The land of poutine, nice people, and crazy expensive Internet ‘service’ that offers nearly no customer service, and always includes inconveniently-timed outages.
Like most Canadians who have survived into their 20s, I grew up thinking it was normal to have my dad pacing the floor once or twice a year waiting on hold for hours to try to get someone to fix our downed internet.
As a 13-year-old, I thought our biggest problem was me missing out on gaming. (Why were we always one of the neighborhoods without service when my buddies could keep playing without interruption?) I didn’t realize how bad things were here until I got to spend a year studying in the states. Turns out we’re getting duped big time by the big internet providers in our country.
Canadians Pay More Than Almost Every Other Country for Internet
Brace yourself. Because it turns out that crazy rates, terrible customer service, and random outages that come at the worst time are… a pretty Canadian thing. No bragging rights here. Canada is one of the top five most expensive countries in the developed world when it comes to the cost of high-speed internet.
No shade to other places we ‘beat’ out. The US is just one of them. We’re also more expensive than places like Colombia, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong.
Nothing Nice About Canadian Telco Providers
The terrible service provided by companies like Bell, Rogers, Shaw, and Telus is legendary in Canada. I know people who will go to any length to avoid having to call one of these companies with a problem.
Need to cancel your plan because you’re moving to another country? Go book a root canal instead. It’ll be less painful.
Want to negotiate a better rate because you’ve had an account for 8 years and never made a late payment? Yeah, no. Don’t even bother.
Somebody Send Me an Alternative
So, you can imagine my surprise when I heard there was another option. Not a loophole, really. But kind of a loophole. And in this case, it’s a loophole you have to love. See, the government did something nice while allowing these companies to grow without constraint or consideration for competition.
The CRTC (whom all Canadians love to hate) introduced a wholesale policy a while ago. It’s not something most of us heard about. Maybe that has something to do with the big players also trying to control Canada’s media. But who really knows, right?
So major telcos and cablecos have to let smaller competitors connect to and access their network. It’s all the glimmer of hope I needed to look further.
I have to find ways to save money wherever I can. Sometimes that means lowering my bills. Sometimes that means not having to spend hours on hold with ‘customer service’ when I could be working one of my side hustles.
NetJOI May Be the Internet Company We Truly Deserve
NetJOI offers cheaper internet. And they’re doing it off the big boys’ backs. Because they can.
What I’ve seen so far, I like. They’re small and spicy. They actually value their customers, because they’re small enough to remember that we’re all human and our contracts support them. They’re not trying to take over the country.
Oh, and they have a real incentive program. You can get JOIBucks just for being a customer and use those JOIBucks to get rewards. Not like Telus, where you need at least two accounts for their rewards, or like Rogers where you have to game the system and spend like crazy to get ‘rewarded’ for giving them your money.
I Really Can’t Stand Fake Apologies
Some of us will always remember the Rogers’ outage of 2022. 12 million people, businesses, healthcare workers, law enforcement, hospitals, and students were shut out of any internet and cellphone access. (The question about how this was even possible burns in my brain to this day.)
They called it a ‘network system failure’ caused by a ‘maintenance update’. Enter CEOs making non-statements, vague promises of ‘fixing’ the system, and an insultingly low compensation. I get that NetJOI is literally using the same network as these guys. But I’m so tired of having no choice but to give my money to these massive corporations that couldn’t care less about the little guy.
According to reports, small businesses suffered the most from the Rogers’ outage. If I had known of NetJOI back then, I would’ve switched in a heartbeat. So why didn’t I at least switch to Telus or Shaw? Well, when was the last time you tried to switch your internet service? How long did you spend trying to get a new service provider set up? And then how long did you spend trying to cancel your current account?
I know that canceling with one of the big guys is still going to be a pain. But it will be so sweet to finally say goodbye.
Budget Friendly High-Speed Internet and Digital Phone Services from NetJOI
NetJOI is there for the taking:
- Budget friendly high-speed internet
- Digital phone and VoIP service
- Real customer service (I checked, there’s a phone number and email right on their website. Right there for anyone to see.)
- An alternative to the telecom ‘monopoly’ that’s been sucking the life out of Canadians for way too long
Finally, a Place to Act Against the Rogers and Shaw Merger
As if everything I’ve talked about isn’t enough, now we’re facing this impending merger between Rogers and Shaw. I don’t get how this ‘deal’ has gotten so far already. I thought we had rules against stuff like this that give people no choice about who they get their internet and phone services from.
The thing is, I’d be tempted to choose NetJOI just because they’re not Rogers or Shaw or Telus. The rest of the stuff like affordability, reliability, a small and approachable company, rewards, and real people to deal with have sealed the deal for me.
For too long, Canadians have been at the mercy of a few big telecom and internet providers who charge high prices, offer long contracts, and provide frustrating service. But times are changing, and finally NetJOI is entering the market. They cater to the budget-conscious, the adventurous (well, that’s how I see it), and those looking for an alternative to the big telecoms.
NetJOI speaks Canadian, not corporate takeover. If you’re sick and tired of the same old telecom and internet providers, this may be the company for you. Whether you’re a student, an entrepreneur, a new renter, or all three, like many of us, this is for you.
I truly believe that NetJOI strikes the right balance for those of us who want an alternative to the big telecoms while leveraging the network and getting great customer service.
Meet the Commission for Complaints for Telcom-television Services (CCTS)
The Commission for Complaints for Telcom-television Services (CCTS) is an independent, industry-funded organization where consumers and small businesses can file complaints against telecommunication and television service companies.
Their website is a bit of a scary deep dive into how bad telecom companies in Canada treat their customers. Everything from ‘incorrectly informing’ the organization that a complaint is resolved when it’s not (my mom calls that lying), to (surprise!) thousands of complaints in 2021-2022 about internet bills and contracts.
While it’s great that we have this advocate that goes to bat for Canadians, the numbers show that big telcos just don’t care about their terrible service, overbilling, and locking people into crazy expensive contracts—even when they’re caught breaking the rules.
I’m so glad we have this chance to send a few friendly birds across to the big ol guys in their corporate offices and choose a real, relatable, affordable internet provider.