Review by Tristan
Good "Consistent high speed, consistent good service, consistent high approval rating, real referral credits"
- Location: Nepean,ON
- Cost: $65 per month
- Install: about 4 days
Bad "24h to 120h delay to provision customer-owned modem if previous ISP doesn't release modem on-time. Not Start's fault!"
Overall "Best ISP I've had to date. Highly recommended. Better than Rogers, Bell and Teksavvy"
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
Saving hundreds of dollars per year, receiving higher quality of service, and being treated with respect - these pro "features" are not available from incumbents service providers.
Signed on for Start's VOIP home phone service last week. Looking forward to saving more money. Total time in the phone queue waiting for a customer service professional: less than 1 minute.
Here's a quick cost comparison and 6-month dslreports.com / broadbandreports.com rating of Bell, Rogers, Teksavvy and Start high-speed internet, for what I figure is the most popular speed tier. (Note, prices are after any promotions expire - the regular price, not including rental fees, installation fees, administration fees, not part of a bundle, etc.)
Bell Canada: 50/10/175 $94.95 Rating: 59%
Rogers Communications: 60/10/320 $84.99 Rating: 62%
Teksavvy: 60/10/300 $69.95 Rating: 80%
Start Communications: 60/10/300 $65.00 Rating: 97%
Why would anyone want to pay for the highest service with the lowest monthly bandwidth caps, and the lowest overall rating?
I know where I want to be.... the lowest price with decent speed and the highest overall rating.
Note the ISP ratings appears to correspond nicely with the price, monthly cap and speed.
Been with Start for over a year, and the service is still going strong, reliable and fast, with much less downtime than I ever had with Rogers and Teksavvy. Great value, and great service.
Rogers latest tv ads say "only ISP certified for consistent speeds". Yeah, right. Just before I left Rogers, my speeds were all over the place. My jump from Rogers to Teksavvy, and finally to Start Communications gave increasing amounts of consistency. Start has been the most consistent.
My Start internet service is still humming along. It's simply fantastic. This is the internet my previous ISP's were unable to deliver.
Our 45/4 connection continues to deliver decent speeds. Speedtest.net testing hits 45/3.82 minimum, and I've hit over 100 down with speedboost. Start's performance is better than I expected. It has been more reliable than Rogers, and more reliable than Teksavvy.
Trust me, the $5 more it costs with Start is worth every penny.
I have had consistent, fast service, with almost no problems. The one thing I definitely notice in switching to Start was that they don't play the blame card as much as other ISP's. My previous ISP seemed to always be blaming Rogers for something. I do not regret my switch to Start, and highly recommend Start to anyone wanting fast, consistent internet, from a company which consistently receives top marks by customers.
Even with Teksavvy offering the same speed tier for $5 less than Start (in June/July for Ottawa), I would not return to Teksavvy. I would gladly pay more. Start Communications is an internet service provider that matches the level of end-to-end service quality I give my own customers.
Downstream and upstream speeds have been fairly consistent. The service hasn't had any real issues. I think we had a power fluctuation which caused my modem to barf, so I will watch to see if it happens again. It has only ever done this once, so if it doesn't happen again, it's an anomaly.
Overall, I'm very satisfied with Start Communications.
So far, my connection appears stable, and speeds have been reasonably consistent. Each time I have tested my speed, I've hit no less than 44Mbps down, and 3.89Mbps up, except on my furthest wireless machine, which tops out around 40Mbps down (limitations of wireless technology and distance covered).
I'm pretty happy with the speeds. The before-connection questions I asked led to a smooth and problem-free reconfiguration of my mail server.
I'm still evaluating, and cannot comment on connection reliability until I have a few more weeks under the belt.
Thank you Start for making the jump to aggregated POI's, offering fast speeds at reasonable prices, and not making me wait 30-45 minutes in a phone queue.
Shortly after 10am today, my connection came roaring to life. Initial speed test:
>45Mbit down (w/ speedboost)
Will be testing the connection over the next few weeks, then will update my ratings accordingly.
The length of time I had to wait for the connection to come online will certainly deter my friends from switching. I was lucky, I tethered to my cellphone, so I didn't lose any time, other than knocking my email server offline.
Corrected my primary and alternate numbers. In the event of connection problems, they will attempt to call my cellphone first.
Customers owning their own modems and switching providers, in conjunction with iISP's such as Teksavvy which hold on to the modem registration right up to the last possible minute are a leading cause of delays, and is something Start is trying to resolve.
Best possible way for customers to handle this: terminate your old ISP on one day, and start your new ISP on the next day.
Wife retrieved our voicemails from our VOIP this morning. Turns out two different employees from Start have been trying to inform us that our service should now be online. Obvious fail, since VOIP not working. Ensure the primary number is actually a number someone can contact you at when the connection is not working. They didn't once try calling my alternate number. One of them mentioned emails they are sending me are bouncing back, which makes sense under the circumstances - my email server is still waiting for the connection to start working.
Have to call Start back at 10am (when they open) to get them looking into things. This will add another 24-48hrs. Let's see, start date: 2/7/2013, today is 2/10/2013. 4 days without service.
I am reducing the points awarded for install co-ordination.
As of 12pm today, the modem has not been provisioned.
The modem was unprovisioned from Teksavvy sometime after 2am on February 8th 2013, which is actually the day after my cancelation date.
