View Full Version : Too Expensive to Stay In!

Dr. Mike
5.24.08, 8:06 PM
I just wrote about this over on "This'll Work". It amazed me to realize how much the cable companies are taking us for.

With the price of gas shooting up along with the price of everything else that makes an evening out, who can afford to go out much anymore? ARGH!

So what to do instead... stay home and watch some good TV. Except it turns out that the cost of basic cable TV is going up faster than anything else you can name. (Especially, we can tell you, if you are unfortunate enough to be strapped with Comcast on your back.)

Reports (http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGIH_enUS239US239&q=2008+cable+basic+rates+increase) across the country for 2008 show whopping increases in basic cable rates that are way above general inflation and actually above the increase rate for any good or service you'd care to mention. In a few places the price for basic cable has even gone up faster than gasoline!

In all of the US the rate for basic cable has more than doubled since 1996, but in a lot of the country the rate for basic cable has more than doubled in just the last two or three years. Actually going to a movie may be cheaper! ("Basic" -- not the cheapest package, but no "premium" channels either.)

Like the implication in TV commercial that (if you can afford to see it) shows a lady eating a $5 bill -- it may be cheaper to entertain yourself by lighting dollar bills on fire than subscribing to basic cable. Ack!

5.25.08, 5:25 PM
I hear ya.............and probably the only thing worse than having Comcast is having Time Warner- I call them the mafia.
I'm old enough (not that I'd want to return to it) to remember when we had four FREE channels to watch.......and somehow, that was just fine.
When I look at what we pay to TimeWarner.......because we have our internet and phone service bundled with the cable as well............it's really amazing.
And yet we pretty much watch the same few channels all the time. One thing that would help is to allow consumers to only pay for the channels we want...instead of having to pay for hundreds that we don't want. The cable industry has been fighting this for years. It's outrageous that Congress isn't listening to us in this matter. Especially now- every little bit saved is important!

6.20.08, 1:45 PM
You know what is really terrible about it? Despite paying enormous amounts for my cable, I STILL can't get a single person at Comcast to be nice to me. Drives me nuts!!

I completely support paying for the channels you want. I really don't care to have the video game channels, and yet, I have those and not Soapnet!

Dr. Mike
6.22.08, 1:24 PM
Comcast doesn't even begin to get that they are so despised by their customers. They could say that they treat each customer as an individual and be telling the truth. They just say to each one, "we don't care about you because the rest of our customers have to pay us."

About the only thing that can be said positively about Comcast is... they aren't Enron.

6.23.08, 5:30 AM
And where, might I add, is the competition? What do you do if you are fed up with Comcast? Where is the alternative? Can you say "monopoly" boys and girls? As for Comcast's Customer Service? They have none. None at all. Their employees are rude, ignorant and totally insensitive to any customer complaint or inquiry.

Dr. Mike
6.24.08, 3:37 PM
Can you say "monopoly" boys and girls?
YES! Argh! It's so frustrating.

I keep thinking about switching to one of the satellite companies but can never decide:
Which one: DirecTV or Dish (if you know... tell me please)
If it's really worth the hassle to get all rewired and all that.
OMG -- what does it really cost after the promotional period? In plain language please.
Can I trust a company that is addicted to prices with ass-covering asterisks next to them? (See #3. :rolleyes: )
Doesn't lightening have to strike Comcast sooner or later and just make the problem go away? Won't some ambitious state Attorney General want to reap the political hay for taking on these creeps?

6.28.08, 6:36 PM
I am forced to use Comcast. My apartment manager doesn't want to have dishes hanging from his balconies so I can't help you with whether Dish Network or DirectTV is the way to go, Dr. Mike. I called Comcast the other day to see if some international programming was available in my area and the lady that I spoke with said that she didn't "see" the option even listed at her end while I was looking at it on their website. So, I get transferred and talked to another person after being told that the service that I wanted has radio and TV options. I asked for how much they cost, then was placed on hold, and was then told that the service was not available in my area. My wife called to double check and was told by a Comcast rep. that things are crazy and changing daily, so my wife asked her if she wanted her to call Comcast everyday until the service was available. I, too, am afraid of how much my Comcast is going to cost after the introductory offer.

6.29.08, 8:20 PM
If you are a PASSIONS fan then get direct TV. It's the only way you cn keep up with the goings on in Harmony unless you are a true Passionholic like me and spend $14.95 a month for the priviledge of watching this very stupid but very addictive show on-line.

7.3.08, 2:54 PM
I thought Passions was cancelled? I never got into the soap......but it irritates me that it's ratings were lower than Another World's.....which they threw off the air so shamefully!
The golden age of soaps is really over.....how sad.

Dr. Mike
7.4.08, 6:46 PM
I'm a bit of a romantic about anything that trails the least bit backward in time -- the "Golden Age of Soaps" included I suppose.

But now you have me thinking about it and wondering if it's really "over". Maybe for English-speaking Americans? But looking at the whole enchilada, or egg roll as the case may be, that may be like looking at the original market for Gutenburg bibles compared to book sales today.

As a popular, commercially viable story-telling medium even the still growing telenovelas may be smaller than the growth that's just beginning in India and China. So, long live soaps.

For us though.... maybe it is that as radio and soaps were new 80 years ago so now is the internet. We seeing the passing of the "networks" media business model that began at about the same time as the soaps themselves and a change to the distermediated media. The professionally produced programs that is going direct from the producer to the end-user.

The networks are going back to being producers too now. They see the writing on that particular wall and the middle-man that they are taking out is the local broadcaster and the cable company. Of course the bigger PBS stations have been doing this for awhile then selling back out into their networks, but now they have the internet too.

So, blah blah blah. Sorry. Your idea got me started and I guess I got carried away. Maybe it's just the "end of soaps on American broadcast networks"? Maybe it's actually just the beginning of a whole new age of soaps? That would be cool.

7.8.08, 6:19 PM
I've actually watched a bit of these telenovelas........and even putting aside the fact that I don't speak Spanish- I just don't think they're the same.
Not the same as the wonderful Ryan's Hope, Another World......and Edge of Night.
I watch and really enjoy General Hospital still- but I can't kid myself that it's anywhere near as enjoyable as Another World was.....once.
The days when so many others watched also.....and no matter where you went, you could find someone to talk them over with.
Maybe I'm showing my age........it sure is a different world today!