Why I don’t like cable TV and won’t have it

I did telemarketing for Time Warner cable many years ago and couldn’t refute people’s arguments against cable because I agreed with them. So I quit. I was so happy! But I did call the headquarters and asked around. This is a summary of the answers I received, although this doesn’t cover all possible objections.

Me: Why should I be forced to pay for channels I don’t want or watch? Imagine a grocery store requiring customers to have a “Grocery Plan” wherein you must purchase a set amount of specific brands and products of their choosing before you can buy anything else. You would be outraged!
TW: We have different plans from which you can choose.
Me: But in all of them there are some stations I can’t stand and don’t want my kids, or even me, to see. At least with over the air TV I am not paying for access.
TW: You can always have a technician come block them.
Me: But I am being charged for them anyway! Why can’t I have an à la carte selection from which I pick 10, 20 or 30 from the whole pool of “Basic” channels before I purchase Premium channels, which ARE offered à la carte? That would be acceptable.
TW: It’s about advertising sales. We have to sell on behalf of all stations, not just specific ones.
Me: Why not? If you have to do it that way because certain stations have trouble getting advertisers then stop behaving like the government and subsidizing them and let the market forces determine their existence.
TW: The government requires us to provide certain local access stations. That is out of our control.
Me: I’m not talking about those channels, and I don’t care about them. I’m talking about the other crap. Not only that, but you keep raising the prices and in spite of that I still have to watch advertising!
TW: I’m sorry, but that it the way it is offered. Everyone does it that way.
Me: Didn’t your mother ever tell you that “everyone does it” is not an acceptable excuse for bad behavior or poor quality work or service? If she didn’t she should have! In fact, my mother would do a better job of running your company!
TW: I’m sorry you feel that way.
Me: It’s not just me, it’s many people. You would have so many more customers if you would just listen to what the people want – you are a business, not the government. If I was willing to pay for the dubious “privilege” of wading through innumerable channels – many of which I don’t like and would never watch – I would subscribe to some satellite provider because at least I get the whole store.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. xlntsx
    May 12, 2012 @ 13:37:18

    Sadly, while “choose the channel” sounds good, fair and infinitely possible … the end result would be higher charges. The cable companies get their revenue from the feed based on the # of homes available. Drop that down and the company starts losing revenue – which will have to be made up somewhere – and that somewhere is someone – and that someone is sadly – us. Just watch the recent battles over who is going to pay what between cable companies and suppliers. The cable companies want to drop low producing and/or charge more to carry them. Which makes some of the smaller “niche” channels I like (Ovation and documentary come to mind) more likely to disappear.

    It IS a conundrum that can’t be solved via Netflix or Hulu or any of the other streaming services.


    • Lloyd's of Rochester
      May 12, 2012 @ 15:44:14

      Are there laws that forbid cable from actually running a profitable business? From what you say, I am inferring that may be the case. Can you spell out exactly what is meant by “get their revenue from the feed based on the # of homes available.” I try not to assume too much before replying further. (BTW, I like the name of your blog!)


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