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coaxguy

join:2009-07-29
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
·Bell Fibe
reply to InviteOnly

Re: I am worried about Start...

Are you legitimately serious?

A) Start has been around for YEARS. They have been more popular lately, but have been on he scene for a long time. Nothing has changed since then and I doubt it will.

B) Invite only? Wow, if you think that's how a successful business can operate, WAIT until you see McDonalds new Windows Phone only policy. Customers can only be served by one time use code issued to Windows phone users.


RLBL

join:2012-11-26
Gloucester, ON
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
reply to InviteOnly
said by Anon80:

said by camelot:

So, you start a business, and then stop growing it- see how long you last.

Dine at any good restaurants in Toronto lately that have a 3 month wait list? They are not growing, just providing world class food that people love and can only serve so many people per night. Oh right, we want all ISP's to be Mcdonalds (Pack'em in).

Golf at any good golf courses that are not accepting new members at this time? They are not growing, just providing a great golf experience that's not packed with people. Oh right, we want all ISP's to be public courses that make us wait half a day for tee time.

Hydro companies, private schools, night clubs, bakeries, day care, the list goes on where businesses have a limit on their customers so they can provide quality service.

Bad analogies. If they have serious wait times, that means constant income streams. Costs always go up, so you either have to bring in new business, or increase the costs of the current:

If Start were to become a members only club (pardon the expression), then sooner or later you will be paying more for the pristine service than you can get elsewhere. Yes customer support will be top notch, but you will not need it...

People will start looking for better deals and the company revenue shrinks. Again, this drives costs up for those who remain (assuming the company stays in business). That is how clubs remain "exclusive".

In short... interesting, but bad idea.

camelot

join:2008-04-12
Whitby, ON
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
·TekSavvy Cable
reply to InviteOnly
said by Anon80:

Dine at any good restaurants in Toronto lately that have a 3 month wait list?

I do not "wait" to eat a a restaurant. I go somewhere else, cheaper- to some place that WANTS my business.

said by Anon80:

Golf at any good golf courses that are not accepting new members at this time?

The days of members-only golf courses are gone. Memberships are far too expensive, when there are so many cheaper courses around. Seeing a common thread yet?

said by Anon80:

Hydro companies, private schools, night clubs, bakeries, day care, the list goes on where businesses have a limit on their customers so they can provide quality service.

Whaaa?
Hydro companies are members-only??? Bakeries, huh???

Day care are legally limited for safety's sake. If they were allowed, the skies the limit. Same with night clubs (fire regulations). This has nothing to do with "maintaining quality service". In fact, most break the rule anyway.

You've obviously not taken any economics courses, or ever owned a business of your own.
Your supplier costs and general costs of doing business always increase. Always. That's a fact of life. You either have to eat the cost, or pass it on to your customers...or a bit of both. Without accepting more customers, your service to your existing customer base will increase in price to the point where it's not economically viable for your customers...and you're out.

The key for any business, is properly managing your growth. This does NOT mean stifling your growth. It means adjusting your hiring, provisioning and processes and costs to meet your demand.

The problem with IISP's at the moment, is that there are no SLA's with the incumbents. They're almost entirely dependent on their suppliers for everything. Hopefully, the SLA thing will change soon with the CRTC.


InviteOnly

@start.ca
said by camelot:

said by Anon80:

Dine at any good restaurants in Toronto lately that have a 3 month wait list?

I do not "wait" to eat a a restaurant. I go somewhere else, cheaper- to some place that WANTS my business.

Like McDonalds, they want your business and will never turn you away. So thanks for making my point.

Apparently you take a busy business that can only serve so many customers at the quality level they want to uphold as a personal slight against you and how they don't want your business. Well those are the best places and if you don't understand that it's ok, they don't need you to.

It's a simple business model. x amount of Customers + x amount of Service = x amount of profit. If operating costs rise then the customer base rises accordingly.


InviteOnly

@start.ca
I already have the slogan thought out. Ready? here goes:

"Keep your ISP's small, and your downloads big!"


RLBL

join:2012-11-26
Gloucester, ON
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
reply to InviteOnly
said by Anon80:

said by camelot:

said by Anon80:

Dine at any good restaurants in Toronto lately that have a 3 month wait list?

I do not "wait" to eat a a restaurant. I go somewhere else, cheaper- to some place that WANTS my business.

Like McDonalds, they want your business and will never turn you away. So thanks for making my point.

