Beware the DCX3510-M PVR & Shaw 3-yr contracts
We had been using the Motorola DCT3416 PVR for a few years with no issues (HD PVR w/200GB).
Last fall we suddenly noticed that a number of HD channels that we tuned to were only playing the At first we thought it was a problem with our PVR. I eventually contacted Shaw about it, and found out that these channels were broadcast in a different format (MPEG4), and that our DCT3416 was not compatible.
Even though we had been paying for the so-called 'HD Package', Shaw did not offer to compensate us, but instead encouraged us to upgrade our PVR. Some of the enticements included improved programming guide, and higher recording capacity (500GB).
We settled with the Motorola DCX3510 PVR, and could basically obtain it for 'free' provided that we sign a 3-year contract. Boy was that a mistake. (To this point, we had been long time subscribers - 20 plus years - and we have all the bundled services, including home phone, high-speed internet, and TV & movie channels to the tune of $170 per month.)
Well, it didn't take long for us to discover that the new Motorola PVR is plagued with issues, including frequent lockups; missing the end of programs when recording or pausing; instability & unpredictable behavior. After reading the forums, it became clear that customers were being sent on tail-chasing exercises including PVR reboots, and logging their issues for some undetermined future firmware upgrade.
Our family tried using the system but became increasingly frustrated. I didn’t know what firmware version was in our unit, but reasoned that surely the first available firmware upgrade would correct these issues – but it never came.
We finally gave up, and re-installed our old PVR.
I called Shaw Customer Service this week, and spoke to a supervisor in Vancouver, named Eric. He pointed out that we could have returned the unit in the first 30 days, but because we had it for almost 3 months, they would not accept it back.
Fair enough – I blew it not returning it on time. But I expected better from Shaw after being with them for 20 years.
Securing that 3-year contract with me was far more important to them than securing customer loyalty & reducing churn. That’s a pretty arrogant view considering they just went through corporate layoffs. (I’ll assume their ‘Customer Retention’ department was included in that group.)
It all comes down to this: Shaw is knowingly selling these bug-ridden units to unsuspecting customers, so that they can secure 3-year contracts. Much like a gym that aggressively secures new memberships just before it folds.
Karma will be in the form of my 3-year contract outlasting Eric in Customer Service.