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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

ABC is off the air via Cablevision

As I explained here and here, Cablevision — the only cable provider in the Bronx, where I live, and the company I pay a ridiculous amount of money to each month for TV and Internet access — and ABC have been engaging in juvenile dick measuring, and now whatever talks they’ve been having have broken down, and I can’t see ABC anymore. Which means I cannot watch the Oscars tonight, unless I can manage to scrounge up an HD antenna somewhere once the shops open in the morning.

I’ve now been on hold with Cablevision for almost half an hour. I want to ask them what sort of credit I can expect on my bill next month. And I want to let them know that I will be sending them the bill for that HD antenna. Because I pay for Cablevision to deliver all the broadcast networks to me, and the company is no longer providing the service I have contracted for.

I do not expect to get anything without some threats to take my business elsewhere.

Goddammit, I am frakkin’ pissed. Like I need more bullshit in my life…



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  • Drave

    I don’t know if this works with Cablevision, but ComCast (which sucks a similar amount of ass) actually monitors Twitter for disgruntled people. I posted a bitchy comment about the crappy service I received, and I was contact within 24 hours by their elite customer service strike team, which has powers above and beyond the average call center mortal. Within a day or two, this team had not only refunded two months of service, they also created a custom plan that contained only the features I exactly wanted, and was half of the cost of what I was paying. Both of these are things multiple phone agents told me could not be done, even when I threatened to cancel my service. It might be worth a try. Just tweet something decidedly unhappy with their company name hashtagged. Large corporations are really starting to fear the power of social networking.

  • MaryAnn

    Thanks for the suggestion, Drave. I tried it. I’m currently waiting to bump up to a fourth level of customer service at Cablevision by phone, but so far, I’m getting nothing but bullshit.

  • Drave

    Best of luck! By the way, according to a few different articles I have seen, you will actually be able to stream the Oscars live at oscar.go.com. So, it’s not completely hopeless even if Cablevision is no help.

  • Rachel H.

    Thanks for the article. I ReTweeted your link. This is fu**ed timing. Cablevision is the only game in town, for many of us. I wish TimeWarner were available in my section of B’klyn. This is bullshit!

  • Val B.

    I’m up in Yonkers and have the same problem, Cablevision is all I can get in my building.
    They have these exclusive contract with the co-op’s and Fios’ can’t wire us up, and we aren’t permitted to have a dish put either for Direct tv.. they all are running such a big scam on us.

    We should all tell Cable to deduct the cost of the antenna’s off the bill for as long as ABC is blacked out.

  • doa766

    you can watch the oscars online, there’s plenty of unofficial stream sites

    sucks but it’s better than nothing

  • Alex

    I lost ABC too, it’s aggravating.

    A company that provides free service to everyone suddenly won’t provide to us, because they aren’t getting paid? What sort of logic is that?

    I have phone, internet and TV with Cablevision. Now, thanks to ABC if I want to watch their network “free” I have to go buy a digital receiver or … change service provider!!!!! That’s nice.

    Extortion is a very poor way to do business.

    I don’t blame Cablevision for not bowing down to the “pay us or lose us” threat. I really don’t appreciate the ABC spin that puts the blame on Cablevision. It’s illogical, they didn’t take ABC off the air, that was their own choice. They didn’t hesitate to deprive the 3+ million of us in NY of their programming, while conveniently trying to escape responsibility for their actions by blaming someone else.

    Quite frankly, if ABC doesn’t respect us, or appreciate us enough to stay on the air, good riddance. I’ll watch your shows else where!

    Good luck getting a box tomorrow, but considering how quickly they tossed us out, do you really want to bless ABC with your very valuable eyes for Advertising dollars? (food for thought)

  • john

    People don’t understand. cable companies don’t make money out of broadcast basic channels , the price they charge is determined by the FCC. The way Cable profits is via pay per view / video on demand and maintenance fees for their equipment .And if a customer decides to upgrade their package or add internet or phone.Bottom line is you pay them for broadcast basic channels because you want a clear picture without the fuss of having to move an antenna around , because you want the luxury of getting a channel guide and access to all over the air channels that you wouldn’t get on an antenna . Be smart if ABC gets their way Cablevision wont raise basic prices but their internet phone service and any other package above basic is going to drasticly go up .ABC is a free over the air channel that gets paid by the advertisers and sponsors who get to sell their products to you the consumer , they are extorting cable companies while still getting the fat check from the sponsors . Don’t get in a hissy fit , cablevision runs without contracts so you can leave when you want to , but get in a contract with direct tv fios or dish and see what happens when they loose a channel in their line up .

  • Rob

    I’m in Brooklyn, and Cablevision is the single worst company I have ever dealt with. I canceled my service and switched to DirecTV over a year ago, and for 3 months, Cablevision continued to charge me, claiming I hadn’t returned the box, even though I returned it the day I canceled and had proof. I kept being told the problem was fixed and then getting another bill. It was an absolute nightmare. I spent hours upon hours on the phone with them. I don’t plan on ever using them again. Compared to that, DirecTV has been a dream. Every time I have an issue, I call up customer service and it’s fixed within moments. One time it went out for a day, I called up, and them took the charge for the day off my bill, no questions asked. They aren’t perfect but they are fantastic.

  • MaryAnn

    do you really want to bless ABC with your very valuable eyes for Advertising dollars?

    If I want to see the Oscars tonight, it seems I have no choice.

    I can’t find any sites that claim they’ll be streaming the actual ceremony that look legitimate.

  • i am puzzled by Lord Vader…er, Disney, er ABC’s decision. they are doing themselves out of 3+million who would be turned into their free ABC, and unable to escape the advertising if they want to watch the Oscars.. i read somewhere that $5 of my cable bill goes to ESPN (and the multiple ESPNs that are in my package level) a station i could *very happily* do without, among others. i want an ala carte system… i like TNT and USA and about a dozen others, and would happily pay by the station at this point… the oscars don’t mean all that much to me, but it is important to others, and they shouldn’t have to run out and buy antenaes to see a free station!

  • doa766

    “I can’t find any sites that claim they’ll be streaming the actual ceremony that look legitimate.”

    that’s because it’s illegal, but it will happen anyway, plenty of people will be streaming the oscars transmision from ABC, especially now

    but you should consider this a second choice anyway, quality is always bad and the stream is interrupted every time the buffering starts again unless you have over 10MB of MBs of speed

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