Fox v. Cablevision – Lose/Lose?

Since this is “Random Thought Thursday”, I thought I would throw in my own .02 cents about the fight that continues between Fox and Cablevision.

I myself used to work for a cable company not horribly long ago, in the customer service department. When it was our turn in the “Fox” hunt, we got calls ranging on both sides of the issue. The error in customer’s thinking, however, is that no matter how you feel (Give in/Pay out) is that it’s the customer who is losing this war, on both sides of the aisle.

Many customers would call in just to scream “If you lose FOX, I will cancel my service!” Well, here are the inside tips of what you can do as a customer:

1. First, STOP DOING THAT!! They are customer service, they don’t really care if you cancel, and are not part of these big “corporate head” negotiations, so seriously, stop yelling at them. They don’t lose money if you cancel. The company, yes. Them, no. They are also not in charge of any little button that turns a channel on or off… So cut it out! If you want to cancel, just say you would like to cancel and be done with it. Threatening a Customer Service Rep with cancellation does nothing, even IF FOX’s advertising is telling you to do so. FOX even has a phone line set up for you to call, and then transfers you over to your cable/satellite/phone company to yell. Give me a break. Just stop. There is absolutely NOTHING customer service can do for you, other than cancel… if that’s what you really want, hang on the line and do so. Don’t just call to threaten it, because they really, really, REALLY don’t care.

2. You can leave the service and go elsewhere where FOX resides happily… until of course, a couple of months roll by, and it’s your turn in the negotiation barrel. At that point, hopefully you aren’t now stuck in a contract with this new provider, since you cancelled your cable with the other company that has no contracts… in which FOX is now “happily” back on.

3. If the one channel you are unhappy with losing on your television is just a broadcast channel (ie, your local Fox Channel) then you can hook up a digital box, sold pretty cheap at any electronics store, and still get that channel, free. Yes, free. How are any of these channels able to swipe them off the air in a negotiation dispute when it’s already free? I have no idea, but they do, just to tick you off.

And most importantly… 4. Stop letting FOX, or whatever channel is doing the negotiations this time around hold you hostage. If they get what they want, you better believe your bill is going up. Heck even if they don’t get what they want, they will still get more money in the end, and your bill will go up. The cable/satellite/phone companies that are in the TV business are not going to lose profit on behalf of Mr. or Mrs. Customer. It WILL get passed on to you. Thus starts the cycle at the beginning of the year, when you receive your rate increase letter from your provider, of you calling up and yelling at customer service again, and AGAIN, they are NOT in charge of the rate increases, so STOP DOING THAT! In fact, as a previous customer service representative, AND a customer, we LOATHE the increases. It just means that we have to pay a higher bill AND get yelled at by customers every day at our job. If you don’t like the rate increase, call and cancel, downgrade, or just don’t call. It does nothing but cause an agent that can do nothing about it, grief. Know that causing an agent grief does absolutely nothing to cause the money makers grief, AND, know theĀ representativeĀ is now REQUIRED to try and upsell to you. So if you don’t like that jargon, just don’t call.

In a time when our unemployment is so high, and money is so tight, television should not cost $100-$200 a month, and yet, we pay it loyally, month by month by month. Yes, technology is changing on the horizon, and more and more people are turning to internet streaming for their viewing pleasure, but until the masses stop letting these companies (The media heads AND television providers) get away with this overpriced garbage, it will just continue. If FOX gets what they are asking, which they came close with Dish and Time Warner Cable not long ago, you better believe NBC, CBS, ABC, Viacom, etc. are next. It’s only fair to them right?

Now I am not so bold as to tell anyone to stop watching TV. I gotta have my must watched list as much as the next girl, but man oh man, if they are asking too much, tell your provider that you are NOT willing to pay the price, and let them go. Besides, you can always catch the episode you missed nowadays on HULU or the networks website.

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