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TekSavvy DSL page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
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Review by crumbworks See Profile

  • Location: North York,ON
  • Cost: $66 per month
Good "Amazing speeds, no monthly caps, and great transparent customer service"
Bad "Rare downtime is usually on Bell's fault. Speed upgrades were both bad experiences"
Overall "Overall, I'm very happy with TekSavvy"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·Bell Sympatico
April 2010:
Just switched from Bell -- it was an older account from around 2001 so it retained the unlimited bandwidth perk. However, it was over $60/month and kept going up (Bell's way to force people off the grandfathered plans), and Bell's customer service is AWFUL. I'd rather beat myself with my broken modem than deal with an outsourced Bell agent trying to "help me" replace it. Never again.

So now I have TekSavvy. I heard such good things

* * *

Initial Installation: A+

It could not have been better. They asked when my parents were planning on taking the Bell modem to their place, so they can coordinate when they will activate my connection. Since they had told Bell they weren't moving it for over 2 weeks, the TekSavvy representative that I spoke with said "Great! Since that is far enough away, you'll have your modem shipped by then, and you can go online without any service interruptions."

...and she was right. The morning it was set to be activated, I unhooked the Bell modem, hooked up the TekSavvy modem, and opened my browser. It asked me some simple questions about settings / username / password (all provided in a TekSavvy email I got 2 weeks prior) and I was online within 40 seconds. I was amazed, because Bell had previously SCREWED ME with stuff like this.

* * *

Stability: B+

Overall, it's an A. The only reason it doesn't get an A+ is because there are a few downtimes at weird hours (like 1am to 5am) and I am sometimes a night owl. Either way, it's rare. Since it's the same infastructure as Bell, I figured this would be the case -- while I dislike Bell as a whole, their stability was top notch. TekSavvy, same thing.

Update 09/2013: There have been blips here and there, but nothing substantial. Our old gateway was starting to die on us but it also faced heavy traffic for over 2 years, so I think it was just on its last legs. Since June 2013, we've had VDSL2, which requires a new gateway, and that has not had any issues at all.

* * *

Customer Service: A

They've been very nice to me every time I called, answering every question I had to the best of their ability. Calling people in Canada ALWAYS makes me happier. I hate outsourcing and have had some terrible experiences with it. TekSavvy is fantastic for keeping it local! PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE THAT!

The other reason I give it an A? Transparency. When there are DSL issues, I check the "network status" page and it mentions it right then and there... and on their forum here on DSLReports, among many other employees posting to inform us of the issue / progress, many of the replies are from the managers, VPs, and the CEO himself. What other company would have the CEO answer the customers directly?! I've always respected the hell out of this company.

* * *

Value: A

I went with Unlimited because my brother and I are very heavy users. Video podcasts, streaming services, cloud backup, etc -- we move a TON of data. I am very glad that TekSavvy offers an unlimited option in a market that otherwise has ridiculously small caps. Even better is the "we don't count upload" thing, which adds a great value to customers on the capped plans.

Update 06/2013: It's fantastic that TekSavvy has Unlimited tiers even for their fastest VDSL2 packages. I'm fine paying a premium to have it truly unlimited, given that this household uses far more than 300 GB per month. All in all, it still costs far less than their competitors, who haven't offered unlimited packages in ages.

* * *

Speed: A+

Update 2013: This section is being revised because since the time I originally wrote my review, I've upgraded my speed twice. From 5 Mbps ADSL... to 16/1 ADSL2+ FTTN.... to 25/10 VDSL2. The main reason for an A+ score: the TekSavvy reps (both over the phone and via direct forum) go the extra mile to make sure we get the speeds we pay for, in both directions.

* * *

Other/Misc: A+

I added this section to add 2 notes

1) When I initially called to set up my account with TekSavvy back in 2010, I was also switching my home phone from Bell to TekSavvy, and that was also very seamless. There was literally ZERO downtime for both services at any point during the transition.
2) There has never been one billing issue in the past 4.5 years -- the experience is enhanced when I don't have to deal with such issues.

* * *

UPDATE #1: Death of a Router
05/2010 - only a week or two into my TekSavvy service

The gateway they provided died. They are shipping out a replacement. Not a huge deal, but this put a slight damper on the early parts of my relationship with TekSavvy. It is likely a fluke.

* * *

UPDATE #2: Satisfactory Modem
03/2012 - coming up on 2 years with TekSavvy

After the gateway failure, the hardware (and the service) has had no issues since. As I suspected, it was just a faulty piece of hardware (which I didn't hold it against them... I know these things happen) and the replacement has been working flawlessly for nearly 2 years without dying. Given how heavily we hammer it with both LAN and WAN traffic, that proves it can withstand a barrage.

* * *

UPDATE #3: Service Upgrade Woes
05/2012 - a customer now for a little over 2 years

Two months ago, TekSavvy had a promotion to upgrade to a faster DSL package for free, which meant waiving the $95 upgrade fee (a promotion only offered because Bell was doing so -- Bell is the one that collects that fee). So we decided to upgrade from 5 Mbps to 16 Mbps service -- the fastest speed available without requiring new hardware.

