Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Trapped by Technology

The last year and a half has not dealt kindly with the Little Woman and me. (if she's the Little woman, then I must be the Big Oaf.)  We's kind of broke. We could do a sad wail and moan called, "Medical Bill Blues", but maybe another time. This time we're going to play a weeping harmonica number about how technology has got us, and probably you too.

Since our finances have moved else where, mostly South,  we had to do the empty wallet shuffle, meaning we had to look for ways to downsize our life, make some small sacrices and maybe eventually stop robbing Peter to pay Paul, if you know what I mean. I'm sure a lot of you have been there.

So where is a good place to start with as little pain as possible. How about that thing called Cable? Well, we have Fios, so that little thing called Fiber Optics. I don't really know what the difference is between the two, but Fios says, " Fios isn't cable. We're wired differently." What does that mean? Maybe they twist the wires left instead of right or something.

Doesn't matter, when it comes to the old bait and switch they and Comcast are the same. They lure the unsuspecting mouse or should I say mouse-pushers in with a nice little pitch. Bundle up with us with your TV, Internet and Phone and get this cozy little price a month for the next two years. Of course, it requires a contract and if you don't like it after a few months just try to get out of it. Hefty little divorse settlemet comes with that contract. An after two years that cozy little bundle begins nibbling away at your wallet.

I don't know what Dish and Direct TV do; Probably much the same.

Now service-wise and all, I have no complaints with Fios. Over the six years I have been the fish at the end of their fibre-optic line things have been fine. The've been all around better than Comcast was. Yes, I had Comcast for about a decade before Fios, and I switch because there were problem and poor customer service. But leaving Comcast gave me the same run around I just went through with Fios, except I have stayed with Verizon's money-maker.

When we signed up original with Fios we were flush. I ws still working somewhere, still bringing in the dough, and more importantly still healthy. Doctors were yet holding me up by my heels and shaking out my wallet and loose change. We had some bundle called, "Extreme". Not sure what was so extreme except the price. It had an awful lot we didn't use, at least on the TV.

Golly, a million channels and hardly anything we wanted to watch. Didn't need all those sports channels. Didn't need the 30,000 music channels, especially all the Latin rthymns. Most of the other stuff has become dreck. When cable...oops, fibre optic, TV began with it's five hundred channels to choose, the claim was all the choices you would have and all the variety and creativity that would now be available.  And this was true once upon a time. Bravo use to put on shows and concerns, MTV played music videos, and dozen of other things. But all those new independent specially channels as they got successful also got bought out by a few and now it seems a mere handful control everything and everything is starting to look the same and the variety and creativity have taken a bus into obscurity.

So I says to myself, "Myself, if you can cut out some of the things you don't watch, maybe you can get it cheaper?"


First I tried dropping the land line, no phone in the bundle. One less thing to provide should be cheaper to them, thus cheaper to me. Except when I said I wanted to drop the phone they said, "No, you don't want to do that. It'll cost you more if you do."  Say what?

I asked them how getting less service from them would cost more. I still don't understand the explanation, something about it allows them to provide me more services then I save because I don't have to have a bunch of third partoes supplying me with services. I ain't lookin' for a bunch of services from any thrid parties.  I already have a third party supplying me with phone service on my mobile phone which doesn't cost me much of anything cause I'm not a big phone user. I got the mobile phone for emergency use. I couldn't seem to be able yo fit my land lline in my pocket nor find a long enough cord to go everywhere I go.

So okay, keep the bloody phone. Can I cut back on my TV. What choice have I here. Well, thre is the Ultimate package. You mean Ultimate in beyond extreme. Frankly, I though I had the Ultimate, but no, they informed me I had the Extreme. Extreme wasn't even on they choice list. How'd I get it?

They next one down from Ultimate was called Preferred. It was slightly cheaper than the Ultimate, but said I would be paying $10 more a month than the Extreme. Why?  It had less channels, both regular and High Definition, than I get now. Why should it cost me more. I asked their guy. He said he would have to find out why that was so. I never found out because they hung up on me. I think I asked to many questions.

The next plateau was called, "Starter". You can see the implications right there. Starter, you got far lass channels and as it were a lot we actually watch. Didn't really want to lose those, and the cast differential really was very significant.

Now they have some copy, "Have TV your way" and something called Custom TV. It isn't custom at all. You get to select from about a half-dozen categories like New and Sports, Entertainment, Family and Kids, things like that. You get a grouping of shows they think fits the category, far less selections than other packages. That isn't custom. Custom is let me select the channels I wanna watch like buying a song off of iTunes.

But they got you, unless you are ready to give up TV, Internet et al.

I reup'd with Fios for another two years. Man, you'd think the locked in contracts would end after six years.

1 comment:

  1. I use one of those 'over-the-air' digital TV antennas. That and YouTube keep me fairly amused.