CyberWoLfman's Web Asylum: IMHO
Insight Communications complaints
(Bloomington-Normal Illinois service area) Names they've used previously include AT&T Broadband, AT&T Cable Services and TCI.
1st complaint: If you want them to bring a converter box over to your house when they're coming over anyway for a repair job, they will charge you an additional $13.00!
2nd complaint: Why can't they get rid of the interference on some of the channels?
3rd complaint: Why can't they show VH1 24 hours a day like they used to? Instead, they only have it on from 3:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. and then they put on the Comedy channel that used to be on its own channel that now has Disney on it. Do you wanna see what we're missing? Here's the schedule for VH1. You can see they have some good stuff on once in a while that we don't get to see. I missed Alice Cooper's show on his Fistful of Alice album (that the local d.j.s can't be bothered to play a song from called Is Anyone Home) one night because of this. :-( How much do you wanna bet that when we get more cable channels available, they won't put VH1 on its own channel again? Judging from what I know about the local cable company and humans in general, they'll probably just put in more pay-per-view channels, some more premium channels like extra HBOs, Cinemaxes and a few channels that suck (and of course charge more money for it) so they can make more money. They don't care what their customers want. They only seem to care about how much money they can make. Go ahead, call them up and say you want VH1 on 24 hours a day again on its own channel, but I doubt it'll do any good.
Update: I was right. *sigh* They got more channels to use when they started the 'digital cable' and VH1 wasn't given its own channel back and everyone got charged more on their bill whether they had digital cable or not. The extra channels were 'special interest' ones that I personally wasn't interested in watching even if they were free. Apparently the local cable TV supplier still hasn't 'gotten the picture' yet and they decide what they think you should be watching instead of listening to their customers.
4th complaint: They can't even handle a simple change of address for delivering the cable guide?? I started using a P. O. Box several years ago and I put in a change of address with them (and with the post office) then and they still tried to deliver it to the street address! The only way I could get it delivered to my P. O. Box is to put in a change of address with the post office every few months! I had written to the makers of the cable guide and they said that the address change had to be done by the local cable company (which doesn't appear capable of doing it). And these are the same people who're supposed to be able to run a cable modem service? There is no way that I'm gonna trust them with a connection to my computer, if they can't even handle a change of address! Why do I get the feeling that a lot of cable modem users are probably getting lousy service?
5th complaint: Their 'digital cable' sucks big time! The pictures look like some of my pictures with skies or sunsets in them that I've had put on picture disc then put on my Pix pages. They're like blocky and everything, probably because I'm seeing them in only 16 bit color. Also, when you change channels, it takes somewhere between 2 to 5 seconds to load the channel (if you're lucky). Sometimes it won't load and you've gotta go back to the last channel, then back to the channel you were trying to watch in the first place to get it to load. Definitely a problem when you're channel surfing! The only good thing I liked about it was the guide they had that you could look through in half-hour segments. If you liked something, you can set a reminder for yourself and it'll show a reminder on the screen when the time it's scheduled to start is. Unfortunately, I've noticed that even it has problems. If you turn off the television, not wanting to watch other stuff that you have no interest in whatsoever until the time your movie or program starts, it'll wipe that reminder so if you turn the tv on again later on before it starts, thinking it'll remind you of it, you're in for a little surprise. Another beef I've got with the reminders is that if you're not watching the tv and instead taping a movie or program so you can watch it later, the reminders you've set will show up on the screen and the tape, thus covering up a large part of the picture and they'll stay there until you turn it off or the shows that you wanted to watch are off, which if you've put in a few of them that cover more than a couple of hours, you may as well not bother watching the rest of your tape.
What we as consumers can do about cable companies.
Thanks to some of the readers of this Web site for the following tips that they sent in! :-) They wanted to remain anonymous, so I'll respect that.
E-mail the corporate headquarters of the cable company (or maybe just write them letters. If you can find out who the head honchos are of it, try writing to them, as well).Back to IMHO (for more pages like this one), or go to the main page.
Top Dog in New York, Michael Wilner: email@example.com
President & CEO, Kim Kelly: firstname.lastname@example.org
District VP, Rockford area: email@example.com
From one person:
"You can find names in some of the press releases on their web site and then they are all in the same format- lastname.first firstname.lastname@example.org
These e-mails go straight to their PC's at their desk. Unless they've given their assistants passwords, no one else can access.
I've had wonderful success starting with Michael Wilner. He sees that it is brought to the direct attention of the General Manager of the operating system in your area."
File complaints against them with your local city government. Supposedly the cable companies have to uphold certain levels of service per franchise agreement with whatever city they are located in. Also file complaints with the PSC (Public Service Commission).
Talk to your friends, family, and neighbors. Share your thoughts with them, and tell them what they can do about bad service, too!
This one's from me: Start using a satellite system. But go ahead and write the cable company first, and inform them that because of their bad service, they just lost another customer, and you're going to try and convince your family and friends to do the same thing. Besides, considering how cheap some of those satellite systems cost now, and the large variety they have to offer in the way of programming compared to the junk we're forced to watch via the cable, it may be worth looking into! :-) Either that, or just stop watching TV altogether. Not usually much worth watching anyway, and most of it's pretty boring. Besides, you may start thinking clearer... ;-)