Changed my mind... ALL Cable providers are TERRIBLE.

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makryger

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Changed my mind... ALL Cable providers are TERRIBLE.

#1

Post by makryger » Tue May 29, 2012 3:54 pm

Comcast- charges way too much and each CS rep gives different information regarding what services they offer.
RCN- one rep says it takes an hour to email me a hardware return label, the other says 2-3 business days. This is after I never received a physical mailer envelope 2 weeks ago.
Time Warner- family member recently overcharged by $80, and this was AFTER spending 2 hours on the phone getting them to get everything on the bill in order.
ATT UVerse- They called me to announce new Uverse service in our area at a great price- when they arrive, they discover we are too far from the uverse hub to get service.
Verizon Fios- Can't even tell me if I actually have fios ready in my building- I've gotten 3 different answers from 3 different people.
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#2

Post by mark1234 » Tue May 29, 2012 3:59 pm

At least you have a choice...
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#3

Post by holidayboy » Tue May 29, 2012 4:26 pm

At least you have a cable!...
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#4

Post by adam1991 » Tue May 29, 2012 6:49 pm

WOW is superb.

I have a choice in my area, WOW or Time Warner. TW has earned a spot in the same trash can of heck as AT&T, so you can guess what I'm doing.

In fact, I would stick with OTA rather than pay TW a dime.

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#5

Post by barnabas1969 » Tue May 29, 2012 6:58 pm

Brighthouse isn't cheap, but their service is top notch. Of course, I went through heck and back to get a cable card installed, but all else is fine. The BHNTechXPert on the DSL Reports forum claims that this has been fixed. I'll find out soon. I just got a 2nd HD HomeRun Prime and I'm going to pick up a 2nd CableCARD today.

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#6

Post by makryger » Tue May 29, 2012 6:59 pm

Ok, I'll admit it that having the option is better than the slower services out there, or requiring a tuning adapter. But still, that doesn't excuse the staff from being so poorly trained.

@mark... I think in the end, I won't have a choice. I'm moving from one place with only one cable provider. I'll be moving to a place has one cable company, and may or may not get fios in the future. The other companies are just experiences I've witnessed from other family members in different cities.
@adam- I haven't specifically worked with WOW. BUt I would imagine that having competition would be a nice way to force companies to work a bit harder.
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#7

Post by barnabas1969 » Tue May 29, 2012 8:53 pm

OK, I picked up my CableCARD and Tuning Adapter. We'll see how it works later this evening.

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#8

Post by adam1991 » Tue May 29, 2012 11:58 pm

You shoulda screwed with them, and asked where the tuning fork was.

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#9

Post by barnabas1969 » Wed May 30, 2012 1:11 am

Well... here's the thing. My cable account is split into two accounts... one residential (TV) and one business (internet). This always causes problems. On my first visit to the store, the lady couldn't help me because she didn't have the ability to access my account. I can't blame her... my employer insisted on doing this so that they could pay for my internet service directly.

So... I posted a private thread on DSL Reports. Brighthouse Networks has a private forum there. The guy who goes by BHNTechXPert ordered the card for me so that I could go back to the store to pick it up.

I got home with the card, installed the new HDHRP, and called BHN for activation/pairing. First of all, BHN does not have a separate number for CableCARD. I had to search the Internet to find out that I needed to ask for their "PRT" group (Priority Response Team). I called and asked to be transferred to PRT. The guy who answered in PRT got my CableCARD ID and Host ID... and then he realized that something was wrong.

They had given me a card that had not been correctly removed from the account of whomever had possession of the card before me. This is EXACTLY what BHNTechXPert told me would NOT happen again! He said that they had fixed their process so that the cards get correctly disconnected from their prior account... and even that they have a double-check step to make CERTAIN that everything is OK.

Well... I chatted with BHNTechXpert some more to give him some sh*t. He went as far as to offer a truck roll at night. I told him not to bother... but he looked for available techs anyway. There were none available at this time of night.

So... I made this proposal to him: I'll go pick up another card at the store tomorrow. If this 2nd card is also bad... then he needs to escalate this to senior management at BHN. They need to know what a pain in the butt it is to install a CableCARD. This is one of the major reasons why CableCARD has not been more widely adopted. The average consumer is NOT going to put up with this crap.

