Game of Thrones last episode, “First of His Name”, not only reached record levels of cable subscriber viewers surpassing even The Sopranos but it is also setting records for illegal downloads [ht for both links to].  Well, I’m not crying any crocodile tears for cable providers because THIS  is how I feel about them:

I moved a couple of weeks ago. In my old house I had a bundled package through CenturyLink (formerly Qwest) for DSL internet (60Mbps download) and DirectTV for HBO (and a thousand other useless stations). We didn’t actually get 60, but we sure as hell paid for it. And their service dropped all the time. At the new house the max download speed that CenturyLink could offer was 5Mbps–this is in a newer neighborhood, built after fiber optic was being installed automatically. Forget about the kids using their Xbox while you watch a movie via Netflix…that ain’t gonna happen….hell I couldn’t work from home using that kind of download speed!

So we had to get rid of CenturyLink, which means we had to get rid of DirectTV–remember it’s a bundle–separate the things are impossibly expensive. Now DirectTv wants over $300 as a penalty for canceling with them which we wouldn’t have had to do if CenturyLink didn’t suck so much. DirectTV said ‘well you can keep us and use Cox for your Internet‘.    No, I can’t because it will cost me 3x’s as much per month if I go that route. I can’t afford over $300 a month–that truly is insane. To put it into perspective, that’s more than I pay for health insurance every month!!!

The ONLY other option for Internet connection at the new house (or anywhere else in central AZ for that matter) was Cox Communications–who has the absolute worst customer support I have ever had the misfortune to encounter in all my years of consumer spending (I used to have them when I lived in the Central Phoenix corridor). There was no other choice, so I signed up with Cox.

In order to get near the same speed I am now paying slightly more per month than before AND they forced us to get a phone line and sign a 2 year deal. I haven’t had a plug in phone in years and I still don’t. I refuse to put a phone in so telemarketers can bug me 24/7. Screw em. So now I’m paying for phone I don’t need AND a thousand channels I don’t watch so I can access the Internet and watch HBO.  In a year or so if I need to move again, what if the house to which I’m moving doesn’t have access to Cox Cable.  I was thinking about buying a house.  Do I have to restrict my house search to only ones that allow Cox Cable?  The whole thing is just absurd.

Why are these companies allowed to control every point of access we have to streaming content? They don’t allow monopolies in other industries but this one seems to be A-Okay with Congress. It boggles the mind.

  1. alopecia says:

    Under the heading of “misery loves company,” Doctor Science at Obsidian Wings has something of the same problem:

    “My husband and I are looking for a new house, and even in central NJ we have to strike many areas off our list because we both do computer work at home, only FIOS gives us acceptable upload speeds, and there are many towns where FIOS is unavailable.”

    The real problem is that the telecoms and cable companies don’t want anyone else stringing cable (copper or fiber optic or supraluminal unobtanium crystal, doesn’t matter), so they’ve successfully bribed—sorry, no, *lobbied* is the polite term—they’ve successfully *lobbied* Congress to prohibit cities from creating municipal ISPs even in areas The Free Market (hallowed be its name!) has refused to provide with broadband internet access. Plus, The Free Market (hallowed be its name!) punished Verizon a few years back for its ambitious plan to expand its fiber optic (FiOS) network around the country: the investment required for that expansion took money away from shareholder dividends, so Verizon’s shareholders drove the share price down until the company agreed never to try to improve service again.

    Enraging, it is.

    Oh, and go out and buy the cheapest phone you can find. Put it in a cupboard near the phone jack. If the electricity goes out, you’ll still have a possible means of communication. (I don’t blame you for being peeved at having to pay for a service you don’t want, but since you have it …)

    • DRangedinaz says:

      Yeah, I’m going to get a real cheap phone just so we have a means to call 911 if we don’t have a cell phone…the free market fanatics are delusional and can kiss my frustrated arse. 🙂

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