaned.
  • Their estimate wasn’t very detailed and their invoice basically said: “see estimate”. We had taken note of all the hours worked on this project so from the First OnSite perspective it was difficult to tally things up.

Numerous restoration companies had worked in our community and they are basically all the same. When speaking to sub-contractors who know what they are doing our confidence is restored but it appears restoration companies are full of administrators who should probably just act as referral agents rather than pretend to be subject matter experts.


This is the company that did the main labour on the damage. They used their sub-contractor to do the job. I would say they did a pretty decent job, there were things that could have been better but generally, I was quite pleased.

If we could have bypassed First OnSite and gone directly to Bender this project would have been far less stressful.


These are my lessons learned:

  • Just because you didn’t cause an accident doesn’t mean an insurance company will go after someone else to pay for it.
  • Bypass restoration companies if you can but if you have no choice but to use them then watch them like a hawk, they might diddle you or forget you exist for months.
  • Ask the insurance company, if you do any of the work yourself, like moving items, having to stay in a hotel, eating dinners out, and what you can claim back on. We did some stuff ourselves, got compensated for it, and saved the insurance company hundreds of dollars.
  • If you live in an apartment block see what there are in the rules about damage by other apartments.
  • If others are affected compare notes and worth collectively to resolve issues as they come up.
2022-06-20T17:36:50+00:0020 May 2022|Customer Service|

Customer Service Update April 2022

As you can see from the length of this blog entry I’m not having a good time with companies right now. Some are minor issues and some are more serious. I keep forgiving them due to the pandemic and the lack of finding staff to do work these days, but to a certain extent, it really isn’t my problem.  If they make promises, they should keep them.

Restoration Work

I won’t name the companies yet for this work. An upstairs neighbour had a water leak which came down two floors into our apartment. It caused some minor damage. Going through our insurance company it took a little while for them to agree to pay for the damages, however, they said they wouldn’t chase after the insurance company of the household that caused the damage, they should have done.

The restoration company they are using to do our work is next to useless.

The first thing their project manager said to use “we always get bad reviews”, well, I can see why:

  • Their project management is non-existent.
  • Poor communication with us ignoring emails and requests for answers.
  • There is poor communication between their company and sub-contractors.
  • Suggesting we should pay for something which their sub-contractor said is not needed.
  • Promised work would start within 2-3 weeks yet it’s been 2 months now.

We were told this is not an unusual practice and performance levels from restorations companies in this area. Sigh.


I had previously complained that their drivers are speeding in our neighbourhood. Well, they keep on speeding. Just like other complaints Amazon just pushes out a copy and paste message.

The company are now raising their Prime subscription by $20 which is quite a jump. Is it worth continuing with that subscription based on the poor performance of the company, I have experienced:

  • One-day delivery is rarely that, usually three days minimum.
  • Their TV offering is poor compared to other services.
  • The continuing poor behaviour when driving in our neighbourhood.
  • Poor treatment of staff; anti-union and more.


This is the company that my data might have been uploaded to as a result of a hack at our property management company. Since this was a GDPR request they should have responded within a month, but they failed to do so. I will have to investigate my next steps.


I had quite a lot of issues with them this past month, in particular getting repeat medication. They were constantly faxing back and forth to obtain authorization from the doctor. In one conversation they mentioned my “wife” making the assumption I was straight, yes, it seems some people still do that which is extremely tiring.

On my last visit, they said they still hadn’t got anything back from the doctor despite him faxing them 2 days prior. A whole bunch of their staff got involved and they eventually found it in their system, they had received it. What a mess.


They finally notified me of a change in fees. They should have informed customers when they announced it to the media, Amazon did this.


This UK TV channel had been broadcasting over YouTube until a message appeared saying it wasn’t available for my region, meaning Canada. I noticed on Twitter that people in other parts of the world experienced the same issue, including South Africa and Cyprus. The service is still available in the US, India and other countries, I VPN’d to check.

Contacting SkyNews was problematic. It took a stream of tweets for them to respond. When they did they provided me with an email address. Someone responded with a non-answer as though they performed zero research, sounded as though they just wanted to get rid of me.


