Shaw vs. Telus

Shaw vs. Telus

The two main players in the market for high speed internet in western Canada are Shaw and Telus. They both offer different kinds of deals, but try to somewhat align with each other so they don't compete. However, when you break down the numbers and take a closer look the competition couldn't be any more fierce.

Telus like to structure their deals based on contracts. They like to persuade their customers to take 3-year deals by giving big discounts and “freebies” such as laptops and TVs. However, they are often prepared to offer 1 or 2 year deals, so do your research and be prepared to ignore the freebies. Unfortunately, the new wireless legislation doesn't seem to have affected the internet service providers and they are still able to offer and make you stick to a 3-year contract.

Shaw’s strategy is to give the customer freedom and flexibility. They offer month-to-month contracts with the option to leave whenever you are dissatisfied. I always think this shows confidence in a company’s service, when they offer this kind of deal. I have signed many a contract and then been dissatisfied after a few months, only to be locked-in and have no bargaining power.

Always Negotiate!

With only two companies in the market, you can always play on this to get the best deal. Shaw knows if you don’t choose them you will be choosing their nearest rival instead and vice versa!

I recently called Shaw after Telus had offered me one of their packages. I was paying $55 with Shaw as my deal for three months at $30 had run out. Telus offered me their Internet 15 package (150 GB usage for $30 a month), which was pretty much the same usage allowance I was getting with Shaw. After six months, the price would move up to $50 a month, which was still cheaper than the $55 I currently had to pay at Shaw. I wasn't sure that Shaw would make me an offer, as although my current offer had run out, I still hadn't paid the latest bill of $55 + tax. He put me on hold for a few minutes, but came back offering me six months at $30. I was only expecting a three-month deal, so I snapped it up. A quick 10 minute conversation saved me $25 a month or $150 over the six months.


Comparing the two providers over a three-year duration is the easiest way to show you how much you would be losing if you didn’t negotiate a better deal.


Shaw 20, in my opinion, is the optimal internet package with Shaw. It has good download speeds and a good enough download limit for the majority. Although, this really depends on your usage as it offers 200 GB of data. If you opt for Shaw 10, it offers only 125 GB of data for $5 less per month (after any offers have expired), but with lower download speeds.

The cost of Shaw 20 is $55 a month with the first month being $30 + tax.

Total cost over 3 years (incl one discounted month) = $1,955 + tax


Telus 15 would be their optimal package. Offering a little less data at 150 GB, this should still be more than adequate for the average user. I tend to use around 130 GB a month and still watch a lot of movies and download quite a bit of data.

Not sure how much data you will use in a month? Use the Telus Data calculator (

Telus 15 costs $30 per month for the first 6 months and then moves up to $55 a month after that.

Total cost over 3 years (incl 6 months discounted) = $1,680 + tax

The Verdict

You can see from the standard pricing that on the standard contract over 3 years, Telus comes in considerably cheaper ($275 saved to be precise). However, with Telus you are locked into a 3-year deal meaning you can't negotiate at any point once you have signed the contract. By the time my current deal runs out I will have had nine months with Shaw at $30, and I firmly believe I will be able to negotiate another deal at this point that could be cheaper than the $55 standard price.

This doesn't mean you can't negotiate a better deal with Telus. A 3-year contract may be scary, but at the right price, Telus can work out a great deal for you and you might even get a free TV thrown in there too (if that is your thing)!

The moral of this story is ALWAYS negotiate, and whether you prefer Telus or Shaw there's always a better deal to be had than what's on the website. These two companies are in a battle for your business and the right negotiating skills can save you a large amount of money and maybe even get you a couple of freebies along the way!

I always say that one day I will leave Shaw and go to Telus, but every time I try to leave, they offer me a better deal on a month-to-month contract, making it almost impossible to refuse! No freebies for me, but I must say I have been very happy with Shaw so far.

