Northwestel’s Broken Tools/Promises

As I pointed out in a recent Yukon News column (“Is Northwestel for us, or against us?“), 2011 will be the year of internet data in the Yukon. The CRTC’s recent lame-brained decision to allow for metered internet billing has turned this into a national issue. (You should sign the petition to speak out against this now.)

As internet consumers in the Yukon, this dark year is not starting out well for us. Northwestel’s punitive $10-per-GB “over-use” fee stills hangs over our heads like a stick in the hands of a bully. Even worse, it’s now clear that the one tool the company provides us to manage our data habits – and potentially avoid being beaten with over-use fees – is broken. It’s just another chapter in the ongoing saga of Northwestel’s failure to dependably serve its internet customers.

Remember last year when the company screwed up the way they measured our data use and over-billed us? (“Was Northwestel Hacked? No.“) They didn’t communicate the problem to their customers. Instead, they just quietly issued refunds to those of us who called in and complained (would it have hurt to apologize, too?). One wonders if the company would have dealt with the issue at all if I hadn’t raised it on this blog.

Now, the one meagre tool the company provides us to keep track of how much data we’re using is faulty.

Northwestel’s “Cable Internet Usage” page states, “You have subscribed to receive e-mail notices when your usage has reached 80% and 100% of free usage for the month.” Well, indeed I have.

So, why did I not receive an “e-mail” (who spells like this in real life?) notice when my account hit 100% some time last night?

Check my usage in this screen shot:


The last email I got from Northwestel was 10 days ago, when I hit the 80% threshold.

I didn’t get one when I hit the 100% mark last night. If I had, I would have turned off my cable modem and saved myself $13. And last month, I would have saved myself $200.

Alas, Northwestel again fails us, resulting in unnecessary over-billing and another broken promise. Will the company own up to the problem? Based on what we’ve seen to date, it’s doubtful.

So I’m again left paying the company more money than I reasonably should, wondering what will go wrong next?

2 thoughts on “Northwestel’s Broken Tools/Promises

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