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Start Communications page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 219 reviews (192 good) (6 bad)
bullet Submit a review by email click here
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Review by bbalasa See Profile

  • Location: Mississauga,ON
  • Cost: $73 per month
  • Install: about 10 days
Good "Install date and service call on time."
Bad "Unreliable. Unstable. Cannot use for work."
Overall "Decent if all you do is download / surf the net or strream tv. Do not get if you need reliable connection for ork."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings well below consensus)

My Other Reviews

·voip.ms
I have signed up with Start on mid October, with an activation date of Nov 01, due to moving to Mississauga from London area. My old cable provider Amtelecom was not available. I have explained that i need this up because i do a lot of remote work. I was promised that on Nov. 01 it will be up. Great ! (so i thought).
At first, all seemed good. The Rogers technician dropped in during the appointment time, hooked up the modem and all lights looked ok and left. 5 minutes job = $60 activation fee. Only the internet connection was not available.
Called Start - and i was politely explained that it can take few hours for the modem to be provisioned by Rogers and i was asked to call back few hours later. I did. I was again politely explained that there is nothing they can do, it is up to Rogers. A ticket with Rogers cannot be opened due to their internal policy.

Next day - went through the same thing. Eventually, connection went live ! At it worked as expected, until about few weeks later. When i tried connecting to work. Upload speed - 0.1-0.2 - not enough to maintain a vpn with rdp up.

Called Start. We went through the regular BS - unplug your router, check cable, send me modem diagnostics screed, do the hard reset, ..... Eventually, upload speed started stabilizing.

Since then, i have had almost daily drops. Not for long, for hours at a time. Called tech support. Many times. No result. Same - disconnect router, connect only Windows computer (btw - Start, i do not have to have a Windows computer to use internet!), do the hard reset.... And as usual, nothing happens. Sometime, while with them on the phone, upload speed stabilizes again. Sometimes, download speed drops too. It happens at least twice a day - once in the morning, once in the evening. I got an LTE device - that allows me to work when Start is down.

A month and something later - they are either incapable or unwilling to fix the issue. Oh, and i forgot to mention - i did send them more that they need, including MTR stats with packets loss.

The only move it was done - sent another Rogers technician to check the lines ! The guy came in (at a completely different timeslot), looked at the cable, measured the levels (on what channels only he knows) and 5 minutes later decreed that everything is OK. That i knew. At the time of his visit, the connection was up and stable.

Long story short: If all you do is download, stream Netflix and read email, Start is probably good enough for you. If you are panning to use it for anything professional, where upload speed and stable connection are required, forget about.

I was hoping that a small company would be better than Rogers (not to mention less expensive, considering my experience with Amtelecom - great ! They never bs about issues, always admitted and actually DID SOMETHING ABOUT). But forcing me to get the LTE device, makes it more expensive.

Looking for alternatives.





member for 1.2 years, 3 visits, last login: 1 days ago
updated 1 days ago

Comments:

Start Sam

join:2014-01-21
London, ON
kudos:5

Reply

Sorry to hear about your unresolved upload stability. Could you please PM me your account # to see what has been done so far and I'll review to see what needs to be done to resolve the issue.

rocca
Start.ca
Premium
join:2008-11-16
London, ON
kudos:23
Sorry to hear you're having an issue with your service, please PM Sam as requested and we'd be happy to look at your connection again. We're always happy to go to bat for our customers, especially when it sounds like you have an intermittent line issue which unfortunately does require a little more effort to get to the root cause. Slow upload speeds are generally an issue with your upload signal, an RF issue inside the home, a saturated upload due to other activity, a router issue or sometimes an issue with the node. Again, happy to work with you and get you back up to speed as we have thousands of other customers who use their connection for work and we're certainly not a 'netflix only' type of provider. Thanks.
bbalasa

