A major annual consumer satisfaction survey is out, and it’s a mixed bag for the cable and telecom sector and all of us who use it. The bad: pay-TV, broadband, phone, and wireless companies still pretty much really suck, and most of us are very dissatisfied with them. The good: year over year, most of them are finally starting to suck less than they used to!
While DirecTV may make people laugh (or cringe) with its multiple Rob Lowe ads, the thing that matters to many people when choosing between cable and satellite is price. But a new Federal Trade Commission complaint filed against the nation’s second-largest pay-TV service alleges that DirecTV is tricking consumers into believing they’re getting a better deal than they end up with. [More]
A scream of rage goes up, a long howl filled with frustration. You forgot to set the DVR to tape the latest episode of Breaking Amish: L.A. But there’s hope yet for cable and satellite customers, as video on demand programming has been improving through the years, and is now available to 60% of American TV households. [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]
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.
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.
Matt doesn’t want anything unreasonable from Dish Network, his television provider. He just wants someone to come fix his high-definition channels in a timely manner. In theory, he doesn’t have a problem with waiting for technicians to show up, but he’s being asked to take entire afternoons off to wait for technicians who show up late or not at all.
A showdown between Comcast and Dish Network may leave Dish viewers without Comcast-owned channels E! and Style Saturday, as licensing agreements are set to expire.
Giving an odd boost to cable providers, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled the state could slap a sales tax on satellite TV services even though cable companies don’t need to tack the tax on to their packages.
UPDATE: DirecTV has says it will get Steve’s service going again soon and give him six months of credit.
Lane says he re-upped with DirecTV with the understanding that he’d receive $10 off his bill for the next year. After appearing on his first bill, the discount vanished, never to be seen again. Now he’s wondering whether or not it’s worth grilling customer service until he can get his discount reinstated.
DirecTV viewers who are angry that the provider dropped G4 may have more to complain about soon. DirecTV execs said the company is thinking about zapping its offerings with a Grocery Shrink Ray of sorts, taking a hard look at costs and looking for more unpopular channels to drop in the coming months.
An anonymous reader in Colorado says Dish Network broke her house while installing equipment on her roof. She says the destructive setup, which sprung holes in her roof due to some overzealous, ill-advised nail placements, led to $20,400 in repairs.
Jesse says DirecTV’s customer retention reps went with the hard sell to make sure the company didn’t lose a customer to cable TV. As a parting shot, a rep disregarded Jesse’s complaint that the company called too often and ended the conversation with an insult.
Daniel’s problem was very simple. He is a DirecTV customer, and subscribed to the satellite provider’s NFL Sunday Ticket package of football awesomeness. He decided not to renew this year, then discovered that DirecTV had already helpfully renewed the package for him. He wasn’t happy, and sent out an executive e-mail carpet bomb to a nice selection of executives. Who answered him, within an hour and a half on a Saturday? President and CEO Mike White.
We — just like you — have had it with stories about squabbling between cable/satellite providers and various networks. And yet, these nasty spats go on, and they always seem to come to a head at importune times. The latest: Fox has decided to pull 19 regional sports channels, FX and the National Geographic Channel from DISH Network subscribers while the two parties dicker over carriage fees.
After seeing our story from yesterday about a DirecTV subscriber misled into believing he was signing an 18-month contract, the folks at the Better Business Bureau sent us their recent research on the complaints they’ve received about DirecTV, Dish Network and other satellite providers.