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Calgary, AB

[AB] Shaw Xtreme 25, getting 1-2Mb if I am lucky

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Disclaimer: this is a long read. Partly because I have been comprehensive in my data gathering and testing (I think), partly because I am a reasonable person who feels they've explored all possible avenues and want to provide as much information as possible, but mostly because I am quite convinced I am being screwed.

tl:dr: despite months of testing, I am paying for 25Mb, and getting about 10% of it. I have tried EVERYTHING and am at my wits end. I am now going to post my speeds here, as well as my interaction with Shaw help desk.

The full story
So I have been having a serious issue with speeds on Shaw for about 6 months now. I am signed up for Xtreme 25, and have been lucky to get more than 2Mb down on the Shaw speed test. In fact my upload speed is consistently higher than my download speed. Go figure.

When I first signed up, I actually got 25Mb on the tests I did on day 1. Amazingly. So I know the line is capable of producing the bandwidth.

I am in the community of Parkdale in Calgary somewhere near 37th street (for the sleuths that may be able to report on cabinet status etc.)

What I HAVE done:

-2. Reserved for future thoughts.

-1. Been VERY patient.

0. Searched these forums extensively and read a LOT of similar complaints.

1. I have worked through this issue for 6 months. So I have a life, and am busy. I figured I would attack this as I could. But 6 months?! My bad.

2. I have tested this on multiple computers, with different OSs ranging from Xp to Win7, Server 2008/2003, and Ubuntu.

3. I have tested this with multiple browsers on each of these OSs, including Firefox, Chrome, Opera, IE8, IE9

4. I have tested this over all times of the day over the above-mentioned 6 months. I even got up a few times at 3AM (I am a rugby fan, so there were late games and the results were consistently the same low speeds.

5. I have tested this directly connected to the modem, over wireless, and wired.

6. I have tested this with a CLEAN installation of an OS, without AV, firewalls, or any "junk" that help desks like to pretend matter (which to be fair, they sometimes do, but I firmly believe don't in this case)

7. I have tested with the test machine being the ONLY device connected to the modem, and router (separately)

8. I have tested this with three separate routers from DLINK and LinkSYS. And yes, firmware's and the like were checked.

9. I have tested this... oh wait. I think I have tested this quite extensively.

10. I have tried to engage Shaw to fix this. The initial call was logged via e-mail, as I just couldn't log into their direct web support, not could I get hold of anyone via phone support. In fact, once, I was on hold for over an hour out of sheer stubborn bloody-mindedness to see what happened. I lost because I hung up.

10. E-mail support was enthusiastic I must give them that. But really got nowhere, and all the usual questions (see 1-8 above.).

What I have NOT done:

1. Working on this. Feel free to provide input.

I must add, that I work in IT and have done so for over 15 years. And while I don't pretend to be an expert on cable, cable modems and the like, I have a solid grasp of the technologies. I also know my own network, desktops, servers and other infrastructure that I run at home. Just sayin' that I have some abilities in this arena, so don't go accusing my stuff of being the cause.

I did get a technician come around to test the line at one point, and this is what bugs me the most. He arrived, tested with 2 different modems over an extensive period, saw my test spike ONCE towards about 65% of the speed, and reported in the call log (which I found out recently when I re-opened the case) that the line was performing adequately.

REALLY?! What the hell?

Then why did he leave me a spare modem with instructions to swap between them to see if it made a difference? Why did he not test the line quality, noise ratios, other things I know very little of? I still have the modem, and have had no luck whatsoever.

I have posted my latest speed tests here, and am now going to post my interaction with Shaw customer service in this forum. I am done. Life is too short to waste on crap like this, and I would like to see this resolved.

I welcome input from the smarter people than me on this forum - if you can think of things to try and people to talk to.

Thanks for reading this far if you did.



Calgary, AB

1 edit
Hi Jeff

I appreciate your initial response.

I have really reached my wits end with this, so I am keeping it short. (re-read this, so it's not THAT short, but I gave it my best shot).

No idea why the tech stated the line was fine after his tests - nothing indicated that. He was here for quite a while, and of the tests conducted, 1 or 2 neared 65% of the stated capability of the plan. That's no reason to declare the 95% of the other tests that came in at less than half speed invalid.

In fact, he left me with a spare modem to continue testing because he couldn't resolve this. I find it odd that he didn't actually test the line quality, the roadside, or anything like that.

So I dispute the quality of the independent speed tests.

As I thought I had clearly stated in my e-mail, the results are NOT intermittent but consistent. As evidenced by my extensive testing over a long period, at different times, on different computers, etc. I have been through this process, so I know what to test before you ask it.

