Cutting the cord

Not there yet but I’m closer all the time:

The cord-cutting boogeyman has reared his head again, this time in a pair of reports that say, yes, it’s still a problem-and maybe a growing one-for the pay TV industry.

A survey from Consumer Reports says 7 percent of pay-TV subscribers are considering cutting the cord. Bear in mind that, once again, the key word, “considering,” plays a prominent role. The report, due out in the May issue of CR, says 16 percent of respondents stream movies from Netflix, and 90 percent are still connected to a pay-TV provider.

That same reports also rates triple-play bundles, where Verizon’s FiOS TV and AT&T’s U-verse services walked away with the best rankings receiving 78 and 76 points respectively out of 100.

The bottom of the heap? Time Warner Cable (68), Comcast (65) and Charter (62).

One of the big reasons pay-TV operators cite to downplay over-the-top delivery as a threat to their business is that “when a problem happens with picture quality or delivery, consumers want someone to call, and that’s not going to be their ISP. When there’s a problem with their cable, they just call and we fix it.”

Uh-huh. Let me tell you a little story…

I recently has a little problem with my cable/telephone/Internet provider (hint: it’s one of those bottom three listed above). At one point a couple of weeks ago, one of the folks I was interviewing for a story told me my voice had begun to resemble Darth Vader’s. It was about the same time that my Internet began to move at 14.4 dial-up speeds and my VOD offerings went belly up.

So I called my help line, and ended up in Eastern European call center Hell for almost 10 days. Really. Almost a dozen phone calls, holds, promises of return calls and a half dozen, “Let’s reset your modems…”

Finally, a call to the corporate office got a second technician to the house, I got my Internet, telephone and cable back up. But, just to be clear, it took 11 phone calls and HOURS of waiting and explaining. That’s a customer service issue that makes cutting the cord a little more appealing.

By the way, I functioned for a week with my network tethered to my iPhone… and I watched the $20 bills flowing toward Verizon. Sigh.

Read more: Dish, Blockbuster, Netflix and cord cutting on the way to NAB – FierceOnlineVideo

One thought on “Cutting the cord

  1. Comcast is already metering Internet use, so their business model is dependent on destroying net neutrality. It’s time to break up the Comcast monopoly. Federal and local subsidies built and continue to maintain their network. Time to reassert public ownership of communication.

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