Since Amazon had issues obtaining ink cartridges for my printer I thought I would try elsewhere. Despite being $20 more expensive Staples was the cheapest of the bunch. I checked on their website and they had 8 in stock at the local store so we drove there.

When we got there they said they had none in stock. I asked why it stated 8 on the website and they gave no comment. I tweeted about it, the usual copy/paste comments back from Staples, I didn’t want to get into another back and forth with another company. Eventually, Amazon delivered the cartridges which is good news.


As our community of 400 homes are all with Telus Home service we eventually got our 25% discount. Not only good for us but also the majority of people living here are seniors on a limited pension.

Telus hadn’t responded to my multiple reports of poor mobile signal in our area. I called them again and after being transferred from one person to the next I finally got to speak to someone who could help. Well, they couldn’t help much but they did try and at least they were friendly.

Eventually, I decided to buy their home telephone service. I had no choice given their poor mobile signal. The setup wasn’t without issues but eventually got it in. Of course, the phone is connected to fibre, so if that goes down our internet, TV and phone will experience downtime.

2022-04-10T05:23:35+00:0010 April 2022|Customer Service|

Customer Service Update

Companies appear to be struggling still when it comes to providing good customer service, but some continue to be their own worst enemy.

New Issues


A US service where home maintenance people can list their business and members of the public can look them up to engage them. I cancelled my account with them on the same day I joined, many years ago.  This was due to receiving hundreds of emails just in the first hour of creating my account.  They bombarded my email account which took me ages to clean out and I was not amused.  I asked them never to contact me again.

Fast forward many years to January 2022. Out of the blue, I started to receive very spammy type emails from them.  I reached out to their customer service but they failed to respond. I posted something on their Twitter account asking for assistance but they blocked me. They clearly are an extremely dodgy company so I went ahead and reported their email accounts for phishing and blocked all their website IP addresses.

Looking through reviews online I notice my experience is similar to others.  Not good.


I heard on the grapevine, through social media, that Netflix was increasing its charges but hadn’t notified me of that.  I spoke to Netflix and they agreed that notifications to customers should go out at the same time as the media. They did promise I would receive an email 2-3 days before the increase is charged on my account.

They said I would see the increase on 6th February 2022. The increased charge was supposed to have been made on that day, it wasn’t, just the old price. When I called them they said the increased charge would be on 6th April 2022. So I get the feeling there is some miscommunication at the company.  It’s not a big issue but they shouldn’t confuse customers and should improve their communication.

Royal Mint

I got all my delivery and billing addresses into a bit of a pick on their system so I wrote to ask them how I can fix it.  I got a prompt polite response, they fixed the issues for me. I love it when dealing with a company or organization is this easy.



Last year I reported one of their representatives driving dangerously in our neighbourhood.  This hasn’t occurred again. However, when I reported the issue the telephone number they provide was no charge but when calling that number it redirected me to a regular number in the US so I ended up paying $13 for it, I didn’t find this out until I received my mobile bill.  I was shocked. That means they have no customer service in Canada and there is a hub in the US, also they lie about their free calling. I was so upset.

We ordered masks from Amazon, it wasn’t Amazon themselves but a 3rd party seller. I assumed Amazon would vet all their sellers, but they obviously don’t. The masks were falsely advertised and weren’t what we wanted. The company tried to fob us off with a 60% refund. 60% of the masks weren’t at fault, all of them were, totally dodgy and unimpressive. Eventually, we did 100% of the money returned.  We obviously won’t buy masks off Amazon again.


Last year there was a series of misdeliveries by FedEx, I’ve not heard any recent complaints from anybody that this has continued but usually the high season is during the Christmas period, so we shall wait until the end of the year.


SpamExperts continues to be a problem although it has slightly improved, but not by much. Now I have a new problem whereby the majority of my emails appear to be in a queue even though they have been delivered.  Not sure if I can be bothered to report it to them again. At least it appears I am getting my emails one way or the other.


