Last month I tried to cancel cable TV. Let me tell you, the cable people really don’t want people cancelling cable TV. Told by Retention that I couldn’t do that without changing my no-longer-available internet plan and needing a new modem Because Reasons, I settled for a nice monthly promotional discount. Not my plan, but an okay outcome and I’m sure exactly what they expect customers to settle for. Then this month my rate went up!

After a series of phone calls in which I was:

  • Told that no, no record whatsoever of last month’s promotional rate change is in the system, sir
  • Told that Retention’s computers were down so they couldn’t actually make any changes today, please call back tomorrow
  • Told that, sorry, this line can’t forward you to Retention, you’ll have to call another number
  • Asked if I would be interested in adding wireless phone service
  • Given at least three different numbers for my internet-only rate without cable TV
  • Disconnected immediately upon finally reaching Retention once again and explaining my situation …

… I unplugged the fucking Tivo, put it in a paper bag, drove it to the Suddenlink office in my town, and spent ten minutes with a perfectly nice customer service associate who cancelled my TV service, verified that no further changes were needed to my internet plan or model, and wished me a good Friday evening. It was lovely and satisfying (not to mention cutting that monthly cost in half).

While I’m happy with my outcome, I’m angry that the upselling and blatant dishonesty about plans and rates is basically impossible to navigate past without the resource of a local storefront and personal flexibility. It occurs that this is a very particular privilege and I’m not blind to it, being nearby enough and free in a late afternoon to just go in to the office. Damn right next time I need anything from them I’m going straight to the shop again.