The Unlocked iPhone: Start of a Canadian Revolution?

The fact that Apple now offers an “unlocked” version of the iPhone 3GS in Canada, and will soon release an unlocked iPhone 4, hasn’t received much attention.

That’s too bad, because it’s a development that’s very important to us as consumers.

The unlocked iPhone offers Canadians freedom from the artificial restrictions that have historically been imposed on us by our large mobile telecommunications carriers.

Unfortunately, however, it’s not going to save us any money – yet. Continue reading

Some Alternatives to Northwestel’s Internet Shortcomings

Like an aging porn star, Northwestel just can’t keep it up.

And by “it”, I mean that which is most important.

And in Northwestel’s case it is the internet. (So get your mind out of the gutter, already.)

Yet, despite the fact the current incumbent constantly flubs it like a clown in a circus, in the itsy-bitsy market of the Great White North no hoser would be fool enough to directly compete.

So it’s up to we citizens to seek alternative means of accessing the environment we all now live, work, shop, and socialize in, to fill in those gaps when Northwestel suffers from what I shall henceforth delicately refer to as Internet Dysfunction (ID for short).

It might surprise you just how many alternatives there are. Continue reading

Let’s Build a Community Report of Northwestel Experiences

Ever since I whined that Northwestel is a tad too quiet on the information front regarding their recurring internet failings (Another Communications Example Northwestel Could Learn From), whoever manages their Twitter account has become slightly more generous.

What’s also happened is that people have come out of the woodwork to report their Northwestel horror stories to me, like I’m some sort of Northwestel emotional support agent or something. I won’t relate any of those stories here, since there are a lot of them, but suffice to say that people are certainly very eager to vent about Northwestel!

Well, there’s a place for everything, and a great place for these Northwestel stories to go is over on a site called Get Satisfaction. It’s a community-driven customer support service in which people can publicly post their problems/questions/praise (yes, praise; some people love Northwestel, too) and (maybe) get a response from the company they’re posting about. Get Satisfaction’s benefit is that it can reveal service success and failure trends and share them with the community.

For example, you might feel victimized because Northwestel accidentally cancelled your service, continued billing you for 3 months as you tried to sort out the situation, and then refused to reinstate your service until you paid the bill for the period you didn’t actually have service; but you needn’t, because it may have happened to other people who have already sorted things out. Wouldn’t it be great to know what they did to succeed and cut short your own struggle? Just log on to Get Satisfaction and post about your experience; other people may have experienced your problem, and might just share information about how they fixed it.

Fortunately for us, a colleague of mine, Geof Harries, established a Northwestel page over on Get Satisfaction a couple of years back, so it’s all wrapped and ready for the community to jump on and take for a ride. So head on over to the Northwestel page on Get Satisfaction and start up a chat about your recent experience with the Big Green N. Who knows? Maybe somebody else has had the same issue and will share some guidance with you.

Here’s the address: