Oh I am such a sucker. We were living in a virtual forest and forced into cable as a provider, thus we had suffered through the Comcast billing increases and ended up paying what might have been a respectable car payment in the 90s before we recently moved to a new home and finally had the opportunity to switch to satellite TV.
Prior to the move, I had tried on several occasions, per Ron Howard's (not really...innuendo actually) suggestions, to call Comcast and push for a new plan and rate. The operators informed me that sadly they could not help me. But when I called to cancel the service, quite triumphantly in fact, I was informed that the agent was ready to match any deal I was switching to. I admit I bordered on irrespective as I glibly declined all offers, stating, "Not a chance!" I could finally use satellite providers.
I naively called Direct TV with glee. For goodness sakes, with Comcast we were spending over $125 a month for On Demand Cable, DVR and the Premium HBO Cinemax and Encore package. Then add in the $95 a month for high speed internet plus the $75-100 a month for phone and unlimited long distance, Our monthly bill could top close to $300 on any given month!
The grouped services rates thrilled me. I thought that This was the way of the future and that picking individual provdiers was just something people that were slow and unaware or the savings on grouping with one provider did!
I was quoted heavenly fees for all that needed, well over $100 less a month than I was paying. AND they were willing to come out immediately and get me set up. They thrilled me and said they could install the dish and service the SAME DAY I moved in. Perfect, right?
At 8:15 PM, when the Installation Tech had been at my house for 6 hours already, I began to worry. The fact that the Tech was asking my 21 yo son to do the "crawl around under the house and in the walls" duty escaped my intention for at least an hour or so. Then I tuned in over the insanity of the move going on around me and started to ask questions at my smarty pants son's urging. "Why is the dish pointing at trees? They may be naked now but come Spring we are in trouble!" and "The box you want to leave doesn't do anything we asked for!", were an obvious couple I was entering into with the Tech.
At 11PM the guy left promising to come back and make the situation right, not out of pride of his task but fear that someone else would come in and fix it and he wouldn't get paid for his hours of incompetent work already spent. He came, made barely good on service and left.
In the almost 14 hour process he drilled as many as 4 holes in the wood floors in some rooms. He hung the satellite pointing at a tree so we have spotty service and in Spring will probably have none, and left horrible wires hanging precariously around the installation.
Not being the passive type, I have tried to have this fixed and resolved. After 2 months, 3 supervisors and spending, as a conservative estimate, 12 hours on the phone, receiving 3 incorrect replacement boxes, 3 visits from supervisors that have even taken pictures, and TONS of Tech support, this is the current state of our service:
Expanded Cable with DVR only
No On Demand
A dish that points at a very healthy, naked in winter, tree
An installation of that disk that is precarious and has left unsightly wires dangling.
AND a bill that includes pre-billing, pro-rated billing, insane taxes and a ton more of stuff not designed for the consumer to grasp, to the tune of $218!
Okay, I have had the 1-800# explanation but ***>>>>should I be paying in full when I right this moment and/or never have benefited from receiving the full services I requested, contracted or received???
Sadly, I started thinking about Comcast. Okay. They were "raping me" with exorbitant fees. But they didn't seem to be trying to confuse me with new hidden program costs, ever. They seemed to deliver what they offered, super high fees for the DVR, On Demand and Premium Channels we wanted.
I'd love a clear-header perspective here. What is the most cost-effective, reliable solution for Premium Package Cable, High Speed Internet, Phone and Unlimited Long Distance?
Is there really just no free lunch?