My Internet service provider is Telus, a company that gets fined repeatedly by Canada's regulatory agency for poor customer service. One of their favorite tactics is to reduce prices and improve service to match the competition -- but avoid telling customers, leaving us with slower service and paying higher monthly fees.
Last month, though, Telus made a mistake. By accident, it told customers that higher Internet access speeds are available. It sent commissioned sales people door to door, hoping to sign us up for their version of cablevision "because Telus installed a fiber optic network in your neighbourhood."
It did? We have fiber?
(The saleswoman went away disappointed, for the new and free, over-the-air, digital signal is all we need for our infrequent tv watching.)
I checked their Web site, and sure enough. For the same price, I could get 10-15mbps (mega bytes per second), instead of my current 3mbps. By coincidence, the same day the bill arrived from Telus, alerting me that my Internet fee would be going up $3. So now it was going to have faster speed at a lower price.
I ordered the new "turbo" service online, and Telus promised to respond within 24 hours and do the install in 72 hours. As per usual service, I got the automated confirmation email, but no install. After five days, I engaged their tech support in a chat session; no go: the techie told me I would have to phone Telus.
After waiting on hold for 15 minutes, the next techie told me the service order had gone in only yesterday. But I would have to wait for the new modem to arrive.
Another five days later, the replacement modem arrived. I installed it without a hitch, but the speed was no quicker.
This morning, my Internet connection didn't work. I tried going online, and was redirected to the Telus Web page for registering the modem. Except it would not let me. The page had no instructions for what to do next.
Eventually I thought of phoning Telus, and it turns out they needed to "flush all IP addresses" from their end, was the technical explanation. A few minutes later, the faster Internet was working. Some 1.5 weeks after it was promised.
I tested the access speeds. The download speed increased from 330 to 1400 KB/second. Uploads are, however, not that much faster, going from 70 to 90KB/sec.
In practical terms, I can now download 1GB in 12 minutes, instead of in an hour. Also, my data limit is upped from 100GB to 250GB. OTOH, Web pages don't seem to load any faster; maybe the browser becomes the limiting factor.