Overall, the process could have been a LOT smoother. Let me explain...

To start, I didn't mind that it was a self-serve process online. That's actually cool. However, here's where it gets messy. Part of the online upgrade process involves selecting a date for the technician to come out, and the earliest date available was like 10 days later.

So I'm like "that sucks, but fine. I can wait the 10 days."

...time passes. A few days into the wait, I get an email from TekSavvy:

"Your up to 16.0 Megabit Residential DSL service is set to be tentatively activated on [X date] anywhere between the hours of 8am to Midnight. The first technician will arrive between 12pm and 5pm. A second technician will arrive between 5pm and 9pm. Someone must be home for both technicians."

First off:
Two separate technicians needed and such a large window? That's nuts. I figured by 2012, we'd be able to provide much shorter windows.

Secondly:
So I am waiting ALL day at my condo, and I am watching out my balcony like a hawk, because some of those Bell technicians make no effort at all. The building manager is rarely there to let people in, so if you aren't paying attention, they may leave. After waiting all day, I called TekSavvy late at night...

The gist of what was learned: the day selected from their self-serve upgrade tool is just a tentative "we'll try to accommodate" day... but then supposedly Bell is notified, they check their service schedule to see if that day works for them, and if it doesn't, they pick another day (of their choosing) and schedule that as the date of deployment, and then send out a finalized confirmation email.

They selected two days later, but lo and behold, they never emailed me to inform of that!! So I took a day off work, waited ALL day without leaving my suite, and no one was even going to arrive.

Thirdly:
Two more days passed, and this was the 'proper' technician day. So I wait and I wait, again watching to see if a truck pulls up to my building. But then I get a call from a TekSavvy service rep in the late afternoon, saying my speeds have been increased. So I tell him "oh? but no one even showed up..." and he was like "this is just a speed upgrade, right? not new service? yeah, no one needs to come out for that. we just have to open your profile and change your settings."

Are you kidding me?? Great, now I now have faster speeds... but if its just a setting in a system, why did I have to wait 10 days, then another 2 days, and take TWO days off work?!?! Why did I get emails telling me about all this technician stuff that turned out to be completely false?

Overall, I was not impressed with how that went down. If its as simple as a profile change, it should be automated. It should be: click "upgrade" online, it charges my credit card, and my speeds change effective my next bill cycle. Instead, I was faced with that ridiculous mess.

* * *

UPDATE #4: Another Service Upgrade, With More Issues
06/2013 - a customer now for over 3 years

TekSavvy had recently introduced new speed packages, while also dropping prices (which the CRTC influenced). Because of this, their call centres were flooded with activations and upgrades, and wait times were EXTREMELY long. So I did as they suggested, and submitted the upgrade request online via their self-serve portal. I submitted it on June 12th, to go from DSL 16/1, to VDSL2 25/10. It said the tentative tech visit would be on June 20 and that they will email me further details within 24-48 hours

I waited 4 days. No one emailed me, so I posted on their direct forum. I then got call from a TekSavvy agent later that day. She apologized for the delay, said they were very busy, and that she put the request in now. Not before when I submitted it, but just now over the phone. Basically, what I did online did nothing.

Since there was that delay, the June 20 tech visit was not available -- she said the 24th was the next available, and even that is still 'tentative'. She said they will call me when Bell has confirmed the date.

The new VDSL2 modem had already arrived, but still no confirmation call. On the 21st, I again reached out to them and asked what was going on. They said the order was rejected and they not sure why -- they said they would contact their vendor and call me back Monday morning with the details.

I asked on Monday evening why no one called me, they said they tried to call the vendor, but turns out they were closed for a Quebec holiday. So that got pushed to Tuesday. After contacting their vendor on Tuesday, they said another ISP is linked to my phone number (huh?) and after I told them there is only ONE tied to my line, they said they would contact Bell on 06/27 and find out what is going on.

Eventually, they replied to me on the forum saying that I had to contact Bell to get the other line removed from our phone number. I called Bell, but of course their inept outsourced agents had no idea what I was asking about. Growing ever frustrated, I contacted TekSavvy again, who gave me a number to call to reach a specific back-end Bell "specialization department". The TS agent gave me a bunch of tech jargon I had to relay to the Bell agent to get this thing going.

After I did all this, they were finally able to process the order. The technician came to my house several days later. He was very courteous and said everything was set to go, and all I had to do was wait for my speed profile change to go through on the back-end. He said if not changed by 5pm, to call tech support. I spoke to an agent at 6pm, he said it was still pending, and it may take until midnight. I spoke to another agent after midnight who said the work order has gone through (no longer pending), but in his own words, "it looks like it wasn't done right". He put in a ticket for them to fix that, which meant another 24-48 hour delay.

About 36 hours later, the speed was increased, but only the download was done. The upload was still 1 Mbps -- I spoke to TekSavvy, who put me on hold and spoke to 3 different Bell reps to resolve this. That TekSavvy agent said the proper upload speed should be set within 24 hours.

