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Monday, September 7, 2009

Maddening Moment of the Day

In May, I changed from Time Warner Cable to Direct-TV. Time-Warner had been a nightmare. I am sort of embarrassed as when we lived in Connecticut, we didn't have cable or satellite TV. We just used regular analog with rabbit ears on top of the TV if we needed them.

When we moved to OH, we found that the reception was much poorer. So...we spoiled ourselves and got the television service. I've regretted it a lot ever since as my daughter and my husband have turned into TV zombies.

When we changed over, I looked at all of the "Packages" and decided to go with a more expensive package because it included the "Versus" channel which carries bicycle racing. The Tour de France is one sports event that all three of us watch, and my husband watches racing whenever he can. He's been following the various European tours....Once a road-racer, always a roadie I guess.

I signed up for the service in May. Today, he went to watch the Spanish event which is going on now...only to see a sign up saying that Direct TV has dropped the channel because Versus was making outrageous demands (their terms, not mine).

Well heck. I'm paying more just to get that ONE channel. I really don't care about the rest. It is early in the contract, and I doubt I can drop it down. It sort of grinds my socks because they can alter the terms of the contract (their description said it included that channel), but I can't.

Of course, that's pretty much what cable does anyway...or satellite, or whatever. The concept that they are in competition is absurd (except that the only competition for cable is Direct-TV or Dishnetwork). They pretty much tell you what they are going to do. If you don't want all the premium channels....well, guess what, you have to pay for all 6 in order to get the one you want. Oh...and by the way, the rates go up. A lot. And quite often the sales people (their customer service reps) will tell you anything just to get you to sign up.

I won't even go into the details of the problems with Time-Warner Cable....I'd put you to sleep...oh, wait, it's 11:17pm eastern....maybe you WANT to be put to sleep....

Still, I think that these companies are the pits. They have the ability to do what they please and the customer (the stooge?) has to toe the line.

2 comments:

Melissa said...

I sooooo totally agree with you! I don't know how long ago you moved here, but a few years ago Time Warner changed their line up. I pay for an extra box for my craft room so I can watch and record all the crafty and home shows. When they changed their line up, suddenly DIY was on a tier with a bunch of religious channels which I don't watch. I was so mad! Had to pay $5 a month more to get what I already had as of the day before! And there is no recourse. I think the channels should be offered individually at a certain price each, myself. But who's asking the customer, anyway?

Dawn said...

Perhaps if we all decided NOT to use their services. Bite the bullet and do without, they might change. But we're wuses and can't do without. Although we're to a point in our budget when it won't be a choice.

My pet peeve besides the way the satellite and cable networks squeeze more money out of us -- are the phone bills. Does anyone actually know what is a reasonable price for phone service and what the heck I'm being billed for???

All I really want is my Internet connection and a cell phone so I can call family long distance. Why must I pay more than $150 for one cell phone with 300 minutes per month and no carry over and a landline/dsl no long distance phone? Help!

Dawn