Toledo Talk

INCREASE IN CABLE BILL

Got my Buckeye Cable bill in the mail today. A note inside says they've increased rates again. This is ridiculous! They increase their rates twice a year. I'm told it's because The Blade is in the red, and is subsidized by Buckeye Cable, which is also owned by the Blocks. At a time when unemployment is high, and a recession is going on, what a bunch of leaches. Maybe it's time to look into a dish. Anyone have that?

created by riley on Mar 21, 2009 at 07:47:09 pm     Comments: 29

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Boy I'd dump my Buckeye Cable tomorrow if I could find something else that would work for me. I use the VIP and need the internet and phone service. I send and receive a lot of large files over the internet. I really don't care much about the TV, I watch mostly local stations anyway.

I've had both Direct TV and the Dish Network. They are both pretty good except during a storm, but when I was using them, nothing was available for internet service so I got Byckeye Cable. I don't know what is available now on a dish. The only thing I like about Buckeye is the speed.

posted by AmericanPie on Mar 21, 2009 at 09:03:11 pm     #  

Learning about Buckeye's cable rate increase was the last straw for me. I signed up a week ago for the new AT&T Uverse. I'm not saving a lot but am getting a bteer value for no more cable tv than I watch.
Next to go for me is The Blade.

posted by angryconsumer on Mar 21, 2009 at 09:09:07 pm     #  

AT&T Uverse is pretty cool. Probably too many channels for me to watch, but I like it. You should check it out.

posted by hockeyfan on Mar 21, 2009 at 09:48:43 pm     #  

We have DirecTV, and honestly, I love it! But, as AmericanPie said, they currently don't offer anything for internet. We were having problems a few months back with our DVR, it was fritzing out and all we could get was someone on the other end of the line telling us "You really need to call when it's happening so we can see what's going on", yet they offer no direct number for such instances, so by the time we'd get through all their "Press # for this, press # for that" and would actually get a person on the other end of the line, it would be over and they'd tell us the same thing again. I finally blogged about it and amazingly DirecTV found me on Twitter and gave me a 1-800 number to call them at. Within 48 hours I had a brand spanking new DVR (different model) and the problems were gone.

They all have their good points as well as their bad, I pay $80 a month for DirecTV alone, but I have 5 receivers, and I don't have a super amazing channel package, just a little above the basic. But I've been with them over 3 years now and, for the most part, have no complaints. But I'm on the opposite end of what you are on, I'd KILL for cable out here in the woods! I tried to submit a petition to Buckeye to bring service out this way, signed by all my neighbors, but they said no can do. Tried Time Warner and Comcast, didn't even get responses from them. DSL is OK, but I like the speed of cable better. Only good thing about DSL is I only have to share the connection with the other puters in my house.

posted by justsimplyholly on Mar 21, 2009 at 09:50:45 pm     #  

We're actually planning to switch back to Buckeye Cable from DirecTV.

Not a big fan of DirecTV. We switched from Buckeye 2 years ago and have regretted it ever since...I've actually been counting down the days until our contract with DirecTV is over. :)

1) DirecTV is more expensive. (Even before you factor in the fact that we still use Buckeye for cable internet and no longer get the package price rate.)

2) DirecTV's service sucks. We were Buckeye cable customers for 7 years before switching, and never had a single problem. I made more calls to DirecTV in my first 3 months of satellite service than I did during my whole 7 years as a Buckeye cable customer.

3) Our dish picture breaks up during the slightest rain storm or wind. DirecTV has given us several "free" service calls, because we've had problems from day one. (Normally, you have to pay for a service call, but my husband has been pretty irate about the piss-poor service we've had so they comped a few service calls to us.)

  • You might wonder why we switched from Buckeye to begin with, since we were happy customers with them. Its because of the MLB baseball package - DirecTV had negotiated an exclusive deal to carry it for the 2007 season. My husband begrudgingly had us make the switch to DirecTV b/c god forbid he have to live without the baseball package. (lol) Anyhow...there was a big stink about the exclusive deal, and the cable companies ended up being able to carry the baseball package anyhow. We were so ticked b/c we were already locked into a DirecTV contract, and had so many service issues right from the beginning.

I'm so excited that we'll be out of our DirecTV contract as of the end of this month!!!!! :)

posted by mom2 on Mar 21, 2009 at 10:28:26 pm     #  

Holy cow holly...are you locked into a DirecTV contract that you can't get out of?

