How Much Bad Service Should I Put Up With?

What's Hot


2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

A reader asks about how to receive better customer service from the cable company. The answer? You might not be able to. But there's still a happy ending.

The following post comes from Christopher Elliott at partner site Mintlife.

A question from a reader…

I’m having several problems with my cable company and could use your advice. This has to do with the promise of a free cable modem if I started Internet service.

When I took them up on the offer, they withdrew it. And even though I have the offer in writing, the company refuses to acknowledge any of my correspondence.

I’m also unhappy with the service. They’re slow to respond and I experience frequent service outages.

Phone calls and emails to their customer service department have accomplished nothing for me. I’ve gotten even poorer results from their top management via email — they just ignore me.

How far do you think I should go? Should I start sending letters to the media? Does anything work? Or should I just drop it all and live with the problems?
– M. Weiss, San Diego

Unfortunately, your experience is the norm. The latest American Customer Satisfaction Index report suggests cable TV services “underwhelm” consumers.

The average customer rating score for the industry is 66 out of a possible 100 – a score that’s held steady for the past three years.

Indeed, cable TV is the third-lowest rated of all the industries, topped (or shall I say “bottomed”) only by airlines (65 out of 100) and, ahem, newspapers (64 out of 100).

But you don’t have to put up with it.

First things first

Take a look at your “free cable modem” offer. Is there an expiration date?

If you don’t see one, you’re entitled to your free modem, no question about it. If your cable company ignores you, take it to small claims court, which doesn’t require you hire an attorney.

Could you go without cable?

As to your question about customer service – that’s a little bit more difficult to answer.

Cable TV companies often have a monopoly in a neighborhood, so you can’t “shop” around for service. You may feel as if you’re stuck.

The alternatives, such as a dish-based network, might not be any better; I won’t even suggest that as a plan B.

Let me tell you what I’ve done. I got rid of my cable TV service years ago when I realized the company was taking me for granted, charging me for services I didn’t want, and didn’t have a clue about good customer service.

I adapted. I started watching movies online and on DVD. I went to a friend’s house to watch live TV events, like the Super Bowl. I turned to the Internet for the news.

And it worked – I’ve been cable-free for more than a decade.

If you’re saying to yourself, “I could never live without my ESPN,” or whatever your favorite network is, then maybe it’s time to rethink your information needs.

Because it sounds like your cable habit might be feeding a dysfunctional, customer-hostile business.

Finally, should you go to the media with this problem? Well actually, you already have.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: Considering a Fixer-Upper? 15 Ways to Avoid a Money Pit

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,968 more deals!