As you may know Comcast sells broadband internet and cable television. I have had a frustrating time with these people since 1987. They have periodically goofed up my account or otherwise annoyed me. And I've been bombarded with offers from various and sundry providers of equivalent services at reduced prices.
But I didn't budge because they were providing a service I wanted despite the annoyance and there is something to be said for inertia.
Tonight I turned on my television and when I flipped on the Tivo, it said that I had a lineup change. They added one channel. And when I looked further I noticed about 20 or 30 channels had been deleted. Not really a problem except these were the channels I normally watch.
I called Comcast and asked what happened. They said there was a service outage. My wife, Mary, gave me some paperwork from Comcast. It said that the channels in question were "available only as a component to the Digital Starter Package." And after I asked the Comcast lady what this means her story changed. Oh, they'd done a service "upgrade" in my area. I asked what kind of upgrade takes away the channels I normally watch. And why didn't you tell me this story at first? She said they'd been running notices of the changeover for the last two weeks. Where? At the bottom of the screen? I hadn't seen anything of the sort.
Though the Comcast lady was very polite, I didn't believe a thing she told me. And since they had already deleted the channels I watch, the inertia situation was reversed.
Five minutes after I rang off, I googled ATT U-Verse. Yeah, they'd do everything Comcast does. And they'll do it cheaper? And they'll do the install on Thursday? Hello ATT. Good bye Comcast.
Update: Comcast has responded in the comments below (their customer service is much better than it used to be) saying that the channels weren't "deleted" merely moved from the part of the cable that I can use to a "digital tier" that I cannot.
This change to the way my cable works occurred without any warning that I was aware of. I was satisfied with the service and I was willing to proceed on this basis indefinitely.
No doubt Comcast can deliver programming on this "digital tier" with the addition of a conversion box. I presume this conversion box can be integrated with my Tivo boxes using a kludge Tivo provides called an "IR Blaster" that I've never bothered with.
Avoiding these headaches was part of that "inertia" I mentioned originally. If I have to hassle with the IR blaster hookup with Comcast's box, why don't I use ATT's U-verse?