Wednesday, March 29, 2017

No Choice Cable and Satellite TV

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     When we first moved into our new home about 3 years ago we took advantage of the new customer promotion from Time Warner Cable Company.  We subscribed to a package with TV and Internet and were quite satisfied with what we were getting. At the end of the promotion, naturally the price increased, so I called customer support and negotiated another agreement where the price was not as high.  Once again after this deal ended the price increased and once again I called to see if I could lower the cost.  In order to lower the cost I would receive considerably fewer, and to me useless channels. I told them I am considering cancelling my service all together. They said they were sorry if I was dissatisfied with their service but would not budge on their cost.

    At this time the Dish Network was offering a promotion which sounded much better than what we could get at Time Warner, so I contacted Dish and subscribed to their satellite service.  We were locked into a 2 year contract though.  After the 6 month promotional inclusion of all of their channel offerings ended I realized how bad their basic package was.  It consisted of the local channels and basic news channels such as CNN and CNBC.  The majority of the channels consisted of shopping channels, infomercial channels,  running the same ads 24/7 and religious channels.  I ended up watching only 5 or 6 of over 50 channels!  Two channels that I really love are NatGeoWild and the Animal Planet, which are not included in my package.

    After a few months I get sick of the myriad of crappy channels I was getting. I called to see what it would cost to have a package that included the two channels I wanted.  I would have to spend an extra $40 to get the 2 channels I wanted and this included even more useless channels.  If I had taken this package I would be right back to paying the same as I had  before with Time Warner.

    At this time we ordered the Firestick from Amazon so that we could watch movies and shows that were unavailable to us from Dish.  This is great for movies, but I still could not get the most up to date shows from NatGeoWild and the Animal Planet.  A couple of weeks ago we received mail from Spectrum TV, which had recently bought Time Warner, advertising promotions on TV, Internet, and Phone packages.  We already subscribed to Internet service from Time Warner, but discovered we were paying more for a slower speed, as compared to the new Spectrum. I called Spectrum to get information on switching from Dish to their services.  Later that night we discussed switching and decided to do so.

    Finally I got the channels I wanted, with phone service, a DVR and faster Internet at a lower cost than Dish!  Spectrum even paid the early termination fees!  When we called Dish they tried to talk us out of our decision, but they could not match the deal from Spectrum.  Spectrum also tried to delay the delivery of the last bill, so that we would not be able to take advantage of Spectrum's buyout of our contract. I guess they wanted to punish us for switching. We told them that there was no such provisions in the contract to delay billing, to which they reluctantly agreed. 

    There are still quite a number of useless, shopping and religious channels that I have to skip over, but at least there are more decent channels to watch.  It is so annoying that the satellite and cable companies have so much control over what we watch for entertainment. I really feel that they are subsidizing these religious networks and receiving big bucks from the shopping channels to force them onto the consumers. I know that for years consumers have been complaining to Congress about these issues, but so many members of Congress receive money from the cable companies that they always vote against the interest of the public. There should be some way that we could subscribe to only those channels we really wanted. Just a thought!

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