Wi-fi calling not reliable at home

esperologist
Grasshopper

I first switched to Shaw Mobile because cell tower coverage is unreliable at my house, usually requiring I step outside to make a phone call. However, my original carrier stopped covering my house at all... had to walk 5 minutes away to make a phone call. So I switched to another carrier and that worked to just step outside to make calls, but then after a major windstorm I again had to walk almost 10 minutes away to make a call. Then Shaw offered mobile with wi-fi calling, and far cheaper... so I switched over. And that worked for a few months.

Currently, while at home, all three lines maybe see the 'nationwide' network, but cannot use it to place or receive calls. We have all three set to have wi-fi calling as priority.

One line regularly throws notifications of 'unable to connect to wi-fi calling', usually it just keeps it displayed constantly... but some days (like today) could throw the notification a few times per hour for much of the day. Sometimes it can make and receive calls... but usually it fails.

Another line, spends most of it's time off to shut it up... because every time it does connect, there are a bunch of notifications for missed spam calls. And they go off every time it reconnects, even if the notification is cleared.

The third line claims to be working, and can place and receive calls at home... however, the person on the other end usually can't hear us.

Previous attempts at solving:
- I have re-setup the wi-fi calling a couple times. One time, the setup had been at least half deleted for two phones... but another time, it was fine.
- One agent tried telling me that wi-fi calling only works when roaming is enabled... and then they enabled roaming on my account. Because I live so close to the border, I instantly got the 'welcome to the States' text message, as well as a message about the rates and a few other things. However, if we leave roaming enabled then we get those text messages regularly through the day. (With my last contact to an agent, I told them to not enable roaming on my account... and I will likely continue to mention that when contacting agents in the future.)
-- That same agent that thought roaming would solve wi-fi calling was also the one that messed up my plans. I had requested the one line that still had an internet plan to be switched to the no-data plan... and instead, she switched my $0/m plan to $10/m plan. Thus, I was paying more for that phone... and still paying for data that wasn't being used on the other. (I have since gotten the data plan reduced to non-data, but that 'early adopter' rate for that one line is gone now. Oh well, it's only $120 extra per year... plus tax.)

Plans we are considering:
- For one line, the user is considering switching to another provider... as visitors with that provider seem to be able to make calls.
- For the other two lines, I'm considering looking into options for either landline or possibly just a pure VoIP service. Sure, that sacrifices being able to call if I get stranded on the road... but I could just get a pre-pay number to cover those situations.

15 Replies

-- There seems to be some confusion between your cellular...

mdk
Grand Master

@esperologist -- There seems to be some confusion between your cellular connection and your WiFi connection.

"WiFi Calling is included and available for all Shaw Mobile customers using compatible iOS and Android devices that are updated to the latest software and connected to a WiFi network with a reliable Internet connection."

After you connect your device to the WiFi offered by Shaw's cable-modem that is in your home, you can enable WiFi Calling. Then, when you use your device to call a telephone-number, your Internet connection (through your cable-modem) will carry your Voice-over-WiFi conversation.  You can even disable the "cellular" capabilities of your device, such as your Shaw Mobile service, and your connection to all of the "Nationwide" cell-towers.

Once enabled, WiFi Calling features are available anywhere in the world when connected to a WiFi network with a reliable Internet connection. Your phone number remains the same, and you can use your phone exactly like you would when connected to the Shaw network in Canada.

Reference: https://support.shaw.ca/t5/mobile-articles/shaw-mobile-wifi-calling/ta-p/20380

If you are travelling outside of Canada, and can connect to a strong WiFi signal, you can use WiFi Calling for free, instead of allowing your device to do "roaming" onto a cell-phone network in the country that you are visiting, and accruing charges for "roaming".

possibly just a pure VoIP service

Shaw's "WiFi Calling" is quite similar to VoIP -- both systems need a solid Internet connection.

if I get stranded on the road

That's when you should enable "cellular" on your device, and then hope to connect to a "Nationwide" cell-phone tower in your current location. 

Bottom line: do you have a Shaw cable-modem with a good Internet connection?

 

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Same problem here. Two of us are Shaw Mobile customers in...

GabbyGirl
Grasshopper

Same problem here. Two of us are Shaw Mobile customers in this house, and neither of us can reliably receive voice calls or sms at home. We are Shaw Mobile and Shaw home internet customers. Cellular coverage not an option where we live (very rural) and wifi calling is all we have.

I don't even know someone has tried called me until they reach out via social media or email. So tired of trying all these remedies recommended by CSR's who don't bother to read previous tickets. Escalation doesn't work - never hear from them again. Voicemail notifications come in at random.

All other app or functions of the phone work just fine: apps, email, whatever. Just don't try calling or texting me. This is making us crazy, and causing problems with my work.

When I leave the house, once out of the spotty coverage area, I will often reboot the phone in an attempt to reduce any possibly problems receiving calls via the cellular network. I have also rebooted my phone after going out of the coverage area. I have no idea if this makes any sort of difference, but it's all I can do. It appears I have no problem getting calls in a good coverage area, but I'm certain it's not 100%, probably more like 95%. But, I suppose that is to be expected with any cellular network and hardware.

Other suggestions? I'll try anything, including standing on my head or jumping up and down while wearing a tin foil hat.

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-- Shaw has a web-page for Voice Calling. Once it is conf...

mdk
Grand Master

@GabbyGirl -- Shaw has a web-page for Voice Calling.

Once it is configured & enabled on your mobile device, your calls (incoming/outgoing) are going through your Shaw Internet connection, not through the weak/non-existent cellular coverage in your vicinity. Also, text-messages follow the same path. 

I don't even know someone has tried called me until they reach out via social media or email.

What do they hear when they try to call? Some rings, and then are they transferred to your voice-mail? Or, some message like "the customer is not receiving calls at this time" ?

Since you are reachable in your home, via social-media and E-mail, your Shaw Internet must be working correctly.

All I can suggest is to disable Voice Calling, restart your device, and enable Voice Calling, to see if this makes a difference.

 

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Thanks MDK - rebooting the device is the remedy that I've...

GabbyGirl
Grasshopper

Thanks MDK - rebooting the device is the remedy that I've attempted, I'm sorry to say, literally hundreds of times now. It does not solve the problem, even temporarily. I can't understand what you mean by "disable Voice Calling". I'm not using Google voice, or anything else that appears in a search when I look for that term - this is just vanilla phone calls to my number.

We know the internet has had problems at this location, but works *most* of the time. I've wondered about a packeting issue in the past.

As far as I know, people go to voice mail, or get a weird noise, or a "not in service" message. Friends tell me any of the three can happen at random.

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Also, outbound calls all work fine - it's just inbound ca...

GabbyGirl
Grasshopper

Also, outbound calls all work fine - it's just inbound calls that fail.

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-- it's just inbound calls that fail. My suggestion is to...

mdk
Grand Master

@GabbyGirl -- it's just inbound calls that fail.

My suggestion is to telephone Shaw (1-888-472-222) and/or use "online chat" to get Shaw Support to trouble-shoot your issue.

Ironic that if you ask for a "call-back" from Shaw, your issue will prevent you from getting that call.

 

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Unfortunately, that's *exactly* what has happened several...

GabbyGirl
Grasshopper

Unfortunately, that's *exactly* what has happened several times. When I call in for tech support, they always ask the same questions over and over again, we rule out the obvious, and then the call gets escalated, and then I can't receive the call. When I've asked for follow up via email, I get caught in a new thread with a new person that asks those same introductory questions via repeated emails, and eventually, there is no further response. I get why - they genuinely just don't know the answer, and there are too many variables they can't control, like my phone, etc. etc. - but it still leaves me stuck.

Other ideas? Is there a way to escalate the call while I'm on the line from the original inbound call?

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-- rather than NOT getting a call-back -- through your se...

mdk
Grand Master

@GabbyGirl -- rather than NOT getting a call-back -- through your setup that has the problem -- do you have a friend with a working mobile-phone who can be with you, when Shaw does the call-back?  Or, use a land-line number for a call-back?

Similar situation:

  • your vehicle will not start
  • you call your auto mechanic
  • she says "drive your vehicle to my garage, and I will fix it"
  • you: it will not start

If where you live has poor mobile reception, take a friend with a mobile phone to somewhere (Starbucks, Tim Hortons, A&W, ShawOpen) where there is good reception, and specify your friend's number for the call-back.

While on the call-back, ask the Shaw Agent to call your number, to exhibit the issue to the Agent.

 

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Have done so - I have asked them to call me back on my Sh...

GabbyGirl
Grasshopper

Have done so - I have asked them to call me back on my Shaw Landline, in fact - and of course, we fall off the radar, and don't get a call. Like, ever. All the tech ever had to do was *read the call notes*.

The frustration is overwhelming.

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