I would like to clearly state - again - the speeds to not vary day to day, or over periods within a day. They are CONSISTENTLY slow. And not by a little. See the attached for tests conducted over the last 24 hours. 10% of the rated speed. If I am lucky.

I have had no luck contacting your live chat. I never seem to get connected to a person, and as stated previously, calling in generally results in me being on hold for extended periods. In fact, I encourage Shaw to phone me. My number is on your records.

I look forward to a reasonable response to my requests, such as a temporary uplift in the plan to see if this is a line issue, or is in fact a congestion / shaping issue - which by all the research I have done seems to be highly likely.

I am also now documenting this issue publicly in the dslforums discussion boards at the following URL: »[AB] Shaw Xtreme 25, getting 1-2Mb if I am lucky

This is both to indicate that this is no longer acceptable and the general public should know about it, but to also garner additional input and advice from people who would like to help.


Hello ,

Thank you for your further correspondence on this issue. We are sorry that you are still experiencing slower than expected speeds for your plan. The technician who completed the service call in December conducted speed tests and found acceptable speeds at this time. Unfortunately if we are running independent speed tests on your modem and getting acceptable results there is not much more we can do, as in order to address a problem this needs to be verified by a technician.

If you feel that this may be an intermittent problem and that the performance of the internet is acceptable at certain times of day (including the time of day that the technician performed the last speed tests in December) we will need more information on what time of day you are experiencing these slowdowns so that we can look into this further.

Please let us know if your speeds seem to vary over the day when you run tests, and if you notice slower speeds during certain parts of the day such as evenings, or if your speeds are consistently slow. You can reply to this information so that we can determine whether a second service call is necessary.

Live chat support is also available at www.shaw.ca/chat from 7AM to 10PM PST 7 days a week or you can call us any time at 310-SHAW (7429).

Thank you!

Jeff - Rep 4503
eCare Team

Let us know how we're doing. We welcome your feedback here.

Help & Support: »www.shaw.ca/help Contact Us: »www.shaw.ca/contactus Customer Centre: »secure.shaw.ca Shaw Friends: »shaw.ca/shawfriends

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 9:41 PM
To: Shaw Business - Help
Subject: Shaw Support [Case ID 4503-15795737]
Importance: High

To whom it may concern

I have yet to receive a satisfactory resolution to this matter, despite my best efforts at resolving this through equipment swaps, diagnostics and site visits. I would like this case re-opened, and escalated appropriately.

My internet speed has been less than half the rated package now almost since this incident was opened. I have been constantly testing, to the point of even changing my router to see if that made any difference. I find this completely unsatisfactory, and the lack of resolution is now soon going to be a show stopper. My upload speeds are now greater than my download speeds which is ridiculous. I have provided two recent tests for your review - both are attached.

And yes, I have gone through ALL the tests that you usually require and have requested below - AGAIN. So please don't ask me to do the usual like plug directly into the modem, try from another computer, try at different hours etc. I have done ALL of these and none have made any difference. I have repeatedly tried to phone support and speak to someone directly, but am on hold for so long I just hang up.

I originally signed up for this internet package as it was discounted and seemed like good value. I am extremely disappointed with what I have received, and if this is not resolved, will seriously consider other providers for my entire home media package, including cable, telephony and internet.

I would like the following to happen immediately, and be confirmed by Shaw customer support.
1. A technician is scheduled to come and do testing onsite.
2. I would like a refund on my connection fees since the start of this incident reflective of the performance of what I should be getting. Being generous this is 50%, but should be closer to 70%.
3. An upgrade to a higher speed package to see if this makes any significant difference to my performance. This will at least indicate if the line is even capable of performing as you state it is.

I look forward to hearing from you.


-----Original Message-----
From: Shaw Business - Help [mailto:ShawBusiness-Help@sjrb.ca]
Sent: December-17-11 07:22 PM
Subject: RE: Shaw Support [Case ID 4503-15795737]

Good evening . We would like to take the time to thank you for your email, and we appreciate your patience in waiting for a response

We have booked a service call for 23-Dec-11 between noon-2pm to correct this challenge. If this date does not work for you, please let us know and we can reschedule this appointment asap.

Please let us know if you have any additional concerns, or feel free to contact us through our Live Chat. When sending a reply, please remember to include all previous correspondence. Thank you.