Some back and forth with Telus regarding the poor signal on my mobile phone and that of our follow 400 neighbours. I am getting nowhere fast with them really.

I did manage to improve the signal a bit. On my iPhone I turned my Airplane mode on and off, then I re-registered WiFi calling.

I’m trying to avoid having to pay for a landline since I don’t really want to pay for another subscription.


Receiving letters and parcels from overseas continues to be an issue. It took one month for a regular letter to arrive from California via USPS and Canada Post. One small parcel took just over a week from the UK. We still haven’t received some Christmas Cards from California yet, and it’s already the 2nd week of February.

I would personally recommend not sending cheques through the mail but trying to get clients to pay via electronic services. For physical items there is no choice but to use the postal system but I would recommend buy local where possible.

First .ca Spam

I wrote about this here, I won’t mention the company yet but it has been like extracting blood from a stone to get information from them. Not very satisfactory.

2022-02-10T18:31:50+00:0010 February 2022|Customer Service|

Customer Service Review 2021

This is my annual review of customer services experiences over the past year, 2021. Again, companies are facing many difficulties with staffing and supply chain issues relating to the continuation of the pandemic. So, I am being patient as I can be with companies, however, many can be their own worst enemy. The key for these companies, I believe, is not to over-promise and conduct themselves on a “best endeavours” basis.


I pre-ordered items only to find out that there wasn’t enough to go around, so I received nothing. I wasn’t too bothered but I did have to scramble round to buy them elsewhere. One book I pre-ordered was cancelled, according to the publisher, however, Amazon still has it on their site and I’m still on the pre-order list.

Most of their drivers are absolutely miserable but I guess they are under pressure from the company to meet targets, I don’t think Amazon is too kind towards them.

I live in a neighbourhood with a lot of seniors many of whom have become injured as a result of people speeding. So, I witnessed an Amazon driver speeding and decided to report it to the company. The whole process of reporting was very painful, I don’t think this is in the staff’s ordinary daily workflow as it appeared they struggled in taking down the details. After the call I was left in doubt on whether they would take the issue seriously, reporting to them though would be better than having to deal with one of their drivers knocking over a senior.


I ordered books from Chapters and their level of service was very good using Canada Post to deliver. They can be more expensive than Amazon but being a smaller business I felt better using them.


I ordered an iPhone and FedEx delivered it to the wrong address. They left it on the wrong doorstep and did a runner, they were supposed to get the COVID equivalent of a signature for it but failed to do so. I heard from other neighbours who say FedEx is always delivering to incorrect addresses.

So, I tried to reach out to FedEx to find discuss how we can work together to ensure parcels are delivered correctly. Despite reminders, it took 3 months to be able to connect with a human being there, it was extremely frustrating. The manager I spoke to, based in Montreal, was helpful and promised to work with the local FedEx office to improve service levels.

Since I spoke to that manager FedEx has miss-delivered at least 3 times. One of their vans even drove over the green area of our fountains. Nothing changes. Having said that, other delivery companies behave in pretty much the same way.


This is the first year I have nothing to say about them, it’s usually stressful but didn’t have to contact them at all.

London Drugs

Two times I tried to order something from their website and on both occasions, their website failed. The first order suggested they had 6 in stock, I ordered it, but a member of staff called me saying they had none – obviously a major issue connecting their website with the real-time inventory at the store. The second-order looked as though it went through but was rejected within 15 minutes.

So, I wrote to London Drugs asking for feedback on why these didn’t go through, they never responded. So, I will not be ordering anything from London Drugs online again.

Having said that, I did like London Drugs but I will have to avoid their website.

Shaw to Telus

We moved our cable supplier from Shaw to Telus about a year ago, we’ve not had any issues with the actual service. We have had a couple of short downtime issues but that is something all companies cannot escape from.

We’ve had very poor or no signal to our Telus mobile phones since we moved here, it’s the same for Rogers, Bell and other companies. Telus recommended we get a tower, this was agreed to by our community, but then Telus changed their mind about it leaving us all in a pickle about our poor service. We connect our mobiles via WiFi but the signal is poor on Telus than it was on Shaw. Rogers might be interested in putting up the tower so we’ll see what happens.


