Hopeful Minneapolis stations will return

I would like to commend Shaw Cable and its staff who respond to customer complaints.
On Thursday of last week, as I was writing a cheque to pay for my April billing, I decided I finally would register a complaint of not receiving Minnesota channels.
For a while now, Fort Frances residents have been receiving ABC, NBC, and CBS from Detroit. Previously, we had received those same national networks from Minneapolis (and for a period of two weeks from Duluth, Mn.)
I really enjoyed those stations from Minnesota. They always included northern Minnesota in their weather forecasts and even had regional news of northern Minnesota.
I found I had much in common with my neighbours to the south. The weather was informative, and other information was equally welcome in my home.
When theatre was being promoted in Minneapolis, I was aware. I still am aware of the theatre and shows appearing in Detroit but I’m just not likely to travel 2,000 km to go watch those shows.
I am more likely to travel the 250 km to Duluth or the 500 km to Minneapolis.
So I called the Shaw phone number on my statement. And while listening repeatedly to the announcement that all of our agents are tied up, please wait, I went to Shaw.ca and took its survey about customer satisfaction.
After filling in two surveys and wondering if I should repeat, a customer agent finally came on to the phone.
We exchanged pleasantries and then got to the point of my call. She responded that due to technical issues with the quality of signal, Shaw had chosen to move Fort Frances and area residents to the satellite Detroit signals.
It offered us improved reception.
She commiserated with me that it was not like receiving the Minneapolis signals they have in Winnipeg, but it was the best they could do.
Winnipeg is in a unique situation in that a fibre cable connects Winnipeg with Minneapolis, and that is how the city is able to receive those signals.
I would like to be able to watch the Twins, the Vikings, and the Timberwolves play. Instead, we watch the Pistons, the Red Wings, the Lions, and the Tigers.
I thanked her for her information. But before we finished, I was told that very few people from Fort Frances had registered any complaints about the switch from Minneapolis stations to Detroit ones.
On Thursday night, another caller from Shaw following up on my survey called me at home. He reviewed my complaints and offered me an explanation about the change.
It actually occurred when the U.S. switched from analogue to television digital service. Shaw no longer had a method to move the Minneapolis stations to their satellite without the loss of other stations.
It was a business decision they had made. If the Minneapolis stations were to be restored, we would lose some other channels. It would be a trade-off.
He did provide me a solution, however. He offered a sense of hope that the stations could be restored.
He suggested that if enough Fort Frances cable subscribers called and e-mailed complaints to Shaw seeking to have the Minneapolis stations reinstated, he believed Shaw would revisit its decision of having Detroit channels broadcast here instead of Minneapolis stations.
I may not have agreed with either Shaw employee about Shaw’s decision, but they were thorough in their explanations to someone who was a little crusty with them.
And yes, I have hope those national channels from Minneapolis have the potential to be restored here.

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