Ode to an unpaid cable bill

Shaw Digital Phone for $14.95? What a deal!
Photo Credit: Sean Ledwich

In August 2009, as one of millions of existing customers, I got a call from Shaw Communications offering me full cable for the low price of $14.95 a month for two months.

The sales guy even threw in the Movie Channels. After the initial two months that price would be bundled with my internet bill and run me about $100 per month.

I made a mental note to cancel the cable before the two month promotion was over. My mother made it clear to me, when I told her about my fantastic deal, that I need to be diligent in cancelling the cable because it is easy to get caught in a trap of paying for a service I don’t need.

Let me preface this tale by stating for the record that there was no reason to get the cable in the first place because I don’t have time to watch my “stories” when they originally air.

When I do find time to catch up on Law and Order, Law and Order: SVU and Law and Order Criminal Intent I watch them online because most networks make the shows available on their websites once they’ve aired.

Since my classes resumed five months ago, I don’t think I’ve spent more than an hour watching television. Who has the time?

100 unwatched channels and two unpaid bills later, my mailbox was bursting with offers to sign up for Shaw Digital Phone.

What? How does that make sense? Why would anyone offer me more services when I had an outstanding balance of over $200?

(Don’t tell my mom).

I assume it’s because Shaw likes to keep that business rolling in even if it means making offers to customers with delinquent accounts or perhaps it’s because there isn’t communication between the billing department and the sales department.

I called Shaw Customer Care to find out. First I spoke to someone in television support from there I was directed to billing. The gal I spoke to said she would "email a public relations co-ordinator to contact me" who would then be able to answer my questions.

I didn’t hear back so I called the media inquiries line and was transferred to someone's voicemail. I have yet to hear back.

To make matters worse, when I finally paid my bill I called to disconnect the money pit which is my cable.

The guy on the line, I never got his name but I feel as if we’d be great friends, told me all I needed to ditch my bank-account-sucking cable was to take my cable box back to Shaw on Scurfield Boulevard. My cable won’t be shut off until I do so.

Yeah, yeah. I'll get to that ... eventually.

It’s been six days and I’m still able to watch those 100 channels. (Don’t tell my mom this either).

What did I learn? Well, two things.

The first is that I’m lazy.

The second is that Shaw Communications really wants me to watch TV. But, more realistically, they want me to keep giving them my money.

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Heather McGowan

  • User since Oct 27th 2009, 09:37