Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Mon, Jul 20 2009

Did Charter fail us? Did the government's FCC? Did both?

We had DirecTV installed yesterday. We tried to get what we wanted from the local Charter cable company, but we needed static IP addresses and they could not (or would not) provide those with our cable TV service, even if we had upgraded to digital cable. They spoke several times of the possibility of offering a bare-bones basic service at some point, so we held on for years, hoping we'd at least be able to subscribe to that and have our local channels for news and just use our existing AT&T internet service provider for internet access. When word came that Charter might be looking at bankruptcy proceedings, our hopes began to fade. Recently we learned that their contract negotiations with area localities were not looking good. So we finally called DirecTV and set up an appointment for installation. Meanwhile, Charter has begged and pleaded for us to order their digital service, which simply won't meet our needs. And they've taken more and more channels away from the current basic service. That means they'll be getting a call in the next couple of days from us.

It's very difficult when you are a consumer who doesn't fit the majority demographic of the locale in which you live. I wish the whole law on utility monopoly addressed that sort of thing, but we simply don't get to choose certain paths because of existing law. When competition leads in society, companies are able to excel at what they do for customers. At least we do have the choice of satellite service now, for a price that will, even after the introductory offer, give us a lot more of what we want when we sit down to watch TV. We would have loved to give struggling company Charter our business. We tried. But they could not (or would not) meet our needs. So, we're moving on, now that we have the chance and now that we know they will probably never be able to meet our needs. It isn't any one particular person's fault. But it's unfortunate that a company can't vary its business model to meet more than the average customer's wishes. If that comes down to being a government bureaucratic issue, I'm more determined than ever that we should have less government interference in our commerce in this country.

posted at: 09:55 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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