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Insight Cable BS rant

lonestar

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Installation, What the Hell, the lines have been there for years.

ANyone else have insight.

Ok, I'll try to be brief. I move into a APT and figure I'll get basic cable, $40/mo, and since the previous tenant had a digital phone, (also though the cable company) I figured I would keep it rather than to have BellSouth come back and reinstall their lines and my cable and phone would be on the same bill. Easy enough right. So I call about the cable and they tell me there will be a $50 install charge, WTF. I said I have cable outlets on every wall and a cable ready tv, all I would have to do is connect the co-ax from the wall to the tv (I think I can do that) and all they would have to do is turn on the signal. Well I was informed they can't do that, a "technician needs to come to my house and check the signal, blah blah blah, and there is free install if you purchase a SHOWTIME special for $5/mo. I said ok, but SHOWTIME is scrambles, so I would then be required to rent a cable box to watch it, $5/mo more. So any I say screw it, give me SHOWTIME for a month and I'll cancel, $10<$50. So bascally the gut comes out, sits the box down and connects co-ox from the wall to the box to the TV, duh. Calls the office says turn it on. Why can't I do that. So he admits its a marketing ploy to get people to try new things in hopes they will keep it, not me. So then I find out that they give me some free stuff for 3 months that they will then proceed to automoatically bill me for if I fail to cancel after the trial period. I should say nevermind, take it all out, I'm getting a dish. I figure I'll cancel all the trial stuff after 3 months, still cheaper than install.

So then while the "technician" is there I proceed to inquire about the phone and get it setup. He says the $50 install fee should be waived since all the hardware is there and that it would be 2 weeks before they could allocate me a number. I was like WTF. I call the tech guy on his cell about 2 days later and find out that I already have a number and that it will take a week or so for the "phone technician" to come out and inspect everything and make sure it works. I then asked about the install fee, making sure it would be waived. So the next day I call the main office and say forget it. They say they can get someone out in 2 days. I then ask them about the install fee and how the technician said it should be waived since it was already installed. I few minutes later they come back and say we'll take care of it. So the guy come out and sees that is installed already annd calls the office to have them turn it on, and it works in like 30s. Why couldn't I do that? WTF. So I check my bill to make sure the install fee was credited, luckily it was.

So now that best buy is offereing a $10 cable modem ($90 - $30 rebate - $50 activation rebate) + a free self install, I'm looking into that, since it;s either cable or dialup, Bellsouth doesn't support DSL for the Digital cable phone lines. So I go to Best Buy to investigate. BAsically best buy is premoting for Insight Cable, buy the modem and install it, set up a installation with insight ($50) and then register the modem with insight. So basically the $10 modem becomes a $60 modem with free install. I then call the insight office and ask what thier install consists of, since it was my modem and the cable was on the wall. Now they want to send out a "computer techinician" to check the signal to my modem and drop off some insightbb software.. WTF, espeacially since their is a FAQ about how to register the modem without installing the software.

This whole concept is ridiculous. Most urban places that have cable access already have the cable ran for service. WE are just paying $50 for a guy to drive across town and say yeah, you got cable and screw on the co-ax. this is BS. Why can't they save the insanity of intelligent people that know how to screw on coax and just turn it on to avoid all the BS install charges. It would save both the customer for waiting and the cable company in manhours and gas. Instead if send 4-5 guys around the city, they would just need one guy at the office to turn it on.

I could see if it was a new house and they had to run cable from the pole to the house. I would never let the "technicians" run cable inside my house. All my friends just have holes drilled in the floor with cable ran across the room. I want it in the wall.

DDDAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMNNNNNNNN, Enough already, I feel better,
 



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jshexplo96

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WireLESS!!!!!:)
 






lonestar

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Doesn't that get expensive?

Don't you still need a ISP ran to the house, or is it ran off satilite?

Anyway I bought the modem, now I'm going to try to work with the cable company to set it up over the phone, since their is instructions how on the braodband webvsite.
 






