I Hate My Cable Company

It’s official.

I hate my cable company.

It’s not news that a lot of people have a dislike of their cable provider ranging from a mild disdain to a burning hatred. I didn’t come to hate my cable company until a few months ago and I have a darned good reason for it: a lack of customer service.

My cable provider used to be pretty good. I could call them with any question, any problem, and I could usually get an answer or get the problem resolved. Then, the cable company was acquired by another cable provider.

At first, there was no apparent change other than a different logo on the cable bill and on the the cable company’s trucks. And then things started changing. Customer service wasn’t quite as responsive as they had been in the past. The same was true of technical support. More automation, meaning automated phone systems and an expanded website to handle customer requests, payments, service changes, and technical support.

Then Covid hit.

Today, you’ll find if you have a problem or a request that isn’t related to paying your bill or changing your service, you won’t be speaking to a human being. You can’t speak to a human being because there’s no way to connect to one. If you try to speak to one of the ‘payment’ or ‘change of service’ customer reps, you’re told they can’t help with any problems as they have no access to the systems that can provide any of the other services.

I have two problems I have been trying to resolve for seven months and I am no closer to getting them taken care than I was back in late February. One is a technical problem that is not a showstopper, but is annoying. The other is a big problem – my e-mail.

An increasing percentage of my incoming e-mail is bouncing as mail daemons (e-mail server programs) keep kicking the e-mails as they see my e-mail address domain as invalid. At this point I figure over half of the e-mails inbound to me are being rejected and the percentage is increasing. All I want to do is change my e-mail to the new cable provider’s domain. (I have a ‘permanent’ e-mail address with my own domain that forwards to my ‘real’ e-mail address, one I’ve used for many years. I did check to make sure it wasn’t the server forwarding my e-mail causing the issue.) I know I am not the only one having this problem as I have spoken to a couple of people I know that have been having the same thing happening to them.

Do you think I could get anyone in customer service to make the change for me? Nope. Not one. If I was a new customer it wouldn’t be a problem. But I am an existing customer and that somehow changes things. I can’t even add a new e-mail account because I can’t seem to talk to a human being. Their support website couldn’t handle it either.

My other problem dealt with the cable modem/router/wireless access point.

The wireless is active but I don’t want it to be. I want to shut it off for a couple reasons: 1) I cannot link to the wireless access point because the SSID doesn’t match the one listed on the cable modem nor does the password work, and 2) I have two perfectly good wireless routers that cover both floors of The Gulch while the cable modem’s wireless access point does not. It’s just eating up spectrum better used by the other wireless routers.

But like the wireless access point, the cable modem password doesn’t work because it doesn’t appear to have one. It is supposedly on the bottom of the cable modem, but unless the password is either ‘Made in Taiwan’ or ‘Property of [my cable company]’, the password is missing. Just for grins I did try the wireless password as the admin password and it didn’t work.

I had as much luck reaching tech support as I did a customer service rep. Calling the phone number listed merely pointed me to the cable company’s website which contained absolutely no helpful information to solve the problem I was experiencing. I needed to speak to someone in tech support who could access the cable modem from the “other” side and at least shut off the wireless access point. The best outcome would being able to reset (or read) the admin password so I could access the cable modem directly. But it appears no one human is available to deal with tech support requests not covered by the website.

So until I can talk to a human being at my cable company that can actually help I am stuck in limbo.

The bill gets paid every month but the amount of customer service has declined to almost zero.

That’s why I hate my cable company.