June 2016 Update: This post dates back to our experience in 2010. Since then we have switched again. In 2013 we made the switch to Telus Optik TV and to this day have zero complaints and could not be happier. The equipment is better, the customer service is better, the channel line-up is better, everything. We liked Telus so much we now use it for home phone, internet and television. Before this, the last time I had used Telus was back around 2000 and I said I would never again! Well, I was wrong. Things are different now, and Telus Optik is awesome.

We have been loyal customers of Shaw Direct (Formerly StarChoice) since 2005. Five years of paying our bills on time and enjoying their programming.

We have been thinking about getting an HD PVR for a while now, and their prices are around $500. Currently Bell has a deal on where new accounts can get one for $299. We decided to call Shaw Direct to see if they would match that price and send us out a PVR. They said no.

We told them that we would cancel our account and switch to Bell – the girl on the other end said, “Okay, well, have a nice day then”. Are you serious?

Shaw Direct really doesn’t want our service at all! Back in the “StarChoice” days, customer service would bend over backwards to keep a customer happy – since their acquisition things seem less customer oriented. (see my Post “Free HD PVR – But Not Really” from last year for another Shaw Direct experience

To top it all off, we are saving by switching – in the long run!

The Numbers

Stay with Shaw Direct
$39.99 / month + tax = $537 (for 12 months)

Switch to Bell
HD PVR Cost + tax = $446
Service + tax (@ $25 promo rate) = $336
$200 Promo Credit (for PVR purchase) = -$200
Total Cost for 12 Month Period = $582

That’s like paying $45 for the HD PVR when the dust settles.

BUT there’s more. The regular package price for the service is also $34.99 with Bell, an additional savings of $5 per month, so after 11 months of paying the regular service price, we will have recouped that $45, and after that we will start saving. So, basically, in the long run, all this will have saved us money, AND we will have the HD PVR. Can’t go wrong with this switch.

If you’re with Shaw Direct and want a PVR, you might want to consider switching…

Summary of why we are switching

  • Great deal on HD PVR
  • Lower monthly cost saves us money
  • Better HD selection (more stations) in basic package
  • Better Pay Per View selection

Update: Added This Poll on Sept 19, 2012! Vote Please!

Who is the Best TV Provider?

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Update: (Oct 2, 2013)  In early 2013 we switched from Bell to Telus Optik. So far programming, picture quality, customer service, price, and PVR Quality are FAR SUPERIOR to Bell. Ended up with a ton of issues with Bell, and were HAPPY to cancel as soon as our contract ended. I will write up a post about Telus soon. In the mean time here are a few BELL Posts

Bell Canada – Liers
Bell Canada Update
The Idiot at Bell Tech Support
Shaw Direct vs Bell vs Telus