Northwestel revisited

Your humble content provider found a fascinating letter from Northwestel in his mailbox last week. The letter requires him to revise his unkind remarks of June 7.

“Dear James,” the letter says. “Over the past few months Northwestel has worked diligently to upgrade our satellite network and improve your experience with Northwestel’s Internet experience.”

The next paragraph tells me I may keep my “High Speed Classic” service or choose from two new offerings: “High Speed Iqaluit Light” or “High Speed Iqaluit Ultra.”

A convenient chart then lists their prices and promised speeds. Of course, Northwestel is careful to use the weasel-phrase “up to.”

This is prudent. A quick visit to the Northwestel speed test reveals my “quality of service” ranges from 46 to 52 per cent. The closest they get to the promised “up to” speed of 768 kbps is a rather more modest figure of 366 kbps.

But I’ll say one thing. The dozens of daily start-and-stop network failures stopped yesterday.

If you haven’t seen your own version of the letter, here’s my copy.

I suppose I’ll sign up for “High Speed Iqaluit Ultra.” If another $20 a month gets me what I ought to get now, so be it. To be a northern consumer is to accept one’s fate in a spirit of masochistic subservience.

Now I feel guilty about saying what I just said. Northwestel is a pretty good company, all things considered. I’ve liked just about every Northwestel employee I ever met.

And look at the headaches they have to deal with.

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2 Responses to Northwestel revisited

  1. Craig says:

    Not only are most of the employees I’ve met been nice, they’ve also been extremely apologetic and understanding when I’ve been so rude as to vent about the quality of internet service I get during their leisure time.

    Btw, I am totally stealing the phrase “To be a northern consumer is to accept one’s fate in a spirit of masochistic subservience.” when I have to explain to people thinking of moving here that things opperate a bit differently.

  2. I’m wondering if Northwestel and my current provider here in Eastern Ontario have been part of the same satellite system upgrade.

    I’ve also been experiencing frequent starts and stops which have been growing in frequency over the last few months. Just yesterday, they seemed to have stopped (he says knocking on wood in a desperate hope of not jinxing his service).

    Uncanny coincidence?

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