Greetings, fellow consumers.  This weekend, I’m offering a valuable, one-time offer, never to be repeated, about how you, cable and internet user, can save money and stick it to the man! All for just one phone call!

OK, maybe ‘stick it to the man’ is a bit much, and just a trifle dated. But I managed to cut a substantial portion of my cable and internet bill this week, and I’d like to share with you my secret.

Here it is…. competition.

God bless capitalism. Sometimes it works.

You may have noticed that Telus, the monolithic phone company with the cutesy animal ads, has branched out into cable, going after the market dominated by Shaw. And they’re being very aggressive about it. Free HD PVRs! Free X-Boxes! Discounted rates! And puppies!

Yes, it’s an aggressive marketplace, if somewhat confusing. I got a glossy Telus ‘Entertainment Guide’ in the mail the other day, and it had a fold out list of instructions on how to choose your cable channels. It was more confusing than a tax form.

A co-worker was telling me this week how she got an offer from Telus in the mail for deeply discounted rates for a year, things like $15 for high speed internet, $15 for Telus satellite TV, etc. It’s only a year, I know, but still, that’s a lot of money saved during a year. The trouble is, I refuse to ever have anything to do with Telus. A few years back, I had them as my internet provider, and I suffered through a serious term in customer service hell. My internet crapped out on me, and it took TWO WEEKS to get it back. That wasn’t the worst of it. I spent hours — literally hours — on the phone with a series of inept technical service guys named ‘Steve’ who had a miserable grasp of English. It was awful. Once I got my internet back, and a tiny little ‘sorry about that’ stipend from Telus, I purged all Telus from my house and went 100% with Shaw, vowing I would never go back.

And I won’t. But that doesn’t mean I won’t use them in other ways.

My co-worker phoned Shaw and told them about the offers she got from Telus. Just like that, she got her cable and internet rates cut substantially for a year. So, I tried it, too. After waiting a surprisingly short time on the phone, I talked to a quite charming customer service rep, and explained that I was thinking of going to Telus because of their deep discounted rates. She was very sympathetic, while very nicely telling me Telus was essentially garbage (Did you know that of their 89 channels, 49 are music? Or at least, that’s what she told me.) With very little prodding, she made me a promotional offer, cutting $40 off my monthly bill for a year. That’s $480 a year in my pocket. And all for a little 10 minute phone call.

I told my son about this amazing money-saving idea, and he has Shaw cut $30 a month off his bill. I am finally his hero.

The bottom line is, it’s worth a call. Let Shaw know you’re thinking about going to Telus, and have some Telus offers in front of you. And be prepared to jump ship if they don’t cut your rates. For too long, we have been at the mercy of the cable and phone giants. Now that there is real competition, it would be foolish not to take advantage of it.

So, call now! This offer may not last!

And one more reminder for all you cheapskates out there … McDonald’s has free coffee! Any size you like!  I have taken ridiculous advantage of this offer this week, and will again next week while the offer is still good. I never buy anything else, just the coffee. Does that make me cheap, or just a canny consumer? You be the judge, I don’t care. I’m gettin’ free coffee.


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