This company is the best ever for hosting websites, never any issues, but the price reflects that good level of service.

However, 2021 was an extremely bad year for them in particular with email. They had a whole period of email downtime when, from what I could see, was a SpamExperts upgrade or reconfiguration. This tested their customer service skills and I found:

  • They attempted to keep the issue as quiet as possible saying nothing on their Twitter account.
  • Any updates on downtime were placed within the logged-in area of the site.  Keep having to log in to review updates was a nuisance. Other companies have a transparent status page.
  • The downtime updates weren’t detailed enough and they would vanish quickly so users couldn’t find out what the problem and resolution was.

After the issues were resolved I noticed there was a serious lag on emails appearing in SpamExperts, so I could review messages that have been quarantined in a timely manner. This went on for weeks and weeks, from what I gather SpamExperts wasn’t that responsive to the problems they had, so, Siteground couldn’t effectively communicate with customers without proper updates from them.

I just got so fed up with the ticket I had opened with Siteground with no updates I just told them they should close it and I would have to accept this to be the level of service now. Siteground didn’t want to close it so it remained open for another week or so, they then reached out to suggest it should be closed.  So, I’m not sure if they are actually working with SpamExperts in the background now, certainly, the issue is not resolved and most likely ever won’t be.

Other Issues

The post has been very sporadic. The year started with very poor service via USPS but I believe that was a politically orientated mess. Post between the UK and Canada has been very good or very bad; one parcel arrived in 5 days, another took 2 months.

Supermarkets are doing an amazing job during the pandemic but we are careful which ones we go in.  We noticed the more local the supermarket is the worse the customers are, mainly how irresponsible they are with wearing masks and social distancing. There were small pockets of supply chain issues in supermarkets but nothing that really affected us.


More customer services issues than previous years, most of it just reflects companies’ issues dealing with the pandemic, some where they could just minor adjustments to prevent complaints in the future.

2021-12-28T22:42:15+00:0028 December 2021|Customer Service|

Customer Service Update 2020

I had low expectations for good customer service due to the pandemic and impact it had on all companies. However, those companies that were good remained good and those that were bad became worse.  So, let’s go through the issues I had during 2020.

I hope never to have a customer service issue, I don’t like calling them, but if there is a problem I prefer to resolve it through their self-serve website. If I have to talk to a human there is a problem. If I have to go on social media that means I am seriously not happy.


A domain supplier and web host.

Probably the easiest company to deal with this year. Virtually 100% uptime of my website. When I had a query it took longer to answer than it normally did, about an hour or so, but that is certainly better than any other company I have dealt with.

There were some hiccups when they migrated from cPanel to their own Site Tools which took me a little while to resolve. See this post.

HSBC UK and Canada

I’ve had issues with HSBC before but on the Canadian side, I haven’t had any problems with this year. Since I can talk to someone directly it has certainly helped a lot.

On the UK side, it’s very unfortunate that they rarely respond to me and don’t have a point of contact in the same way I have in Canada. It’s quite unfortunate that I have to struggle when they could make life easier with one 5 minute telephone call once or twice a year.

HSBC generally has a bad reputation globally due to some actions they have taken over political circumstances so I’m just wondering what the future holds for them.


Shaw is an internet and Cable TV provider in Canada, we cancelled our service with them as they were so bad.

frustratedShaw has certainly declined over the past 3 years. This is what I have found:

  • Internet speeds jump around from what they are contracted to supply to me from 300Mbps down to 65Mbps. It’s unpredictable what it will be from one day to the next. When I called once they fixed it within 2 minutes. But, when I bring the issue up again they either ignore it or say something bizarre.
  • We’ve had ongoing issues with the breakup of picture and audio on numerous TV channels. They will either dis-believe me it’s happening stating there is no issue (when there is) or never fix it.
  • Their TV system is called BlueCurve which they contract out from Comcast/Xfinity. Within BlueCurve you have apps such as Netflix or YouTube. Via BlueCurve, Netflix is not displaying subtitles correctly, other Shaw users tell me this is affecting everyone plus also other cable companies that rent the same system from Comcast. The problem is, Shaw will not admit to me there is an issue at all, they have even lied about it. I just don’t understand why they can’t be honest and forthright with their customers. Bizarre.
  • Shaw Business have a web hosting option and through a client, I had the misfortune to have to use their system. I have never seen a clunky mess in all my life, probably the worst web host, and I’ve experienced some bad ones in my time. Their cPanel was a mess. Information wasn’t feeding into the cPanel correctly. PHPMyAdmin wasn’t installed. Didn’t display the domain. They had an outdated version of PHP. A simple customer service query took over 1 week to answer as they outsource the whole function to another company. I’m beginning to wonder what else Shaw outsources, maybe their project management of these companies are bad?
  • The final bill came after we cancelled, and they couldn’t even get that right.

So, the result of the above has been our move to Telus Internet and TV.  Telus installed fibre in our area and their Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal was too good to pass up. We shall see how that goes.


Domain and web host.

Three of my clients use the GoDaddy system, they are not as horrible as Shaw (see above) but they have issues I wish they would resolve.

  • Too much downtime on their system, often it doesn’t meet the uptime as their contract promises customers. This is something I am closely monitoring.
  • Their customer service:
    • Makes a promise and doesn’t deliver, doesn’t meet the expectations they set themselves
    • Provides contact for further queries but that person never responded to emails
  • Logging into their cPanel is very problematic, keeps logging me out whenever I try and do something.
  • FTP doesn’t work properly on all plans.


We have been with Telus Mobility, the mobile phone part of their company, for about 3 years now.

The good news is that I’ve never had to contact them about anything in 2020. Yay.

The installation of their TV and Internet service went well, see this post, the network seems more stable so far. The Telus guy who performed the installation did an excellent job, ensuring we had everything we needed. So, as I said, we’ll see how it goes.


Earlier in the year I had an altercation with a member of staff at Costco. They had implemented social distancing but couples of course could stick together. We were told off by an employee for not social distancing, straight couples weren’t being told off, only us, a same sex couple. This is the first discriminatory statement anyone has made to us in years and I was pretty angry by it. After a while the employee was made to apologize to us. I hope he learned a lesson.

Generally Costco staff are very good and jolly so I was taken aback by this incident. I did write to Costco about it to provide feedback in a constructive manner but they never replied, this told me a lot on how they handle cases of discrimination against their customers…ignore it basically.


I haven’t had any issues with Amazon this year, I try to avoid doing business with them anyhow, I don’t like their brand but unfortunately for some things, there are no competitors with the products I need.

One incident concerned me, a delivery arrived at about 9 pm and the member of staff had been out since 11 am without a break and nothing to eat. I find this quite troubling and another reason why I don’t like to give business to companies who treat their staff so poorly.


I engaged them to print off our annual Christmas newsletter. Unfortunately, they messed it up but I really couldn’t be bothered to ask them to fix it. I just won’t use their printing service again. The customer service person there is never happy no matter how cheerful I approach them. I have used UPS for printing before so I will go back with them in 2021, never had an unsatisfactory service from them.

We went into Staples a couple of other times, for non-print services, and they were ok.


There are other companies that I haven’t mentioned here, supermarkets have done particularly well during the pandemic, most staff have managed to cope despite members of the public’s bad behaviour towards them.

Good and bad spots like other years but as I said my expectations were much lower this year.

2020-12-28T23:15:41+00:0028 December 2020|Customer Service|

Review of Telus vs Shaw

Telus is a supplier of mobile, internet, telephony and cable TV services here in Canada. After some issues with Shaw, we decided to move our internet and TV services to Telus.

Why Did We Cancel Shaw

I will cover this in a later post reviewing overall customer service experiences during 2020. We have been with Shaw for many years but noticed their service hasn’t been so good lately so we decided to go with Telus.

