Saturday, January 14, 2006


I Heart My Cable Company

I used to have a pretty sweet deal as far as my cable bill went. I had a friend who worked for my Charter Communications (official motto: No English speaking customer service reps by 2007!) and she made sure that I stayed on the “introductory” pricing plan. You know, the one they lure you in with – “Get 2 billion channels, blazing fast internet, a DVR, and thirteen llamas, all for the low monthly price of 7 cents!” What they don’t tell you up front is that after 3 months, they jack the price up to roughly the equivalent of Kate Moss’s cocaine budget. So I was living the easy life, hanging out with my llamas, watching Extreme Japanese bowling on channel 1047.6, when I got my last cable bill.

Turns out my friend is no longer with Charter, and had failed to realize that she was supposed to work there for the rest of her miserable existence so that I could get lots of stuff cheap. Kind of like my friends who used to be bartenders. I’m not concerned if you can’t pay for electricity on your current wages. I demand that you keep your job to make my life more pleasant. I’m selfless like that.

Anyway, I did some quick calculations, thinking I could kill the llamas and eat them, thus saving on my grocery budget, but it still wasn’t quite enough. In a moment that I can only classify as extreme stupidity, I decided to call Charter and see what my options were for saving money, while still keeping the channels and services I like. (I know we’ve all had great experiences with these type of people. In fact, Dusty Scott, who I will buy a beer for if I ever meet him, wrote about them here) I forgot two important things in this moment of clarity – 1. These people, even the ones who are American, have only a rudimentary grasp of what the rest of us know as “English.” 2. They apparently have a bonus structure in place where, each time they make my eye start to do the death twitch, someone gives them a wheelbarrow full of money. I called up, and to be honest, this girl spoke English. I mean, she could clearly communicate with any of America’s finest fifth graders, provided they were not in the honors classes.

I told her what I was trying to do (save a lot of money), and what I thought my best options were (turn off all of the movie channels and slow down the speed of my internet service). While this was all very interesting, she had a better idea that was less well thought out and didn’t involve any sort of problem solving skills. After she added up the cost of her idea (during which she kept saying random numbers out loud, I assume to make me think she was actually putting effort into this), it would up saving me almost nine dollars. Fantastic.

Just for kicks, I asked her how much my bill would be if we went with my plan for eliminating services. I had to repeat this, because apparently she was listening to circus music in her head while I had been speaking earlier. (How do they fit all of those clowns into that tiny car???) My plan wound up knocking over forty dollars off of my bill, but I did have to return the llamas. Just when I had gotten around to naming them, too…I’ll never forget you, Captain Sparky!

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