Review by MysticGuitar
Good "Large On Demand selection, fantastic phone service"
- Location: Waterdown,ON
- Cost: $300 per month (12 month contract)
- Install: about 6 days
Bad "High prices, very unreliable internet, unprofessional support, barebone television service, high on-demand rental prices"
Overall "Cogeco offers a truly amazing home phone service, but lacks with their internet and television offerings."
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)
::Update 4: August 22nd, 2014::
Alright, Cogeco has convinced me to stay a customer throughout the congestion period. We came to a fair compensation for the massive inconvenience, and while I am not currently a happy Cogeco customer, I will remain a customer for the time being.
I'm going to rewrite my original review based on my current services and experiences as a Cogeco customer.
Currently, I have zero complaints about Cogeco's home phone services, and would even go as far as to recommend Cogeco home phone over both Rogers and Bell. The price of Cogeco's Freedom package is far less than the immediate competition, and I honestly cannot recommend it enough.
Television is another story, though. While they have enough channel packages to keep anyone properly entertained, and I personally have noticed very little pixelation with the HD programs, Cogeco is still using a rather outdated TV Guide. It gets the job done, but is in no way pretty, or otherwise 'next gen'. There are also no 'smart' features, like what both Rogers and Bell offer. Quite simply, it is a generic television guide that works, but is in no way modern.
Cogeco's On Demand rental pricing is higher than the competition, and quite honestly makes me not want to rent or even use the On Demand services. It's simply an outdated way to rent movies, and an expensive one at that.
Movie rental time is also limited to 24 hours after playback, instead of the typical 48 hours offered from most online rental services.
An HD movie goes for around $7.95, while most other HD rental platforms are $5.99, making Cogeco $2 higher than the average industry price.
As for the internet? I've been having some very massive problems, which is why my review score is lower than what you would generally expect. However, based strictly on the advertised speed, bandwidth provided, and price of the package, Cogeco is a respectable Internet Service Provider. The Ultimate 120 Unlimited package, priced at only $94.95 with a bundle of three other Cogeco services, is both inexpensive and fast. Though, I do rather wish that the upload speed was faster, as 10 Mbps is rather slow when compared with the competition.
-Inexpensive, reliable and a better deal than the leading competitors.
-Expensive on-demand offering and an outdated interactive guide ruin the experience, but a large channel lineup mostly makes up for it.
-Slow and very inconsistent internet makes for a barely usable service. Highly congested network, and unstable pings make it impossible for realtime applications, like online gaming or conference calls via Skype. Note that this is a personal score of my internet services. If there was no congestion, the Internet would be 9/10.
::Update 3: August 20th, 2014::
Cogeco later offered me $300 of account credit, which I felt was an acceptable amount for the ten months of poor service. I figured, with $300 of credit, I could wait until August for this all to be resolved. And so, Cogeco kept another customer for a while longer.
Well, now it's August. Turns out, the date has been delayed until April of next year. That's another 7 months of unreliable internet service.
I'm currently trying to negotiate a deal with Cogeco to help make the next seven months of unreliable service less of a hassle, though I have very low hopes of a positive outcome. At least, one that is actually in my favour.
So, depending on how this all plays out, I will either end up cancelling my internet altogether, or I will keep it, and remain an unhappy customer with a bit of extra credit to hold me over for over half a year.
::Update 2: January 14th, 2014. ::
This is my (most likely) final update.
Cogeco has been an absolute nightmare to deal with, and they are unable to provide me with the services advertised, due to a severe case of network congestion.
Unfortunately, these issues will not be fixed until mid August of 2014, meaning my services will be severely impaired for a period of ten months. (nearly a year, as the congestion first occurred in mid October of 2013)
While Cogeco has offered $100 to help compensate for their congested internet services, this compensation is no where near a decent amount.
I intend to make the switch to TekSavvy by April/May of this year.
The final verdict: avoid Cogeco. They are not worth your time or your money, and while they do offer the absolute best home phone services around, they are severely lacking in regards to their internet and television offerings.
Internet, as stated, is very congested. The speeds are very inconsistent, and you are in no way receiving what it is you pay for.
The television lacks any of the smart features that other providers have been offering for years. The On-Demand pricing is outrageously high, the interactive guide is outdated and lacks modern functionality, and while the picture quality appears to be very clear, the lack of the additional services offered by other providers, and at the same general price, makes Cogeco an unworthy television provider.