join:2013-12-14
canada
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
·voip.ms
As a result of my first post here, i was contacted by somebody named R Nix. It looked very interested in helping this issue get to a quick resolution. I had a new modem shipped and received and even a call from few technicians, asking me again (for the nth time) to repeat the standard testing. (disconnect router, connect only modem, run ping and tracert - windows only requirement - so on). The only problem - tests done when nothing was wrong.
I suggested (and did) to create a script and let one computer running it, although through my router - since i was not willing to disconnect my whole house. Did that - few days. Lots of output. Same pattern confirmed, sometime during early morning and late evening / night - for about one hour, limited - bad connection. Average packets loss for the servers that i was required to run the tests - 20-40% during the outage. No test actually measured the upload speed, my biggest issue.
I have sent all the logs and output files for the periods with issues to the support person's email and also ccd Mr. R. Strangely enough, i got no response, no indication of anything. I also tried contacting Mr. R Nix on the phone, at the extension provided by him. Got his voice mail every time, and no reply.
On top of everything, today, March 03 - since 7.45 AM until at the time of this update, i did not get a stable internet connection for more than 20 minutes at a time. Needless to say, i tried contacting Mr. R Nix again and got same voice mail message "i will get back to you as soon as i can" - but again, nothing.
I am writing this update using a laptop on an LTE device, since the home internet is not usable.
Considering that i have created the monitoring script that runs their required diagnostics and provided them with tons of data and they did not even have the courtesy of responding to my emails / calls, i have also downgraded the technical review to 0.
Will post again when episode 3 is ready.
bbalasa

join:2013-12-14
canada
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
·voip.ms
Looks like at least they are really monitoring this forum and the posts. Few minutes ago i got a phone call from the above named gentleman and after we went back and forward few times with what has been done (in his opinion) and not being done (in my opinion), i have asked a simple question:
- Do you have anything meaningful to tell me in regard to my problem ?

The response was prompt and swift:
- Yes, we will end our relation.

I guess that kind of clarifies the 0s and the attitude.
bbalasa

join:2013-12-14
canada
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
·voip.ms
Hi Bogdan

I received your voicemail and I have attempted to talk to you. I will not take up your time in a long discussion as to why, it's best to say that you are not a fit for us and we will unfortunately be ending our relationship at the end of the month.

I wish you all the best in finding your new ISP, I hope they have better success in meeting your needs than I did.

Thank you

Richard Nix | Customer Relationship Manager

- there were no disclaimers or confidentiality notes at the end of the email
- i guess posting here and actually wanting to get the service i am paying for makes me an undesirable customer.
bbalasa

join:2013-12-14
canada
As soon as i added the last post, the modem is unable to get an IP from their servers. Effectively cutting the internet connection as of right now.

That is the way to go Start.
bbalasa

join:2013-12-14
canada

Re: And the cherry on top - illegal disconnect as a result of these postings

Few minutes later and - modem has an ip. It works - for the moment.
faidwen7

join:2006-04-03
London, ON
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..

Re: And the cherry on top - illegal disconnect as a result of these postings

"illegal disconnect" ??

It is unfortunate that they couldn't resolve your problem, but perhaps they did everything within their power to correct the situation, and considering they couldn't offer you the service you required, at the level you required felt you would be better suited obtaining your service elsewhere??

I do not see how their inability to meet your requirements satisfactorily is considered "illegal".

jmck
formerly 'shaded'

join:2010-10-02
Ottawa, ON
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·Start Communicat..
your original issue is an unstable line and you assume they disconnected you when your internet goes down and assume they turned it back on shortly after you made a post about it? TPIAs can't just turn on or off their customers, only Rogers can and it takes Rogers a few days to process a disconnect.

you've clearly shown your side to the story and posted their termination email, sadly i think 99% of the people on this forum will see through it and assume you must have done something to be treated in such a way.

Review by justinbkerr See Profile

  • Location: undisclosed location
  • Cost: $80 per month
  • Install: about 12 days
Good "Speeds as advertised, first rate service!"
Bad "Issues with the transfer, but hard to 100% say if it was Start, or Rogers to blame."
Overall "Great Move."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I had been a loyal Teksavvy customer for years, but their unwillingness to compete on price made the switch to start an easy decision.
For the savings i've seen nothing but upside.
Speeds are as advertised, customer service is great, and no issues since the day I went live.

member for 3.5 years, 41 visits, last login: 3 days ago
updated 3 days ago

Comments:






Review by LondonDave See Profile

  • Location: London, ON
  • Cost: $17 per month
Good "Easy setup process from start to finish"
Bad "Still new compared to some other offerings"
Overall "If you want voip service with great support choose start.ca"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·voip.ms
·Bell Fibe
I've had many different types of phone service over the years. POTS, cable phone, VoIP, cell.

When start brought out its VoIP offering I was excited about a reasonably priced phone service with a long distance package. I choose the Digital Voice Canada package which is $15 a month.

From sign up to the day my number was ported from VoIP.ms was 7 days as scheduled. I used my own Linksys SPA-3102 and just plugged in the address and credentials start supplied me with.

I had a few small quirks with porting process and the username I was given but here's where start really stood out. The support they provided was excellent and I always was always able to talk with someone knowledgeable . If you frequent dslreports you know that "rocca" will answer in the start forum at almost any hour of the day.

