Thursday, August 4, 2011

...and the man in the suit has just bought a new car from the profit he's made on your dreams...."

My job normally consists of listening to customers complain about their bills. Whether they’re disputing charges or questioning a recent rate increase, it’s my job to go through the bill with them and help them to understand exactly what they’re paying for. All this information is listed in black and white on their bill (and the important stuff is highlighted in green so it’s next to impossible to miss), which would make you think that my job is pretty pointless, no? Luckily for my bank account, 95% of our customers don’t know how to read.

Now I really don’t mind doing this, because sometimes it can be a bit confusing. I do understand that and I’m more than happy to go over the bills with people who have genuine questions on their bill. The ones that really bother me are the ones that insist on fighting me over everything.

Just to be clear, your cable, internet and telephone service is provided to you by a company. Companies provide a service to you in order to make money. If programming costs go up, unfortunately your bill has to as well. Cable is a luxury, not a necessity, and it is not my fault that your children won’t eat this week because you’re two months past due and refuse to remove the 35 dollars a month you’re paying in premium channels from your account (and yes, I’ve been accused of this in the past).

I understand just as much as anyone how tough times are, especially in the United States (where my customers live), which is why I do everything I can to help them lower their bill. At the end of the day though, you have to help yourself. Telling me you only want to pay $5 for a service that costs $7 isn’t how this game works. We tell you what the services cost, and if you want them badly enough, you pay for them. There is no negotiation. Sometimes you have to go without, no matter how much you want something. This is a mentality that my parents instilled in me from childhood, yet the vast majority of my customers can’t seem to grasp the concept.

This article outlines what Americans waste their money on the most. Americans spend an average of 2% (or $975) of their disposable income on cable TV. This may not sound like a lot, but when you consider that this rate was $459 in 1989, you see that it really is quite a leap. The scary part is that the income category of $5,000-$9,999 was the group that spent the largest portion of their budget on TV. Is it really true? The less money you have, the more you spend on cable? Tell me if I’m not making any sense here, but I really think it should be the other way around. Why spend your hard earned money (that you obviously barely have in the first place) on thousands of TV channels? Do you really need all of them?


  1. I can't afford Cable TV so I do without.
    But I spend too much money on fast food...

    But yay for your paycheck because people can't read. :P

  2. TV shows are available online anyway, so you're not missing anything!