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F...My Cable Company!

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Old 06-08-2006, 04:51 PM   #16
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Re: F...My Cable Company!

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Originally Posted by Mattyk72
They do, I have one. Don't know how I ever lived without it!
Finest innovation in entertainment since hookers.
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:03 PM   #17
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Re: F...My Cable Company!

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Originally Posted by jbcjr14
I can't - the hail storms and thunderstorms are too much for the dish throughout the year. Its a sacrafice I have to make so I can watch the skins.
Yeah i had DTV for about two years, and every thunderstorm, small or not, it wouldn't work. So my family switched to cable back in december, ever since then it's been awesome. I think i should invest in Tivo or w/e it's called though, i've heard nothing but great things.
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:06 PM   #18
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Re: F...My Cable Company!

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Originally Posted by TheMalcolmConnection
I thought ALL hookers were USED.
IT'S HOOKER DAY AT THE WARPATH!!! HAIL!!!
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Old 06-08-2006, 10:42 PM   #19
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Re: F...My Cable Company!

Let me answer a few of the comments and questions about cable:

There are several very legitimate reasons why premium cable services continue to be so expensive-- and probably will remain so, regardless of the entry of telephone companies into the video market:

1) Premium broadband services such as high-speed internet, digital video (including HDTV), video-on-demand and digital voice cost a premium to provide. The ability to provide such services requires cable companies to spend millions of dollars upgrading their plant from the headend right down to the equipment in the customers' homes. And that's just to get started.

Once a certified broadband plant is in place, it has to be maintained. That means training and retaining an enormous technical workforce, providing that workforce with the tools and equipment they need (they need a LOT of tools and equipment, and a lot of it isn't cheap), maintaining a large fleet of service vehicles, and paying for the gas that goes into those vehicles. And that's just for the technicians! Think of all the customer service representatives, dispatchers, routers and other office support personnel that are required to keep things running behind the scenes.

2) The digital equipment that goes into customers' homes is high-dollar as well. On average, your cable company pays about $250 for a basic digital converter box. Add in all the premium bells and whistles like HDTV and DVR functionality, and now you're talking upwards of $600 per box.

Now think about how sensitive these chip-laden devices are to even the slightest fluctuation in power (no, we can't make our customers buy high-end surge protectors), and consider how many thunderstorms sweep through during your average east coast summer. That means your cable company winds up having to spend that much more money to replace damaged or malfunctioning equipment.

3) Then there's the programming costs. Cable companies pay a lot of dough to all those networks that fill up the 150 to 200 channels on their digital platforms. The really popular networks charge even more. And if you want to provide their network in high definition, well yeah, that's gonna be another fee on top of that.

4) People like to talk about how cable companies have local monopolies. Well, that's not entirely true, since you do have to consider that the DSS option has been around for quite some time now. And yes, the DSS companies do represent real competition to the cable companies. At least in the digital video realm.

Phone companies have been providing high-speed internet services for a while now, too, so cable has had competition in that arena as well, though DSL has never really been able to keep up with cable internet's transmission speeds. But cable companies like Comcast continuously upgrade their systems to provide increasingly higher speeds precisely because DSL is always pushing from behind. That's why high-speed cable internet service continues to demand a premium price-- competition drives upgrades, which in turn drives costs.

Now telephone companies want to enter the video market as well... and they want their pick of only the best markets to make their own plant upgrades more cost-effective, which leads us to point number five:

5) The "monopolies" that cable companies purportedly enjoy are in fact government-sanctioned franchises. In order to operate in a locality, the law requires that the cable company negotiate a franchise agreement with the local government. The local government, if it has the best interests of its constituents in mind, has the right to make certain demands of cable companies, including requiring them to meet and maintain prescribed service levels, standards of performance, rate restrictions, as well as pay a significant franchise fee to the local government to operate in that locality.

Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, the local government can require the cable company to meet stringent plant coverage requirements. For most cable companies, that means their services must be accessible to at least 80% to 85% of the homes in the locality. This of course means the cable company winds up spending a lot of money to extend their plant to areas that may never justify that cost.

But the big, powerful phone companies like Verizon are trying to back-door their way into the video market by spending millions of dollars on lobbying efforts to circumvent that particular requirement. Why? Because it would cost them hundreds more millions to build-out their fiber optic networks to the same coverage specs required of the cable companies. So in a sense, they want the ability to cherry-pick only the best, most profitable markets for their high-end video and internet services, while cable is still saddled with the franchise requirements that ensure equitable service coverage throughout a locality. That's why you're seeing these 'PSA'-styled advertisements championing "freedom of choice" in the video market, telling you to let your elected officials know you want them to remove the "regulatory hurdles" to competition in the video market. The big phone companies are spending lavishly on these commercials and other lobbying efforts to bypass the franchising laws that keep the cable companies in check. Of course, the cable companies are putting up a fight to defend themselves from this anti-competitive strategy.

So, if competition in the form of fiber-optic video service does get clearance, it will either be in only the areas where people can afford to pay a premium for it; or it will be in the same areas as cable, which means telephone companies will have to pay a fortune to build-out their fiber-optic plant, and that means prices certainly won't go down.

