Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rep. Bob Goodlatte wrote a letter to Cox Cable for me


Rep. Bob Goodlatte wrote a letter to Cox Cable company and I got a call yesterday from Alisha a customer care supervisor.

At the end of April I called to negotiate the cost of my skyrocketing cable bill. I dropped TV stations I was previously told I could not drop without cutting the cord completely.

Of course I “acted” seniorly and did my best to sound like a social security dependent little old lady. (Not far from the truth.)

The fishy explanation from the Cox representative by Mr. Javaid in April was that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) doesn’t allow discounts and when I asked why they didn’t offer it to us little old ladies – I guess he thought he could tell this senile old lady anything.

He said that the FCC considers it discrimination. That’s right discrimination against young people I guess.

HA! I know people and my call to Mr. Goodlatte actually went somewhere. He wrote to the top honcho and I got a call.

It seems Mr. Javaid was trying to pull a fast one – go figure. There is no such FCC rule. Alisha said, “we understand your need to budget and pay a reasonable amount for such services.” She said she would be more than happy to pass the “senior discount package idea” along to the pricing team.

“That comment should probably not have been made,” she said. Oops, they know who he is and are going to give him some “feedback.”

She said I wasn’t the first customer to ask about a “senior discount” so “that is something we definitely can look at in the future.”

I have her direct number.


High cost of cable, the FCC and Rep. Bob Goodlatte help!

UPDATE May 2: LETTER FROM GOODLATTE says “I have contacted the FCC on your behalf regarding this matter. As soon as I receive a response, I will be back in touch with you.” This is in regards to the Federal Communications Commission not permitting cable companies to offer discounts for senior citizens.

April 29: On facebook last night a sponsored post by Cox Cable touting a cool ad they were producing about an Internet price special sparked hundreds of comments with most of them being complaints. Many asked why as loyal customers did they not get any of these “deals.” Playing the switch game to Verizon and/or Satellite was not a solution.

I chimed in since I just received my Cox Cable bill that had increased again after having negotiated a reduction of my $160 bill with them only a couple months ago.

On the facebook post comment thread a Cox helpdesk employee named Stephanie gave an email address saying to contact her with billing or service issues. I took her up on it immediately with details of the last 3 months of bills. I received an almost immediate response.

I made my case as a loyal customer never having switched back and forth with other providers to take advantage of “new customer deals.” I had been on the waiting list 14 years ago anxiously waiting for Cox’s broadband service. At the time there was NO special. I rented the modem, then purchased it for $75 not to mention that a technician had to come to my home for initial set up at $125. NO specials there!

A year ago I called as my bill increased beyond what I was willing to pay – $160. The problem comes in when you are promised a reduction plus a new TV channel(s). For example I was offered Starz but not told that the channels are only for a certain period of time and then your bill would increase.

So now I am documenting my call today with a Mr. Javaid. My  monthly $150 is now reduced to $126 with the removal of Starz channels I rarely watched and sports channels above 1311 I never watched. I agreed to a $5 HBO channels special for 12 months and if I hadn’t taken that my bill would be $121 a month.

My total bill includes basic landline phone and Internet.

I removed HBO many, many years ago because there was nothing on it but I’ll give the HBO channels another try for awhile at $5 a month. The $126 includes the premium package so I can get my cable news and my favorite Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

So last years call to Cox when I was informed my only option was to drop cable TV altogether because I had the “basic premium” channels and there was nothing lower was “not quite true.”

I hope I’m not calling back again in a few months getting a different story from Cox.

As a senior I asked didn’t they have a senior discount say like Kroger’s has on Tuesday’s “Senior Day.” You get 5% off your total grocery bill on that day if you have the patience maneuvering around some very slow buggy pushers.

According to Mr. Javaid the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) doesn’t allow discounts. They consider it discrimination. Say what???

Well that is when I turned to my congressional representative Bob Goodlatte. Do something about this Mr. Goodlatte. I’m sure my call to his Roanoke office will yield no reply but it certainly seems to me that such a bill ordering the FCC to allow cable or satellite providers to offer senior discounts at their discretion is a “no brainer” – if you are a politician that cares about seniors and wants my vote you better get on board.

Oh, and Dear Mr. President Obama don’t stab me in the back with that damn Chained Consumer Price Index (Chained CPI) either.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Commentary



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