Literacy by Spite

brady-bunchThe move to the new house has been surprisingly painless in many ways. However, there has been one nagging pain point that is continuing (as Stephen Bishop would say) on and on. The saga of bad service from Cox Communications (the local cable company) seems to have a life of its own, and frankly, I’m getting tired of it. Their name seems a little bit fitting right now if you know what I mean…

I’m not going to bore you with the details, but let’s just say it involved many phone calls, visits from technicians, conversations with sassy customer service agents, and several hours of frustration. I’ve had enough!

Tonight, it really hit rock bottom when I found out that my appointment to turn on my cable was “cancelled” internally for no apparent reason, and then the phone rep exclaimed that I might be billed for the visit. Hunh?

I’ve always considered cable a necessary evil. Yes, I like TV. I grew up watching reruns of the Brady Bunch, the Monkees, and Bewitched, and the whole family gathered around the TV on Saturday evening to watch Love Boat and Fantasy Island. These days, I do find some comfort in watching the Housewives on Bravo when I get a chance. Heaven knows that the boys enjoy an occasional cartoon or episode of Seinfeld.

I also use the cable company for my phone and my internet connection. But, it sure feels like they have me over a barrel right now. And, I think they run their business with this mindset. Very few customers probably leave their cable company even when the service is terrible out of fear. Switching cable companies requires research and effort, and we’re all a little lazy. I know I am.

But, Cox’s complete lack of service has jumpstarted my energy to find an alternative. And (don’t tell Rex and Judd) that alternative may just be no cable at all. Could we live without it? Would our lives be all that different? We could still get our Netflix movies and watch YouTube. But, maybe we would also read more and play more, and be more creative.

Could Cox be the impetus for a renaissance of creativity and literacy in our family? How ironic that would be. What if we spent the $100 a month that we would use for cable and bought books or donated it to a worthy cause, or saved it for a nice vacation? An interesting idea that I’m pondering right now. I’ll keep you posted…

Song of the Day: On an On, Stephen Bishop


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4 responses to “Literacy by Spite

  1. valerie sutherland

    I havent had many problems that couldnt be resolved, except for the constant rising costs and convaluted(sp) billing/bundles. I have a friend that uses only netfix and now hula. You can get a device that will get you a lot of chanels…perhaps not bravo or tlc or food network but some. Dish sucks worse than cable as far as I can see. No customer service once they got you for 2 year contract. I am a t.v. whore so could never give it up in less fiscally impossible….maybe HBO …but then again…Game of Thrones is coming on soon….oh well…such is life…Rex will probably want to live with me if you do it.

  2. do it! i went overboard when i cancelled ours bc i was worried about having nothing to watch in a pinch…so i signed on to netflix, hulu *and* amazon prime. downsides: new content isn’t uploaded often enough for me so i often feel like “there’s nothing to watch”…but ironically still also watch too much tv. upsides: watching entire seasons of things at a time so you can actually follow the plot points; i’m so over commercials that when hulu’s come on sporadically i’m offended; when i get frustrated bc i can’t watch something i also immediately think “that means i should get the hell up and stop watching tv!” and i often do; and i’m paying about $21/mo, instead of the $60 i was before. don’t forget the library has that great reserve service, where they’ll pull what you want to a special shelf and even notify you when it’s ready- and it’s free. and redbox- $1.60/movie? no problem!

  3. believe me, if there were a viable option to Cox around here, we would be the first in line to get it! Unfortunately, as far as internet providers go, they have the fastest speeds and most reliable network. And, if you were to ONLY get internet from them, well, they’d charge you just as much as you are paying now for both! We only get basic cable from them (which you actually have to ask for, it’s not on their “menu” ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and PBS) and cable internet until something better comes along. You’ll find the rest of your shows and movies on Hulu and Netflix.

  4. Oh I feel your pain. And I admire your chutzpah! Go get ’em. Cable companies fit into the same category as the DMV, in my opinion. A necessary evil. But I like your thought that maybe cable isn’t a necessity. Maybe with hulu, netflix and other online options, consumers can finally take back some of the control and power that cable companies (I believe) have abused. Good luck 🙂

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