Cable Company Games


I just finished up a stint working for Time Warner Cable. Pretty soon, you’ll know them as Spectrum.

Here’s a little background on that merger, and if you have Time Warner, the pieces will fall together, explaining why your bills have taken such drastic jumps, why your cable keeps cutting out for no logical reason, your internet is slower than racing amoeba, and why your cable boxes still have fifteen cords sticking out of the back of them.

When Rob Marcus inherited Time Warner from his late predecessor a couple of years ago it was no more than a couple of short weeks before he issued out a statement saying that Time Waner was being bought out by Comcast.

Yes, as a newly appointed CEO, he didn’t get to work on furthering the company’s bottom line, or advancing its services to enhance customer experience. Markus jumped head-first into a long line of corporate negations to woo a competitive company for a major buy-out (and a quick and fat paycheck).

Government laws eventually dictated that the buy-out would create a monopoly and therefore was not given the green-light. Well, just days after this “mutual agreement” as Marcus deceivingly put it, it was announced that Charter Communications was going to take Comcast’s place and buy out Time Waner Cable. (The new name will be Spectrum.)

The corporate games continued without skipping a beat.

All the while Time Warner’s venders kept raising their prices, forcing customers to foot the bill, the already-old equipment was growing older, there were few advancements in the services (and even those bright spots came with major hiccups and laughable faults).

The corporate games continued and the millions of cable, internet, and phone customers were the dispensable pawns.

I always described Time Warner as a rock sitting beside a rapidly flowing stream. While the future and innovation swept past us into a world of wireless cable boxes, advanced cell phones, and fiber optics, Time Waner Cable sat idly by placing more emphasis in a bigger paycheck for corporate leaders once a buy-out took place.

To be sure, there are some happy Time Waner Cable customers out there. Somewhere… I’m sure. But a majority of people are disgusted by their services. And honestly, it’s not just Time Warner Cable. The cable industry as a whole is corrupted in the sense that we as a people have let them get away with increasing our bills every few months.

They play this game where they’re all in on it. Time Warner Cable knows that they’re going to lose customers to ATT, but after their bills go up after two years, they’ll come back. It’s a giant game of catch, and the customers are the balls. Except, they don’t have any.

You’ve heard the expression, “Your promotion has ended, so your bill is set at the new rate of [$30, $40, $60 more than you were paying].” And yet, people still keep cable! When it’s more than obvious that the next step in TV is online streaming, anyway.

People don’t seem to understand that if enough customers cancel their cable, cause the cable companies to shake in their boots a little, lose some revenue, they’ll rethink their unethical campaign games. Every single person would agree that cable bills should be a set price for life. End  of discussion.

But no one wants to cancel because they’ll miss the next episode of Walking Dead or the next big game. Even though that episode will be available to view on most online streaming outlets in just a few weeks, or that game will be on Youtube shortly. Yet, because you wanted to watch your show, you’re having to call in to your cable company again to put up a big fight about how your bill should not have raised.

But, at least you got to watch your show. Hope it was worth the $40 a month increase in your already-overpriced cable bill.

“But they make it so hard to cancel,” you say. Put your foot down. Don’t accept the bribes of $200 gift cards which, deep down you know you won’t qualify for due to some minor technicality. Stop giving in to the gimmicks.

I’m interested to know where my readers stand with all this. I know it’s way off topic from writing and adoption, but I’m seriously curious to know if you’ve all had a bad experience with your cable company, what you use it for, and what’s your preferred source of entertainment when it comes to TV? Leave your comments below and let us all know your thoughts!

Published by Andrew Toy

Writer when I'm not being a husband or dad. So mostly just a husband and dad.

26 thoughts on “Cable Company Games

  1. I’ve never paid for cable television. I’ve lived a few places where it was available, paid for by someone else (either a roommate or part of a lease) but I’ve never really watched it.

    A few years back I got a Roku device for streaming Netflix and Amazon, and I like that. I get the shows and movies that I want, no commercials, and it works on my existing data connection.


    1. You are a very smart person, and you’ve saved yourself countless headaches. I’ve never paid for cable myself, and plan on never doing so. I even went years without cable and (gasp!) survived! But Netflix is a good substitute.