The bottom line is, this is a very high-overhead business, particularly when companies start getting into an arms race of sorts for competitive broadband services. The cost of that broadband arms race is ultimately going to be passed on to the consumer. It sucks, but if people weren't willing to pay those prices for those services, cable companies wouldn't be providing them...





...and yes, I do work for the cable company!
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Old 06-08-2006, 11:08 PM   #20
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Re: F...My Cable Company!

But why does customer support suck so much?
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Old 06-09-2006, 03:12 AM   #21
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Re: F...My Cable Company!

I'm in LA and Adelphia sucks donkey. Customer service??? What's that?? They are almost as bad as Dell computer but not quite. I can sort of understand the spanish dialect at the cable company's "office", but at Dell, I just can't pick up the eastern Indian accent...
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Old 06-09-2006, 04:59 AM   #22
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Re: F...My Cable Company!

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Originally Posted by ArtMonkDrillz
But why does customer support suck so much?
Why does customer support suck so much at any company? It's usually a highly stressful, low-paying, heavily-monitored and virtually thankless job. Trust me, I know. When I first got out of college, I had a couple of customer support jobs in the ISP and software industries.

Because companies that provide high-maintenance products such as cable service are required to keep such a large customer support staff on hand to handle high customer call volume, they can't afford to pay much money to each individual support rep. This means the people they hire for those jobs aren't exactly holding advanced degrees. It also means the people they hire for those jobs generally don't stick around very long. I lasted all of about 3 months on my first job as a technical support rep for a dial-up ISP. On my second job, as a customer support rep for a software-maker, I lasted about six months. And trust me, I'm not the exception. The turnover rate for these kinds of jobs is exceedingly high.

Why? Imagine being the most pissed-off you've ever been about any product or service you've ever bought. You call in to give customer support absolute hell. But because there are 500 other customers trying to call in and give customer support hell at the same time, you have to wait on hold for 10 minutes. Now you're REALLY pissed! By the time you actually get to hear a human voice, you're just bursting with fire and brimstone. Who gets to handle all that hellfire? Some guy just trying to get by, who has the unenviable position of having to handle about 100 to 150 more people just like you before he gets to go home and think about doing it all over again the next day. Most folks can't tolerate that kind of life for very long. Those that can-- or don't have any choice, like I did-- usually become pretty jaded, cynical and desensitized early on in the process.

That leaves you with basically two kinds of support reps: inexperienced, naive and sensitive (like I was); or jaded, cynical and desensitized. None of those qualities are really what you want in customer support representative.
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:02 AM   #23
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Re: F...My Cable Company!

Good point, I was just giving you crap because I'm naturally a jerk.
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:07 AM   #24
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Re: F...My Cable Company!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMalcolmConnection
I don't know if DTV offers this, but DVR is the greatest thing I've ever had.
How does it compare to a new or used hooker?
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:09 AM   #25
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Re: F...My Cable Company!

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Originally Posted by joecrisp
...and yes, I do work for the cable company!
I had that figured out by your second paragraph
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:13 AM   #26
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Re: F...My Cable Company!

Quote:
Originally Posted by joecrisp
That leaves you with basically two kinds of support reps: inexperienced, naive and sensitive (like I was); or jaded, cynical and desensitized. None of those qualities are really what you want in customer support representative.
I was jaded, cynical and desensitzed BEFORE I went into customer support.

I lasted all of about a year - had some good times with callers though. One woman asked me what in the world the red button (the mouse) in the middle of her IBM keyboard was and if it was safe to touch it. I warned her in a very serious, stern manner that the button was only to be pressed in extreme data management emergencies, as it was the self-destruct for her laptop.

To this day I'm not sure she ever caught on - she just used the trackpad instead
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:19 AM   #27
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Re: F...My Cable Company!

Cable is a good example of why government having close oversight of an industry causes more problems than it is worth. A lot of the problems in the cable industry stem from badly conceived regulations and non-sensical enforcement. That being said I do get the distinct impression that cable companies are doing very little the remedy the situation.

Any company should want to compete in a market that allows them flexibility to achieve their best profits. Because they are essentially granted monopolies(you can call them what you want. they still get a market to themselves.) they have no incentive to change pursue change within the industry to create a more competitive market that would in turn reduce cost and increase customer satisfaction.

I do think a lot of the issues aren't in the cable companies control but I think what gets informed customer sos mad is that cable companies dont seem to care that everything is screwed up.
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:32 AM   #28
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Re: F...My Cable Company!

I work for Cablevision here on Long Island and I agree totally with what Joe said. Everyone hates the cable companies but no one understands what the cost's are to run one. VIVA CABLE!!
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:46 AM   #29
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Re: F...My Cable Company!

I work the The Cable Company and for $50 I'll juice ya up. Then maybe we could hang out, I'll buy you a Heini!
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:33 AM   #30
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Re: F...My Cable Company!

Well here ya go:

House OKs bill to make subscription TV market more competitive
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