The quality is great and caller ID and voice mail is included.

I will continue to promote start.ca to my friends and support my local ISP. When they can finally offer access to bells FTTH they will become my ISP as well.

member for 3.4 years, 275 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 7 days ago

Comments:

Review by RLBL See Profile

  • Location: Gloucester,ON
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Low Ping, getting advertised speeds... transfer from Rogers was flawless."
Bad "Still no complaints"
Overall "Great value for the coin, have had the service for one week so I will update as time passes"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I have been on Rogers for as long as I can remember. Since ditching our TV service, our internet demands have gone through the ceiling (considering the Rogers ceiling is low... it is not hard to do). As such we started paying through the nose for our internet service and I had had enough. I have been looking to leave to a TPIA for years, but I have always been a bit scared because of the forums on DSLreports...

Then I found Start Communications...

The reports are good
The forums are not cluttered with outage reports
Anyone who I have talked to is loving the experience...

So I joined on the 5th of August 2013. I called Rogers a month previous and said I was leaving. I contacted CS at Start and set an install date for 5 bus. days earlier in case I had issues. The modem was shipped the following day and it was delivered the following day!

I received email confirmations so I knew the order was ready to go when the date was to come.

On the day of the transfer, I unplugged the Rogers modem and Plugged in the one delivered from Start. By the time I came back from lunch I was up and running and I have not looked back. The next business day, I received a call from CS asking if everything went ok! Try and get a courtesy call like that from Rogers...

I just hope Rogers does not come around and cut my line in a month... I put stickers on my line just in case.

Update: August 22nd

Well Rogers did tag my line to be cut and coincidentally my internet went down for a couple of hours (area issue), but when I called the Start CS they got right on it. As my internet came back up they decided to keep the ticket alive anyways, just to have a tech come out and remove the tag.

The best part: Start CS called me the next day to ensure everything went smoothly. I was impressed by the follow-up call.

Update: October 7th

Everything has been great: No outages, no interruptions, always getting advertised speeds. VERY HAPPY!!!

Update March 7, 2014

Still been rock solid! I have never had an outage (other than anything that also effect rCable customers)

Update October 29, 2014

No complaints, at all! The service has been rock solid. Being able to communicate with directly with staff is a great bonus. I wish I have had an incident to comment on how the company reacts to issues, but I have not personally had any. Only once while there was an outage rocca updated customers to what was going on in real time (just an aside, the problem was with rCable).

I am a very happy customer, and anyone else who is with Start (whether I had referred them or not) is also very happy. rCable has thrown some deals my way, but I have not been swayed.

Update February 18, 2015

Near Flawless. Never any speed interruptions. Once I lost sync to the network; rebooted the modem and was back up instantly. I have recommended people to start, and will continue to do so

member for 2.2 years, 609 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 13 days ago

Comments:

PhilipA

@teksavvy.com

Transferred from Rogers, zero issues and excellent service

After the recent price increases from Rogers (10% increase as of Sept 1/13) I decided to switch. The helpful Start staff guided me through the whole process and it was flawless. I received my new modem in the mail within a week. On the day of the changeover, I simply swapped modems and was up and running in literally minutes. Speeds are the same and I have no complaints with the service. Switching over to direct debit (from credit card) was simple and easy to do via the website.

The best part? I'm saving $15/mo vs. Rogers for the same speed with arguably better service.

Thank you Start Communications!

Review by dnamoyar See Profile

  • Location: Mississauga,ON
  • Cost: $74 per month
  • Install: about 1 days
Good "Robust core network, lots of peering. Great tech support. Transparency from Rocca & co."
Overall "A tad pricier than other TPIA-based providers, but the best bang for your buck."

Our Internet journeys started from 56k Dial-up to cable Internet, beginning with Rogers. In 2011 we switched to TekSavvy when they became available in our area. At the time, their TPIA traffic was still segmented across different phubs, and as a result capacity issues were more apparent during peak times.

In early 2013, I switched our household to start to take advantage of APOI speeds, the free cable transfer, and the (to be confirmed) rockstar customer service. I have not been disappointed. Their product and service has been phenomenal so far. The one outage we've had was a layer 1 issue at the pedestal on the street. An animal had chewed through our coax at the tap, and a tech dispatch was required to fix it. Start, at the mercy of the incumbent, kept me in the loop with the progress of the dispatch, and compensated me for the downtime that we experienced.

I can and do recommend Start wholeheartedly to friends and family regardless of their technical comfort level.

member for 5.9 years, 162 visits, last login: 14 days ago
updated 15 days ago

Comments:

Start Sam

join:2014-01-21
London, ON
kudos:5

Thanks!