Your point is not lost on me, but saying/comparing any company that wishes to grow is like McDonald's (in terms of quality of products and services), is going to extremes to make said point.

By this logic: I assume because Apple just opened a 2nd apple store in my city, they are simply catering to everyone and may start selling crap computers to meet the added demand? (excuse the obvious sarcasm, but you see my point)


martyb

join:2013-05-18
Wemindji, QC

1 edit
reply to InviteOnly
this is getting ridiculous....as has been stated over and over, an ISP is nothing like a McDonalds. You can't make the comparison because it is not the same market or business model.

Volume at McDonalds is constant: the cost of making a bigmac pretty much doesn't change year after year. And if your minimum wages or the price of beef increase, you can just make the patty a bit thinner or add more filler to the meat and your cost remains the same. The steel plate on which the patties are cooked has a life cycle of decades.

Volume at an ISP is an ever increasing one, since in 1995 Youtube was not on the horizon, yet today it is a staple. 100 users in 1995 and 100 users in 2012 are legions apart in terms of what is required on behalf of the ISP to maintain since the equipment lifecycle to support the increasing bandwith requirements is much shorter that a dinky restaurant.

Go start your own ISP that is "members-only" with your exclusive business model and 3 years from now, when you are paying 50$/month for unlimited 10Mbps, everyone else will be paying 50$(less?) for 1Gbps, are you going to be happy in your glitzy exclusive club? No because while you were frozen in time, everyone else around you evolved.

I don't get your "simple business model. x amount of Customers + x amount of Service = x amount of profit. If operating costs rise then the customer base rises accordingly." Are you saying that if (when....) operating costs for Start would rise, A) costs would increase to the customer? Or B) Start would accept more customers to make up the difference? In the case of B), there is no invite-only model so please explain your train of thought.

Edited to add: also, you have to factor in wage increases for Start staff, which, contrary to McDonalds, does not rely on a steady stream of low-skill/student/entry-level employees that inevitably will work a year or 2 at McDs. Unless your business model is also to fire employees after 24 months to never give them wage increases, keeping your support staff as newbies and therefore not providing the quality support that makes your users happy. I suppose Start would not have to fire anyone, if they just freeze the wages eventually their qualified staff will move on to a growing company willing to give them compensation based on experience and skill....

34764170

join:2007-09-06
Etobicoke, ON
reply to InviteOnly
said by Anon80:

I already have the slogan thought out. Ready? here goes:

"Keep your ISP's small, and your downloads big!"

A pretty poor slogan.


InviteOnly

@start.ca
said by 34764170:

said by Anon80:

I already have the slogan thought out. Ready? here goes:

"Keep your ISP's small, and your downloads big!"

A pretty poor slogan.

Well, it's a "Start"...


InviteOnly

@start.ca
reply to RLBL
said by RLBL:

By this logic: I assume because Apple just opened a 2nd apple store in my city, they are simply catering to everyone and may start selling crap computers to meet the added demand? (excuse the obvious sarcasm, but you see my point)

Apple makes a tangible product. That's where supply, demand and expand business model is perfect. Not so with an ISP which provides a service that degrades the more users that use said service.

Anyway setting analogies a side, if we all just want ISP's to expand and keep getting bigger then the end goal is to turn them all into mini Bells and Rogers. It's not like bell wanted to treat people unfairly. That's what they evolved into because they became so big and became an institution in canada. It was impossible to treat everyone fairly. Same thing is happening to Teksavvy right now but on a much smaller scale.


rocca
Start.ca
Premium
join:2008-11-16
London, ON
kudos:23
said by Anon80:

It's not like bell wanted to treat people unfairly. That's what they evolved into because they became so big and became an institution in canada. It was impossible to treat everyone fairly.

I'd challenge that.

I really don't think it's impossible at all, and rather it's about doing business in the same way you want to be treated in live: fairly, honestly and with respect. It's a two way street and treating people like actual people has been paramount to our success. I can't imagine why we'd change that culture that we've worked so hard to foster in our environment over the past 18 years.

When you walk into our office there are 6 words on the wall:

Integrity
Dependable
Progressive
Community
Innovative
Courtesy

....and they all have a few words after with an example of what those words mean to us, ie Courtesy says something along the lines of "treating people with respect". It took myself and the COO weeks to come up with the right 6 words, and I'm sure that when some people start with us they look at them and cringe a little about 'corporate garbage' in the hall, but after a short while most of them see that everything we do fits into these corporate values. I can't tell you how many times we've been in a meeting run up against a roadblock and out come the values and within seconds we know what the right path is, even if it's uncomfortable.