Scott - Rep 3049
eCare Team
Shaw Cablesystems GP
www.shaw.ca |


Help & Support: »www.shaw.ca/help
Contact Us: »www.shaw.ca/contactus
Self Serve Online: »secure.shaw.ca

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 9:24 AM
To: Shaw - eCare Technical Support
Subject: Re: Shaw Support [Case ID 4503-15795737]

Hi Matthew,

thanks for the response, and I do understand things can get busy. I like your idea of a service call right away. I am on vacation as of this Friday
(16th) and can be available any time up until the 26th. After that it will have to be any time from the 1st to the 9th of Jan.


On Wed, 14 Dec 2011 09:31:39 -0700, Shaw - eCare Technical Support wrote:

> Good Morning , my name is Matthew with the Shaw Eservice Team.
> Thank you for your email dated December 6th and thank you for your
patience while we address the email in our inbox.
> We're sorry to hear that you've been unable to contact us via our live
chat service in order to address your speed situation. I honestly cannot tell you why this has been the case, as our chat service is functional and we have been unable to replicate the issue from this end.
> That said, we can of course continue to assist you via email; however,
> at
this point I recommend that we simply book you a service call as we have essentially done everything that we can from here. We do apologize previously if you had any trouble connecting your machine directly to the modem; I have ensured that a second IP can now be leased for a second MAC.
> As for a service call, if you can reply to this message with your
availability for each day over 10 days starting December 22nd, we'll be able to book out the next available which works for you.
> As an aside, in regards to a comment in your original email, in our
> Terms
of Use it states that we shape upstream data but only if certain circumstances are met (generally if there is a saturation problem in the area). This is under the Traffic Management Policies section of the Acceptable Use Policy - Internet at »shaw.ca/Terms-of-Use/.
> We look forward to hearing back from you .
> Thanks and have a great day,
> Matthew - 9776
> E-Care
> Shaw Cablesystems GP
| www.shaw.ca |
> Help & Support: »www.shaw.ca/help
> Contact Us: »www.shaw.ca/contactus
> Self Serve Online: »secure.shaw.ca
> From:
> Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2011 8:43 PM
> To: Shaw - eCare Technical Support
> Subject: RE: Shaw Support [Case ID 4503-15795737]
> Hi Jeff
> I have now been trying to in touch with the live chat for 3 weeks with
> no
luck. The screen merely sits at the "Contacting your representative" status, and then eventually errors out as per the screenshot below. I really would like to get this resolved, so would appreciate your suggestion on how to proceed as I am now paying for service I am not getting.
> Thanks
> From: Shaw - eCare Technical Support [mailto:ecare.help@sjrb.ca]
> Sent: Tuesday, November 08, 2011 08:43
> To: ''
> Cc: Shaw - eCare Technical Support
> Subject: RE: Shaw Support [Case ID 4503-15795737]
> Hi ,
> Thank you for submitting this additional test. Please contact a live
representative for further assistance. We have documented this problem in ticket number 15795737 and may need to arrange for a service call to check the modem on site.
> Live chat support is available at
www.shaw.ca/chat from 7AM to 10PM PST 7 days a week or you can call us any time at 310-SHAW (7429).
> Thank you
> Jeff - Rep 4503
> eCare Team
> Shaw Cablesystems GP


Vernon, BC
reply to Poleh
I definitely want to see what else can be done here - please pm me with your account details and we'll investigate further.

Shaw Community Manager


How come ISPs like Shaw tend to employee complete idiots for Technical support? the real support seems to happen by people like you here on the forums


Beaumont, AB
said by DanteX:

How come ISPs like Shaw tend to employee complete idiots for Technical support? the real support seems to happen by people like you here on the forums

Because the customer is unwilling to pay the money required to keep those types of people on the front lines.



3 edits

Because the customer is unwilling to pay the money required to keep those types of people on the front lines.

More along the lines of it eats into the companys proffits, IE the bottom line...

Worked several jobs as support the past years and its almost always a similar situation.

With Comcast it was 70% agent turn around rate (quitting) due to the working conditions and environment in the first month, and with IBM if you made it past the first year into a pay raise bracket you would find yourself training your replacement employee before they end your contract term, so that they can replace you with a minimum wage employee rather than give you a raise.

OP: Work with Sean and you will get the issue resolved promptly, after messing around with local support here for a long time he resolved the issue for me within a week.


Would have to agree with both of you. Most companies front line staff don't stick around long enough to become really good at their jobs, and the ones that do end up getting promoted.

The slight upside to Shaw is that all their call centres are in Canada, not outsourced to another country.


Calgary, AB
reply to ShawSean
PM sent (after feeling very stupid and not finding the PM functions for like 10 mins coz I wasn't logged into the forums...).

Thanks for stepping in and being willing to take a look. Still haven't heard from support since my e-mail.