Sunday, January 25, 2009

I can always tell when I'm about to lose my temper big time.

So, Time Warner recently, suddenly, and mysteriously dropped CBC from the cable lineup. The channel is all fuzz, and at this point no new channel has been added.
Today, I did a "live chat" with "Roger" on their website. "Roger" tells me that "The Mid-Ohio Division is in the process of evaluating channel lineups to identify opportunities to eliminate duplicate broadcast programming and allow us to consider new programming options in the future. Possible channel additions are being evaluated and will be announced as soon as a decision is made."
But, "Roger," I say (and I am paraphrasing), that means that I am paying full price for fewer channels until the "management" decides, in their mightiness, what channel they will bestow upon our grovelling, cable-hungry souls. Did they not consider that they could have been making this decision WHILE CBC was still on my TV? Or that they ought to have SAID something? To maintain, you know, the trust of their subscribers? Not to mention, CBC does NOT have duplicate programming. Hockey Night in Canada? The Hour? Marple (which is shown only sporadically by PBS)? Coronation Street (which, admittedly, I don't watch, but which is not on any other classic cable channel)? Roger insisted that the same programming was on two channels. I don't see it. Do you?
The sheer incompetence of this strategy astounds me; this is in addition to rising cable fees despite increased broadcast problems (fuzzy screen), interruptions, and the like (anyone else, by the way, been having such trouble? I couldn't even see parts of Supernatural the other night and was about to lose my gaskets).

But here is where I could tell I was going to lose it and needed to disconnect quickly: The angrier I get, the more deadly accurate and formal my language gets. Here, of course, I am throwing things out there for you lot. But this is is what I actually said to "Roger":
"Sir, I am going to explain my exact grievance that you might pass it on: I have had TWC for 8 years or so. In recent times, I have had more service interruptions than before, more strange broadcast quality issues (ie fuzz) than before, and now am missing a channel in which I have interest and, in fact, that does not contain any significant overlaps with others of my channels, and yet I am paying a higher price. I am paying more for less, and I don't like it. Please register my disapproval to the appropriate people. I would greatly appreciate it."
If you don't know me, you might read that and think I am just averagely angry. Not so, mes freres. I was FURIOUS.
Let this be a lesson to you. There are many forms of anger, and my most angry could commonly be mistaken for politeness.
In addition, if you value CBC and live in this area, let the people at Time Warner know in some fashion. Otherwise, I will not be able to watch George Stroumboulopoulos (or whatever) or Don Cherry in the comfort of my own home.


Anonymous said...

I suspect Time Warner is running into financial problems because of competition from U-Verse and satellite, and the fact that a lot of people dropped them when they didn't quickly work out contracts with the Big 10 Network, NFL Network, and Fox. In early January I saw notices scrolling across the bottom of our screen that customers of Time Warner and Bright Home Network were due to lose channels like Spike, MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central in a couple of days, but that they could call certain 800 numbers and complain. The channels wanted their viewers to pressure the cable companies to give in, I'm sure. I'm so glad we have U-Verse.

Here's a guy blogging about Ohio TW and the CBC:

Good luck. :-( I know it's frustrating. Fortunately, I think cable companies' municipal monopolies are on their last legs. There are competitive alternative technologies now, and certain laws (in WI at least) are being passed saying that *any* cable company can provide programming to a municipality as long as they have a franchise agreement with the state. Of course the town govts don't like the idea -- fewer back-rubbing fees to collect. And the cable companies don't like it -- competition.

You mght try looking up your local Time Warner provider on and filing a complaint. If they want to stay accredited with a good grade, TW must respond. I see a couple dozen Time Warners in Ohio, but am not sure which is yours.


Abs said...

I did end up writing to the Mid-Ohio TW people. They wrote me back repeating ad nauseum that TW was trying to reduce duplicate programming, but utterly failed to indicate in what way CBET represented duplicate programming. So I wrote them back and asked. No response yet. They also said they'd notified local officials before it happened. Like that helps.
The trouble with those scrolling messages, I heard, was that those possible drops only affected some markets; thus, way more people got freaked about it than needed to. It was a dirty tactic on Viacom's (or whomever's) part.
We do have a few other options here, I think. Probably more expensive, though. Sigh.