Glad to hear you've received consistent service from us, that is exactly what we aim to deliver.

Thank you for taking the time to write this review. Should you ever need help or have question, we're here to help on the forums, by email or phone.

Review by SadSadPanda See Profile

  • Location: Hamilton,ON
  • Cost: $80 per month
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Quick install, friendly staff, great price."
Bad "Constant disconnects, lag spikes."
Overall "They just can't seem to get it to work."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings well below consensus)

I signed up for Start when we moved into our new townhouse. The setup and install went super smoothly and the service worked well for a couple of weeks. Suddenly, we started experiencing the odd disconnection from online games and chat programs. We spent the next couple of days troubleshooting our own equipment before I logged into the modem and realizing that it was losing the internet connection from the outside. I called Start and they ran me through some troubleshooting like replacing the phone cable going to the modem, bridging the modem and using my own router, going direct to the modem, etc. Finally they thought they had solved the problem (improperly provisioned modem), so I left it at that. About a day later, the connection problems became much worse, with my service disconnecting every 10 minutes for anywhere from 1 - 3 minutes at a time. I called Start back and they ran some tests and said that they saw an issue with the line. They opened a ticket and the next day I had a service appointment.

The tech came out and knocked on my door, then said he was going to look at the box on the outside. I never saw him again for the night, but the connection seemed to be more stable. Start called me up (big kudos here to them for the follow-up) and mentioned that there was a bad splitter outside that has been fixed. Things seemed to be good for the next day, but then at night, I started getting disconnections again. Nowhere near as bad as I had before, but still frustrating. I called back into Start and they had me perform all the same troubleshooting again (I understand the reason, so I didn't complain) and told me that the ticket was still open and that they'd note that the issue was still happening. Fast forward to Tuesday, I got a call from a Start rep who said they would open another ticket and get a technician out again. The appointment was booked for Thursday, and the technician showed up, said he was waiting for someone on the phone to test the line and that the issue was probably with the modem and that he was going to wait in the truck for the person. He came back about 10 minutes later and said it was an issue with my SmartRG modem and that it wasn't able to handle the speeds for the Pro service (seems really weird, as I don't see anything regarding this on these forums). He said he had stabilized it and that things should be OK for now. Got another disconnection tonight.

I had heard good things about Start and I want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I also would like some semblance of stable internet, without the random disconnections and lag spikes.

member for 18 days, 4 visits, last login: 7 days ago
updated 18 days ago

Comments:

rocca
Start.ca
Premium
join:2008-11-16
London, ON
kudos:23

Reply

Sorry to hear you're having problems. Definitely sounds like some sort of line issue and that we're trying really hard to get to the bottom of it. Unfortunately some lines just have technological limitations but if you want to PM me your account # I'd be happy to take a look where things are at, but from what you say it doesn't sound like we've given up on you so hopefully you won't give up on us.
SadSadPanda

join:2015-02-12
Hamilton, ON

Re: Reply

I tried, but apparently I have to wait 8 hours as a new member. I'll PM you in the morning!

rocca
Start.ca
Premium
join:2008-11-16
London, ON
kudos:23

Re: Reply

Thanks, looks like it's confirmed to be Bell side wiring and we were able to get a dispatch to accommodate your availability. Hopefully will be all resolved on Tuesday - thanks and have a good weekend.

rocca
Start.ca
Premium
join:2008-11-16
London, ON
kudos:23
Looks like Ryan was able to get a tech out on Sunday instead and the line stats are fantastically better. Hopefully that resolves your disconnection issues, but please do let Ryan/Sam know if you have any issues at all. Thanks.

Review by coaxguy See Profile

  • Location: St Catharines,ON
  • Cost: $65 per month
  • Install: about 4 days
Good "Leading class customer service, best available value/dollar"
Bad "Nothing comes to mind"
Overall "A dedicated, customer oriented local ISP"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·Bell Fibe
Updated Feb 09 2015:
--------------------
Been with Start for a long time now. Have since had 50/10 installed.
VDSL 50/10 has been smooth sailing since day 1 of service.
Always getting advertised speeds with no known issues.
Price has remained the same.
Billing and customer service calls are always answered in a timely manner without delay.
New cCable area packages are giving me a temptation to switch over and save another $10.
A+++

END UPDATE

I heard about Start many months ago, and was skeptical at first that it was too good to be true. They offered the same leading class speed as the big ISP around here (Cogeco), but much roomier caps, and a much cheaper and unbundled rate.

