Monday, January 13, 2014


Several weeks ago, I received a recorded phone message alerting me that my cable company was going to all digital programming effective January 14th. This meant that I would need a second digital box for the small TV in my kitchen. The message went on to explain my options for getting additional boxes. They could either (a) mail the box and installation kit to me and I would be responsible for installing the box or (b) I could pick a box up from one of their offices. I knew neither option would work for me.

I called the next morning. After listening to the friendly automated voice for several minutes, and getting nowhere, I was finally connected to an agent. The agent went through the same options I had heard the night before. I explained that I was disabled and was unable to install the box myself I told the agent I thought the installation should be free since it was something the company was forcing me to do. After several minutes of discussion the agent said they would make a notation and I would receive a free box for one year, free installation by a technician and a replacement remote for my larger TV. I was told to call to schedule the installation appointment.

Last week, I called to schedule the appointment. I told the agent what I had been promised the previous week. The second agent informed me that installation was thirty dollars.  The only way to get free installation was to have six or more boxes installed and a replacement remote would cost eleven dollars . I was very angry. (Last fall the company tried to charge me forty-five dollars when a technician had to come out because the cable wire fell due to wind. I refused to pay and the charge was waived.) It was finally agreed upon that I'd pay the one time thirty dollar installation charge.  I would get two new boxes and remotes. One box free for a year. Getting two new boxes meant I didn't have to pay for a replacement remote.

The technician cane out this morning. The technician had a problem with the installation and had to call the office for assistance.  Everything's working now, but it took a while. 

Not everyone is capable of picking up a kit and doing an installation. Even technicians have difficulty.  When someone is disabled or elderly and on a fixed income, I think charges for a tech to come out should be waived. TV providers charge enough. Watching TV may be the only enjoyment some people have.  Don't make it harder for them to get it.