Unless you have Dish Network or Direct TV, you’re most likely a customer of two cable companies, Brighthouse Cable or Charter Cable. Charter is in the Hoover/ Vestavia area, or over the mountain if you will. I’m in Southside so that makes me a Brighthouse baby. Neither competes in each other’s market so they have a bit of a monopoly on the areas they are in. In other words, Brighthouse owns me. Brighthouse has made me it’s prison bitch on many an occasion and today is no different. Perhaps if there was less of a monopoly in my area, there would be more competition which would make for better service and more affordable prices. I’m sure it’s all a bunch of FCC rigmarole. It always is. The FCC is a powerful and shadowy organization with unlimited resources and the law in it’s iron grip. I bet the FCC had something to do with the Kennedy assassination. If I’m found dead after this article, you know who to look at.
I complained to Brighthouse that for the last month, my cable was consistently having problems. In fact, I’m writing this immediately after getting off the phone with an operator. I will say the operator was polite and professional. I didn’t yell at her or slam the phone down or any other such nonsense. She’s just doing her job and she did it well. She doesn’t own the company and make it’s rules, so I can’t take my frustrations out on her and be mean. I’ll save that for the cantankerous, apathetic, disorganized, patronizing broads at my landlord’s office. So I call my court appointed, government sanctioned, mandatory cable company to give them a piece of my mind. Not a big piece mind you. I’ve got so little left after giving a piece to my landlord who won’t rake the leaves this fall from last fall. I know this week’s column is about cable, but I can’t resist getting a dig in at my landlord. Now back to the topic at hand. I asked for a discount since the problems have been so frequent for so long. They won’t give me a discount based on a call I made now, for problems that have been happening for a whole month. Since there’s no record of a problem being called in, aBrighthouse won’t retroactively issue discounts or refunds. Part of this is my fault. One, I should have called in sooner and two I should’ve known the honor system only works in the take-a-penny leave-a-penny dish at the corner store.
The problem was the features that let you get shows on demand, restart programs, find shows, and remind you of upcoming shows. They either worked horribly or not at all. The operator not only refused to compensate me by discounting my bill, she said that Brighthouse couldn’t and doesn’t because of failure of these particular features. Why you ask? Because she said those features are free and you’re not charged for them. Yes, you heard me. The cable is very expensive but the features are free so they’re only charging me for cable even though without the cable the features are useless because I’d have nothing to use the features on if I didn’t have cable which is very expensive. Phew! I’ll give us both a chance to catch our breaths. Brighthouse is not charging me for something? I find that hard to believe. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the phrase “I find that hard to believe.” it’s code for I don’t believe that at all. Someone is scheduled to come out and fix it. According to them, they’ll have someone at my house tomorrow between 8:00 a.m. and April 2012.
“Here’s the thing…” is a weekly column featuring humor and commentary by Christopher Davis, comedian and host of Fresh Ground Comics and View of the City. Send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org