I have turned 3 people onto Start now, including 2 family members. My family turned to me as being the super tech in the family for help. Both tired of Bell and Cogecos expensive services and underwhelming performance. I recommended Start based on what I have heard on DSLreports.

Keep in mind, that being a former technician, I installed brand new coax from the drop, to where the modem would be going, as well as a new ground. I am always leery of contractors working for Cogeco getting 3rd party inet orders.

From the order (super pleasant young lady).
To the confirmation (again, another polite young woman).
To the after install call (another courteous individual).
Everything went so smooth.

The modems came 1 business day after the order, and in one case, where the drop was already connected, the service worked a day before the activation.

Speed is always 50/10 when testing from my hard wired connection.

Overall, an amazing ISP with a bright future. Couldn't recommend them more. Don't hesitate, switch today!!!

member for 5.5 years, 454 visits, last login: 1 days ago
updated 22 days ago

Comments:

Start Sam

join:2014-01-21
London, ON
kudos:5

Thanks!

Thank you for your continued effort in writing and updating this review.

Glad to hear everything has worked out well and has remained the same, exactly what we aim to offer to every customer.

Ff you ever need help or have question, we're here.

Review by cbuch See Profile

  • Location: Windsor,ON
  • Cost: $90 per month
Good "Everything"
Bad "Nothing"
Overall "The best"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I've now been with start for over 1.5 years on a number of their packages and I don't have a single complaint. I was going to wait until something went wrong before I wrote a review in order to see what the tech supports like, but I haven't needed to. Usage is easy to check. I've never experienced any slowdowns. Changing packages and updating info is easy and fast both via the web and by phone. To make things better they raised my speed and cut my bill at the same time.

member for 24 days, 3 visits, last login: 1 days ago
updated 23 days ago

Comments:

Review by kuddles See Profile

  • Location: Ottawa,ON
  • Cost: $57 per month
  • Install: about 12 days
Good "Excellent customer service; reasonable price; reliable speed"
Bad "Nothing yet"
Overall "Stellar internet provider, deserves more attention"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I was a reasonably satisfied TekSavvy customer for several years who moved in with my partner in the Fall. She was currently on Bell but was looking to change once her contract was up a couple months later. Hearing good things about Start, I decided to give it a try since I was starting from scratch anyways. Since I was happy with cable service before and her apartment was already wired for it, I decided to go with that option.

Right from the get-go, this company provided a level of customer service I never have gotten from another ISP ever. The same day I entered my order request to their website, I received a phone call to confirm all the information I inputted, then the following day received an email giving me a confirmation on the date and time of the connection. Later that same week, the modem I requested arrived in the mail. This included a specific request to have my modem delivered to a different address (at my workplace) which they accommodated.

The contractor showed up a little late and had some difficulty getting things sorted out, but the connection did happen. I tested it the morning after and it was running issue-free. I then received yet another phone call that following day to confirm that the contractor had arrived and that the connection was working. Very nice!

To date, the internet has worked fine in the house without any noticeable downtime or significant slowdown. 200 GB/month has turned out to be a reasonable amount of data for our household, especially since that cap does not include uploads, and they offer a free usage period between 2AM-8AM, so if I'm downloading a lot of games off Steam that month, I just set things up within that timeframe accordingly.

The running theme I have with this company is that nobody has heard of them when I mention them to others. I hope to be a small part in rectifying it by recommending them wherever I can. Extremely satisfied customer here.

member for 3.8 years, 45 visits, last login: 25 days ago
updated 25 days ago

Comments:

Review by fink See Profile

  • Location: Toronto,ON
  • Cost: $45 per month
  • Install: about 14 days
Good "Perfect.. reliable cable.. 30 down, 5 up. No peak hour slowdowns."
Bad "None so far."
Overall "Excellent service. I could not be more pleased."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·TekSavvy Cable
·VMedia
Very good company to deal with. I made my order to switch from another ISP and they were extremely helpful when it became apparent the previous cable supplier (CIK) was slow to send an order to Rogers to release my modem (Technicolor DCM476). Finally Rogers got the info necessary and we were good to go.

There were 24 hours of no service between providers but it was Rogers fault for pushing a bad file to provision my modem. It got sorted thanks to Start and they even called me regularly to find out how it was working out. There was also a billing error which I pointed out to them and that was sorted quickly as well. Phone wait times for the tech/billing issues were very short even on a day when they said they were swamped with callers.

Also worth noting is that they pointed out that the 50 dollar transfer fee was not applicable since I already had cable service with Rogers. Two other ISP's I was looking at told me the fee was necessary.



member for 12.5 years, 2393 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 26 days ago

Comments: