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Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Let me count the ways
Rob Spiegel   9/16/2013 9:40:06 AM
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One of the interesting things about this Monkey story is the variety of ways the cable company made life difficult for its customers. Some of these companies have well earned their reputations for distributing problems with their services.

tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
Tightening the Noose
tekochip   9/16/2013 9:50:37 AM
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That sounds just like the DMV, but they don't have any competition.
 
I think the noose is starting to tighten on video service providers.  We switched to satellite because of the lousy cable service and their horrendous customer support.  Now we are poised to use an antenna for the local programming and go full Internet for premium content.


TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Let me count the ways
TJ McDermott   9/16/2013 10:33:29 AM
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Rob, it's that sort of service that makes me frustrated that only one cable company services a particular area.

I greatly enjoyed changing from cable to DirectTV; I got to tell the cable company what I thought both with my wallet and their "we're sad to see you go" survey.

phantasyconcepts
User Rank
Silver
Re: Let me count the ways
phantasyconcepts   9/16/2013 2:42:28 PM
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Rob,

 

I disagree.  Cable companies are not providing services - well, not useful ones.  I switched to FiOS because I didn't like the way the local cable company treated me.  Well, five years after the switch, my rates have gone up an dmy selection of channels has gone down in the same package.  Every time they drop a channel, they say it is 'to make room for more content'  Well, they have enough room now, but no content to fill it, and to top it off, they are always arguing with content providers and threatening to drop one of the five or six channels I actually watch.  Add to that the fact that I have insomnia, and the only time I actually have time to watch television is between 11PM and 4 AM.  I also work many long days, going in one day at 8 AM and coming home the next day at 2 AM.  I want to watch TV, so I turn it on, and surprise, there is nothing on except infomercials.  "Oh, well," I think. "I have on-demand programming, and with all of the premium channels that come with on-demand, and the programs I missed by working late, I should be able to fall asleep watching television."  Nope.  That is when they are doing maintenance on the on-demand system.  Now, it seems to me that you would want to do maintenance to your on-demand system when the demand was low, right?  Tell me, how much demand for 'on-demand' broadcasting can they possibly have during normal business hours when most of their customers have to work???

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Let me count the ways
Charles Murray   9/16/2013 8:23:11 PM
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I agree, Rob. I genuinely fear my cable service (and my telephone service, for that matter). Every change -- even the smallest of changes -- comes with a 50/50 chance that you'll have some kind of problem. Calling the service numbers just raises the frustration level.

kjoiner
User Rank
Silver
Let me count the ways
kjoiner   9/17/2013 8:39:25 AM
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Along the lines of bad service, sometimes the reps will outright lie to you.  One time our cable reception went out and I called the customer (dis)service line.  The rep said she would send a test signal out to check for problems.  Within seconds she said the signal came back and showed no problems with our signal or equipment.  I asked to have a technician dispatched to take a look.  He came out the next day, checked the signal in our house and found it dead.  He then went out to the street, climbed up a ladder on the telephone pole and checked the cable.  Low and behold, it had been disconnected.  It seems that periodically, the cable provider will drive around and disconnect unlabled connections.  Ours had never been labeled properly so they unhooked it. After reconnecting it, our cable worked fine.

So not only did they unhook and not log it for future reference, the customer service agent outright lied to me about the test signal working.  Dishonesty and laziness are not good characteristics for a customer service rep.

Kyle

 

Tom M.
User Rank
Silver
Re: Let me count the ways
Tom M.   9/17/2013 8:54:57 AM
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History has proven monopolies = bad service.  I think the maddest I have ever seen my wife was when she had to deal with the cable company when they cashed our check and then applied it to the wrong account.  They sent us a disconnect notice, my wife called customer service and said hey I paid that and you cashed it, I have the cancelled check right here.  The cable rep told her to read the account number the check got applied to off the back of the check, she said it's illegible your stamping machine smeared it.  The rep said sorry without that number, even though the cable company cashed the check and had our funds, the rep could not credit our account.  I think my wife would have jumped through the phone line to strangle the guy if she could have!  She went to the office and just refused to move until someone with a pulse fixed the issue.


I guess it proves that people want cable so badly they're willing to put up with almost anything to get it.

RICKZ28
User Rank
Platinum
get DirecTv!
RICKZ28   9/17/2013 11:37:06 AM
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I continue to hear problem stories from people that have cable TV, including sudden outage so no TV...such as during the big game.  It's a non-issue with me since I have DirecTv, so never a problem, always a perfect high-definition picture and awesome sound.  The price has remained constant for years.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
User Rank
Platinum
It's comisseration time again!
OLD_CURMUDGEON   9/17/2013 12:45:03 PM
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I agree with EVERY negative comment posted so far.  And, I can add my own experience to the list.

Several years ago, VERIZON advertised a "triple-play" deal, phone, TV & internet for a bundled price for 2-year contract.  It was attractive since those 3 services were being provided by 3 separate entities.  The schedule to install the "equipment" was set for a Saturday morning.  We assumed that it would be a simple modem connection & some minor rewiring.  When the doorbell rang, it was a chap to install the TV satellite dish.  We had NO previous awareness that one part of this new service was a dish.  And, when I questioned the fellow, he showed me the work order, etc.  I could not contact the original sales rep (in the mall store), and so we allowed him to install the equipment.  This area is west central Florida.  Tampa is known as the "lightning capital of the U.S.", and with good reason.  Our summer T-storms which start in May, and don't end until early November are legendary.  But, does anyone know what happens to satellite TV service during thuderous rainstorms?  The "box" proudly pronounces the alert message, "Seaching for Signal"  We tolerated this condition for 2 years, and as soon as the contract was about to expire, we made arrangements for BRIGHTHOUSE NETWORKS to take over.  It's an all-cable service, and have had NO problems these past 5 or 6 years.  When we went back to the VERIZON store, I flat out told the sales rep that he was a liar & a sneak because he never informed us that the TV part was satellite service.  Several other customers in the store heard my ranting, and walked out!  IF VERIZON was the ONLY provider of communications service in our area, I'd string cords all over & use tin cans for telephone conversation!!!  They ARE a despicable company!!!!!   Now, they're hawking their FIOS, and I see the "introductory" monthly fee is $89.99 + some hardware & tax fees.  I wouldn't switch IF to FIOS if they paid me $89.99 a month!!!!!!!!!!!!

AnandY
User Rank
Gold
RE: Cable Box Caused Confusion
AnandY   9/19/2013 2:05:09 AM
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One thing that I can say about this is that it is a manifestation of the poor reception that people receive at various companies. I might not be looking at the bigger picture in this case but it would be better if the cable company ensures that they place people who are more informed at the customer care phone line so that they are able to reduce the long cues that people make at the company premises. You should ensure that the converter that you buy is genuine since making the phone call will do nothing rather than just raise your frustration level.

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