The rewards of this type of culture isn't just the growth we've seen, but is key in keeping a happy and healthy workplace. So in a way you could sort of call it a club, ie we don't tolerate unfair, unethical or disrespectful behaviour from anyone whether an employee or a customer, and in the end it makes us all a little closer, care a little more and be a little happier. Attitude is contagious, good or bad.

It might sound like I'm up here grandstanding or something, but those that have followed me long enough can attest this is genuinely how I operate, and I believe that by leading this way it makes its way into all aspects of how we interact with our customers.

For me personally in life and in business it's been successful and I have no reason to change now.


InviteOnly

@start.ca
Right now Rocca, you are a small enough company you can handle problems personally and make sure people are treated fair. What happens when you get too busy?

Corporate philosophy is nice to hear but in the end what happens when a customer had a line card pulled, the csr just puts in a case to bell but that takes days, the customer is in the right to be mad and a csr dosen't have the authority like you would personally to refund them. That customer would be treated unfairly not because you wanted to, but because you can't control everything and make it right like you can now because your buisness is small enough you can deal with it personally. That's just one specific example...

Having been around from the "start" hah..get it..lol....Anyways the days of Bell sympatico in the early 90's were amazing. They would ship you a modem overnight, give you a special 1800 number in the package and give you your own customer service rep you could call and they would answer right away without even a automated phone system to go through! Amazing by today's standards! Yeah, that was Bell.

They couldn't keep up that level of service though, and eventually it all went downhill and you have the Bell we all know and hate today. So hopefully you see where I am coming from here, that even Bell had the best of intentions when it first started out, but just human nature and law of averages takes over and it's impossible to deal with that many people fairly no matter what your philosophy is.

I use Teksavvy as an example of the future of Start because I don't see Start doing anything different than what Teksavvy was when it first started getting popular. Rocky is a great guy and I met him in person and knew he was a sweet and honest guy who had to get out of the business when Teksavvy grown too quick. He couldn't control everything, and look at Teksavvy now, they do their best but They can't keep up with the growth.

I hope you read this with an open mind and not a confrontational one which is the nature of Internet forums today sadly. I'll end all this with a great quote:

"The road to bhell, is paved with good intentions." - Saint Bernard of Clarivaux (I added the b)

geokilla

join:2010-10-04
North York, ON
Reviews:
·TekSavvy Cable
It'll happen eventually I feel. But how big of an issue it'll be, only time will tell. What's amazing though is how different rocca approaches the public and tries to stay ahead of the game, whereas Marc is always behind the curve, giving answers that no one likes to hear, shifting blame towards the others. It's a simple case of being reactive vs preventive. Of course rocca has an edge because he can "spy" on Teksavvy via the forums, read the complaints, and figure out preventive ways to prevent Teksavvy blunders on happening to his own company. The following is a prime example:

»[DSL] Stay Away.....Teksavvy is a scam


jmck
formerly 'shaded'

join:2010-10-02
Ottawa, ON
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·Start Communicat..
reply to InviteOnly
you just don't seem to understand they've been around for ages and growing at a stable rate and have continued to grow at rate that works out for them. they've chosen not to mass advertise everywhere by choice i believe so i don't see things changing.

they will continue to grow just like they always have, but will continue to hire and expand at a rate they feel they can sustain.

i'm not sure how long you've actually been a Start customer or who you really are, but if you've been with them for any amount of time (even 6 months) you'd see and trust what rocca says.


martyb

join:2013-05-18
Wemindji, QC
reply to InviteOnly

said by Anon80 See Profile
Not so with an ISP which provides a service that degrades the more users that use said service.



the above is totally and absolutely false. ISP service degrades when an ISP does not provision it correctly, you don't need a single user to become a crappy ISP. And what do you need to provision correctly? $$$$$$$ for INVE$TMENT. No growth == no $$ to re-invest == a downward slow, painful death.


rocca
Start.ca
Premium
join:2008-11-16
London, ON
kudos:23
reply to InviteOnly
We're already well too big for me to handle all the problems ...but I have in place a great team to work with multiple levels of escalations below me that do an excellent job of helping customers through any type of issue.

I try to be extra visible and helpful here of course but even if my involvement with the tech side of things here changes, which undoubtedly it will, someone who is just as competent and helpful will certainly take over that aspect.

