Shaw Digital Phone vs. Vonage

[note: make sure you read the follow up article here

I’ve had a Vonage VoIP line for a year now in my home/office. I’ve been really pleased with it much of the time and quite annoyed with it some of the time.

The biggest issue is quality of service and 1-800 numbers. The latter is totally annoying – Vonage simply can’t seem to connect to many 1-800 numbers which means I have to use my home Telus line to make those calls.

Quality of service issues generally involve those nasty half-second delays, even on local calls, which really makes business conversations difficult. And frankly, sometimes the line just sounds like crap even when I’m calling across town.

On the other hand, Vonage has a great web interface to the phone features, being able to change call forwarding and other functions from the web site is vastly superior to doing it through a phone menu.

So, with some new options available, I figured it was time to give try something new.

Today Shaw installed my digital phone. I’ll use both services for a while and see if Shaw’s QOS is as good as they claim.

If my first call out is any indication, they may be coming back to pick up the gear real soon. When I asked my client if the phone quality sounded any better, he said ‘no’ and that in fact the line sounded like I was on a bad cell phone that was cutting out. Interestingly, he sounded fine to me – so we’ll see.

No web interface to the phone features from Shaw, so that sucks.

Also, be warned. The digital phone installer attaches a very big Motorola modem right to the wall where your phone jack lives. Shaw’s promotions for the digital phone make a big deal about not having to run wires, but they sure don’t say anything about the HUGE black box they attached to the wall near my phone jack. Dudes, this is progress ?

The big (and ugly) black box does come with it’s own built-in UPS, so if the AC power fails, it will keep running on its internal battery for up to 8 hours.

I’ll keep you posted on my comparison of the two services. Seems like the perfect opportunity for one of my famous pie charts.

5 thoughts on “Shaw Digital Phone vs. Vonage”

  1. Your comments were written May 4th…are you more satisfied with Shaw now, 3 weeks later or are you still having problems? I would like to try Shaw digital,but want to know how others are liking the service. Thanks

  2. Hi, I just want to say that you have a really great blog site. Sorry to hear the digital phone isnt working for you. but most of these problems can be fixed I had the same issues when I first got it. they had to replace the digital phone terminal once. But like all phone services some customers have problems and some dont. and if someone is having problems they can dispatch someone within 2-4 hours even in the middle of the night. so in all my phone service has been perfect. but they have rude tech support yesterday I had one tech hang up on me for tv tech support and one other time i have been yelled at and had sarcasum by their customer service agents.

  3. Shaw Digital Phone has been a nightmare. I have had severe problems for 8 months with 7 visits to my house to tweak, install new modem and generally tell me everything is OK. On local or long distance calls, my outbound voice cuts out. It usually happens about 2 minutes into a call and the dead air lasts 10-15 seconds. Pisses people off severely and upsets my 80 mother. They call it packet loss and simply haven’t fixed. I tried using my Skype account but same issue. Sure feels like the dark ages yet switching back to Telus sucks as well.

  4. got Shaw DP 3 days ago. Haven’t had a successful connection to Asia since. As much as I hate Telus for service, their system never failed. I will be switching back ASAP. Also tried Yak Home Phone, and though it had it’s issues, at least I could get through to people.
    Argh.

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