I checked that same time the next day, the upload was increased but only partially -- not to the 10 Mbps I was paying for. I contacted TS on their private forum on 07/05, they said they'd look into it on 07/08 (Monday) because Bell's department that handled that was closed until then. The agent also said "because you're getting CLOSE to the speeds you are supposed to get, they may not change it." (seems like the wrong thing to tell a customer)

Anyway.... finally on Monday afternoon, it was corrected. 25.1 Mbps down, 10.02 Mbps up

So it took from 06/12 until 07/08 (26 days) from when I submitted the order until I had the new proper speeds, plus I had to do a lot of legwork myself to call that back-end-server Bell thing to fix some issues that magically appeared on my phone line.

* * *

Conclusion [UPDATED 09/2014]:
Honestly, I'm very satisfied. Maybe parts of my review will have you think otherwise, but the two service upgrades were only a few weeks of madness. The rest of the time, it's been fast, stable, and error-free. I'm gonna give them a B+ overall because of the upgrades issues, and the fact a lot of the issues they can't fully diagnose because they're Bell issues. But it's all good. Definitely would recommend!

member for 7.7 years, 88 visits, last login: 7 days ago
updated 20 days ago

Comments:

RizzleQ
Cunningham's Law Enthusiast

join:2006-01-12
Windsor, ON
kudos:4

Clarification

First off let me say that I like this review in that it is very detailed and organized. Good job crumbworks.

However, there are a few things that I feel I need to address:

1. Not getting the Confirmation Email is a total failure with TekSavvy's Back End Processing. In addition, neither getting a call from them to confirm with you the dispatch date is another failure, albeit not as severe as this first mistake. Why neither of these things happened is a total mystery.

2. "...service is set to be tentatively activated on [X date]..." means just that. You took a day off work on a tentative date!? That's entirely your fault. I would have called or emailed TekSavvy a couple days after getting that email to ask, "When is this tentative date going to not be a tentative date anymore? I need to know when to take a day of work." Then, once you know it's confirmed, go ahead and take a day off work. On the flip side, the second day off work was totally legit... which brings me to #3.

3. No dispatch for FTTN 16.0?? That's just not proper. At the very least a Telecon technician should have stopped by to verify everything is all good with your inside wiring; this being an upgrade is irrelevant to that fact. I have no idea how or why it went down that way. Partly Bell and partly TekSavvy to blame here, presumably.

4. "...activated on [X date] anywhere between the hours of 8am to Midnight." does not mean a 16 hour technician window at all. That's the activation window meaning the new service will go active sometime between 8am and Midnight, regardless of a dispatch. The technician windows are clearly outlined in the next two sentences. In addition, those time-frames were incorrect in the earlier emails that were sent out. It's actually 12pm to 5pm then 5pm to 9pm; only a 9 hour window. But even if it was an 8am to 9pm time-frame, that's a 13 hour window, not 16. I can see how this might not be the clearest thing in the world, but still interpreted incorrectly by you.

So you failed on a couple things and TekSavvy (and by extension Bell) failed on a couple things. Just throwing in my 2 cents.
crumbworks

join:2006-12-19
North York, ON
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·Bell Sympatico

1 edit

Re: Clarification

Thanks for your comments Rizzle. I'm glad that you appreciate the breadth of my review.

1. I agree with you. I can't fathom why neither of these things happened.

2. Yes I know this was my fault, but from when I selected the date online until that specified date was over a week's time... I figured that someone would have called over a span of half a dozen business days to tell me if things were to change. While I was at fault, I did wait until the last minute to notify that I would not be working that day (and I didn't technically take a day off -- I just switched shifts with someone and worked on the weekend for them).

3. The only rationale I have for the lack of dispatch is that it's a relatively new building, finished building in late 2007. I've been living here since the day all of the electrical and fire safety precautions were finalized, and I was told by a few technicians that this building is wired up for the latest and greatest. Maybe TekSavvy/Bell is aware of this in some sort of database?

4. You are right. I checked the email again and it does say 12pm to 5pm, and then 5pm to 9pm. I'll amend my review. Also, going by the activation timeframe may not be fair, but in my defence, even two 4 or 5 hour windows is silly these days. I mean, if it was just one technician and a single 4-hour window, fine. I could've worked a different shift that same day and been there for that technician. But 12pm to 9pm erases the whole day. Even more wasteful when no one had to come out! Haha.

Thanks for your two cents. Anyone else is more than welcome to comment.

~ Chris

TSI Ashleigh
Premium
join:2013-02-24
Chatham, ON
kudos:8

Review

Hello Crumbworks,

Thank you for the updated review. I am happy to hear you’re still enjoying the services you are receiving. I apologize for any delays/issues with your speed changes, I hope these have been resolved now for you. If not please contact us in the Direct Forum »TekSavvy Direct so we can assist further.

Thank you again for the updated review! We appreciate it!

TSI-Ashleigh
--
TSI Ashleigh - E-Services.
Authorized TekSavvy Employee