(Not trying to be presumptuous, but you've been pretty open about the fact that you're currently the breadwinner in your home. From what you've mentioned about things, sounds like it takes nearly 2 full days pay just to cover the satellite bill.)

posted by mom2 on Mar 21, 2009 at 11:04:12 pm     #  

@riley: Please get your facts straight. A friend of my parents said they just switched from AT&T to Buckeye's VIP package and is saving a lot of money. Not sure if you noticed, but all cable companies have raised their prices, even satellite carriers. Cable companies have too. HBO, ESPN, etc... always raise their prices that they charge to the cable companies, so how do expect the cable companies to survive with the increases they get. Also, cable TV and internet are luxury items. You could always keep the internet and watch shows on the internet free & legally.

http://www.engadgethd.com/2008/10/08/comcast-jacking-up-cable-rates-4-6-on-average/

http://www.engadgethd.com/2009/01/29/directv-pushing-prices-upwards-in-march/

So, you really need to understand the cable business before you start complaining about the prices.

posted by jashansen on Mar 22, 2009 at 12:19:24 am     #  

Buckeye Cable is a joke. Their customer service was horrible on both the consumer and business end. The pricing was always high compared to national competitors. I was glad to get away from them when I moved away and have used either Cox Communications or DirecTV since. Both have better by leaps and bounds. Granted there have been some bumps - cable goes out once or twice a year from a storm, storms don't mix with satellite - but nothing major. It is one of those things you accept. Had an issue with the satellite dish having a bad device on it, they had it replaced in no time.

It always cracks me up when people have major issues with a company, and then they always put in that they got overly irate. I did a good 5-10 years in the service industry from front line to management. The ruder you get, the worst service you are going to get. People forget who they are talking to (a human) and if you want sympathy, eh screw you once you get mean.

posted by JustaSooner on Mar 22, 2009 at 02:14:18 am     #  

Cable tv and Interent are luxury items? Really? Never thought about that. Thanks for the info, Jashansen. I'll be cancelling Buckeye cable on Monday. My sister cut Buckeye cable, and The Blade from her budget last month. My neighbor is thinking about it. I will forward your advice to her, too. In these tough economic times, no point in keeping cable. Thanks again!!

posted by dogsrule on Mar 22, 2009 at 03:59:59 am     #  

Mom2
Yup, locked in for about another year. And you figured it about right, it takes about 2 days pay to pay the bill.

We could drop one of the receivers because one of our TV's is no longer working, but there's even a HUGEASS fee for that. Oh, and how I got into this latest contract was by signing the paper the day they came to swap out the messed up DVR. I wasn't told that's what I was signing, and I had just gotten home from work and all I wanted to do was get the dogs to stop barking, so I didn't take the time to read it. Bad move on my part, I know, but I did learn my lesson.

posted by justsimplyholly on Mar 22, 2009 at 06:16:32 am     #  

JustaSooner -

If your irate comment was in reference to me...I did all the talking for our first dozen phone calls to DirecTV. (Literally, there were a dozen - I kept a log.)

As a former customer service worker myself, I'm always incredibly polite, patient, and understanding. They jerked me around and I didn't get any resolution whatsoever. They told me that we'd have to pay $80 for a service call to have someone check out our issue, even though every service person who came out said the problems weren't our fault.

It wasn't until my husband got irate that we finally got them to comp the service calls. (Even though all 3 of the different service men who came out said that it was the worst install job they had ever seen, and that DirecTV shouldn't be charging us for the call.)

I agree with you that getting irate on the phone is generally not a good idea. But clearly that was the only thing that motivated DirecTV to give us any assistance - the first dozen polite phone calls went nowhere.

posted by mom2 on Mar 22, 2009 at 10:02:12 am     #  

Ugh - sorry to hear that Holly. I figured you must be locked into a contract.

They can be a little tricky on that - we thought our agreement with them was for 15 months, and somehow it ended up being a 2 year contract. (I'm sure there was some fine print somewhere on one of our service calls too. At least it was only an extra 9 months, but that's still a long time when you're not terribly happy with the service!)

posted by mom2 on Mar 22, 2009 at 10:06:57 am     #  

All these statements here are opinions. Just because one person says Buckeye is a joke, the next will absolutely praise them. Another one says their customer service sucks... then another will say their customer service is rock solid. To each his/her own. Yes, I have Buckeye Cablesystem & love it. I've been a customer for several years & I like the idea that the money stays locally here in Toledo. Give your money to DirecTV or another company.

posted by jashansen on Mar 22, 2009 at 10:30:15 am     #  

MOM2
Dish network isn't much better. Something was constantly going wrong with that damn thing. I was paying 75 bucks a month for the next package up from their basic (which didn't come with crap. I finally got pissed and left them and went back to buckeye. now I'm paying 110 a month for tv,internet,and phone. Plus every time I've had a problem they've sent someone out free of charge.

