Joe works at a Radio Shack store on Long Island. Lately, the combination of the digital TV transition and some recent lineup changes at local cable TV provider Cablevision has Joe concerned, since he has both a conscience and a brain, and is an avid Consumerist reader.
Cablevision told Chris that his boss’ 95-year-old uncle couldn’t receive basic service without a cable box, “no matter what.” Chris, who installs home theaters, knew that his uncle’s cable-ready tv didn’t require a cable box. Pointing this out to Cablevision’s customer service representative, however, was apparently “disrespectful.”
Ever since switching to FIOS a few months back, reader GiteEmSteveDave has been pestered by his old provider, Cablevision. Like any other jaded ex, Cablevision is losing it’s mind in well-meaning promises – like, offering “411+911 FREE”. Gitem, you have to be firm – you had good times together, but you’re with FIOS now, and Cablevision needs to move on and accept it. If they don’t get the picture, then maybe a little tough love is in order.
New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson has proposed tying a Cable Consumer Bill of Rights into the 10-year franchise renewals Time Warner and Cablevision are expected to sign later this year. The proposal would force cable operators to disclose information about their expenses and service goals—which sounds nice and important on paper—but wastes an unrivaled opportunity to end the cable operators’ most hated practices.
A few months ago Azureus petitioned the FCC, which led to a FCC hearing in February. One of the complaints from the commission was that there is little data available on the scope of BitTorrent throttling, a gap Azureus now tries to fill by collecting data on the prevalence of TCP-resets among ISPs worldwide.
Cablevision responded to our post chastising their attempt to force customer to upgrade to digital service by pointing to an unrelated FCC mandate. Cablevision admits that there is no connection between their unilateral business decision to cut channels and the FCC-mandated transition to digital television, but their statement leaves several questions unanswered. Read Cablevision’s statement and our response, after the jump.
Update: Cablevision responds.
A Cablevision tech support rep told us that if your Cablevision tech arrives past the service window, you’re entitled to a $20 credit (this press release supports it). And if you’re in the Bronx or Brooklyn, you can get a free month of cable TV if the tech shows up late (this is applied on a case-by-case basis but it is possible. Should the tech pull a noshow, call customer service and speak to a supervisor, who may offer you credits (usually $40-$50) or a free month depending on your customer history. Inside, Which customer service number to call, based on the first four digits of your account number:
Here’s an odd little letter. For once a customer was actually pleased with the salesperson that came to their door and convinced them to try FiOS. Yay! The trouble came when the nice salesperson called in and Verizon refused to activate the account unless the customer canceled their phone lines with Vonage and Cablevision and switched all three to Verizon.
Cablevision tried to telemarket Greg Scoblete phone service during a funeral:
Two days ago I attended a wake. During the wake my cellphone rang…I couldn’t answer the first call, but shortly thereafter it rang again. “Must be important,” I thought, ducking out of the room.
It turned out to be a Cablevision telemarketer trying to rope me into the triple play. Fair enough. I told the rep that I wasn’t interested in the triple play and in any event, I was at a wake.
“I understand that,” he said, “but I’ll have you off the phone in five minutes saving money on your long-distance bills.”
Congratulations, Cablevision, you’ve taken the definition of shameless marketing to a whole new level.
Lots of companies are pushing deals for their bundled internet, tv and phone plans, but which are best? Consumer Reports surveyed its readers and here’s how they ranked the service providers:
Cablevision is trying to scare consumers into signing up for basic cable service ahead of the planned transition to digital television. After February 17, 2009, consumers will need a $60 converter box to receive television signals over-the-air. The transition to digital will significantly improve the quality of over-the-air television, but that isn’t stopping Cablevision from funding a scare-mongering campaign to rustle up new business.
Cablevision will raise the cost of its average video package by 4.7% starting in December. It says the cost of its Internet and digital phone services will remain the same through 2008. [Reuters]
Wow. Here’s contact info for 100 cable company executives.
Cable and Satellite companies are in the midst of a battle to attract and retain the lucrative customers who subscribe to out-of-market sports packages. DirecTV and MLB recently came to an agreement that would allow DirecTV exclusive rights to offer the “Extra Innings” out-of-market baseball package. Cable companies are fighting the deal, even arguing their case before a couple senators. So far, DirecTV’s deal stands and Cablevision is fighting back by offering to compensate former “Extra Innings” customers with a credit towards MLB’s online service MLB.TV. A few shocked readers forwarded the email, which we’ve reproduced inside. The deal is only for customers who subscribed to “Extra Innings” last year. —MEGHANN MARCO
We were looking through the Freakonomics blog this morning when we came across this post from Dec 18th, concerning Harper Collins contacting the ISPs of customers thought to be sharing of illegal copies of the book Freakonomics. The post had a link to a letter that a customer received after illegally downloading the book.