Had to call Start back to get the provisioning request resubmitted on 2/8/2013, and I believe I was told it could take up to 24hrs (maybe I misheard and the rep said 48hrs?).
During a later call, was told it could take longer. Apparently, customer-owned modems are more problematic to provision, and can take additional time. I was not originally informed of this, but have since been brought up-to-speed. In addition, Teksavvy can take longer to release a modem, as per their terms of service (must go check for myself).
I usually tell people to be prepared for it to take up to 7 days, so we're still in the ballpark. Not happy about the delay, but right now, I'm focusing on getting back online.
It's important to note, I can only review the install co-ordination at this time, which is why the rating appears low.
CRTC has ruled, CNOC members do not get the new speed tiers Rogers is offering, so long as they are using the disaggregated POI model. Disaggregated model is being phased out, and service will end November 15th 2013. Start has the faster speed tiers, because they use the aggregated POI model.
Just received my first invoice showing my prepayment for first months service, so my account shows a credit for $67.74. It also shows a $25 credit for a referral I made. So far, I am satisfied with Start, and my service hasn't even officially begun. If the 6 month rating for Start holds true, my satisfaction will reach new heights.
My previous iISP had a referral program too, but I never saw a single credit. Instead, I was going to have to gather the information of everyone who signed up to them on account of my recommendation. A task that was going to prove to be time consuming, and might prove difficult for at least one friend, as I had to kick him to the curb for being an insensitive dick. The lack of referral credit is not what caused me to drop my previous iISP.
Is it February 7th yet? No? Damn.
Signed up with Start Communications last week. Provision date is Feb 7th 2013. Switching from Teksavvy to Start.
I ordered the Pro Cable Internet package, 45Mbps download, 4Mbps upload, 350GB/mo cap. My old service was maxed out at 28Mbps/1Mbps/300GB.
Made the switch for several reasons:
1. No install fee since I already had active cable high-speed internet service.
2. Access to Roger's new speed tiers with higher upstream speeds up to 4Mbps. This is due to Start's aggregated POI with Rogers. Some other iISP's haven't made the switch to aggregated POI's, are still on non-aggregated POI's, thus don't have access to higher speeds.
3. Reasonable price.
4. 97% rating, seems fairly consistent, iISP seems attentive.
Will update this review as I evaluate the service.
member for 8.2 years, 1611 visits, last login: 2 days ago
updated 125 days ago
Re: Start Re: SicknTired Id understand your frustration. To give my fair opinion, if Start can sort out (the obviously important) issue of billing, then they do have pros to them. So you may want to consider that and weigh options. I read reviews on DSL Reports and Canadian ISP forums on all / most companies and that helped me a lot because I felt people were fair and honest (good or bad). Actually, thats how I found out about Start in the first place. Do hope your issue gets resolved.
Re: WiMax Anyone that uses the name anonymous and then changes to a different user is highly suspect. And, if you have been mouthing off on other forums about the same thing and not calling Start or responding to their attempts to help you, then maybe Start is not for you. Have you tried iKtel? www.iktel.ca
>>>> Is Wi your first name, and is Max your last? And whats your phone number and email address? Just to connect the dots, what makes WiMax any less anonymous than the username Anonymous or any other username?
>>>> And are you sure I didnt try calling Start before posting or respond to Starts attempts to help? Are you really sure about that? Maybe I did. Maybe I didnt. But you have no clue, right?
>>>> Also, do you know what the other forums are? Could it have been a private facebook message to Start Communications vs a wall post? Or could it have been front page news in the Toronto Star? Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn't. But you have no clue, right?
>>>> And re: mouthing off, seriously now
have you seen your ikTel Networks book / novel review lately? The one that has 6 updates to the post including
and I quote
This company gets nothing right.
Yet another failed promise.
UPDATE 26Sep12 9am
So come on now, be fair.
In any event, would just like to request for all to stop posting to this. This is my last post here. Just because Tristan indicated this is his post and he is quite right. Didnt mean to post here initially. A mistake. New at posting / open forums.
Re: Unrealistic expectations Hi Coaxguy.
I told Teksavvy to push the request through, to not leave it, but the CSR didn't seem to understand. As a result, the modem remained locked to an account longer than it was supposed to, possibly into late Feb 8th or early Feb 9th. When Start tried to get Rogers to provision the modem I own on Feb 7th, they couldn't. Considering requests take time, and the defacto response is 24 to 48hrs, timing is kinda important. Same-day turned into next day, turned into the next day, turned into the next day.
My friends are not as patient as I. Not all my friends would be deterred however, but some certainly will.
I have compiled a nice little doc my friends, family and associates can have to explain the process (for cable), including potential delays. I always tell people, do the switch-over at a time when you don't need the internet for about a week.
Let's face it, you and I check dslreports.com, but not everyone will. I do tell people Start has a 97% rating. My friends whom followed my progress on facebook, and noticed I wasn't posting as much as I usually do, will stop and think if they want the delays or potential frustration. Sure, it took longer than it should have. I have tried to explain why, and that it should happen same-day usually, and that the gains are worth the pains. In the end, some people will choose to steer clear, when someone they know experiences delays.
Start is trying to work this out because it's an ongoing concern for them. They are genuinely interested in providing a smooth transition for everyone who want to switch providers
So far, I think Start has done a great job, and my rating for install coordination and pre-sales information reflects the fact that they are still working out the kinks, and still have room to improve.
I think customers need to be better armed with more information.