  2. Dump your TV package and upgrade your internet. You will never ever go back. Netflix and all the pay services are top notch. And if you’ve crossed to the dark side you can torrent ’bout every movie and tv-show ever made, at any time, free and fast, in HD, about 15 minutes after it was on the TV.
    Misha’s Roku or the HDMI plug-ins and smart-tvs mean your TV doesn’t just go dark, it goes internet, Some can do wireless streaming from your media server, your tablet, your phone, whatever.
    I have Cox Cable here in PHX and they offer GigaBlast! Fiber to the house I believe. 1Gb down, 1Gb up, a terabyte of cloud storage. $100. This is where it’s going.

    PS: Not being a salesman, just a fan. God bless the internet.


  3. So much what thflg said. I decided many years ago that TV was not worth it and stopped watching. YouTube, Netflix, and the Internet in general easily provide my viewing needs. I’m patient; I can wait another week for an episode. I would way rather pay more for good Internet than the best deal any cable can give me.

    I guess the problem then occurs in places like my parents–they live in an area where the best Internet they can get is still not very good. They can’t stream anything at all, and if they could, they may drop cable because their bills are outrageous. The next step in this making cable reasonable thing is perhaps strengthening Internet everywhere so issues like that don’t crop up–people shouldn’t be stranded and stuck with something like cable because they can’t get the better product.


    1. Higher internet speed is much preferable. Because not only are you getting your entertainment “needs” met, but you’re given access to the world’s supply of information.


  4. Sadly, still watching TV and paying high cable bills. But resenting it at the same time. I think I need to just get more tech savvy and then I will dispense with cable TV. If nothing else, I’ll have more time….and probably more money, too.


    1. All I’ll say is this: When we don’t have TV in the house, they end up being the best days of our lives. It’s crazy how much happiness and life TV sucks out of your living!! And… you’re paying less.


  5. We had it for a year or so (like 8 years ago) but it didn’t take long for my dad to catch on (he’s very savvy that way), and soon it just wasn’t worth the cost/hassle. So we cancelled it not long after we got it. Haven’t missed it, I must say.


  6. I cut the cord two and half years ago. Aside from the expense, I was only watching three or four channels to the detriment of my writing. I turned off cable and managed to finish two manuscripts that had been languishing on my hard drive for over a year. Felt so good to be back to writing, I’ve not been tempted to go back :-).


  7. We gave up Cable in 2009 and have never looked back. We have Netflix instead. It’s $9 versus $80 or whatever they’re up to charging today.For shows we *must* have (My Little Pony for my daughter), I simply bought the season on Amazon. It shows on Saturday morning, she has it to watch by Sunday morning. We only let the girls have 1 episode of TV on weeknights and 2 episodes on weekends, so we we aren’t heavy watchers. DH would rather spend his hour or so a night after the girls go to bed with video games, and I spend it reading.


    1. Awesome parents! And yes, Netflix is a great substitute. Even if it doesn’t have all the newest episodes of every show, we quickly realize life goes on and we are actually free to enjoy it a little more! With more money in the wallet!


  8. Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner and commented:
    When TVs first came out we got a handful of channels for nothing but the cost of electricity to run the television. Cable always seemed like a great idea, but I have to agree with this article, their pricing is way out of control.


    1. Or whatever the next term is after “out of control.” I find it tragic that people constantly support the high cost of cable by continuing to subscribe to it. We need to send a message by unplugging our TV’s.


  9. I really believe that business in america is no longer about providing a service or a product, it’s only and all about making a profit. end of story.


  10. Comcast, Time Warner, DirectTv, Dish, they are all the same. Sign-up for a good rate, for 6 months to a year, but you are in a 2 year contract, and the last part is a complete rip-off. Appreciate the article, companies don’t seem to appreciate the customers.


    1. And I despise how unwilling we, as customers, are to take a stand against them. We’re continuing to feed the beast. It’s because of us they exist, and we allow them to continue with their abhorrent behavior.


  11. I absolutely DESPISE Time Warner Cable. I recently wizened up and left them in my dust, but only after 17 years of deplorable service. If you’re interested in a former customer’s perspective on the matter, read my blog post about the “break-up” at


    1. Love the article! They have caused more harm than good and I cannot wait to see them close up shop one day. But I think that’s only up to us as consumers…


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