Free Ebook.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« The Costs of Working | Main | Dorothy in Taxland: Overview »

July 01, 2010


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Yup, bad customer service is caused by the government-mandated lack of competition in most markets. To get them to lay cable, they gave them a monopoly. But if you're the only game in town, you can do whatever you want!

My cable provider is Charter. The only thing positive I can say about them is my broadband works most of the time.

Their TV service is spotty and I often don't get the HD I pay for. There is no choice in the channels offered, even the lowest tier includes 300 channels of trash and infomertials and multiple "free" porn channels (not what I want in my house & I don't want to support it but you don't get a choice). The free and even the pay movies available via the cable are movies that I'd never bother to see under any circumstances. Oh, and did I mention that it's very expensive?

I didn't have cable TV for years and since I live in a rural area I just didn't get any TV signal at all. I'm thinking of going back to the TV-less lifestyle. I only watch TV about once a month and my kids only sometimes on some weekends--we prefer movies. I got the TV to follow the presidential elections and watch pro football but I'm not sure that's justification enough for the cost ($110/month!).

I had to terminate my service with Comcast last month. We were on a one year contract, and when the rate adjusted, our bill increased by 45%. I thought it would be a fairly simple process to negotiate a more reasonable rate. I couldn't be more wrong.

I started by trying via their online chat. Let me preface this by saying that I was always polite to the reps. I figure I was more likely to succeed that way, but it didn't seem to help. The online rep referred me to a "loyalty" phone number, which, to me, sounded like your basic run of the mill customer service line. It had all of the regular options as their 1-800-COMCAST number. The rep refused to lower my bill, unless I were to significantly downgrade my service. I even told them of deals I could get from DirectTV and Dish and just asked if they would even be in the ballpark, as far as pricing goes. She didn't budge. I set up a cancellation date and she was more than willing to accomodate me. The rep couldn't have cared less that I was cancelling.

Later, my wife tried via the online chat. The rep offered what we thought was a fair compromise, but said we needed to call in to get the deal. We did and the rep we talked to on the phone refused to honor the deal, and was very rude about it.

It just seems to be a crapshoot. Some reps will work with you, while others are rude and obnoxious. We ended up switching to Direct TV.

We've subscribed to DirecTV and/or Dish Network for the last 15+ years. The customer service and product have always been outstanding. We have no reason to change to cable. The only exception is that they are installing U-Verse on our block this week. We may change if the phone, internet, and TV package saves us money.

@MC -- I would suggest DirecTV or Dish Network.

We just switched to ATT Uverse from Charter. We are just getting TV (HD, yay!) and internet. We got an Ooma Telo for telephone. It does VoIP, has great quality, cost only $185 (and then $10 per year). No more phone bill!

I do hate how the cable and telephone companies give great deals to attract new customers and then jack up the price. We were facing a 70% cost increase with Charter.

What do you mean "were" many places they still are. I can only get cable and high speed internet from Comcast everyone else doesn't service my area. I recently dropped cable and kept the internet and now I'm having all sorts of problems and customer service says they can't do anything about it except send a technician and charge me $50 for the visit. Ridiculous! Me thinks the cable company doesn't like me reducing my bill by $30/mo.

which 2 companies offer a 30 day money back guarantee? my company is Time Warner Cable out here is California. i have personally not found a cable company and i have used at least 4 that i have been impressed with.

these companies have a monopoly and in my mind stick it to the people.

I had a similar experience with Comcast as Matt. Called and asked to change plans (at the same price I was paying mind you) and they were pretty much jerks about it ("we only do that for NEW customers, not current ones") and the rep told me to go ahead and cancel my account, she didn't care. A follow up email to customer service received no response from Comcast. So I cancelled. Makes me sick now to see their syrup-y commercials saying how great their service is, and how much they care about their customers satisfaction. B.S.

I also use the OOMA hub for my phone service and have to agree with Michael that it is wonderful, as well as cheap!

We have Charter Communications. The company has been good to us. Each time I have called customer service in regard to billing, they have been very kind and helpful. We do not get cable TV; just phone and high speed internet. In fact, the internet speed increased recently with no price increase. I agree with a previous post: I don't like the low introductory price and the huge increase later. Our taxes creep up all the time too. I call CS when I see my cost go up and they respond by lowering it to where it was. I suggest going with an antenna and getting free over-the-air television.

@MC - maybe it would just be cheaper to go to a sports bar to watch the football games you really want to see? You'd have to eat or drink...but I bet in the long run it would be cheaper than $110/month!

"Think it's because the cable companies were monopolies and could do whatever they wanted and get away with it" -- Yep, that's it exactly. My choices are between Comcast and nothing. And I choose nothing. WAY less stress than arguing with Comcast about why my bill went up, or why they didn't show up to move my cable when I moved to a new place, or why I'm canceling and having to argue with 3 different reps on 3 different days that yes I'm sure I don't want to set up their crappy service again. I think there is the option of satellite here, but I live in an apartment and don't want to worry about whether I can actually put up a dish or get reception or deal with contracts, especially if the contract doesn't line up with the lease.

So much hassle! If you can't be a profitable company without being a hassle to your customers, I have no desire to deal with you.

I've had a good experience with Dish Network. Prices are reasonable, but you might be getting a better deal with Comcast bundles for TV/internet/phone. Dish even has a cool feature where you can access your DVR from a web browser to schedule recordings. I do that on my iPhone every once in a while.

What ever happened to your comcast guy?
Just asking.

Indeed, it's because of lack of competition. I worked for a few months for a cable company, and saw how long tickets could sit in a queue. There just wasn't a lot of incentive to fix problems immediately. So-called "quick kills" like password resets happened quickly, of course, but stuff that required an experienced technician might sit because it was cheaper to employ one technician rather than two.

AT&T is getting into everything my local cable company is, but that's not suitable competition. AT&T's customer service is atrocious too. As long as we're limited to that duopoly in my city, customer service will remain a low priority. Customers can threaten to switch, but the companies know they'll be back after the other company raises rates, gives bad service, fails to show up to do an installation, or something.

BillV --

What do you mean what happened to him?

Didn't mean to be obtuse; just wondering if he could no longer help you, or, if you 'gave up' on him. As you are thinking of leaving comcast I was curious if you and he had talked. And what he had to say, if anything.

I just rememeber you mentioning him.

Whoops. don't know why that happened.

BillV --

I still have the contact, but not sure he can/will help. I can't even get him to get my bill correct. ;-(

I fired DirecTV. They cost me $75 a month for 2 rooms, about 20 channels I wanted to watch, no HD channels.

Sooo,I spent $50 to buy an antenna, put it in my attic using the wiring DirecTV put in and the wiring left from the cable company. I now get 30 DIGITAL channels, 8 in glorius HD, in 5 rooms PLUS the garage. Savings, $900 a year. Kids enjoy PBS all day, with NO commercials.

TV over the air is alive and well... this isn't your father's old rabbit ears and static- fuzzy TV! You can get at least 10 channels in all but the worst areas of the country with a simple and inexpensive attic or rooftop mounted antenna.

If you pay for TV, it's like buying a new 42" flat screen every year and then THROWING IT AWAY. And I have never had a single customer service problem!


The comments to this entry are closed.

Start a Blog


  • Any information shared on Free Money Finance does not constitute financial advice. The Website is intended to provide general information only and does not attempt to give you advice that relates to your specific circumstances. You are advised to discuss your specific requirements with an independent financial adviser. Per FTC guidelines, this website may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise. All posts are © 2005-2012, Free Money Finance.