Rant on: Unacceptable cable service

I don’t usually take up this space to rant about things; but I’ve finally reached critical mass. With who you say? Cable television. Google this “hd channels pixelated” and you’ll get about a half a million hits of users complaining that some (or many) of their cable high def channels are simply not watchable. The issue is called either pixellation or blocking and it’s bad. At my home we’ve had seven technicians come out to examine the issue — each one saying “Looks like you have a weak signal which is causing the problems”. Really, weak signal? We live in one of the largest metropolitan cities in the US, near the heart of the city — and our signal is weak?

Now let me get this straight — you set a deadline for everyone in the country to cut over from analog to digital. You gave us no choice in the matter. It turns out, you weren’t ready! Your infrastructure simply can’t handle the data being passed. Yet we continue to pay you…in some cases, a fairly sizable chunk of change. This is happening with Comcast, Time Warner, and nearly every provider across the country. They are selling us a broken service. And when you report it, they’ll happily send a technician — who most likely will not be able to solve the issue. They’ll install a signal amplifier, a new DVR box, remove any splitters you have, or replace cables inside your house. Finally, when they’ve run out of ideas and tell you they’ll need to get a truck out to test the lines. The technician will happily inform you they’ll go as far as replacing the lines that go from the pole to the house — whatever it takes.

Yet nothing gets done.

In the end, you wind up watching standard channels on a $2,000 TV meant for high definition.

Third world problems? Yes…but when I pay for something, I expect to be satisfied for what I pay for, and not have to hound the provider for acceptable service. The companies that provide cable television service need to understand that. If I’m not happy with their product, I’ll take my business elsewhere.

Aye, but there’s the rub. What other solutions are there? There are different iterations of the satellite dish, but that product is susceptible to failure during inclimate weather. On the other hand, all reports indicate most of the dish services at least offer outstanding customer support. Time Warner Cable? Well, let’s just say their customer support is less than stellar.

When you have a consumer issue that is this wide-spread, and it seems those responsible do nothing to resolve the problems — what do we consumers do? We start with a dialog. Our collective experience, intellect, and resourcefulness is the only gateway to a resolution. So let’s begin here — what has been your experience with your cable or dish provider? Have you found a resolution to the issues plaguing the services?

Pull up a chair and a beverage and let’s all Get Jack’d.