Technician sends out the right signals

It took more than a month but Rem Ricks finally got his internet back. In June, when his Navigo system went on the fritz, he alerted Northwestel to the problem.

It took more than a month but Rem Ricks finally got his internet back.

In June, when his Navigo system went on the fritz, he alerted Northwestel to the problem.

Several phone calls and a few in-person trips to the retail store later, a technician told him there was no problem. His internet was fine.

But it wasn’t. And Ricks didn’t give up.

He got hold of a different technician who told him that there was a problem on the telco’s end and they were looking into it.

More time passed and then Northwestel officials told Ricks that foliage was probably interfering with the signal, and, besides, he was on the edge of their service area.

That seemed unlikely to Ricks, who had been using the service for four years with no problems.

Finally, after more than a month, Northwestel dispatched a technician and an assistant to investigate.

“They were there for about three hours and they did all kinds of testing,” said Ricks. “He was a really nice guy and, obviously, very competent, but he told me right off the bat that this was just dropped in his lap two days ago.”

The team finished testing and left his house assuring him they were going to figure out what was going on.

“The following day my doorbell rings and there’s Alex (the technician) and he has a big grin on his face.”

Turns out Bell Canada had changed the frequencies on one of its towers in the area and that was interfering with the Navigo signal.

As soon as the frequencies were changed, the problem was solved.

Ricks has nothing but good things to say about the customer service reps and technicians he dealt with over these last few weeks.

But he has a different opinion of Northwestel as a company.

“It took them five weeks to send somebody out to finally have a look at this problem,” said Ricks. “That’s just inexcusable, typical monopolistic behavior on their part.”

Northwestel didn’t offer any explanation as to why it took so long to fix this problem.

“We never like to keep customers waiting,” said Emily Yonker, communications manager for Northwestel. “We’re happy that the customer’s happy now.”

While Northwestel is no longer accepting new Navigo customers, it has no plans to phase out the system anytime soon.

However, it is old technology and the telco is investigating replacements, said Yonker.

For now, Ricks is going to keep Navigo.

“Hopefully Northwestel will start to monitor this system a little bit now, pay more attention to it,” he said.

“It’s a successful ending to this point, but, again, it was just inexcusable the way corporate Northwestel handled this.”

Contact Josh Kerr at

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