Much of growth management is making sure it happens in a sustainable way, and making sure as you grow that you find the people with the right attitude to continue in scaling your culture up. Avoiding hypergrowth while still growing at a steady rate has been the approach we've taken and while we're almost 10 times bigger than we were a couple of years ago, I don't think many would say their experience with us has changed in a negative way. At least customer #2 who signed up in 1996 is still pretty happy with us, so we can't be all bad.

I certainly hear what you're saying though and I'm glad you care about it, but rest assured I have no aspirations of becoming Bell/Rogers, rather keep building a great team of people to work with who like what they do and bring that positive experience to our customers.


rocca
Start.ca
Premium
join:2008-11-16
London, ON
kudos:23
reply to geokilla
said by geokilla:

Of course rocca has an edge because he can "spy" on Teksavvy via the forums, read the complaints

It's enough just keeping on top of this forum.

Seriously though, while it's important to be aware of what others in the industry are generally doing, it's business 101 to focus on your customers and not your competitors or you'll never achieve your own goals.

(not that I really consider Marc a competitor which I've said a bazillion times, I see the bigger picture of 95% of the market in incumbent hands and those are my competitors, but my point is that time/effort is better spent on your own objectives instead of watching others)


MJB

join:2012-01-29
Reviews:
·VMedia
Click for full size
capitalism at best... rogers/bell zombies
that's the problem.... television, radio, billboard ad's, internet ad's
the consumers are zombies


InviteOnly

@start.ca
reply to geokilla
said by geokilla:

It'll happen eventually I feel. But how big of an issue it'll be, only time will tell. What's amazing though is how different rocca approaches the public and tries to stay ahead of the game, whereas Marc is always behind the curve, giving answers that no one likes to hear, shifting blame towards the others. It's a simple case of being reactive vs preventive. Of course rocca has an edge because he can "spy" on Teksavvy via the forums, read the complaints, and figure out preventive ways to prevent Teksavvy blunders on happening to his own company. The following is a prime example:

»[DSL] Stay Away.....Teksavvy is a scam

Yes, I see what you mean. I would hope Rocca is at least watching Teksavvy to try and avoid the problems they have had.


rogersmogers

@start.ca
reply to rocca
said by rocca:

We're already well too big for me to handle all the problems ...but I have in place a great team to work with multiple levels of escalations below me that do an excellent job of helping customers through any type of issue.

I try to be extra visible and helpful here of course but even if my involvement with the tech side of things here changes, which undoubtedly it will, someone who is just as competent and helpful will certainly take over that aspect.

Much of growth management is making sure it happens in a sustainable way, and making sure as you grow that you find the people with the right attitude to continue in scaling your culture up. Avoiding hypergrowth while still growing at a steady rate has been the approach we've taken and while we're almost 10 times bigger than we were a couple of years ago, I don't think many would say their experience with us has changed in a negative way. At least customer #2 who signed up in 1996 is still pretty happy with us, so we can't be all bad.

I certainly hear what you're saying though and I'm glad you care about it, but rest assured I have no aspirations of becoming Bell/Rogers, rather keep building a great team of people to work with who like what they do and bring that positive experience to our customers.

So that all being said would you do something which TSI refuses to do which is a stop sell. Example: one of the other TPIA providers goes out of business and you get a flood of new customers which you cannot keep up with are you willing to turn them away to keep the overloading of systems and staff down or just let it go all nuts like TSI did when they started doing cable and which was there downfall they never recovered from.


TSI Marc
Premium,VIP
join:2006-06-23
Chatham, ON
kudos:28
reply to InviteOnly
said by Anon80:

said by geokilla:

It'll happen eventually I feel. But how big of an issue it'll be, only time will tell. What's amazing though is how different rocca approaches the public and tries to stay ahead of the game, whereas Marc is always behind the curve, giving answers that no one likes to hear, shifting blame towards the others. It's a simple case of being reactive vs preventive. Of course rocca has an edge because he can "spy" on Teksavvy via the forums, read the complaints, and figure out preventive ways to prevent Teksavvy blunders on happening to his own company. The following is a prime example:

»[DSL] Stay Away.....Teksavvy is a scam

Yes, I see what you mean. I would hope Rocca is at least watching Teksavvy to try and avoid the problems they have had.

Well, there is a problem that exists that needs to be corrected at the CRTC.

Nobody can plan for 3 week long delays.

This is not a case of being proactive or reactive. The truth is that we have been proactive in many ways and in other ways we have been reactive.

