ReBoot – Satellite, Telephone, Cable…Oh My

A CIO's VoiceIt’s Friday…

When I bought my house in 2001, I decided that I needed three things: telephone, Internet access, and tv service.

Telephone service was easy, there was only one provider of telephone service at the time and that was Verizon. No brainer…

With TV, I decided to go with my local cable service – Cablevision. Satellite was an option but I decided against it. I thought it would have been easier to go with cable.

With Internet access I also went with Verizon for DSL.

Things were great the first few months. Everything worked and there were no problems. Then things started to take a turn for the worst. I am not sure what triggers problems down the road when everything works initially?

I started to periodically loose connectivity to the Internet. It was frustrating too say the least. I called numerous times and eventually was told that I was a touch too far away front the central office. DSL was not a good option for me. “Move to cable” my neighbor said. However, the only cable provider at the time was Cablevision. So I switched my Internet over and upgraded to cable. I was very happy with the speed.

Now my TV service started to loose the signal for days on end. Most frustrating to not to be able to watch television when I wanted to. So I called Cablevision and complained. I had a army of techs come by and tell me the problem (which had to do with signal at the street connection). Reports were filed but nothing was done.

I was so frustrated that I decided to cut my losses and move to satellite.  It was great, except during heavy rains and snowstorms. I would loose the signal. Small price to pay, considering I was not loosing the signal for days.

So now, I had 3 separate providers of services.

Fast forward to today. I was paying approximately $300 per month for my TV, Internet, and telephone. A lot of money? I decided that this was ridiculous. I got a flyer from Verizon and Cablevision about them providing all three services due to deregulation.

I called up Verizon, they told me that my neighborhood was not “lit” and won’t be for a few years. That just left Cablevision and they were more than ready to provide phone, TV, Internet to me. The only problem was that the connection on the street was not fixed and I knew that would be a problem. I called up and said I am ready to move all 3 (really 2) over to you but you need to fix my street connection free of charge. And would you know it, they came out that week and fixed it without a problem. I got a follow-up call and they confirmed things were fixed and if I would still like to move my services over? I agreed and 3 days later I had my TV, Internet, and phone with Cablevision. In addition, I was saving $150 per month.

So learned it pays to complain about the level of service. In this economy, most service providers do not want to loose customers and will do whatever it takes to keep you happy.

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