Here’s what Tim wants: to turn on his TV and watch football games in high definition. That’s pretty simple, and seems like a reasonable enough request. At least he thought so. His cable company, Bright House, advertises that they offer HD for free to their subscribers. Wow, that’s great! They quoted Tim a $29.99 rate, but failed to mention that he wouldn’t be able to receive HD without renting a cable box. You know, the HD channels that were the entire reason why he got cable in the first place.
Over the past few weeks Bright House has been nothing but misinformation and trouble for me. All I wanted was to subscribe and get ESPN and ESPN2 in HD for football season (seems like a reasonable request right? wrong…). Bright House calls themselves the home of free HD and I was soon to find out Bright House is the home of pretty expensive HD and you better not believe our channel listings. This is the letter I sent to Bright House:
I am contacting you today to express my dissatisfaction with the Bright House service we have received over the past two weeks. Per the channels listing on the Bright House network website, ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD are included in the basic cable package, except they really are not included. We initially were quoted $29.99/month for basic cable and were told that no box was required (I have the online chat record if you would like it).
The technicians came out, activated our account and were unable to find ESPN HD and ESPN2 in HD. I drove to a local Bright House center in order to determine why we could not receive these channels in HD and was informed that we needed an HD box for $9-10 more per month (so much for home of the “free” HD). I then asked about getting a cable card so that my Tivo would work and was told that the $29.99 price I was paying was a promotional price (I was never informed that this was a promotional price in the first place and certainly not informed that getting a cable card would cancel the promotion) and getting a cable card would increase my price to around $74.00 a month! I declined and drove home very dissatisfied.
My wife called Bright House to see if there was anything that anyone could do to get us a cable card for the advertised $3/month fee. The representative on the phone informed my wife that it would be no problem and set up a service appointment to have the cable card installed. I thought everything was great until the first bill came and showed that basic cable was $74 again. The phone representative increased my bill well beyond the $3/month that my wife was quoted. We called Bright House again today and were informed that the $3/month cable card cannot be part of any promotional package and that we would have to upgrade to their digital cable combo (at an bill increase of ~$25/month) to use the cable card. I am very unhappy with Bright House at this moment and will be exploring my other options for my entertainment needs in the near future. Can you please tell me why ESPN and ESPN2 in HD are listed in your standard cable package when they are not? And why I cannot add on a cable card for your advertised price of $3 to get them?
Is there anything else I can do? I feel basically swindled into a package that in significantly more expensive then I wanted to pay. I also would like to get my experience out because Bright House loves to claim how great they are in customer satisfaction and I feel like they are lying about having free HD.
It’s easy to see how Tim was confused. The lineup pages at Bright House do list many of the HD channels as part of the “Standard” lineup. The “Digital” lineup is separate, which would lead a rational person to believe that they only need the basic package to get all of the included channels.