Everybody complains about the cable company they are with so it’s tough to get a full and honest review of them as different people have different experiences. Initially, we had a great experience with Shaw but in the past 3 years, it was becoming an overhead to retain their services.

Telus laid fibre optic cables in our area which everyone told me was very much a more stable infrastructure.

Why Didn’t We Move to Telus Earlier?

We could have moved to Telus about a year ago in the initial wave of locals moving to them.

The reason we didn’t was due to their hard sales approach, the company outsourced this sales function to another company who I felt was pressing us too much without the information I needed to know to warrant the move. So, we just left it until now.

The Move

I wanted to wait and see what their Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales included, and we did find a very tempting bargain that, in the initial 2 years of the contract, would in fact be cheaper than Shaw. Obviously, the charge will go up in 2 years’ time but we can review what our requirements are in the meantime.

The offer was only good online but their website wasn’t cooperating in order to make the transaction happen. So, we started to get frustrated and for a short while almost didn’t take it any future. We phoned them up and said they would honour the deal online. When adding a service they go through another credit check. Because we are already a mobility customer we got a discount on top of the Black Friday deal.

The Installation

This went very well and the engineer that came to our home was quick and thorough in providing us with the training necessary.

We got two-wire connections, one for the TV and the other for my computer. For my computer, this provided me with a 990 Mbps download and upload speed. All I need do is turn my wifi on when I print and airdrop. I found the connection with Shaw was unpredictable, 300 Mbps would go down to 60 or 90 which was tough when trying to hold meetings online over Skype or Zoom. Since I’m not using the wifi bandwidth other devices would have a better connection. The Wifi speed is around 600 Mbps Upload and Download.

Rather than a desk modem, the Telus device sits in a closet where the wire comes into the home. This is so much more convenient than taking up room on my desk, so much better.

Post Installation

The only problem I experienced was not being able to send jobs to my printer through wifi, I have no idea why that happened but I managed to resolve it in a couple of days.

The internet is very stable, no mass fluctuations like Shaw. Still around 990+ Mbps on wire and 600+ Mbps via Wifi upload/download.

The TV quality is so much clearer and more stable than Shaw. Over Shaw we had quite a few visual and audio difficulties that were so annoying, haven’t seen this yet over Telus. We also have access to more channels including overseas news. No problems with Netflix as we had through Shaw.

What We Are Enjoying About Telus

Some quick bullet points detailing what I like about the service:

  • Stability
  • Speed of internet, both Upload and Download are virtually the same
  • Access to more TV channels that I want to see especially news
  • The system seems a little bit more advanced than anything we have been on before


I am happy with the switch over so far, no doubt there will be issues and I hope they address them more professionally than Shaw did.

Update April 2022

I’m updating this post with some events since I wrote it.

The Home part of Telus continues to be stable, that is the internet and cable television. We haven’t experienced much downtime over their fibre option. There were some issues with BBC World News stalling now and again, but it was minimal.

The Mobility, mobile phone, service of Telus wasn’t so good. The signal in this area is chronically bad. This has been particularly dangerous to emergency services that are reliant on these services. Telus is not the only provider that has these issues in this area.  We live in an area that is pretty central with many people living in it. Telus was supposed to put in a tower but for some reason, they have not taken this forward.  Whenever I reported issues of bad signal Telus Mobility pretty much ignored me, and I did report it a number of times. I eventually managed to speak with someone at Telus, which was pretty stressful to do after being pushed from one person to the next, the result of this came to nought but they did come up with a couple of suggestions.

So, as a result of poor mobile signal, I had to get a Telus home phone service. Of course, I am sure Telus were very happy I’m giving them more money but I do feel quite upset over the issue.

2022-04-10T04:46:04+00:0017 December 2020|Customer Service|

Microsoft Customer Service Experience

MS OutlookIn previous jobs, I needed to have more contact with Microsoft than I do now and it was an extremely painful process, but we are talking quite some time ago. Have they improved? Well, based on the experience I had today, they haven’t much.

