Friday, May 01, 2015

1480 Con-Cast

When Cablevision was our TV service company, we made the checks out to CableVermin or CabalVision. They cashed the checks and raised the rates every time you turned around.

When Comcast was our TV service company, we made the checks out to Con-Cast.  They cashed the checks and raised the rates every time you turned around.

Stop turning around?  Not a solution.  They assumed you were turning.

We switched to a satellite company which also is no bargain.  But it’s fun to form a betting pool on when service will return after thunderstorms or snowstorms.

Comcast recently has become the garbage disposal of corporations.  You put your garbage in the sink, flip a switch and your castoffs become a gelled substance that easily flushes away.

They are the biggest of the big cable companies. They’ve bought NBC which they are fast turning into compost.  And they wanted to buy Time Warner cable.

Con-cast is the largest cable TV operator in the country.  Time Warner is number two.  Had the acquisition gone through, a techie having a bad day in Philadelphia would have been able to black out TV service for 20% of the American population or 60-million people.

Fortunately, the Federal Communications Commission says -- reluctantly -- no way. And thus ended the proposed acquisition.

Comcast is doing enough damage without becoming big enough to force you into total submission. Partial will have to do.

This “setback” is not going to change the way either of these companies does business.  Neither will stop using their customer service departments to pitch additional and often overpriced new “services.”

Neither will lower their rates.  Neither is likely to offer you a service menu where you can choose to pay for only those channels you’re apt to watch.

And neither will fail to feel the whiplashes of Netflix or Hulu.

They won’t meet the same horrible fate as the neighborhood video rental store.  But neither will they be able to burn money as an alternative heating fuel.

There’s a little schadenfreude in each of us, though. We can’t wait to see these giant pipeline companies humbled.  It’s not that we want to have their money or their already-near-monopoly power, we just don’t want them to have it.   

One of the smaller TV providers, FIOS, is considering at least sticking its toe in the water of viewer choice.  But even though FIOS is a part of the bloated Verizon Empire, it doesn’t have the clout to force the rest of the industry to follow.

And it’s hard to imagine a phone company that can’t bigfoot everything except Lockheed, ExxonMobil and the Pentagon.

Shrapnel:

--Readers of a normally reliable consumer magazine rated our local supermarket of choice first in the nation on all counts.  One thing they sell is irradiated beef, which they mark fairly clearly.  The half life is about ten years and the shelf life is 286 years... longer if frozen.

--What is this health faddist world coming to?  Pepsi is removing the sweetener Aspartame from its cola and Chipotle is stopping sales of GMO foods. So you can search and search and still not find a potato chip or a loaf of bread baked with lard.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2015

No comments: