Where I don't care what others think

Vonage for TV

July 28th, 2009 Posted in Personal, Problems

I’m going to quickly complain a few things.

I have decided that my family’s Comcast bill is too expensive.  They offered us a promotion last summer to bundle our services and it worked out to a cost little above $100 a month.  This was a pretty good savings over the individual services, including this crazy long distance/local calling plan my mom had setup years ago.  After a few of the promotions have expired and the cost has nearly doubled… the main problem being that TV alone is running us close to $90 + fees.  Personally, I don’t feel like I’m getting my $90 worth of TV each month.  The internet (which I use far more than the TV) is much cheaper.  If the prices reversed, it might make more sense… because I’m not opposed to paying based on usage.  I understand that I can reduce the cost by reducing the channels, but adding removing available channels is a not a trivial thing.

Unfortunately like many others, we don’t have a viable competitor we can consider switching our service to.  Technically we could get a dish, but their “local channels” are really only “local channels large enough for us to care about” which excludes Channel 15 & 12, as well as the new Fox 6 [though Fox 6 has yet to prove its worth to me].  If DirectTV or the Dish Network carried Channel 15 and we could hide a dish behind the house I would look into switching… unfortunately that’s not an option.

Verizon Fios looks like someday they will bundle everything for us, and deliver it over delicious fiber cables, however they aren’t in my neighborhood and I haven’t heard anything about them in the area.  Someone needs to do what Vonage did for telephone service for the TV.  Ignoring some technical issues, I wouldn’t mind a box behind each TV that took in the internet and output channels for me to watch.  Yes, there are websites like Hulu that can enable me to rig up something like that… but it doesn’t beat live TV and the concept of channel surfing to find whats on.  Surfing a TV guide or listing of available shows just doesn’t present the same experience.

Also on the frustration list is Amazon, and their lackluster shipping services. While I don’t expect them to be a Newegg or anything like that, I expect that they’ll ship my stuff in a reasonable time… and when I pay them more for shipping I’d appreciate if they considered using that money to increase the shipping service.  Usually when I buy off Amazon I just use the “Free Super Savers Shipping” service because I’m in no rush to get my order and if they get it out the door within the week I’ll be fine with its arrival within 2 weeks of ordering it.  Last week (July 21) I placed an order on Amazon.  I got to the checkout process and decided to upgrade from the “Free Super Savers Shipping” to the “Standard Shipping” in addition to “Ship my order in as many boxes as you need to get it here fast”… at least that’s what the option meant.  My goal was to get these items to arrive within a week so logically, I paid for the slightly better shipping… the only paid service that wasn’t crazy like 2-day shipping.  Unfortunately I think that money I paid for shipping went into someone else’s pockets.. not the person who actually moves my package to me.

As it stands now, both items were shipped mailed via the USPS.  Now I don’t dislike the USPS… but I use them for things like letters, selling textbooks, etc… not items that I’m expecting any super outstanding delivery with.  One item “Left Seller Facility” on Wednesday July 22 at which point the it was driven around  the middle of nowhere until Monday when the USPS stated”Electronic Data recieved” which is where it stands right now.  I don’t even know if the USPS has the actual package… but at least they know about it!  The other one left a “seller facility” on Saturday, and the USPS acknowledged yesterday that it had electronic data on it.  Neither of them show their locations in the nation’s postal network, and neither of them show any sign of arriving today.  I would have really liked it if when I paid Amazon extra they would have given the package to someone in a reasonable period of time… and maybe given it to someone like UPS or Fedex who track a package effectively… never mind provide a timely delivery.

Upon arrival of these two items, I plan to write a letter to my dear friends at Amazon and inform them of my troubles.

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