Joe93

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I fit were as easy as Flicking a switch or turning on the signal. There is alot more to it then that. I worked as a cable Installer for a few years. The cable guy has alot to do other then screw in your coax. They have to climb poles that may or may not have thousands of volts of electricty running through them. They have to make sure all of your cable lines are in working order. They have to instal positive and negative traps. They have to make sure you dont have a signal leak which could cause interfirence with airplanes. They have to make sure your lines are are up to code and if they are not they have to bring the up to code. They have to hunt down and locate problems that cause bad reception. they have to check and log signal readings. they have to deal with violent, crazy drunk people. They put their lives at risk so people can have something to watch on TV. Being a cable guy is a dangerous job. I have had knives pulled on me, rocks thrown at me, bitten by dogs and so on. The average customer of the cable company has no clue as to how cable works or what is involved in the everyday to day cable instalation. They would have no clue as to what to do if a problem ever arised if there wasn't someone who knew what they were doing. There are times when a job would only take me about 10 minutes to do then there are the ones that would take one to two hours. The cable guy has no clue as to what the job will be like untill he is there. As for the instalation Charge. I worked For AT&T and they have an install fee that includes your firts month, equipment fees and such. Also AT&T would no allow any of the techs to run cable in the customers walls. They used to but the there are alot of problems that can arise if it is not done right. It was to costly fixing problems so they did away with it. Just my 2 cents worth
 






lonestar

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With that, you could make a Jiffy Lube tech sound glorious. He deals with hot liquids, 1000 deg manifolds, foreign and domestic cars, standard and metric sizes, 100's of different filter sizes and different oil viscosities that they must know the oem recommended.

I am not saying all cable gut jobs are easy. Yes, they do climb poles and get dirty (for first time installs and repairs), and deal with irrate customers, (mostly due to ridiculous charges, just like when we feel we get raped at the garage for minor adjustments.

I am just saying it is ridiculous to charge $50 for installation to a NEW prewired APARTMENT. That means, just for cable service, they are going to make $50 each time a new tenant rents the same apartment. Basically they turn cable off for a week or so and then charge the new tenant to $50 to turn it back on. Not only is $50 bad enough, but $50 X 3 for 3 different services cable/phone/internet from the same company. I'm looking for a house within the next year, so does that mean when I move into a house they will charge another $50 X 3 in a house that may already has preexisting cable (most do). Thats $300 just for installaions, which basically comes down to the guy coming out and saying, yeah you have cable, calls the dispatcher and turns it on. I could see sending out a technician for troubleshooting if problems exists, but initially, just turn it on and see what happens, if it doesn't work, then send someone out.

Get this, just for cable, its a $150 for install in a unwired house, I guess meaning $150 to run cable from the pole to the house. $50 is for a prewired house, what is there to do in a prewired house? Screw on co-ax.
 






Joe93

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Like i said there is more to it then that. Thast the price they cahrge so I kinda guess the only option for you todo is either pay for it or don't. I agree those prices are high but thats the way it is. If its so eays then do it yourself.
 






james t

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just get rabbit ears.
 






lonestar

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Originally posted by Joe93
If its so eays then do it yourself.

I would, if they would just turn on the service to my address. Especially for the cable modem. There is detailed instructions online at Broadbandreports.com. Even InsightBB.com gives help to set LAN settings. Once LAN setting are correct, its a matter of giving them your modem MAC number to register your account and synching the signal (modem does that).

just get rabbit ears.
I'd be happy with that, as much as I watch tv, but my wife wouldn't, gotta have VH1. I guess I do watch about 2 hours of history channel a week.

Anyway, it just that they want to collect $50 upfront for virtually doing nothing.

thats it, I'll quit ramblin and let it die. I have vented my anger.
 






dogfriend

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Originally posted by lonestar
With that, you could make a Jiffy Lube tech sound glorious. He deals with hot liquids, 1000 deg manifolds, foreign and domestic cars, standard and metric sizes, 100's of different filter sizes and different oil viscosities that they must know the oem recommended.


I'm sure it is glorious for the Jiffy Lube tech ;) :D

In the cable guy's defense, a considerable percentage of the US population are morons who wouldn't have a clue how to attach the coax to the connection at the wall.

However, I don't appreciate being treated like one of the morons every time I have to communicate with the cable company. If you check my rant against AT&T Broadband/Comcast youll see that I'm no fan of the cable company either: Dead Link Removed
 






lonestar

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I feel for you, I have the same problem, it's funny actually. AT&T controls DSL near you and you can't get it because they do not have a router near you, but yet I have AT&T Digital thorugh the cable company and can't get DSL because BELLSOUTH controls all the DSL lines here. It's a a conspiracy. They work it out to where you get screwwed either way.

