Monday, June 4, 2007

Comcrap Digital

I've been grumbling for years about our high cable bills. My wife and I have Comcast here in Richmond and the greedy peckers just keep going up on the bill, year after freakin' year. Suze and I have the HD digital cable for TV and the high-speed broadband internet. We rent the digital converter and the cable modem from them as well. All together, we pay close to $150.00 a month for this. That's just outrageous. Don't get me wrong. I love the freedom we get from having the DVR and being able to watch TV programs on our own schedule. And I love being able to download a 200 MB movie trailer in about 60 seconds. But $150.00?!!

I'm the kind of guy who likes to let his wallet do his talking for him. If I'm not happy with a company, I take my business elsewhere. I don't fool myself into thinking I'm teaching them a lesson, but at least I'm not rewarding their crap with my cash. Unfortunately, Comcast very nearly has a monopoly in this area. Though I live in a nice neighborhood in a pretty developed area, Verizon DSL and FIOS are not available here. Everybody I know is having it installed but, for some reason, my neighborhood is in some kind of technological dead zone. They won't touch it And without an alternative to the broadband internet, I dare not replace the cable TV. I get a "discount" for having both services together. Unbelieveably, if I cut the cable TV, my internet service would actually go up even higher. So I'm stuck with Comcast.

Which is what is so infuriating about the announcement they made about a month ago. Starting May 30th, Comcast was moving HBO to digital only. Currently, even if customers only have one digital converter, they can still get basic cable service on any TV in their house. Well, I have 4 TVs in my house, including the one in my office/studio. It's been nice to be able to watch movies on HBO while I draw or program. The DVR only records 2 shows at once. If there are three shows on at the same time, you'd better have a plan. Suzanne watches DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES on Sunday nights. While that's on, I record FAMILY GUY for later. And, finally, I watch SORPRANOS in my office or in the bedroom. Under Comcast's new plan, I'd have to reprogram the DVR and kick poor Suzanne out of the den (where the HDTV is.)

Just as I was working myself into a rage completely out of proportion to the situation, Comcast announced they were moving the date of the switch to June 11th. It took me a minute but then I realized. This was the day after the SOPRANOS series finale. Either they had an attack of conscience or somebody threatened to burn their building down around their ears if they took away the SOPRANOS, two episodes before the end. I can't imagine it was the former. And the idea of the latter, though I swear it wasn't me, makes me smile. A lot. Score one for the little guy.


Mike Wieringo said...

I pay around $190 per month... but I have my phone service through Time Warner Cable as well. So if the cable goes down, I'm completely cut off from the outside world...

SherriC said...

I just fired the sorry bastards! When we moved a few weeks ago, I took Comcrap with me because I thought I had no other choice. Well, my phone and internet pretty much stays down over the past ten days, Called them from my cell phone again this morning because it was down AGAIN, and the ebonics-speaking CSR told me, "too bad, guess you have to deal with it."

My neighor showed me his AT&T U-Verse system. More channels, faster internet (Max, which is the speed of a T1 line), one free month, $150 cash back, and best of all, $156 a month compared to Comcrap's $308 a month for phone, internet and cable. It doesn't include phone, but I am going to go back to Vonage for that.