There are six words that you never want to hear from someone who’s doing work on your home: “Do you have a fire extinguisher?” That’s what an Ohio family heard from the man installing DirecTV in their house this week. Turns out that what they thought was drywall dust was smoke, and the installer had hit the house’s main power line while drilling in the garage. Oops. [More]
Look, it doesn’t matter how important it is to be up to date on the latest happenings on “Dexter” or “Breaking Bad” before you get to the office on Monday. When your cable goes out, the proper reaction is to wait for a few minutes, then (perhaps) to call your cable company to make sure it isn’t just you. That is not how the good people of Connecticut reacted last night. [More]
The still waters of the cable TV industry might run deep, but if companies like Google keep splashing around in them, we might see an alternative to the traditional bundling model — but it ain’t gonna be easy. A new report says Google is entertaining the idea of possibly offering cable channels over broadband Internet connections, something that would likely meet with a major pushback from cable and satellite providers. [More]
One of the most frequent complaints we receive from readers is cable companies making it difficult to return equipment (or claiming equipment was never returned in the first place). Most people chalk this up to the cable industry’s ingrained ineptitude, but what if it’s a deliberate attempt to make customers weary of returning their equipment — and thus staying with their current provider? [More]
Yeah, cable television isn’t a necessity, and it isn’t cheap. But according to a new poll by our friends over at Coupon Cabin, most American households pay up anyway, even if they acknowledge that cable is kind of a waste of money. [More]
Where are six months and twelve months basically the same thing? At Comcast, of course. The cable company/ISP/overlords of all media want to show us all that they have a poor grasp on math. We can laugh it up all we want, but the joke’s really on reader Bubbicito. It doesn’t matter how confusing he finds the deals in Kabletown, because he doesn’t have any other choices for high-speed broadband. He can still vent at Consumerist, though. [More]
Cable Company Caps Data Usage, Tells Customers They Should Watch On-Demand Movies Instead Of Netflix
A number of cable companies and Internet service providers have soft data usage caps of around 250 GB, where customers who cross that threshold repeatedly will receive warnings. Some are more strict, like the small cable provider in Pennsylvania who charges $1/GB over that 250 GB limit, and who wants you to cut back on the Netflix. [More]
For those TV viewers who perhaps only want cable service when their favorite shows are on, say Game of Thrones or if you’re struggling with the meaning of city life in your mid-20s, Girls, it kind of stinks to buy an entire cable package. So if HBO does end up cutting the cord and offering a standalone broadband service, plenty of customers will have reason to celebrate. [More]
Cable Industry Claims Next Generation Of Set-Top Boxes Won’t Use More Electricity Than Refrigerators
Billions of dollars are spent every year providing power to the nation’s cable boxes, much of it consumed when the boxes aren’t being actively used. A group of 15 cable companies and box manufacturers have agreed to changes that will — eventually — save around $1.5 billion each year in electric bills, but some say it’s all just a lot of hot air. [More]
A few months ago, we shared with you the story of Tim, a Bright House cable customer who signed up for the company’s most basic package because the company’s website created the appearance that high-definition channels were part of it. After we published Craig’s story, the person at Bright House whose job it is to fund unhappy customers venting on the Internet and make them happy again contacted us, wanting to help Tim. This person agreed that the online listings were confusing, and upgraded Tim’s cable at no cost.
Time Warner Cable is irking an awful lot of customers, who recently opened their mail to find out that they are now going to be assessed a $3.95 monthly fee for renting the modem that is already in their home.
For many adults between the ages of 20 to 45, cable TV was a staple of everyday life — and something that a lot of us automatically purchased for our homes when it came time to make nests of our own. But for the younger folks who have no memory of a world without widespread access to broadband Internet, cable could be looking more and more like a relic of an older world.
Taylor’s parents can get service from Time Warner Cable. Or maybe they can’t. Or maybe they can. Just calling up TWC the old-fashioned way eventually got her a response that it would cost $3,000 to extend the lines 500 feet to her parents’ house. Unfortunate, so she looked into other options…until typing in her parents’ address on a Time Warner ad, installing Time Warner Cable would be possible for $2,960.00 less than quoted. But a web form is one thing, and dealing with actual techs is another. No one at TWC seems to have any idea what Taylor should do now.
The Justice Department is reportedly engaged in an anti-trust investigation into many areas where the cable TV industry might be acting inappropriately to try and quell competition from online video. Many consumers want to pick and choose what they watch, using services like Hulu and Netflix, whereas cable companies would like them to continue to pay for bundles of TV channels, even some they might not watch.
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.
Pay TV companies make bundles by bundling channels together in subscription packages, forcing customers to pay inflated fees for packages that are stuffed with channels they don’t care about. The U.S. Court of Appeals could have done subscribers a solid by forcing cable and satellite companies to change their modus operandi, but it ruled that there’s nothing illegal about the exploitative practice, upholding a judgment in a lower court.