Shock. People still feel intense dislike for their cable companies

In the latest Consumer Reports survey of cable companies, only one didn't get the lowest score for value.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer on

I've come to terms with my cable company.

I know our relationship is never going to be good. Once in a while, I'll call it on its mischief.

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In a few months, though, I know it'll be back to its old tricks. Because cable companies can't help themselves. They're like airlines, bathing in a nickel-and-diming pathology.

I seem not to be alone. The latest Consumer Reports survey of how people feel about their cable providers paints a predictably grim picture.

People have an intense dislike of cable companies, even when their prices don't go up.

For example, 45 percent of those whose services are bundled across TV, internet and phone admitted that they still enjoyed the promotional price they signed up for.

Which didn't seem to prevent every cable company but one enjoying the lowest possible rating for value. (Armstrong was the lone outlier.)

You just can't please some (most?) people, can you? Perhaps it's made harder when you're charging them between $185-$200 a month and they're not entirely sure what they're paying for.

Especially when it comes to fees.

Personally, I find one of the most twisted qualities of my relationship with my cable company is that, having gone paperless, I don't always notice when my bill has gone up.

They don't send you a highly paperless email, do they? They count on you not noticing and, when you do, being too lazy to argue over another five or 10 bucks a month.

I want, though, to find some joys in this survey.

38 percent of pay-TV subscribers said they were "very" or "completely" happy with their service.

Consumer Reports paints this as a terrible result. I'm astonished it's so high.

As cords are being cut all over America, it's moving that almost 40 percent of people might be happy with the price of their sports channels, HBO and, surely, their HGTV.

Everyone watches HGTV. Relatively few admit it.

It seems, though, that there is one possible light that shines: Google Fiber.

Its users insisted that it was really rather good across facets such as ease of use and, wait, customer service.

Google knows something about customer service? I hadn't been aware that the mere concept of an animate customer was appreciated in the land of the advertising-funded engineering potentate, never mind the concept of servicing that customer.

Of course, customers in this survey whined about the fees that appear out of the twisted minds of cable company executives.

Surely every cable company has by now adopted the fee-processing fee.

It pays, some of these respondents said, to contact your cable company and haggle.

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But how many can be bothered to do it time and again when they can be watching Interstellar for the 10th time instead?

Cable TV is there to numb you. Cable companies want to do the same. Indeed, have you noticed that, for example, Comcast has tried to distance itself from its previously hated past?

I'm not sure how well it's working. The latest American Consumer Satisfaction Index came out in May and offered an even grimmer sight than this new Consumer Reports survey.

One sentence from the report reads: "Customer satisfaction with subscription television service falls 3.1 percent to an ACSI score of 62, an 11-year low."

Comcast and Charter, for example, scored lower for customer satisfaction than airlines or even the IRS.

Perhaps cable companies need to increase the dose of numbing drugs.

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