Friday, May 14, 2004

To HELL with all digital television.

Okay, so me and Ryan broke down and bought a satellite dish. It was going to be the deal of the century! This is how it all fell apart.

So we bought the dish and had it sitting at home. We got a really swell deal because it was already an open item. Ryan called Charter and told them to come the next day and cut our cable. He was going to sit home and wait for the satellite installation people to call and then we'd have our magnificent and wonderful new dish installed.

So Ryan gets the call. They say they can do it on such and such weekdays. Ryan says we both work so it would have to be a weekend. They tell him that they don't do weekend installations, so it will have to be installed through another company. Ryan calls the other company. They tell him the date that it can be installed: they say the 22nd. We'll be in Minnesota that day. Ryan says okay, in the hopes that we'll be home when they get here. They say that they'll put us as the last installation that day.

Okay, great. Ryan informs them we live in an apartment. They say they'll have to have a letter than says it's okay to have a dish. Ryan has already gotten the letter...it says we can have one as long as no permanent damage is done. So Ryan tells the installer man this, who says we'll need to drill a hole in the wall and the deck. This will not do. Ryan says he can't do that. The man says okay, but we'll have to buy flat cables for 15 dollars a piece and we'll need at least 3. We can handle that, except he NEEDS to drill into the patio. This will not do. The man says he's never heard of installing a dish in a non-destructive fashion. Ryan agrees to the destruction and hangs up.

Ryan calls me at work and says that this is WAY more trouble that it's worth. I tell him to go outside and look at other people with dishes and see what THEY have. All of the other people with dishes have ground level apartments. No good. I go online and see that there are many devices available for non-destructive satellite installation, all of which cost about 50 dollars. This will not do. We decide to return the dish and get our cable back. After all, Ryan had been told previously that Charter was doing away with their price packages and everything with pricing would be much better soon. Great.

We return the satellite dish, and that all goes fine. We return home, happy with our decision. Ryan calls Charter the next morning to tell them not to cut our cable. The woman says okay, and Ryan asks if we can get the digital cable box back. The woman says okay, but since the packages are no longer in existence it will cost us 10 dollars MORE than it did before. Ryan says leave it as it is.

We are now paying 97 dollars a month for basic cable (60 or 70 channels) and a DSL connection. That is what we payed BEFORE we decided to get rid of the expanded digital cable box we used to have which offered us 140 channels or so. We got rid of it because they jacked the price up on us 10 dollars. We are now paying the exact same price we used to pay for 140 channels for 60 fricken channels. We are not happy. We weren't happy with the prospect of holes in our wall, and we aren't happy with paying for nothing. We might just pull the cable altogether and keep just local channels and DSL.

What can you do? Charter is the only game in town.

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