Do you know that NYC was one of the last places in the USA to get wired for cable tv? Because of the morass of space underneath the city, telecom ran this stretch, then this cable company, then that one and it was a big mess.
But no bigger than Milwaukee in 2012. I was involved in the cable debates in the 1980’s from a legislative perspective. I even wrote the first cable television privacy act in 1984 (get it?) that was even numbered A.1984. That’s when we thought interactive cable would go viral and cable companies and merchants would be keeping data banks of information on our purchasing patterns.
That privacy legislation was killed, in the final moments, by the moribund Readers’ Digest corporation, who wanted the freedom to keep information on consumers without their knowledge or approval.
All I want now, as a normal cable customer moving to a new town is reliable cable service that is installed reasonably quickly, and to receive a monthly e-bill that I pay. But no, that is not to be.
We have a bundled package of basic cable and modem services through the place where we live. For a good price we have internet and basic services. Then if we want to increase, which we did one tier to get Nat Geo and the History Channel, one pays DirecTV a balance.
Primecast was our provider for a few months until they went bankrupt. Now it’s Hotwire (not the travel site). We have lived here for four months. Neither Primecast, Hotwire or DirecTV knew that we moved six weeks ago. Their technicians did an install six weeks ago and brought the wrong box (we have a HDTV with a regular box so don’t even get HDTV) and didn’t even know it was an install. They spent two hours getting authorization for the second box using the same customer number and listening to the same awful Muzak that I do.
Between us, over the past four months my husband and I have spent ten hours on the phone correcting the mistakes of these three companies, who apparently can’t tell their arse from their elbow and can’t even manage to track a customer to bill correctly. First, after I set up the account, I tried to change our address and Primecast would not allow me to do so without my husband’s authorization (this is the year 2012, isn’t it?)
They don’t have the boxes or cable ID’s and we’re receiving bills at our old address that we don’t think are ours. This is worse than the 80’s!
Again, all I want is one HDTV box (I’ll turn over the regular box), reliable cable TV service (not pixellated channels like we have now) and a correct bill that arrives at the correct address monthly that I pay. Is that too much to ask? Dee