By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
I firmly believe the folks at Shaw Communications responsible for generating the ad mail has zero respect for customers. They want people to buy into their service because this company offers — insert sarcasm here — great television and internet services. I really do not know about their television services anymore. Back when they were young, they offered a great lineup, but there was a certain selection that sadly got dropped.
As far as the Internet is concerned, they did not care about Usenet, the original worldwide distributed bulletin board system to talk about the latest trends. This service was used by the tech crowd and they discarded it. I’m a relic of that time and enjoyed going to rec.arts.anime to stay on top of that world in the 90’s. Back then, the alt.binary groups were the place where I could get the latest and even when this service was available, this company’s retention was terrible. I could not get a complete file even if I tried and I had to subscribe to a third-party service. When that was gone, so was I from using any of this company’s service. I really have no clue why they think the household I belong to should return.
The letter mail they send always targets the basement occupant, which is where I reside. After half a dozen messages to them, they turn a blind eye to my feelings of disgust about their services. I know the letters are targeted. The material received is not traditional junk mail where there’s no address being used. I welcome those A&W coupons, but when it comes to Shaw, no!
While I’m aware Shaw offers summer employment to college students needing short-term work, I have to wonder what kind of training is offered? Over 4 years ago, a young lady by the name of Virgina came to the household to sell a Telus package to my family. We are generally very happy with it; better speeds for my Internet because I favour the DSL technology over cable (and the company had limited Usenet at the time) and what they offered for a Chinese programming block was infinitely better than what Shaw had. Two years later, she started working for Shaw Communications and used a past client list from Telus to try to get people to switch. As a representative, she should have respected client confidentially. The fact she was using a list owned by Telus is a problem. Either she lacked ethics or Shaw did not care how these employees obtained new customers.
Either way, just her action alone paints an ugly picture in what I think of Shaw Communications as a whole.
I also did not take kindly to a tech person telling me that he has the right to come into my home to physically cut the coaxial line because they own it. I understand what goes on outside of my property line is their business, but inside is another matter. To hear an employee step up a ‘threat’ too far just made me angry. Even my attempts at a Shaw retail office to tell them I do not want their mail, the manager’s response was that it’s not manufactured in their offices and is automated. He says it’s created by Canada Post. But in looking at what Canada Post’s Neighbourhood Mail ™ entails, these letters do not fall into the following categories.
- Coupons, flyers.
- Free newspapers, magazines, catalogues.
The fact an address is printed on an envelope makes it letter mail. This technical fact reveals they are maintaining a list of households to target. From what a former Shaw employee told me, I know for a fact that this company maintains lists of many sorts which include identifying problem clients. Tech Support can peek into their usage habits if there is a justifiable cause. Because it’s a list, and all lists can be filtered, an entry can be removed — upon request — so no single address can be issued information of a company’s services. I’m fairly sure that when I left the Uptown Centre store, the manager threw the information I gave him (i.e. the complete label with my address and code to which printer creates these ads) into the trash can instead of being helpful. And they wonder why I despise them so much.
The Twitter social media crew is great at responding to my shoutouts and they have put in requests to stop this ad mail from coming. It can take up to 2 months to process but is five requests in the past two years enough? Somewhere along the line, the people responsible for these mass mailings are being smart alecks. A word is changed to ensure their hounding ads continue to arrive! Either Neighbour (I like to understand this logic, a house does not have a neighbour living here), Basement or Suite is switched in place of what it was before to force continued mail to a single address. Why can’t this company leave me alone?
I want to save more than a few trees by telling Shaw to stop sending mail to every household out there. Some of us will learn about your deals at a movie theatre or through newspaper advertisements. Targeted mail is so last year.
I know for a fact that there are organizations who have an opt-out option for all the mail they send out. Apparently, Shaw Communications does not offer this service. If they want my respect back, and the thought of maybe subscribing to their service again sometime in the distant future, they must have the option to allow people who are tired of this company to have some peace.