Some TekSavvy internet customers upset by long service outages

Some customers of a Canadian internet company called Tek-Savvy are frustrated with the amount of time it's taking to get their service back and are taking their business to bigger competitors, but Tek-Savvy says the problem isn't on its end.

TekSavvy says problem lies with network operator delays

Some customers of a Canadian internet company called TekSavvy are frustrated with the amount of time it's taking to get their service back and are taking their business to bigger competitors, but TekSavvy says the problem isn't on its end.

Some TekSavvy customers have been experiencing internet service outages of more than 15 days. (Photo taken from TekSavvy website)

The independent provider says it has about 235,000 subscribers nationwide — the bulk of them in Ontario — and less than one per cent have been affected by long service outages upwards of 10 to 15 days.

As an independent provider, TekSavvy rents network space from seven Canadian network operators including Rogers, Telus and Cogeco.

TekSavvy said it's doing everything it can to fix the problem, but that the problem isn't on its end.

'On our side, everything is functional,' CEO says

"Basically we've been experiencing some severe delays with some of our network operators. … Those affected, in some cases they're severely affected, and in some cases we're seeing 10, 15 days offline. And I certainly don't think that's acceptable," said TekSavvy CEO Marc Gaudrault.

Darren Prashad and his roommates had been without TekSavvy service for 16 days when they switched to Rogers. (Andrew Foote/CBC)

"At this point our systems on our side, everything is functional, and we're working with our network operator to get to the bottom of it. We're working very closely with the network operator to get our customers back online as soon as possible," Gaudrault said.

Darren Prashad is one customer who'd been without TekSavvy internet at his home for 16 days this month before switching to Rogers.

He and his roommates had been using TekSavvy for three years until Aug. 6, when the service stopped.

Prashad said TekSavvy representatives told them the company wasn't getting a response from the network operator.

'We don't know ... whose fault it is,' customer says

"The process with TekSavvy was great, dealing with [them] was fantastic. We don't know, and nobody really knows, whose fault it is," Prashad said.

After 16 days without service, Prashad and his roommates called TekSavvy to say they were going to call Rogers to find out what was going on. TekSavvy urged them not to, he said.

Within minutes of making the call to Rogers, the company offered them the same plan that could be up and running within a day, Prashad said.

"When we called Rogers … we told them what the situation was and that we were with TekSavvy, and they asked us what plan we had with TekSavvy, put us on hold for five minutes, came back and said that within 24 hours they could match the plan that TekSavvy was offering and have a technician there the next day," Prashad said.

"TekSavvy was great, they were willing to credit us for all the downtime, they gave us additional credits as well to try to keep us happy, but we just got to the point where we couldn't win any longer, and Rogers was there," he said.

"It kind of makes us kind of look back and think, who is in the right?"

TekSavvy's Gaudrault said fixing the problem is a top priority.

"Ten, 15 days offline, as far as I'm concerned there's just no good reason to be offline for that long, so that's really what's upsetting to me. We're a pretty proud company, we pride ourselves on the customer experience, and this flies in the face of exactly that," Gaudrault said.

"We are working on this very diligently, and we are taking this very seriously, and we hope to have [our affected customers] back online as soon as possible."