Monday, August 29, 2011

Cable Wars

So I tried to get cable last week.

You did see the word "tried." As in, "I tried to get cable, but this major tropical storm blew in a gaggle of geese that honked and squawked at the cable guy's truck, forcing him to swerve and drive off the cliff."

No, that's not what happened. But it would make the beginning of a great story. You'll just have to deal with my blah story over my attempts to get cable.

So last Monday, I called the cable company, Comcast, to get cable installed. The first person was extremely helpful. I had an appointment set up for cable installation on Thursday.

Let me back up for one moment. See, I haven't had cable in my apartment since I moved in back in April. Heck, I didn't even OWN a television in my other apartment. Double heck, I've gone for years without having the urge to go out and get television. The only reason why I have one now is because someone got a TV for me. A nice pretty brand new, 22-inch Samsung flat-panel TV with HD.

With this hunk of black screen sitting in my living room, I came to the decision to get cable. I suppose I could have gotten a converter box, for a whopping $50. But I figured the Overlord might enjoy watching cartoons in the morning while mommy worked. So I opted for cable television.

(The above says Comcast but it's written in black and I'll be damned if I'm changing the screen color to see it. Shows you my luck with this company)

Anyway, Comcast was scheduled to come in on Thursday between 5-7pm. The guy calls asking if he could come early to install the system. He came, hooked up everything, and NOTHING worked.

I should say the receiver didn't pick up a signal in the living room. He hooked it up in the cable outlet in the bedroom. Still nothing. He takes off the face plates for the cable outlets in the wall and checks the wires, loudly complaining that Verizon had a habit of messing with their lines. He didn't see anything wrong and reattached the faceplate. Then he went and checked the lines leading into the building. He picked up a signal.

So the cable guy comes back in and informs me, "Looks like the lines leading up to your apartment aren't working. I'm going to have to come back with maintenance and put in new lines."

All right. That was fine. He asked when I would be available and I informed him that I worked from home, so I am always available (get your mind out of the gutter-you pervs). He says great, tells me he'll come back tomorrow and leaves.

Tomorrow dawns. The cable guy rings the buzzer saying he needs to get into the basement. I buzz him into the apartment building. He enters... and disappears.

Seriously, I never hear from the guy again. He never came up to the apartment to tell me what was going on. After a bit of time passed, I went downstairs to see the cable box open, but no cable guy. His van isn't parked out anywhere outside.

Huhn? Maybe he needed to get more equipment? So I waited for the guy to return, figuring if I don't hear anything during the real scheduled time for the appointment that I'll give the company a ring.

Well, I heard nothing. I call the toll-free number and they ask for my information. I find out I have an appointment scheduled on September 2.

 What the ....?

I get a hold of an extremely nice associate. Unfortunately, I'm ticked over the fact that I have to wait 2 weeks to get my cable service. I unleash my frustration, as the woman first told me that the cable box was the problem and they had to order a DVR for me.

Hold up. Don't get me started on THIS part. I had told them I wanted cable. The original sales associate never even mentioned the DVR. The cable guy offered the extra DVR in his van for, and I quote, "just a few extra bucks a month." When someone tells me, "a few extra bucks," I'm thinking maybe $5 or $6. Not frick'n $15!

I inform the associate that the cable guy had said the problem was with my lines, not the receiver he brought in. Then the nice associate puts me on hold, several times, to find out what's really going on. The next thing I know, she's telling me they have to drill into the building to set up the service. And they can't do this until I get permission from the landlord. This is the reason they keep bumping the installation date.

What??? Why didn't the cable guy go downstairs to check the lines? Why didn't he come back upstairs to tell me this? I could have gotten the permission right then and he could have started the work.


I was majorly ticked at this time. Instead of getting my work in, I had been wasting time trying to find out why my cable isn't turned on and getting several different reasons for the problem. I tell the lady (who sounds upset herself) that I have to decide whether I even want to go with Comcast as my cable provider. I hang up. My next call was to the other cable company, Verizon.

Now, I already have my phone and my internet through this company. I call the sales rep, hoping he can offer me cable. Supposedly, the only thing they have is Fios, which the apartment building doesn't allow (something about it needing its own power source) and Direct TV, which the apartment building doesn't allow dishes installed.

So it's either Comcast, or a $50 converter box.

This means I have to call the landlord, get permission for them to drill and hopefully reschedule for an appointment that's sooner than September 2. Throwing up my hands in defeat, I take out the trash. On the ground, dusty in it's pinkness, is a little Comcast tag that they place on the cable lines to tell you which apartment it leads to.

Well, looks like the cable guy was here.

So today, I call the landlord's office. The assistant says that I have permission, and asks if I want them to email me the letter for Comcast. Email. Letter. Which I could print out. Which I could have done on THURSDAY or FRIDAY if the cable guy had just told me he needed the letter.

I call Comcast today. They were able to pencil me in a sooner appointment. Tomorrow. Between noon and 2:30.

We'll see how things go...

1 comment:

  1. Oh, my. There is almost NEVER a good happy ending story concerning cable. I've had it for something like 20 years. Great when it works. Hell when it doesn't. Anyway, as I write this, you may be getting yours (take that any way you wish.) I am saying a prayer for you.


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