Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Shakedown ...

Useta be, around here anyway, that if you paid for cable service, you could split off the main and hook up as many TVs as you wanted. Now, I have HD boxes for all the flatscreen TVs (the bar, the Mrs. office, my office) and a non-HD box in our bedroom (not an HDTV). I also got this little shitbag 12" TV in the kitchen that I've had for 15 years (cost me $65 at Target).

Now, this little TV is digital, so I just connected a cable to the back and I had basic cable on it. Worked fine for 15 years. I don't have to watch movies or football (soccer) on it, just the evening news while I'm having dinner or the local weather channel.

So, last month, I got a thing along with my cable bill saying that I could no longer have this TV hooked up without the signal going through a box. On 1 August, when I turned the TV on, there was a notice on the screen directing me to call cable to order a box.

It ain't like they can't put a signal through without a box, they managed to get that notice up on every channel. I know it's only like 4 bucks a month for the extra box and it ain't gonna break me, but Jesus Christ, do you have to nickel and dime me for everything?

So today I go get the box, bright and early to beat the crowd (still takes me the better part of an hour). Fine. Then I have to get out my drill and hole saw kit so I can run the wires through the TV cabinet (can't fit the box in the cabinet with the TV and I can't leave it on the kitchen counter for the Mrs. to spill shit on while she cooks) and install the box on top of said cabinet. Fine. I re-install the TV I had to take out, make up 2 more cables, and install the box after running the cables, turn it on, and let it boot (1/2 hour). All good.

I turn it on when it tells me to and check the channels (like I said, not that I care for the kitchen, but I want to make sure I get everything I'm paying for, since I am paying for it on this little shitbag TV now). So what do I get? Basic cable. Don't you think that, if I ask you for "a non-HD box", you'd give me one programmed to the level of service I already enjoy on my other non-HD box? Better yet, ask me if I do want full service while my old ass is standing in front of you and you're scanning all the bar codes? Shows you what I get for assuming.

So I made the Mrs. call. She has far more tolerance than I do, especially with the automated menus you have to go through (I'm an old pothead, I forget the first option by the time the computer voice gets to the last one). So she talks to them, relays the instructions to me (I had to grovel back up on the cabinet to read the fucking serial number off the box, you know, the one they scanned at the cable company to link it to my account), and then I tell them what's happening. Finally, after another 1/2 hour of playing around, they send the signal through and I get my service. Thankfully, it's the 21st Century and they could do this all remotely and I didn't have to undo everything and bring the box back to cable.

It just kills me that to weasel another $36 a year out of my pocket (and fuck what my time is worth to set this shit up and play games with their technicians), they make me go through all this hassle for a little old shitbag TV. You know this ain't about technology, it's about the bottom line and snatching every last dime from their customers. Vultures.


Gordon said...

We have one TV on a digital box and two on basic cable. I split the signal so we only pay for one service. A coupla months back, our cable company, SuddenlyNoLink, said we could no longer receive basic cable without a new little box. Since I have the TV with the digital box rigged to jump around the digital box if I need to, which I do occasionally for reasons I won't go into here, I got three of the new little deck-of-cards-size boxes. They were free and there's no monthly charge. They offer remote features my 30-year-old TV doesn't have by itself - a program guide and volume control among others - and the worst thing is I have to get off my ass to turn it off which I didn't have to do with the old cable box the new one replaced.

Comrade Misfit said...

Let me guess: Comcast. They did the same fucking thing to me.

What kills me is that I can't now use my VCR/DVD-R to record shows without having the frakking cable box set to those channels. So if I want to record two shows on different channels, I have to change the channel on the cable box.

II called and complained. They said that they could fix the problem by renting me a DVR for another $4/month. I retorted: "Do I really need to tell you what you can do with your DVR?" The guy said no, he could make a pretty good guess. I then hung up on him.

I hate Comcast. I hope whoever decided to make cable boxes necessary for basic cable (which is all that I have) comes down with cancer of the penis.

mandt said...

That's It! I wondered why I can't get Bonanza and Gunsmoke anymore. I miss Ms Kitty saying, " Be careful Matt."

SB Gypsy said...

What really chaps my ass is that originally they got us to use the cable and pay for it because there were no ads on cable - none at all. Remember those days?

Now, we pay twice - by having to sit through all those obnoxious commercials, and then pay for the privilege.

We have only one box so far for four hd sets - Charter is slow to adopt anything, including equipment that actually works.

Gordon said...

We have the cable because otherwise we'd only get one Reno station and that only if conditions are just right.

Fixer said...

Misfit - I got Cablevision of Long Island. Probly are alumni of Scumbag University like the Comcast assholes.