Cable Company Games

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I just finished up a stint working for Time Warner Cable. Pretty soon, you’ll know them as Spectrum.

Here’s a little background on that merger, and if you have Time Warner, the pieces will fall together, explaining why your bills have taken such drastic jumps, why your cable keeps cutting out for no logical reason, your internet is slower than racing amoeba, and why your cable boxes still have fifteen cords sticking out of the back of them.

When Rob Marcus inherited Time Warner from his late predecessor a couple of years ago it was no more than a couple of short weeks before he issued out a statement saying that Time Waner was being bought out by Comcast.

Yes, as a newly appointed CEO, he didn’t get to work on furthering the company’s bottom line, or advancing its services to enhance customer experience. Markus jumped head-first into a long line of corporate negations to woo a competitive company for a major buy-out (and a quick and fat paycheck).

Government laws eventually dictated that the buy-out would create a monopoly and therefore was not given the green-light. Well, just days after this “mutual agreement” as Marcus deceivingly put it, it was announced that Charter Communications was going to take Comcast’s place and buy out Time Waner Cable. (The new name will be Spectrum.)

The corporate games continued without skipping a beat.

All the while Time Warner’s venders kept raising their prices, forcing customers to foot the bill, the already-old equipment was growing older, there were few advancements in the services (and even those bright spots came with major hiccups and laughable faults).

The corporate games continued and the millions of cable, internet, and phone customers were the dispensable pawns.

I always described Time Warner as a rock sitting beside a rapidly flowing stream. While the future and innovation swept past us into a world of wireless cable boxes, advanced cell phones, and fiber optics, Time Waner Cable sat idly by placing more emphasis in a bigger paycheck for corporate leaders once a buy-out took place.

To be sure, there are some happy Time Waner Cable customers out there. Somewhere… I’m sure. But a majority of people are disgusted by their services. And honestly, it’s not just Time Warner Cable. The cable industry as a whole is corrupted in the sense that we as a people have let them get away with increasing our bills every few months.

They play this game where they’re all in on it. Time Warner Cable knows that they’re going to lose customers to ATT, but after their bills go up after two years, they’ll come back. It’s a giant game of catch, and the customers are the balls. Except, they don’t have any.

You’ve heard the expression, “Your promotion has ended, so your bill is set at the new rate of [$30, $40, $60 more than you were paying].” And yet, people still keep cable! When it’s more than obvious that the next step in TV is online streaming, anyway.

People don’t seem to understand that if enough customers cancel their cable, cause the cable companies to shake in their boots a little, lose some revenue, they’ll rethink their unethical campaign games. Every single person would agree that cable bills should be a set price for life. End  of discussion.

But no one wants to cancel because they’ll miss the next episode of Walking Dead or the next big game. Even though that episode will be available to view on most online streaming outlets in just a few weeks, or that game will be on Youtube shortly. Yet, because you wanted to watch your show, you’re having to call in to your cable company again to put up a big fight about how your bill should not have raised.

But, at least you got to watch your show. Hope it was worth the $40 a month increase in your already-overpriced cable bill.

“But they make it so hard to cancel,” you say. Put your foot down. Don’t accept the bribes of $200 gift cards which, deep down you know you won’t qualify for due to some minor technicality. Stop giving in to the gimmicks.

I’m interested to know where my readers stand with all this. I know it’s way off topic from writing and adoption, but I’m seriously curious to know if you’ve all had a bad experience with your cable company, what you use it for, and what’s your preferred source of entertainment when it comes to TV? Leave your comments below and let us all know your thoughts!

Where Do Your Premium Payments Go?

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You’ve seen them taken out of your pay checks. You’ve seen them shipped away in the mail box. You’ve seen them eat up your checking and savings accounts.

You’ve heard it said that insurance is there for your protection. But like anything else in the world, there is a fee. Fair enough. If you want a roof over your head you’ve got to pay the mortgage. You want insurance coverage, you’ve got to pay the monthly premiums.

But what happens when you go to the doctor and they slap you with a co-pay on top of your portion of the medical bill? Or what about when you get a letter from your insurance company saying that your medical services were rendered “not medically necessary”?

Has anyone ever slammed on the brakes and asked, “What’s going on here?”

Why don’t our monthly premiums cover it all? What’s with the extra costs? What’s with the denied coverage? Who’s calling these shots? Who’s making these significant health decisions for us while raking in our hard-earned money?

Or asked another way, why pay premiums at all if we’re still having to fork out so much on our co-pays and partial medical bills?

Maybe we’re all just so numb to the system that we’ve just decided to go blindly along with what we’re told and pay what’s demanded of us. No questions asked.

Maybe that’s the way Big Insurance wants it. In that case, they’ve won and we’ve lost.

But maybe we haven’t yet lost. Maybe there is still hope to level the playing field for the rest of us. Maybe there is still a war to be waged.

But before I go on, what do you have to say about this issue? Where do you stand? Where do you think your premiums are going here in the U.S.? Are you benefitting from your insurance coverage? Do you feel safer with your insurance company around, or threatened?

Feel free to share your thoughts below or comment on this post on my Facebook Author Page, and we’ll continue this conversation in future posts!