Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Well, the bastards finally did it.

About six months ago, we cancelled our digital TV service and went back to basic cable.

It was a purely financial thing. It was either broadband internet or digital TV. Considering Sunny doesn’t watch much TV anyway, it wasn’t much of a choice.

So, I called Charter (our cable company) and told them to downgrade our service to basic cable. They said, and I quote:

“Ok, Mr. Paulius, just turn in the box, we’ll stop charging you for digital today, and we’ll have someone out by Thursday to disconnect the service.” (Digital TV stops as soon as you disconnect the magic box, but you still have expanded basic until someone comes out and disconnects it at the pole).

However, a month later, we still had expanded basic (That’s 74 channels instead of 23, and included all the favorites like Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, Sci-Fi and Hallmark (Hallmark purely for MASH)).

Also, our bill showed that we were indeed only getting charged for basic.

Now, not wanting to get in trouble, we called Charter up. We told them they still hadn’t cut off the expanded cable, and they said “Not to worry, it’ll be done this week.” As you can probably guess, it wasn’t. We also told them they needed to cut off the service every time we paid our bill.

Eventually, we stopped telling them.

The way I looked at it was we were on record as telling them they hadn’t cut off the service over 6 times. If they wanted to give us expanded at basic prices, that was their boo-hoo.

Then, about a week ago, we got a call from Charter:

“Mr. Paulius? It’s Charter here. Now this is completely our fault, but we’ve discovered that you’ve been getting expanded basic cable, and we’ve only been charging you for plain basic.”

“I know, we’ve told you about six or seven times.”

“Oh…right. Well, let me just go ahead and sign you up for expanded.”

“No thanks, just send someone out to cut it off.”

(ten minutes of sales pitch later).

“Ok, someone will be out at by the end of the week.”

They didn’t show up.

I started to think we lived in some sort of weird cable twilight zone where no cable van could enter.

Now, I should point out that I don’t watch all that much TV. If my TV is turned on, it’s usually to watch a DVD movie. Then, I made a discovery.

One of my favorite shows of all time is Stargate SG-1. However, I hadn’t watched it since moving to the states, because previous experience has shown me that it was exactly the sort of show that Sunny hates. One day, however, when there was nothing else on, I turned it on.

“Oh great! Stargate!” Sunny said.

For two years we’d both been missing one of our favorite shows, because we each thought the other would hate it.

Then I discovered a new series of it was coming on Sci-Fi and I also started to get into that new show “Eureka”.

After 6 months of expanded cable, I finally discovered two shows that I really wanted to watch.

So I get in last Friday, just in time to catch the latest episode of Stargate, and guess what happens? I turn to Sci-Fi, and get static.

The bastards waited 6 months, until I finally found something on TV I wanted to watch, and then cut it off.

That’s timing for you.


MC Etcher said...

Ouch! That sucks.

rayray said...

When my folks moved into the house they are in now (which kinda sets on the outskirts of city limits), the cable tv had not been disconnected by the previous owners.

For the next SIX YEARS, we enjoyed free cable, as no bill ever showed up.

Our unadulterated television viewing suffered it's demise one winter when an ice storm took out the line.

Of course, the cable people reconnected it, but that was the end.

Paulius said...

Only problem with something like that is you can get in trouble for it. We were legally in the clear as we'd told them multiple times to come and disconnect it. It was their problem.

My step-daughter moved into a house where the cable was left on, then a few months later they got a visit from the cable guy.

Luckily our cable company is pretty cool about things like that, but the cable guy told her that as she was watching cable she wasn't paying for, she could be forced to pay for the months she had it, be fined or go to jail.

Basically, he just disconnected it and told her if they caught her watching 'free' cable again, she'd be in trouble.