We regularly hear from readers that their cable company — often Comcast — is charging them rental fees for equipment they either never owned or have already returned. A group of six U.S. lawmakers are calling on the FCC to look into this problem of consumers who face fees for phantom modems and other devices. [More]
The mega-rich can dabble in pretty much any business they want to. Warren Buffet owns everything from furniture stores to ice cream chains. Richard Branson started a commercial spaceflight company, for crying out loud. And yet with demand for high-speed, affordable internet access going only up, up, and up, no new business or venture capitalist seems to be stepping into the fray to provide it. People passionately hate their current cable companies — so what’s stopping an enterprising entrepreneur from making a giant wad of cash entering the telecom game?
As people who not only spend all day looking at readers’ complaints about the companies they deal with but who also have cable subscriptions of our very own, we get being frustrated with your cable company. Calling in a bomb threat, however, is a terrible idea. A Minnesota man accused of doing just that pleaded guilty to a lesser charge this week. [More]
If you’ve ever felt like cable company ads are leaving something out––so, if you have a functioning brain––this parody ad is for you. At least we assume it’s a parody ad.
Donald found himself in a strange dilemma with his cable company, Charter. He got a deal that included a free DVR when he signed up with them through his apartment complex. When the owner’s bulk deal ended, he had to contract directly with Charter for his cable. No big deal. Except the company told him that he had to start paying for his DVR. Well, paying to have a TV signal fed into it: he could just keep it on his shelf if he really wanted to. He just couldn’t have a TV signal running to it. That’s nice if he has a cat that likes to sleep on electronics, but otherwise makes him kind of sad.
It’s all very green and forward-thinking of Mediacom to offer a $1 credit for customers who use paperless billing, but Tim wonders why they had to mail him a paper statement informing him that he is getting this discount.
Here’s something neat. Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Cablevision/Optimum actually let customers opt out of arbitration when they sign up. If you don’t want to give up your right to personally sue them in a court of law and be forced into a kangaroo court overseen by a judge whose fees are paid for by the company you’re suing, Cablevision will let you. The caveat is that you have to tell them within 30 days of signing your contract. Here’s the links and relevant contract language to opt-out:
Over at our former sibling site Gizmodo, they have cobbled together what they believe is a list of the basic rights any cable customer should have when it comes to service, billing and selection. We wanted to throw it out there to see if you agree.
New Yorkers are slated to get free wifi in 32 public parks next year, but it will come with a pricetag. Park users will get three 10 minute sessions per month, and after that pay 99 cents a day. The money goes to Time Warner and Cablevision, who agreed to provide the wifi as part of the city agreeing to renew their cable-tv franchises for 10 years. Public advocates promptly slammed the deal as the privatization of a public good.
Travel with Consumer Watch columnist Jon Yates of the Chicago Tribune to the training ground of our nation’s elite. The few, the powerless, and the often berated: Comcast customer service representatives. Yates sat in on a training class for new reps, sat in on many live calls, and shared the secrets of agents’ formation. Sort of.
Front groups for cable and satellite companies pretending to represent the interest of sports fans? Mysterious “sources” and leaks? This is nothing new to Consumerist readers, but our estranged siblings at Deadspin have some great information on a lobbying and PR war between thinly disguised groups working on behalf of DirectTV and the big cable companies, and their battle over fans and fees. Or is it?
Do you know how powerful just one dissatisfied customer can be? David, a telephone, internet, and cable TV customer of Cablevision, didn’t know until he was finally frustrated enough with the company to send a very honest e-mail detailing his issues with their service. He received a response that he hadn’t expected at all.
Looking for some inexpensive entertainment this weekend? It’s HBO and Cinemax free preview weekend at a number of major cable providers, including Charter, Comcast, Cox, Time Warner, and Verizon FIOS. If that doesn’t include you, keep an eye on the FreePreview.tv site to learn when your provider’s previews are coming up. [FreePreview.tv] (Thanks, Tim!)
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.
Graham’s roommate is moving out. The cable and Internet are in his name, so they called up Comcast to change the name on the account. Simple enough, right? Surprisingly, it was. Until they wanted to know why there was a $10 fee to change the name on the account.
It is no secret that we dole out criticism of the cable companies, perhaps, on a daily basis. We thought it might be fair and equitable to learn what cable technicians hate about the customers. We found out about this post written by a cable tech who isn’t afraid to let it fly, “And every once in a while, we get the one customer, and we just fucking hate you,” says “InstallerTechJeff” on Cable Rant Forums. The 25 reasons, inside…
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.