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Shaw’s Customer Conversations on Data Use. Great, but what about online tools…?
Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Shaw Communications has just launched a great customer consultation to hear their views on internet use and fees.  There are 35 in-person dialogues but, ironically, limited ways to take part online.  We think they can do better.

The situation
In the last few weeks, there’s been an interesting public debate about the internet – how Canadians think their internet services providers (ISPs like Bell or Rogers) should limit or charge them for how they use the web.

This was sparked by a controversial CRTC ruling on so-called “Usage Based Billing”.  If #UBB is something new to you, CBC has a great 2-minute explanation here.

The CRTC’s decision was questioned by some Canadians, and 416,207 of them signed a petition on openmedia.ca asking for the decision to be reversed.

Shaw’s response
Shaw, one of Canada’s leading telecom companies, seems to have taken note of the public’s concerns and has launched a consultation with its customers to hear their views on usage and fees.

I think Shaw deserves credit for starting this conversation.  More companies could be engaging their customer to co-create new programs, policies, products or decisions.  Ultimately, the quality and utility – both for Shaw and its customers – will depend on the process design, I think it’s a promising campaign.

Bringing the conversation online
The Shaw conversations are described here.  People can take part in one of 35 in-person dialogues, send Shaw an email, or call a service rep.

For a customer engagement that’s really about how people use the internet, I think these participation streams should be complemented by more online dialogue.  Shaw could be hosting a discussion board or idea forum on its website – similar to what the Government of Canada did for its consultations on the Digital Economy Strategy.  This would foster a broader conversation, and allow people to take part who can’t attend face-to-face events.

It seems to me that more online engagement would better fit a conversation about the internet and how Canadians use it.

What do you think?  Would you take part?  What would you tell Shaw and other participants?

– Ellis Westwood –

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