A Valediction Forbidding Mourning for Cable TV
By Shannon Rentner, Senior Manager, Servigistics
If there’s a company, or an industry, that receives the MOST complaints about service, it would have to be the cable company.
Have you seen the youtube segment of the cable field service tech who actually FALLS ASLEEP during a service call?
Friend after friend and colleague after colleague have shared stories about missed service calls, faulty equipment, misdiagnosed problems, multiple service calls because the tech couldn’t fix the issue on the first call, and the best story of all – the one where the service tech shows up to repair the AC unit when the call was for a cable service tech. How the wires got crossed on that one I’ll never know.
Nevertheless, it amazes me that cable companies continue to thrive despite such dismal service. But most people don’t have a choice: Either go with the cable service provide in your region or go satellite – with nothing in between.
I am one of those customers who experienced poor service. I took a morning off of work to wait for the cable guy. I waited and waited until noon approached, called the company, and they assured me he was on his way. Five hours later, he finally appeared. He didn’t have the right part to fix my problem. So I had to miss another morning of work to wait for the service tech. Once again, the morning turned into an entire day. And still, he couldn’t fix the problem.
In the meantime, the cable company continued to charge me for cable service, that’s right – the cable service that wasn’t working. So I cancelled it, knowing that I had NO other options at the time, except for some old rabbit ears from the 70’s handed down to me from my parents. Needless to say, I couldn’t watch TV. Which isn’t so bad given the new study that announced watching TV is a sign of depression… The finding, announced on Thursday, November 15, comes from a survey of nearly 30,000 American adults conducted between 1975 and 2006 as part of the General Social Survey.
However, the only thing that depressed me was the cable company. So what’s an average person to do to access her favorite shows and movies?
Watch out cable company, average Jane now has OPTIONS thanks to the internet. And it’s about time. Oh wait, I also had to find an alternative internet provider service, which I obtained through my cell phone provider. A teeny tiny device that provides clear, constant internet service at $69 per month. Not bad and no service calls required!
I signed up for Netflix. Blockbuster or Netflix provides access to not only movies, but also TV episodes from seasons past. And thanks to the Netflix ready device, I can watch unlimited shows/movies on my TV at a much cheaper price. While I may miss the new episodes, it’s only a matter of time before companies like Netflix, itunes, Blockbuster, etc. figure out a way to offer TV online without the cable company.
Once viewers have access options, the true differentiator will be service – I wonder how Netflix service techs work? Haven’t had a problem yet….