Internet Service for a Northern Family

**This featured case is one example of the concerns people have brought to us. Names have been changed to protect the identity of the people involved.

Rick and Roxy live in a remote northern community. They gained Internet access through SaskTel. Since they were new to the Internet, they didn’t realize that the frequent busy signals and very slow service they experienced were not normal.

When Roxy decided to take some on-line education, she had trouble connecting to the educational site. In the process of helping Roxy reach the website, the school suggested that something must be wrong with their Internet service.

Rick called SaskTel and explained what was happening. SaskTel found the error, repairs were made, and the couple’s service improved. Rick asked for reimbursement and was offered one month of free service. He felt he should get a year’s free service and called our office.

We talked to SaskTel and confirmed that the error was indeed SaskTel’s and that the couple’s Internet service had been on the same line as their telephone – hence the busy signals and slowness. We also found that, by offering one month’s free service, SaskTel had simply been following their policy.

Under most circumstances, a month’s free service would be a significant and appropriate response to a customer service mistake. This time, however, we thought it was not enough and that some allowance should be made for these unique circumstances.

After all, Rick and Roxy acted responsibly and reported the problem as soon as they were aware that their experience was not the norm. SaskTel agreed to take another look at the situation. In addition to the month’s free service, they agreed to reimburse the couple for about 40% of the past year’s Internet fees.

*Names are fictional.