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15 December 2011

What I learned today ...

Complaining gets you  EVERYWHERE.

Let me rewind just a bit ...

I've always had a love/hate relationship with TV cable companies. I LOVE having cable and being able to watch TV whenever I want, but I HATE the complete racket that they have going on. They are, for all intents and purposes, a monopoly. Consumers have so few choices, and we are at the mercy of their price gouging. I've gone without cable before, but, sadly, cable and internet often go together. And there is NO WAY I can go without internet. So it becomes a vicious cycle of fighting with the cable company over prices every few months when they raise their prices again and again.

Since I've moved into this apartment three years ago, Time Warner Cable has raised my prices four times. Currently, I'm paying over $80 for cable and internet. I know that doesn't seem like a lot but I get 75 channels and broadband. For a single person in a small household, that's too much money for not enough service. When I got letters in the mail saying that it would go up another $15 at the end of this billing cycle, I had enough. I called up customer service, requested to be connected to Retention immediately, and told them that this price increase was unacceptable and I would not pay any more than I already was paying. Their solution was to offer my digital cable (I currently have basic), internet, and Showtime for $96. Um. No. By my math (and I'm no math wiz), that's more that what I'm currently paying. I told them to set me up for disconnection at the end of my billing cycle because I had had enough. The rep put me on hold to set up the disconnect.

Thirty minutes later I hung up. THIRTY MINUTES of being on HOLD for a disconnect? Not acceptable.

I immediately called back and connected with a supervisor. I explained the situation, and she offered to try to find me a better I deal. I told her that unless she worked a miracle, I was done. She clearly couldn't work me a miracle, and we set up disconnect for January 10th.

This evening, as I'm pulling into the parking lot, Time Warner calls. They want to know why I set up my service for disconnect. I explained that I was unhappy with paying more as well as their miserable customer service. He then offered me digital cable (the step up from what I am now) and internet for $56 a month, locked in for two years. Seriously? you couldn't offer me that yesterday and save all this hassle? Anyway, I agreed and hung up.

Five minutes later, they called back. A different rep tells me that the offer made before was only for people with a DVR box which I don't have. Here is comes. The bait and switch. I told her I wasn't interested in paying for a DVR box. She told me that I wouldn't be paying for anything and that a serviceman would be out to install the new box. So now I'll get cheaper cable and internet AND a DVR for two years. And they are coming on Sunday afternoon when I'm actually home.

All of this teaches me that being bitchy and complainy gets things done. Sweet and kind and courteous gets us no where these days. Which is sad and very unfortunate. What does that say about the world in which we live?

But at least I still have my beloved cable. :)
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