What Happened

I updated Office for Mac from 16.41 to 16.42. When opening Outlook a prompt appeared to switch to the “New Outlook”, I thought cool, that sounds great until then it told me none of my POP3 accounts would be compatible. What? POP3 accounts not compatible in an email program? Is Microsoft out of their minds?

So, I hit cancel and tried to search for information on their website.  I searched, and searched, and searched. Nothing could be found.  Eventually, I decided to contact Live Chat.

Live Chat Experience

Firstly, Live Chat is not compatible with Firefox so I had to switch to Chrome. It’s most likely Firefox’s security protocols.

I asked the question of the technician and had not heard of the issue, they wanted to troubleshoot my computer. So, they did remote access despite my better judgement. Finally, towards the end, they told me POP3 wasn’t supported in “New Outlook” as yet.


Starting the chat was painful, that almost took 10 minutes in itself. My query was picked up within 2 minutes but had to go through the account verification process.

The technician didn’t seem to know that POP3 wasn’t supported in the initial 25 minutes of the chat and had to waste my time fiddling with my computer and going back/forth with non-sense. It was a painful process but got the answer eventually which really could have been answered within 2 minutes.

I tweeted my experience and pleased that the product manager from the Outlook for Mac team picked that up, so at least I know my feedback went to the right person. Sometimes social media does work out better than contacting support.

2020-10-13T23:14:40+00:0013 October 2020|Customer Service|

Customer Service During COVID19

Costco Blown UpDuring the lockdown, relating to COVID-19, I’ve put my customer service needs on hold, just stop going forward until life gets back to normal so I don’t bother many companies whose staff I am sure are having a tough time. Here is a review on how things have been going.


I personally don’t use this domain and web hosting company but my clients do. It’s not the worst company but it’s not the best either, I have never been a customer with them as I was warned off for the following reasons:

  1. Customer service tries to sell you useless things you don’t need.
  2. Once you are a customer they make it as difficult as possible for you to leave.

The only time I try to reach out to them is when my clients have downtime on their websites, which has been significant of late. There was nothing about outages on their status page but checking out Twitter many customers seemed to be experiencing the same issues. Someone on twitter tried to reach out to them on Live Chat but the waiting time was 14 hours, which is quite scary. GoDaddy has never responded to any of the messages I sent them.

I don’t know what their staff are going through especially when there is an outage, maybe they are finding hard to coordinate with technicians, but it leaves many customers in the dark.


I don’t enjoy going in Costco on a normal day but have always had good experiences with staff either in stores or their administration offices over the years. Recently it seems to have gone in the other direction, the result of which will be me keeping away from them unless I have a dire need to use them.

There were two incidents I was kind of disturbed about recently.

Incident 1

Went into Costco for a prescription with the hubby.
Staff: Keep 6ft away from him.
Me: I’m married to him.
Staff: You still need to keep 6ft away.[Sees straight couples together, none of which were told to stay 6ft away from each other] Me Shouting: I go to bed with him, and not caught anything yet.
15 mins later staff member apologizes, but if I had left the store I wouldn’t have heard that apology.

Hopefully, the member of staff isn’t homophobic and just over-thinking his job right now, he could have started the conversation by saying “are you two together” then it wouldn’t have got out of hand.

Incident 2

Goes online to try and amend an address in the My Account area of the Costco website.
System wouldn’t let me change the postcode.
Wrote an email to Costco asking them to make the amendment.
They wrote back with the message “you have to go into the My Account area to change your address”.

Obviously they never read my email properly. Maybe they are just inundated with issues to handle right now but I would have thought that one is a synch to fix.


Namecheap is a well known company for letting scammers buy domains in bulk for various evil purposes, I thought they were ‘leaders’ in the market but now a new company has appeared on the scene. I had never heard of NameSilo before, the reviews I have seen of the company appear to be good, however, it seems that they are allowing scammers buy domains in bulk too. All of a sudden I started to receive a huge amount of spam, I looked up domains and discovered they were purchased via NameSilo.