All this is after this guy PROMISED me multiple times that getting a CableCARD installed is a piece of cake now. According to him, things have changed drastically at BHN since I installed my first CableCARD back in March 2011.

So, back to the store I go... and wait in line... tomorrow.

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#10

Post by STC » Wed May 30, 2012 1:16 am

I presume you did ask where their tuning fork was? Or indeed where they could put it?
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#11

Post by barnabas1969 » Wed May 30, 2012 1:36 am

No, I didn't ask about the tuning fork... but maybe I'll pull a Joe Pesci... and stick a fork in somebody's neck! (Just kidding)

EDIT: Oops, that was a ball-point pen. Sorry.

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#12

Post by barnabas1969 » Wed May 30, 2012 3:32 am

The BHNTechXpert guy sent me a PM... and an e-mail. He really wants to get this fixed. I'm impressed... but the average Joe/Jane wouldn't know to contact him through DSL Reports (or Broadband Reports) about his/her TV problems.

So... after all his efforts to fix the problem remotely, I'm going to the BHN store on my lunch break tomorrow. I'll get another card... and hopefully that one will work. But, if it doesn't, maybe BHN will get the message that their CableCARD installation process is broken.

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#13

Post by barnabas1969 » Thu May 31, 2012 5:57 pm

I got my 2nd CableCARD yesterday, and it worked fine.

BHNTechXpert says he's going to give me a credit on my bill for my trouble. I don't know if he's really going to do it or how much, nor do I care, but that was nice of him to say.

Here's what I learned:

1) They have not yet fixed the problem with CableCARDs that are not ready to be sent to a customer's house.
2) If you have Brighthouse Networks, and you want to activate a CableCARD... don't bother trying to navigate their voice menu... just say "Technical Support". When a live person answers, ask to be transferred to the PRT. The folks in PRT know what they are doing.

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#14

Post by Jim_IT » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:18 pm

I love to sit back and watch all of the complaints about Cable Co's. Normally, I don't say anything but every once in a while I'll pop in.

BSS (Business Support Systems) are amazingly complex. When I started, we only billed for "Cable Service", premium channels and equipment charges for the upcoming month, throw in prorates (credits/charges) for starting and stopping services before the end of a customer's billing period. Now, there are thousands of service codes defined which have to be placed on an account with the utmost accuracy for everything to work as designed (which is what I do).

The billing system is constantly evolving and changing as new technologies become available and business requires them. We have software vendor enhancements in various states going at all times, preparing to migrate to the latest coding changes. The software vendors are definitely not immune to mistakes. Again, the act of billing customers is amazingly complex. (Think of taxes, taxes on taxes, promotion discounting, etc.)

While some agents are tech savvy, there has to be some that are not and that is the chance you have when you get through to the call centers.

Jim

p.s. During an upgrade, we have loads of people up all night, myself included, trying to ensure that everything happened accurately and there are no financial/operational impacts to any customer.

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#15

Post by STC » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:33 pm

The business model all cable companies are following is to make as much money as possible, within the confines of cable 'law' and acceptability.
The software you describe is focused primarily on that and not on adequate service or flexibility to the customer.

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#16

Post by erkotz » Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:44 pm

As part of my job, I interact with many cable operators - pretty much every one. I will say that some operators are noticeable better than others. There are several operators that I truly believe try and be customer focused. There are others that I wonder what is wrong with them.
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#17

Post by adam1991 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:02 pm

stonethecrows wrote:The business model all cable companies are following is to make as much money as possible, within the confines of cable 'law' and acceptability.
The business model of ALL COMPANIES, PERIOD is exactly that.

Why people lash out at the cable companies in particular for behaving this way, has always been beyond me. I guess people want cable TV so bad and figure they're entitled to it, and figure they shouldn't have to make the choice to walk away from it if it becomes too expensive.

The entitlement mentality has, over the last 40 years, become oppressive.

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#18

Post by STC » Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:58 pm

There is a sweet spot erkotz was touching on. Those companies that value their customers as well as watching the wallet.
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#19

Post by adam1991 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:16 am

I think those companies grasp that it's much easier to sustain a moderate level of business by valuing customers, than to screw customers left and right and beat hard to get new customers that don't yet realize they're going to get screwed.

WOW Cable gets it. Time Warner doesn't.

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