Ever wonder if your cable provider is telling you the whole truth? Chances are they’re not. I sat down today and started to think about just how frustrating it is to deal with my provider (Comcast). Some of the basic principles they operate by, bother me. Some jumped out at me as over-the-top:
1. Customers pay different rates for the EXACT same service
Pricing strategies for cable providers fall somewhere between the theories of price discrimination and dynamic pricing. It’s very similar to what you’ll see in the airline industry. You’ll be on a flight, look around, and realize everyone on this flight may have paid a different price for their ticket. Everyone is going to the same location, but that doesn’t mean the person next to you paid the same rate for their ticket. The factors at play are the airline’s eagerness to get all the tickets sold, and your ability to negotiate a low fare. The same holds true for cable providers. You pay one rate, and your neighbors pay another rate for identical services. The difference is how well you’ve negotiated low rates, kept tabs on unexpected increases, and positioned yourself for discounts.
Loyal Customers Pay More Than New Customers
It’s just how the game is played, I say disappointedly. At the end of the year, your bill will go up unannounced, and it’ll be a game of cat and mouse with the retention department, just to get your rates down to ‘new customer’ levels. Autopay is another tool used to get you out of the habit of reviewing your bill on a monthly basis.
2. Set-Top boxes are ABSOLUTELY unnecessary
You already know this is true if you have any one of the new portable streaming sticks. And by that I mean Amazon Firestick, Chromecast Etc. You see how easy they are to install, operate, and replace. There’s no reason set-top boxes have to me any more complicated. To me, these devices absolutely put to shame the cable companies and the demand they put on consumers to buy these large set-top boxes. One of the reasons they do it is to anchor you to their platform and their business. They believe, if they make it difficult enough to change cable companies, then consumers will stay complacent, and accept the status quo. And unfortunately, for many consumers, this strategy is working. Even Congress held meetings a few years ago, to discuss the exorbitant cost of set-top boxes. It was an unnecessary expense then and still is still an unjustifiable expense. Other than to increase the profits of stakeholders.
Cancel Cable Altogether
Many folks are turning toward cable cutting. Which means to cancel cable TV altogether. If you want some advice on how to do this efficiently and effectively check out my blog here.
3. Providers will throttle your speed, ANYTIME they want
Comcast recently said that it does not throttle the speeds of its heaviest users. And over the last couple years, this has been a hot topic. As back in 2007, the FCC concluded that they were in fact throttling speeds, so because they were caught, they cut speeds for all of its heaviest users. But take a look at this article by Engadget.com, and look closely at the language. It states Comcast shall reserve the right to implement “new congestion management systems” at any time. What this means for us, the regular folks, is that they will adjust your speed for any reason at any time in the name of technology.
4. Junk fees are here to stay (AND rising)
If you have looked at your bill recently, you’ll know that junk fees have not gone away. In fact, they have increased. Broadcast fees, adapter fees, equipment rental fees, regional sports fees, and other associated expenses are still tacked onto your bill. It is so bad, some customers have resorted to legal action. Check out this story regarding a class action lawsuit now pending.
5. Providers want you to think: you have NO other options
Nothing could be further from the truth. Consumers have more options than ever. You have over-the-air HD antennas as an option. You can even get a DVR for your HD antenna. AND what great is typically fees associated with this, are one-time fee’s. And because of this, cord cutting has deepened. Other content creators like Netflix and Amazon are providing game-changing and high-quality content for a fraction of the cost of cable, and their content is portable. Also, many channels will simply put their shows on their websites. Take the CW, for example, you can visit their site now for current episodes. So Tell me the Truth: Did any of this make you mad? Was there anything you didn’t already know? If so, please drop below and leave a comment. Check out this very funny video. It’s all totally true.