Dealing with a major American cable company, we get many many customers calling in who are days away from having their cable disconnected because they can’t pay their bills. The fact of the matter is, they can’t afford to pay the bill and really shouldn’t have the service to begin with. The following scenario isn’t just one customer I’ve had to deal with, it’s an example of an issue I deal with multiple times a day.
Me: Again, Mrs. White, the last time you called us we told you that you needed to make a minimum payment of $xxx.xx in order to avoid service interruption. You didn’t do that.
Mrs. White: but I need to make the payment arrangement. I don’t want you to turn off my service, I need it.
Me: I’m really sorry, but you haven’t made any of the previous payment arrangements. We can’t give you another one. It also shows that the representative advised you to remove some services so your monthly rate isn’t so high. I notice that you didn’t do that. You’re paying for Showtime and HBO, which is costing you an extra $23 a month. Would you like to remove them?
Mrs. White: No, I need those channels. I can’t get rid of those.
Me: Sorry Mrs. White, your services will go off tomorrow and I can’t apply an extension.
Mrs. White: *begins to cry*WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITHOUT MY CABLE? (This is where I SHOULD have suggested she pick up a book, but again, I value my paycheck) I’m switching to(competitor)
Me: With all due respect Mrs. White, (competitor)
In my 5 years at this call centre, I have learned one key thing. You can do absolutely anything to an American- steal from him, lie to him, even push his grandmother down the stairs- but do not shut off their cable. They cannot live without it. I found a really interesting article here about how cable should be one of the first things to go during a recession, but Americans as a whole just aren’t able to make the cut.
This video also goes into detail on how addicted to cable Americans seem to be. It’s quite sad, really.
If you read a lot of books, you're considered well-read, but if you watch a lot of TV, you're not considered well viewed.