We have noticed a lot of recent stories out there about how much people hate to deal with their cable companies. This is, of course, nothing new. But still, after 30 plus years, you’d think that the cable companies would have figured it out. Nope.
A decade ago, Congress even got involved, making it part of the promise of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that the increased competition would mean lower cable prices.
How did that work out for you?
So, as a public service, we offer a new column: I Hate The Cable Company. It will be a monthly round-up of just some of stories discussing the crappy service and high prices that people enjoy from their local cable providers. Just to be fair, we will add satellite to the mix, as well.
- In Columbia, South Carolina, Time Warner Cable is raising rates 3%. Rates have gone up 12% since 2002. However, consumer who bundle cable with internet and digital phone won’t see an increase at all.
- In Utah, long-time Dish Network subscribers have to switch to Comcast on order to watch the mtn. network, which carries the college football games of their local conference, the Mountain West Conference. Comcast, which purchased half of the Mountain West Conference’s business partner, is suspected of dragging their feet in getting the .mtn network on Dish Network, thus causing football fans to have to switch to Comcast.
- In Southwest Washington State, Comcast has introduced a nasty little surprise as part of their takeover of Aldelphia: a restructure of their pricing so that in order to watch channels such as ESPN, Comedy Central, MTV, Cartoon Network and CNN, they will have to pay an extra $13.64 per month. That’s a 35% increase.
- In Virginia, Cox is raising standard cable rates 6% next year. It will mean a 35% raise since 2000.
- So far, not a single major American cable or satellite provider has the balls to carry Al-Jazeera’s English-language channel.
- One of many many looks at the battle between the NFL Network and Time Warner, among other cable companies.
- In Vermont, hundreds of people lost their broadband connections when Comcast took over from Aldelphia.
- In San Francisco, Comcast is raising rates 6% next year. That’s after a 7% increase this year, and 6% increases in each of the two years prior to that.
- In Palm Springs, Time Warner cable is removing the East Coast feeds of HBO, Cinemax and Showtime — which was great for watching The Sopranos at 6:00pm — and isn’t carrying The CW at all. No Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars or Everybody Hates Chris.
- In Los Angeles, a lawsuit has been filed against Time Warner cable by angry former customers of Aldelphia and Comcast. According to reports, there were service interruptions and channel reductions. Apparently, it wasn’t as easy as that commercial that they ran showing an Aldelphia truck going into a car wash and coming out as a Time Warner truck.
- In Niagara Falls, not only do they not get the NFL Network — they have Time Warner — they might also lose FOX and MyTV.
- In West Virginia, Dish Network subscribers are going to lose their local feeds: even those who live so far away that they can’t get their local feeds with an antenna.