Monday, August 29, 2011

Cablevision...Again - "I Owe" TV

Ahhhh...the final chapter to the Cable trilogy. 

I know you've been waiting.

Last one...I promise...for now.

So far, faithful Retorters, we've picked apart Cablevision’s News 12 Westchester as “Loco-Local”, News, Traffic and Weather (Ha...that still cracks me up!)

And pointed out the old Game Show Network switcheroo .

And I'm still connected...go figure.

The thing is...I’m actually a BIG Cablevision promoter.

Believe it or not…I am.
If friends tell me they’re thinking of switching to Verizon FIOS, I ask them WHY...why would they want all the bother of going through all that rigmarole; for what? Because they like the Red shirts.
It’s just more of the same. And to be fair, Cablevision’s internet and phone service, especially the phone pricing, is way better than anyhting Verizon ever offered in the last thousand years, before they decided to go into the Cable TV/Internet buisness.

Still...having said were going to delve into all those little fees Cablevision tacks on to our bills every month.

I’m not talking about taxes and such; I’m talking about all the little add-ons that come with your IO TV service.
IO TV—isn’t that a great, ironic name for a pay TV service...I Owe” —seems to be the biggest money pit for the consumer. And part of the reason, Cablevision says, is because they are strapped with outrageous fees, themselves, from the program providers.

And I give them that. That’s fair.
I don’t even mind (too much) paying $82.95 for my Silver Premium Package (hmmmm, maybe I do), which includes basic family cable, a $16.58 value, plus HBO and some other movie channels and stuff I rarely watch.

I’ll buy that…and believe me I do…every month.

But Cablevision, in my opinion, did a "questionable" little thing along the way to boosting this Silver package by 20 bucks or so over the last few years; they also switched out HBO for Showtime for new subscribers. So while I, personally, can still get HBO in the package, since I already had it, any new customer adding this package now, who really wants HBO, has to either bump up to the Gold package, for $103.95 a month or buy the Silver and HBO separately for $14.95, which basically means that for around another $6.95 you can get it all with the Gold package.  So why wouldn’t you?
(Note: Silver and Gold packages have again been re-configured in the past year since this was first published)

You will...and that's how they get you.
And if I, he who is still HBO'd, should ever drop the Silver package, even to upgrade to the Gold package, and then decide to go back to Silver—I know I know I know. My brain hurts too—I too would then have to pay extra for HBO, also.

Again…genius marketing.

If you want to record this stuff you hardly watch anyway, in HD (which I should point out is provided free of charge), you then have to pay $10.95 (I love the 95 cent thing by the way, it makes me feel so much better) for DVR service, not to mention the $6.71 you already pay for each cable box you have, on top of that.

And just to make you feel better, if you live where I live, and have more than one box…you pay another $1.50 for what they call an “additional outlet”.

Kind of like going to the grocery store, paying your bill, and then being charged extra because you bought more than one can of soup.

I mean if we’re paying for all those box “rentalsand don’t forget the remotes for another 24 centsshouldn’t we get a discount or something for being such “good” customers.

I mean, at least you can eat the soup…or drink it…whatever you do with soup.

In some places, like Connecticut, Cablevision now “requires” you to have a cable box in order to get any sort of signal on your TV at all. You can get the basic service if you’d like, which is nice of them…you just can’t watch it.

And I’ve been told by a Cablevision customer service rep that this will soon be taking place in Westchester, also. (Note: Took effect May 8, 2012)

This has nothing to do with the digital conversion, either. This is just more Cablevision marketing, because after a year’s grace period, where they generously provided the boxes for free, to those who didn’t have them, they now bill for them, same as here.

It seems to me, however, if Cablevision is providing a service, where a piece of equipment is essential in order to receive this service, shouldn’t that equipment then come with the” service” fee you pay?

It’s kind of like if the water company charged you extra to rent your toilet every month…kind of.

Or if the electric company charged you for your toaster or magic fingers massaging pillow.
They say we have options now when choosing a communications provider.

The only option we have is which devil we want to dance with next.

I should have taken those fliers they used to hand out in the drive in movie theatres in the 60’s more seriously.

Beware of Pay TV!” they screamed.

I should have listened.

We all should have listened.

Okay, Cablevision, that’s it…I’m done nitwit picking you.

Gotta go…Sports Center is about to start on ESPN.

I guess I could DVR it…but I’m DVR- ing that movie on Starz and that Combat Related Sports special on Showtime.  Maybe the DVR in the basement is free….


The Cablevision Trilogy
Click on any link below

Note: Some of the packages and pricing referred to have changed in the past year. What hasn’t changed is the level of frustration consumers must endure.

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