It might be the case that no one is hosting via NameSilo but have bought domains via another company, in another country. I noticed that all domains in my spam have very similar format; three letters followed by four numbers, mostly .com tld’s. I would have thought this would have generated some suspicion at the company. Anyway, like Namecheap, NameSilo get an F rating at the Better Business Bureau because they fail to respond to customer complaints that are escalated there.


There are some companies I deal with that are known to have poor customer service but I just assume I am not going to get anything done during this period, so I have left them alone.

Compainies I don’t usually have issues with haven’t been doing that well during the lockdown but I just put that down to these chaotic times.

We’ve gone to some stores where staff are clearly unhappy but I can’t blame them really, on the whole we’ve had a brilliant experience with other places. So, it’s hit and miss during these times.

2020-05-06T22:01:50+00:006 May 2020|Coronavirus, Customer Service|

HP Customer Service

OfficeJet Pro 9015This is just a random review of HP customer service as I thought I had an odd experience today.

My current printer died and it’s not worth updating given that it doesn’t have all the groovy features you would expect in 2020. So thought it was about time to buy a new 4 in 1 model. I struggled to find one that is compatible with the latest Mac OSX. HP still seemed to be the best for my needs but I did have a slight trauma in contacting them.


I wanted to find a list of Mojave compatible printers, the HP website had misleading information on that, so I attempted to contact customer support.

  1. Went onto the HP website to find the Canadian support homepage.
  2. Called the 1-800 Canadian number
  3. Got through to a representative very quickly, was pleased about that. I told her what I needed.
  4. I asked if HP had a list of Mojave compatible Inkjet printers similar to the LaserJet one on the website. She didn’t answer.
  5. She asked if I was in Canada. I said I was in Vancouver, British Colombia. She then asked again whether I was in Canada. It seemed she didn’t know where British Columbia was.
  6. I asked if I had been redirected to the US call centre, she didn’t want to answer. Thinking about it now I’m not sure if the rep was based even in North America or even if she worked for HP, maybe an outsourcing company?
  7. Basically, she had no idea what I was talking about, the call started to deteriorate.
  8. I decided to end the call as I wasn’t getting anywhere.

It was an extraordinarily odd call. I noticed the rep wanted to adhere very tightly to a script that was most likely on her call centre application.


I managed to reach out to someone on Twitter. They managed to redirect me to a page on their site that had a list of Mojave compatible printers but didn’t list the one I was considering.

The social media person said he didn’t know if it was compatible as there had been a lot of confusion over this issue. Well, the confusion seemed to be mainly with HP. The guy gave me a technical support number to call, I suspect it was in the US.


I called the technical support number as provided.

It was difficult to get through their telephone workflow as it kept wanting to direct me towards the “virtual assistant”. At this stage, I was not patient enough to speak to a computer. The first call was dropped as soon as it redirected me to a human. Sigh. I called again and finally managed to get through to someone.

That call started in an odd way, the rep first asked me for an issue number, I said I didn’t have one. Then she asked me if I was “such and such” person, I said I wasn’t, maybe she was expecting someone to call her back. Finally got to ask her the question I wanted answering and got an immediate “yes it is compatible, via an app in the Apple Store”. She tried to get me to order the printer from her but it would take up to 6 days via a courier and just couldn’t be dealing with that.

Finally got there in the end.


I wrote feedback to HP about the above so they were aware of the process in getting an answer to a question stating that it shouldn’t have taken that long.

I was impressed with an immediate call back soon after I write that email. That was nice of them.


The final step was buying the printer which we did from a very hard salesperson in Staples Canada, that was a bit troublesome too.

I bought an HP OfficeJet Pro 9015.  I got it fixed up at home and it works perfectly with Mojave, as they said, via the app.

Some features I like about the printer:

  • Nice bright design
  • Easy to read/touch front panel
  • Duplex printing and scanning. Two-sided scanning is a huge bonus for me.
  • Mobile friendly

Some bad points:

  • Seems a little noisy when printing
  • Doesn’t do larger size paper formats
2020-02-13T23:12:46+00:0011 February 2020|Customer Service, Technology|