Dear Time Warner Cable,
When you sent me that happy little email at the beginning of the year saying you were going to give me Showtime for free for three months, you weren’t fooling anyone. I knew the rate hike was coming. It was inevitable. But, I held on to a bit of hope that you were offering the premium channel (of which the kingdom has only watched two movies in these six weeks) as a peace offering for all the rate increases you imposed last year.
So, perhaps I am a fool after all. I should have known you would never do anything “nice” like that.
Then, it happened. You lost service during the game. The big game. The big show. The one event all year that pretty much every American household has on for one reason or another. One minute I was enjoying the commercials (and the game, even though it wasn’t a great game, because, hey, I like sport), and the next minute I had a black screen. No more game. No more commercials. No halftime show. No nothing.
I tried to call you, but you were being bombarded by so many irate customers that you all I could get was a busy line. I tried to look up your email so I could send you a note asking when service might be expected to return, but so many people were doing the same thing that your website crashed. It was a customer service fail of monumental proportions.
I finally did get an email off to you, the next day, asking how you were going to make this right. I paid for a service, and you did not provide that service. You needed to do something to balance the situation.
And you did. You offered everyone who lost parts of the game a free movie from your decent selection of On Demand titles. Not bad. Not great, but there are some who might argue you didn’t have to do anything at all. Obviously, I’m not one of those, but I can temper my expectations of restitution. (Apparently, I can also use some big words.)
Anyway, I’ll take it. I like movies. I like free movies even better. And since the arrival of the Little Prince I don’t have the opportunity to watch new movies as frequently as I used to. So, having them available from the convenience and comfort of my home, well, that’s just fine with me. And, it was another peace offering. Another effort on your part to show your existing customers that you do care about them.
I won’t lie. My level of hope raised a bit then. I thought, perhaps, given the circumstances, you wouldn’t raise rates again. You would eat all those additional costs that you are constantly complaining about… At least for awhile.
But then the new bill came. In the same month where you lost coverage of that one football game. It came with a lovely letter explaining how much you value my loyalty and apologizing for having to transfer the new costs you are incurring onto me. It was well worded. It showed me how much you truly care… about your new customers.
I understand business. I get it. You have to have the attractive, shiny, products to get new customers. That makes sense. But, it doesn’t make sense to continually charge your existing customers more and more, especially when there are so many other service providers at our disposal now. Because you will start to lose your existing customers, and then you will have to lower prices further for your new clients to replace those numbers, and raise prices more for your existing clients to offset the costs, and you will create a vicious cycle you will not recover from.
You may not miss me when I’m gone. And I will be gone soon, right after I watch my free movie. But, if there are other people out there like me, and they are as fed up with you as I am, the mass exodus could eventually destroy you.
I hope it does.
Enjoy my money for one more month. I’m going to get as much value out of it as I can. Showtime here I come. On Demand freebies here I come. Preview weekends here I come.
But then I’m cancelling.
I won’t miss you.
What about you, faithful kingdomites? Have you cancelled any of your services because of poor customer service or rising prices before? Should I pay for Hulu? Should I rejoin Netflix? Are you a dish household?