Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Return of the Son of the Show That Never Ends

So Sunday, as I'm watching Jordan Spiel hit a golf ball fewer times than anyone else in Georgia, I try to flip to another channel during a commercial. I am greeted by a black screen, with the notice, "One moment, please. This channel should be working shortly," followed by some kind of error recognition code. This, as anyone who has dealt with CableOne before knows, is not true. The warning blinks a couple of times but the proper channel never comes on.

Back to the Masters, which comes through just fine. Back to the other channel, which is still lying to me that it will come on soon. Its neighbors also lie to me, as do all of the channels down to the National Geographic, meaning I can watch half of the channels I can usually watch -- and for which, incidentally, I pay CableOne for the opportunity to so do.

I call the service department and actually don't have to wait long before I speak with a service technician. He tries a couple of fixes from his end, which do not work. The error recognition code, by the way, is not something he requests. It is apparently meaningless, much like CableOne's promise to provide television service.

We try one last fix -- the traditional unplug the power supply, disconnect the cable, then reconnect them and turn them back on. This also does not work. Channels from the low end through the middle of my TV guide work, but the others do not. The technician says he will need to schedule a service call. We get the information, which includes me changing the phone number they call since I have a job and can't easily wait around my house all day.

"It looks like the soonest I can get a slot is the 16th," he says.

"Thursday?" I ask. "I'm calling you on Sunday and the earliest that someone can come fix this is Thursday?"

"Well, yes, that's the earliest one is available." After telling the technician that he has done a good job trying to help me but his company is pathetic and a four-day delay in a service call is the kind of thing that makes customers of other companies, I say go ahead and schedule it, my choices being limited.

This means that I will not receive the service for which I pay CableOne, but I know better than to ask if they will discount my bill. It's not because I believe they are unconcerned with the reality that I will pay for something I don't receive. They are, but that's not the reason.

It's because I believe that no one working at CableOne could handle the necessary math. Not that they couldn't handle the math of trying to pro-rate everyone's bill who has an interruption of service. I mean I don't believe anyone there could handle the actual pencil-and-paper math of figuring out what fraction of channels I pay for were working, how long they weren't working and apply that discount to the amount I pay for their service.

Now come on, you say. That's a little much, isn't it? Perhaps. But God's' existence I will take on faith. The ability of CableOne supervisors, directors and executives to do sixth-grade math will require proof.

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