::Update 1: December 23rd, 2013. ::
Since writing my initial review, Cogeco has increased the monthly bandwidth allowance, and also introduced faster upload speeds (10 Mbps) so they are now capable of actually competing with Bell and Rogers. However, they have gone downhill in terms of network reliability, with massive congestion issues beginning mid October of 2013. I'm getting around 20-40% of what I pay for, having the download speed drop all the way down from a once-steady 60 Mbps to 10 Mbps. The general reliability has degraded, and severe packet loss is now occurring.
Cogeco's support services have been of absolutely no help to me, and for a very long while, they kept insisting that no problems were occurring. After multiple phone calls, they finally admitted that there was congestion in my area. However, they also noticed an unusual amount of packet loss coming from my local network, which they claimed was unrelated to the congestion. So, they sent a technician over to take a look.
This technician was an absolute waste of my time, as he didn't find anything wrong with my home network. Everything was working as it should be.
This issue has yet to be resolved.
I also tried to contact Aaron, who's a regular on the Cogeco forums. Unfortunately, Aaron has yet to resolve any of my issues, and is taking roughly a week in between replies. Though, I do understand his reason for delay, as he isn't exactly a top level technical support guy. Still, a week is too long. This should have been resolved in November, but it looks like I will continue to have issues for a while more, with no end in sight.
That's why I am lowering my rating. While Cogeco still provides excellent home phone services, and their television service appears to be fairly reliable and high in picture quality, the severe problems that I have been having with their internet services cannot be overlooked. They're so severe, I've been looking for other options, and am even considering Bell as an internet service provider. (as they now offer Unlimited bandwidth for $10 extra)
I'll provide another update when and/or if these issues are ever resolved. If they're not resolved before April, I am going to switch to another provider. I've had enough, and I've given Cogeco more than enough time to fix their services. This isn't acceptable.
Television: HD Digital Select 8 + Movie Network
(TV#2 same plan, but without HD)
Internet: Ultimate 60
I'm not generally impressed with Cogeco's television services, nor am I unimpressed. They get the job done, and the HD programming has little to no visual artifacts. Cogeco offers a fairly barebone television service, one that meets all of your basic expectations, but doesn't go beyond the television medium with any kind of additional 'smart' features, such as those being offered by both Rogers and Bell. (ex. apps)
Cogeco provides a fairly significant amount of On Demand programming, even though the quality of all television shows is standard definition, most movies are available in HD, including the movies found on the 'Premium' section, such as The Movie Network content. The movies, excluding those offered in premium subscription plans, has an average rental fee of $7.95 for HD new releases. This price is higher than other internet-based rental services, such as Apple's iTunes store (which charges $5.99 for an HD rental of new releases), it is still an acceptable price for most movie-goers looking for a quick flick to watch on a Friday night with the family. Still, for heavy movie watchers, this may be a thing to consider before choosing to switch to Cogeco.
Although Cogeco has been expanding and improving their internet offerings over the years by including a higher monthly bandwidth cap, as well as increasing the speeds of the various plans that Cogeco provides. They are behind the competition in terms of upload channel speed and general network reliability. A 60 Mbps download connection coupled with a 2 Mbps upload channel doesn't justify a $100 monthly price, especially when you consider the speeds offered by the other internet service providers throughout Ontario, with Bell offering 50/10 connections at a price of $82.95, and Rogers having 45/4 for $74.99, Cogeco is simply not a viable option as an internet service provider. However, this is a very different story when it comes to the Cogeco phone services.
Cogeco, although not generally known as being a telephone provider, actually offers an outstanding phone service at prices far lower than both Bell and Rogers. Cogeco's Freedom plan is $50.99 monthly, and includes unlimited North American calling at any time of the day, a service that most other provides charge at a premium. For instance, Bell offers a comparable service with their Home phone Choice plan, which includes 5 free calling features. This plan is $42.94 monthly. For long distance calling, you must pay an additional $31.90, making your total monthly price $74.84.
I just can't stress enough how Cogeco's phone service is a truly amazing service for the price, and highly recommend Cogeco for their phone services alone. However, for internet or television, there are other far better providers out there to choose from.
When it comes to tech support, specifically phone-based support, the Cogeco agents were fairly polite and knowledgeable with their assigned departments. Although I've found myself at times being cycled between various agents before my problem could be resolved, they always treated me with respect and understanding. Cogeco has always been able to help, no matter how minor or severe the problem. That being said, one of the agents I've talked with recently did not know how to properly help me with my problem, and started to suggest I buy or subscribe to an additional package, which had absolutely nothing to do with the problem at hand. This specific agent at times made all kinds of suggestions as to what may be causing the problem, none of which were at all logical, and seemed to be nothing more than rapid guessing. So, even though Cogeco support isn't perfect, they remain to be one of the better tech support services I've come in contact with, if not the absolute best.
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