Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Time Warner - Grrrrr.

Most people who know me and my husband know that we are avid boycotters. If we aren't treated right by a company or business, we boycott them. We also actively tell people about what happened. It's a small message and probably one that isn't felt by most big business, but I believe that if enough people send the same message, they will eventually have to get their act together.

So, our latest boycott: Time Warner. We weren't too happy when we relocated to San Diego and realized we were in the Time Warner cable zone. There is another option for you in San Diego, but only if you live in the right place. The apartments across our main street are in the other zone, but not us. They hadn't treated us particularly bad while we were in Houston, but we didn't like the way they did business.

Background: We had a great cable company in the Houston area called TCI. As serious movie buffs, they had the best digital cable package we had ever seen. For about $40 we got HBO, IFC, several Stars channels as well as the fun cable stations we liked (Discovery, History, Home & Garden, etc.). We didn't want 6 HBO stations, so the fact that good old HBO was included in our package for no extra cost was great. Between the movie channels there was always a new movie to watch on Friday and Saturday night and we rarely spent the money to rent from Blockbuster (another company we consider predatory and don't frequent). So, along comes Time Warner and gobbles up TCI. They sent us some nice literature about how many new stations we would be getting as a result of the change. Boiling it down: we got several new home shopping channels, junk movie channels (where they edit the movies or have commercials in them), sports channels and kids channels for only $40/month. Then we could pay extra for the HBO package and the Stars package while they alternately broadcast ICF with the Romance Channel (can you guess which one got more air time?). Needless to say we weren't happy and ended up switching to a dish.

Back to present: So when we moved to San Diego several years ago and realized we were once again stuck with Time Warner, we decided no cable. We also held out on the cable modem for quite a while, but finally gave in after about 8 months of crappy dial up and not a really great DSL alternative at the time. Time Warner has always called us or knocked on our door trying to get us to add cable, but we keep telling them - no. One guy even looked at my husband as if he had sprouted a third arm from his forehead when he told him we didn't want cable - not even basic cable? NO! We aren't giving that company any more money than we already are and we don't even like giving them what we give them now!

Well, they finally went too far. We got a lovely letter in the mail yesterday telling us that effective next month, they were going to start charging their modem only customers more each month for their cable modems - about $10 more after taxes, etc. But that we could kindly avoid this additional charge if we signed up for cable. WTF? So to that, we say - F you, Time Warner. Guess who's getting DSL.


The Stitchin' Sheep said...

Two things:

You should be happy that they have given you a good reason to stand up for your original idea in wanting to boycott and motivate you to look for other options.

Also, this post should be reworked a little and sent in business letter form to their company. Don't just quit using their company without making them aware of why you're doing it. Then, you may want to even distribute copies of it around your apartment complex if you really want to go all out.

Nonnahs said...

What sucks is that cable companies probably feel like they can suck and it doesn't matter, because it's not like people can choose to go with another company (at least for cable- thankfully you can switch to DSL for your computer stuff). Where you live pretty much dictates which cable company you are forced to deal with, and they know it. They know that if you want cable, you have to go through them, so they can do whatever they want to you- what's it to them? So annoying! That said, I agree with the Stitchin' Sheep- I think you should definitely write a letter, letting them know exactly why you are leaving them. I'm sure it won't be the first letter of it's kind that they will receive, but hopefully they will get the message at some point and eventually make changes for the better.

Anonymous said...

From another avid Boycotter.... You can determine High Speed Internet options from nearly every national service provider at www.Connected-Planet.Net for your exact location. You can also view service plans, levels and get a $50.00 online ordering bill credit too!