To continue my story: I called tech support last night and this what I got, (I emailed this to several departments within INSIGHT, including the main office)

I called the technical help directly last night. I explained to them that my modem was installed and that a was already receiving the InsightBB pages, one for registration and one for contact numbers. I asked if I could give them my MAC number to finish setting it up and register. He said it should be no problem and that since I was already receiving the InsightBB pages, my modem had already synched with the signal, it was just a matter of setting up the account. The tech looked up my account and said that Broadband was not on my billing yet and that sales would have to set up that part.
Transfered to sales. I explained what the tech said, they brought up my account and began to ask general questions about my system to add on the Broadband. After that she trasfered me back to tech support. Tech support looked up my account and said there was no number allocated, so back to sales. I explain it again to another sales person that all I needed for the tech to set me up was a number allocated. They begin to enter more info and it seems there should be no problem. I was put on hold, then she tells me she can't do it, that no one has the power to do it that way anymore, the techs had told her they taken short cuts before and ran into problems so it is no longer feasible. This tells me it is a sales tactic. I finally say whatever, set up an appointment for next week and I have to take off work. I may just cancel the whole thing, its too much trouble, considering I can get other service in a couple of hours.

And this part is in response to a email I sent about all the frivilous installation charges

You mentioned that the technician must turn on basic analog service at the pole and all other services are assigned over the phone by a dispatcher. Since the basic service is already turned on and I am recieving the InsightBB registration page, the rest should should be able to be assigned over the phone (as mentioned by tech support). Why make your customers wait when they can have service immediately, that does not produce good customer relations. I am just asking for my account to be set up, then if there is problems, a tech is more than welcome to come trouble-shoot, they can even use the same scheduled slot for next week.
 






Joe93

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It is a conspiracy. the cable company here where I live controls it all and charge outrageous prices because of it. The one good thing they do have is the HSD do it yourself kit. Where you can go pic up the modem and such and do it all yourself. So you have basic cable and you just need them to turn on the cable modem?
 






dogfriend

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I had a similar problem with my cable install:

The guy came, ran the cable, supposedly checked the signal, said: "Everything looks ok, but it may take about 20min for the modem to sync, so I'm leaving now".

I waited about 4 hours before trying (we went out and came back) but still had no sync. Called "Tech Support" (in quotes because they aren't very technical) got a new story: "It could take 24hrs before you get sync" I'm thinking BS, but I wait till the next day anyway. Still no sync.

I call again they agree to send someone out BUT it will now be 3 1/2 weeks before they can send a tech. I argue that it was a failed install, not a service call, and it only took one week to get the install appointment so why does it take 3 1/2 weeks to fix it? This arguement is apparently too logical, the wait time goes up to 4 weeks while I am on the phone.

In the meantime, it occurs to me that it could be a problem with the modem they supplied (leased, looks like it has already been used) I contact them through the customer chat line, ask if I can trade modems, maybe that is the problem, it might save them a service call and get me going sooner. Nope, can't do that. It was actually pretty funny when I printed out the record of the chat because I caught the guy contradicting himself, and his final response to me was: "We don't do it that way"

They finally sent a tech 4 weeks later who discovered that the signal sucked, the connection on the pole was bad and the first guy (installer) had lied about checking it. It synced in about 10sec after the second guy spent 10min fixing the connection on the pole. His comment: "The installer didn't know what he was doing" Master of the Obvious.

It has worked ok ever since, but now the rate is going up at about 6x the rate of inflation.
 






lonestar

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Originally posted by dogfriend
but now the rate is going up at about 6x the rate of inflation.

Don't most people find that odd that cable service is rising as most technology (TV, VCR's, Microwaves, Computers, LCD flat panels) are falling in price as technology advances. This should tell us something. It is becoming a monopoly.

Here is some proof...
Cable monopoly
 






dogfriend

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Yes, they apparently won a ruling that says the cable co does not have to allow competition(other ISPs) to use their lines, so they are a near monopoly in the areas where DSL is not available.
 






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