Who is the best TV provider in the United States? That’s a tough question to answer as it really depends on where you are…even your neighborhood. Here is a rant on who not to pick and why they’re all terrible:
I live in Wichita, KS right now and out here Cox is the big cheese when it comes to cable. Of course there are the other options such as Dish with their “Hopper,” DirecTV which is the alpha dog of the satellites AT&T’s U-verse, and the list goes on. Growing up in the Midwest I’ve always been tied to the ground so cable always made sense to me. If your TV comes from the air…and the air is full of wind, hail, and tornadoes ..how can you have a reliable picture. I always picture people watching the weather report during a tornado waiting to see what county will be hit…then the dish moves a centimeter and the TV goes to static. They go outside to adjust the dish, a flying cow knocks them unconscious, and the twister scoops them up and tosses them in Nebraska (which is where tornado trash goes to die). Okay…so maybe that’s kinda the plot from the terrible movie Twister where Bill Paxton and What’s-Her-Name from Mad About You chase tornadoes around Kansas and witness flying cows while the twister makes monster-growling sounds and jumps down out of the sky from the cone of silence. Sorry to burst your bubble…twisters don’t do that.
Anywho! When I lived in NYC and UpState Time Warner was the head honcho and they had their issues for sure…but it was better than rabbit ears which back then was you only alternative. Dishes were ridiculous in the Adirondacks because they were so unreliable and nothing sucked more than having a quaint cabin in the woods…with a big ole dish sticking off the roof. Besides…KAFOOMPF! A tree branch just took it out. In San Francisco Comcast won my business and they were fantastic…but they seem to have crumpled and invested their interests into this Xfinity crap. Anytime you have to offer a free pre-paid credit card to sign-up…its not a good idea to sign up. I’ve heard people talk about how much they LOVE their U-verse but everyone I know said it was such a nightmare getting it setup that they have stuck with not because of how great it is…but because they don’t want to mess things up switching back. So I’m stuck. Who’s the best and what can I do?
Since moving to Wichita three years ago I have been beyond displeased with Cox Cable. I have made sure to let them know this and in response they have managed to find a way to make their service worse each month. At first it was just a few issues here and there, the tech would come out, and then all would be fine. Then…year 2…it all fell apart. The TV freezes and gets tiled all the time, the internet slows to a halt at 8pm every night, and the phone rings half a ring once…then nothing for 30 seconds till the answering machine picks up. I reset the modem twice a week, have to power off the DVR all the time and reset, and I think the only reason we have a home phone anymore is to call Cox and complain. Seriously…I call Kate at home and we call Cox. That is it. So maybe it is time to un-bundle?
In the past few months I’ve had multiple techs to the house, replaced the modem, replaced the line from the pole to the house, replaced the lines from the box to the wall plates, replaced the DVR twice, replaced the modem, and so on. Last night the TV started freezing and tiling as it always does when there is no technician near by. I tweeted to Cox that this was happening and their help team went right to work…which always makes me laugh. Its cute. These nice people (and they are very nice people) sitting at a desk somewhere trying to fix the problem by looking at diagnostics. It’s not the diagnostics kids…its the crappy cable service that needs to be boosted in this neighborhood. So the desk-tech tweets back to me last night, “I’d like to help. Can you DM the MAC ID of the modem so I Can be sure everything is set up correctly?” This ticked me off. I’m contacting them about my TV not working and they’re asking to look at my internet modem. That’s like me going to the doctor for a sore throat and he examines my foot. The tech tells me she sees an error on the modem she wants to fix. There is always an error on the modem. Every day there is an error on the modem. That is what the modem does…it errors. Fine, whatever, “fix” the modem Sherlock. She fixes the error, tells me there is nothing wrong with my TV, and asks to schedule a technician to come out. Understand…there was a technician at my house 4 days ago who said everything was good to go. Now, apparently, I need another new DVR. Sure. Why not. It will give me an excuse to watch that Duck Dynasty marathon I recorded and relive the heartbreak of the Shockers losing to Louisville in the Final Four. So we arrange for the tech to come and she pats herself on the back as she informs me my internet should be fully functional now that the error has been corrected. Yay! The error is corrected! Whippie!!! Its fixed (till the next time it errors). Whatever. Goodnight.
So the internet doesn’t work in the morning. Turns out she unregistered it or something and now the modem we have (which was installed by Cox 4 days ago) is not a Cox approved modem. I call in because now this needs to be addressed by someone with more responsibility than Twitter etiquette and after 30 minutes of holding I get a real person! She has a plan! She does it! It disconnects me from the phone. “Screw this!” I reset the modem and it works. Great. Now I have two days to ponder how loyal I am to Cox and if I would switch to Dish or DirecTV. The trouble is Cox has KS22 which is the Wichita State Shocker channel…so I can watch all the games…and that is VERY important to me. I’m going to have the Cox technician replace the wall plate at my DVR and the DVR this weekend and get him to escalate the issue to a neighborhood-wide problem so the guys with the cranes and diggers have to come so I can watch Game of Thrones and The Voice without issue…because these are the problems I have to deal with as a middle-aged American. So bring on the beer koozie and the Cheetos…that butt-groove in the couch didn’t happen by accident…that takes dedication. We need to get this TV working people so I can record meaningless crap to lull me to sleep instead of engaging myself in meaningful conversation or activity. Who will relentlessly make fun of Lady Antebellum on Facebook if I don’t have a working modem and internet connection? Who I ask you? Whooooo? They are the Dane Cook of country music and must be stopped!!!
So…who is the best? If I had my druthers I would get Comcast…but that is not an option. Cox is a great option if you live where the rich people are and they service it regularly, add fiber-optic cable, and send a crane if you can’t program the remote by yourself. DirecTV sounds like the best but internet and phone are spotty…plus no KS22. I’m going to keep bugging Cox and make them fix their crap and get discounts since I’m paying full-price for something that doesn’t work like it is supposed to. If I move out of Wichita and the reach of KS22…I’m switching to DirecTV, ditching the phone, and TBD on internet.
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