A couple of years back, frustrated with Bell’s pricey Internet service, we switched to Teksavvy (See post Goodbye Bell, Hello Teksavvy). Teksavvy still offers significant savings over Bell but my initial enthusiasm has cooled considerably. I’ll explain why in this post.
Teksavvy’s 6Mbps, 75 GB per month DSL Internet service costs $29.99 per month. We find that sufficient for our moderate usage, which includes bandwidth intensive activities such as watching movies over Netflix. A similar package, albeit one at a slightly slower speed and much lower bandwidth, at Bell (5Mbps, 20 GB per month) costs $43.95 month. There are other minor differences between the two. Teksavvy requires customers to purchase their own modem while Bell rents it to subscribers. Also, it should be pointed out that Bell offers a discount for bundling with other services and might knock down the rate even more for some customers for a limited time.
At first glance, Teksavvy appears to offer a better Internet package at a significantly lower price but there is a catch. Teksavvy is essentially a reseller for Bell Canada, which owns and operates the telephone wires running to your home and charges a fee for doing so at a price set by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Therefore, when a Teksavvy customer orders a new service or a change to an existing service or reports a problem, the service order is often routed through to Bell Canada. Bell Canada, which offers its own suite of competing products, now has every incentive to be less responsive to the needs of a competitor’s customer compared to its own.
A case in point: last year, we moved to a new residence and called Rogers, Bell and Teksavvy to move our cable, phone and Internet services respectively. Rogers and Bell sent technicians to perform the move within 1 business day and followed up to check whether the service was up and running. Teksavvy said that it would move the Internet service one week later. And when the next week rolled around, Teksavvy could not complete the move saying that Bell claimed the phone service was still at the old address even though I had put in a move request to Teksavvy *after* moving the phone service and the move will be delayed one further week. We did get Internet service at the new residence the next week after a two week downtime and we have had no problems since. It turns out that my experience isn’t an isolated one. You can check out negative reports on Teksavvy on this forum but in fairness, it should be pointed out that positive reports far outweigh negative ones.
The bottom line: Teksavvy offers DSL Internet at a much cheaper price than Bell but you should be aware that if you run into problems, you may fall between the cracks because Teksavvy depends on Bell to fulfill its customers’ service orders.