Photo Credit: CT State Library



Reply to
  • pachalt515
    Great review! I'm looking for student deals in Canada for high speed internet. Know of any to compare to get the most bang for your buck?
    • Avigayil M.
      Check out this post here:
    • Cameron
      Tek savvy is the real answer. Even if all you do is get their price and use it as leverage when you negotiate.
      • Ric (.
        Just got the best Shaw deal Basic TV/10mps Int/home phone + 3 theme pack + unlimited Long distance for 49.90/mon Best of all: HDPVR free. It's the Shaw Store grandopening at Coquitlam center mall. anyone wants in on it: call: Moh 604 360 0805 and mention my name.
        • Dave
          Wow that deal sounds great! Almost too good to be true. How long will that deal last? Right now I am paying 110 for all three services. Basic cable/home phone w/call display and not sure what internet. I gotta get on something like this
          • Tim F.
            I'm paying $205 per month for digital classic and broadband 50 which I never asked for! My internet has jumped this year alone from $54 to $79 for no obvious reason or better package and I am paying more for this bundle than when I had a Shaw TV, Telus phone and internet plus Primus LD and UK calls. I have been sick so haven't got to it until now! I feel that I'm being screwed!! Well, that's a surprise! Time for a phone call. I have researched and even without any offers, I can get Telus a lot cheaper. Advice?? Heeeelllllllpppp................. Tim French
            • David R.
              I phoned shaw to cancel my deal as telus had called and made me a better offer, Shaw accepted my termination and did not try to offer me any other deal, happy to loss a customer.
              • John D.
                Ive had both over the years, we haven't paid more than 30.00 a month because when we finish up a 6 months subscription they always say oh well how about another 6 months sub at 30 a month for 15 mbps again?! shaw has 6 month 30 bucks now for 25 mbps but I hear it's more of a 'shared' coaxial community line and depends on how many people are on at that time of day so you are not guaranteed your full allotted mbps. Whereas Telus is a dedicated line so I might stay with telus for now. I hear telus has better customer service and also don't have to wait 23 min to talk to a rep. Honestly I don't like either of these hoodlums but until Verizon gets here for 19.99 a month no strings attached and faster mbps ... we have to put up with their garbage. Someone else out there is paying 55.00+ a month so we can have 30.00.
                • Vern
                  Telus recently came to my neighborhood upgrading the lines to fiber optic. As a long time customer of Shaw I called them with the offer Telus was making and spent close to an hour on the phone with the guy telling me how good Shaw is. When I asked if there was anything he could do to keep my business he basically said no. So much for loyalty. Needless to say I quickly contacted Telus and am switching over. All costs aside as at the end they were close after dealing the CSR at Shaw my decision was easy.
                  • Yroc
                    I recently canceled my long time relationship with Shaw and I'm super happy I did. I went from $140 a month (with Shaw) to $30 a month (with Telus) for the first 12 months, which then goes up to $88. For the exact same channels. In fact, I have a couple more I prefer with Telus and I like their remote and menu options so much better. Shaw controllers are so clunky and 1990s-ish. When I did phone to cancel, all Shaw could offer was $10 off my monthly bill, and some 'packages' free for a month or two (which means they'll start charging afterwards, so it's still a better benefit for them, as most forget, at least for that first month of being charged). ALSO, my building has Fiber Optic built in, so immediately my internet was so much faster, smoother, and rarely timed out, which happened ALL the time with Shaw. So to recap: I saved $110 a month switching to Telus ($2520 during a span of 3 years - no joke!) My internet is faster and more reliable The hardware is much nicer and newer
                    • janc
                      I recently switched to Telus bundle from Shaw and after the first 6 months the costs jumped from $50/month to $160 and now I am locked in. The 3 year deal is a Rip and they stick it to you after they get you locked in. I have Telus Internet & Cable and it is down often which I rarely had with Shaw. Why cant we get Verizon here? There is not enough competition for ISP's so Telus will do whatever it wants until we get a few more players. I'm done with Telus Love.