We all know that this country doesn’t have nearly enough competition in the broadband Internet sector, but it’s a little sad to watch what happens when one of the nation’s cable giants faces some unexpected competition. Google Fiber’s gigabit connections may soon grace the city of Phoenix, Arizona. Oh, and back in July, Cox Communications gave their customers with faster broadband plans a completely coincidental 100% speed increase. [More]
In news that will not surprise Consumerist readers, a massive annual survey of American consumers shows that we are all generally dissatisfied with our cable and Internet service providers, and that we find Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Charter, and Cox just a little bit less satisfying than average. [More]
The Federal Communications Commission (or as we insiders like to call it, the FCC) has released its annual report on the state of broadband deployment in these here United States and while there is improvement in getting to the point where all Americans at least have the ability to access broadband Internet, you can see there is still quite a bit of pink on that map.
As we wrote earlier this month, Verizon Wireless’ proposed purchase of billions of dollars worth of wireless spectrum from Comcast, Time Warner Cable and other cable companies that aren’t using it anyway, could result in fewer cable and Internet provider options for American consumers. Well, it looks like the Dept. of Justice was listening to at least some of the concerned voices, as it has given its approval to the deal — but not without some significant changes.
For years, a number of the larger cable-based Internet providers have placed WiFi hotspots around the country for their customers to use when not in the comfort of their own home, but you had to find a hotspot operated by your ISP. Today, five of those companies — Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Cablevision, and Cox Communications — have announced that their customers will all soon be able to all use the same hotspots. But will people use them — and will this actually make some of the problems worse?
Right now, the average monthly cable bill — not including any bundled phone or internet services — is around $86. But industry analysts say the non-stop slap fights between cable companies and content providers is only going to send that price soaring in the years to come.
In an apparent effort to woo new customers who only want the most basic of cable service and retain some current subscribers who are thinking of cutting the cable cord, Cox Communications has become the latest cable provider to jump on the low-price bandwagon, rolling out its $35/month TV Economy offering.
Earlier this month, Verizon Wireless made a deal with Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks to buy billions of dollars of those companies’ collectively held wireless spectrum. Now it looks like yet another cable provider is looking to get out of the wireless business, as Cox has agreed to sell off its advanced wireless spectrum to VZW for $315 million.
It’s understandable for a company to end a free service for customers when it’s little-used. But even if that was the case when Cox Communications decided to stop offering free personal Web hosting for its Internet service customers next month, it might have been helpful for them to give a heads up to their technical support employees. Or maybe that was just the person reader John happened to reach when he called about the transition.
Andy is a Cox Cable customer, and an HBO subscriber. When the channel lineup shifted recently, he couldn’t find HBO in high definition. The information wasn’t online, and the channel wasn’t in a logical place. Figuring that someone at Cox must know the answer, he hopped on customer service chat to ask a helpful customer service representative. The rep had him check to see whether the standard definition HBO channels had magically switched to high definition in the five minutes since he had last checked, then demanded Andy’s account number, name, address, account PIN, and the last four digits of his Social Security number. To obtain information that used to be on the company’s public website.
Cox Communications is giving out credits for users who lost cable service during Hurricane Irene. Here’s how to get it:
This news item, spotted on the Orange County Register’s police blotter, is brief but intriguing: a man in Mission Viejo, Calif. was so distraught that his cable had been shut off that he did the only logical thing: threatened to kill himself. The person he spoke to at Cox Cable, in turn, called the police to report a potential suicide at the man’s address.
John’s wife used Cox’s online customer service chat to negotiate a better deal on their cable service. Usually, this is an effective tactic. Twenty minutes after concluding the chat and signing up, she received a phone call from Cox–canceling the appointment to upgrade service and rescinding the deal. “Technology only goes so far. We are all only human,” the representative told her. Which proves, at least, that the Internet representatives aren’t robots. So that’s something.
It would be so easy to make jokes about Tiger Woods’ club and balls being seen in 3D. But it’s not gonna happen. Regardless, in spite of the fact that about 4.2 people have purchased 3D TVs — and that golf is probably the least interesting sport to televise, let alone in 3D, cable companies are lining up to broadcast the Masters golf tournament in its three-dimensional glory.
Christopher writes about a promotion from Cox that sounded pretty great. The cable company and ISP offered a free Playstation 3 slim to customers who either signed up for a new account or upgraded to faster broadband. The problem with such a great offer? People tend to tell their friends. And those friends tend to call Cox to see if they can get in on the deal, too.