My Yearly Nightmare With My Cable Company

My current cable provider is Fioptics. It is a Cincinnati Bell division.

Last week I had to go through the yearly ritual of begging for the best price. Cable companies are the only service I know of that does this.

My cell provider (Verizon) never changes your price unless you alter your contract. Even without a contract, your price stays the same unless you make a change. In fact, two out of the three times I did make changes my cell provider managed to offer me more for a cheaper price. None of my utility companies make you negotiate yearly for the best price. Even my web hosting service is still honoring the same price I was paying 6 years ago!

Yet cable will base a lot of your pricing on what they call “promotional” offers that will expire in a year (sometimes 6 months). They call you shortly before the promotional pricing ends to warn you and to try to hook you up with more promotional pricing. They pretend this is a special service to give you the best pricing.

This is a SCAM!

The object is always to raise your prices while convincing you that they did you a special favor by working hard to give you the best price possible.

To do this they start off by telling you that “your price is going up significantly”. Once they do that (and after hearing your shock) they start finding you promotions to lower your price until they leave you happy that you got away with just a small increase instead of a huge one.

When Fioptics called me last week the person on the phone told me that once again, “my promotional pricing was ending and that my bill would be increasing by nearly $60.00”. Of course I told her that “the price was unacceptable” and that “Spectrum (another provider in the area) offered better pricing than that”. She then looked at some small promotions and got it down to a $50.00 increase. I told her “that is still unacceptable”. Her answer was to suggest “I drop some channels”. I explained that “if I wanted to drop something, I would have already done so”. “I typically don’t buy services I don’t want”. She asked me to “hold” while she pretended to talk to her manager. She came back and said that “he would allow her to do some promotional equipment pricing to bring the price down another few dollars” and said “one of my promotions was the free increase from 50 Mbs to 100 Mbs internet service last year” and that If I went back to 50 Mbs she could get my pricing to within $20.00 of what I had been paying” (when they gave me the free upgrade there was NO MENTION of it being promotional). I said “I could live with that” and hung up happy that I was able to keep my cable within 6 dollars of my original budget.

Yes sometimes it takes awhile but slowly the neurons that make up my brain matter start to do their work. I just let them increase my cable by 10% while cutting my internet speed in half! This should make me happy?

These tactics should be illegal. ANY cable company that can hook me up at a reasonable price without having to go through these yearly games, will get my business and my loyalty. Even if the initial cost is a little more.

How you treat your customers is what keeps them loyal. I have been a Verizon Wireless customer for over 16 years and they aren’t even close to the cheapest, but they treat me right.

Let me know what you think,

Paul