Like what I have to say or not. Fixing these delays and outages at the CRTC will help all of us.
--
Marc - CEO/TekSavvy


rocca
Start.ca
Premium
join:2008-11-16
London, ON
kudos:23
reply to rocca
said by rogersmogers :

So that all being said would you do something ... which is a stop sell.

Yes. I've gone on record a long time ago saying "I'd rather have fewer customers that are happy then fewer happy customers".

While I don't like to comment about other ISP's, there is certainly truth into the point about not being able to plan for 3 week outages. They are disruptive to not only call volumes, but obviously reputation as a result. Action is happening behind the scenes that I can't discuss at this point to help improve the framework which will benefit not only the existing IISP's but those that will undoubtedly come on the scene over the next year or two.


TSI Marc
Premium,VIP
join:2006-06-23
Chatham, ON
kudos:28

1 edit
We have more happy customers. Despite what it may seem like here on DSLr.

And, we have stopped selling.. For five months straight. More than anybody else..

I've gotten lots of advice from lots of people. I think it's easy to look at it all and point to one thing or another and latch on to that. Some things have been within our control. Others have not been. In the end, we care and we keep working at it. I believe it's possible to have it exactly how everybody wants us to be and not have to stop selling. It's not easy but I believe we are really close and I think it's part of what led to these recent events.. They knew we were close. Why else, all of a sudden, would you see these huge problems. They couldn't mess with our capacity.. We had plenty we had ordered way back in Feb of this year. We had plenty of staff. Making fewer errors than ever... Not much left we could have been hit with.

*shrug*
--
Marc - CEO/TekSavvy


rocca
Start.ca
Premium
join:2008-11-16
London, ON
kudos:23
It says that's a reply to me but not sure why that'd be warranted, but regardless I'm going to step out of this thread as it's taking a direction I'm not comfortable with as somehow it's morphed into yet another Teksavvy thread in our forum despite a title that is very 'Start' oriented.


TSI Marc
Premium,VIP
join:2006-06-23
Chatham, ON
kudos:28
Pete, not a direct reply to you but to the subject at hand.. I certainly have no beef as you know... however, TekSavvy is mentioned 4 times in the first post.

and the quote highlighted said this:

"So that all being said would you do something which TSI refuses to do which is a stop sell."

...you'd let that go if the situation were reversed?
--
Marc - CEO/TekSavvy


rocca
Start.ca
Premium
join:2008-11-16
London, ON
kudos:23
I'm sure lots of people say things about Start in your forum but no you won't find me posting there regardless of the content. I thought I already did a good job of defending you in the current circumstances, but regardless - 'nuff said.


DrugTito

join:2013-01-17
canada
Guys, enough fighting!

Just close this thread!

Long live START!


TSI Marc
Premium,VIP
join:2006-06-23
Chatham, ON
kudos:28
reply to rocca
Sure. didn't think that was the spirit of these forums... I spoke about TekSavvy... I think it's fair game for people to wonder and think about these things.. I think about it too... it's interesting isn't? I didn't see my posts as being offensive in any way to you or Start.

I am genuinely worried about the very same question that was raised in this thread... not specific to Start but anybody in TekSavvy' shoes.. now or down the road. I think that's important...

I didn't mean to offend, if I did, I'm sorry. You're certainly welcome to post in the TekSavvy forum...
--
Marc - CEO/TekSavvy


rocca
Start.ca
Premium
join:2008-11-16
London, ON
kudos:23
Not offended, rather I just don't feel comfortable discussing other ISPs and so I skip over all those parts.

As for the offer to post in your forum, appreciated, but the friendly folks are keeping me busy enough here.

All good, nothing to see here.


TSI Marc
Premium,VIP
join:2006-06-23
Chatham, ON
kudos:28
right.. that's fine that you skip over those parts.. just like I skipped over Start parts... I spoke about TekSavvy..

i.e. posting where there is relevant dialogue.. is, and should be encouraged.. I don't see it as taboo. If it is.. the site rules should be adjusted.. I generally don't stray into this forum often as you know... not like I'm here creating TekSavvy threads... but where referenced.. I will generally be interested in what's being said. I care.. so heck yeah I'm going to read and sometimes I'll have something to say.

there's no doubt that this place can draw an awful lot of time away from a day.. so on that premise.. I'm with you that we'd have both saved a few minutes today if I hadn't piped up. Have a good weekend.
--
Marc - CEO/TekSavvy