I wish the internet was a luxury for me. I need it for both school and my businesses, so I absolutely need it and dial up wasn't cutting it anymore. That is another reason I switched back over to buckeye.

posted by lfrost2125 on Mar 22, 2009 at 11:08:55 am     #  

I was seriously thinking about switching back to DirecTV... only problem is that I can't get DSL where I live, which means I'd have to stick with Buckeye Express, which means getting that $10 surcharge for taking the Internet and not the Cable TV.

Still, I could save about 25/mo for about a year with a special DirecTV is running. And I reallly had no issues with them when I had them at an old apartment. If you're satellite is lined up good enough, the only time you'll have rain fade is if it's a torrential downpour... in which your cable would be going out anyways!

Plus, DirecTV showed Columbus Blue Jackets games on FSN Ohio. And that's a big ol' plus for me personally. :)

posted by TheTalentedMrC on Mar 22, 2009 at 11:32:55 am     #  

Mr. Hansen, of course these are just opinions, what else do we have except our own experiences? I love Buckeye, too, and have had no problems with them for more than 30 years, so that's another tick in the plus column for us. :)

Mr. C. not sure which cable you have but if you have Buckeye, maybe its your area. I'm on the East Side and I've had Buckeye since day one. It's been years and years since I've had an outage due to weather, sunspots or anything else. The horror stories I've heard from family about satellite services make me run home and kiss my converter box, lol.

posted by nana on Mar 22, 2009 at 01:06:55 pm     #  

If you want total "suck" service and poor quality try Time Warner Cable.

posted by Elmo on Mar 22, 2009 at 02:19:17 pm     #  

Knowing my days of doing business with Buckeye/Block were dwindling, I got my 2 coupons for the converter box. I hooked one of the TV's up today to it and get a fairly decent picture but it does fade in and out a bit. I think I may invest in a better set of rabbit ears. One of the drawbacks to AT&T U-verse is they were going to charge me a fee/charge for every TV I had hooked up to the service. I think I would have had to have a reciever for each TV.

This is my biggest issue with any of the cable or satellite providers. I only watch about 4 channels. CNN, Fox News, AMC and sometimes the Food Network. NONE of them offer a mega small package consisting of only what I want or an ala carte package. So paying Buckeye $52.00 per month to watch 3 or 4 channels just no longer made sense. At least with the switch to U-verse I am getting what I want PLUS a better value for my buck all while paying less per month. Additional factor was I do not have to have ANY contract at all. I can drop the service at anytime with no fee's or penalties to pay.

I am curious.....would anyone else be happy to have an offering from any of them where you would get just 5,6 or 7 Channels for a monthly fee of 15.00-20.00?? I know I sure would and I believe they would still be making a decent profit.

One last note.......I used to have Buckey Express Internet as well but their email service at that time was extremely undependable and once off the promo price the monthly fee was too high for my taste. I have called them 6-7 times in the last 2 months asking about getting a lower price or offering me a smaller package with the channels I want. They were unable to offer me any such thing.

Only time will tell, I may not be happy with AT&T either.

posted by angryconsumer on Mar 22, 2009 at 02:32:20 pm     #  

Honestly, if I had a choice, I'd do everything I have through Buckeye or another cable company, only because it's all on one bill. Each company (Cable or Satellite) has it's good points as well as it's bad. You'll have one customer who is totally thrilled with their services and another one who absolutely hates them. For 10 years I was a Buckeye customer, until I moved out to the country in 2005. They had far less outages than I've had with Satellite, and, in my opinion, the internet is much faster.

It wasn't until I hooked up with a customer service rep from my phone company (Embarq) on Twitter, that I was even the tiniest bit happy with my services through them. They charge totally outrageous prices for the same services that AT&T charge much less for, yet because they are my only option for phone and high speed internet, I'm stuck! And yes, I know I could go back to dial up for less than I pay for DSL, but, I'd much rather go without something else than even think about having to deal with dial up ever again!

If I were to combine my home phone, DSL and Satellite bills together, the cost is almost three times more than what most cable companies charge for the three services combined. So yes, if I had the option, I'd jump back to Buckeye in a heartbeat without ever looking back! However, the other companies can and do work with you a little better than Buckeye does, which goes back to them all having their good points as well as their bad ones!

posted by justsimplyholly on Mar 22, 2009 at 05:06:12 pm     #  

AC,
I think that if cable/satellite companies offered "ala carte" channel choices, you'd have customers who were MUCH happier! Out of all of the channels that we have with DirecTV, I promise you that we only actually watch 25-30 of them on a regular basis. I would live it if I could just pay for the channels that I actually watch and not get stuck paying for the crap I never pay attention to! But that will never happen!

posted by justsimplyholly on Mar 22, 2009 at 05:08:35 pm     #  

Thanks for everyone's opinion in this. I, too, wish we could pay a la carte. I probably only watch about half a dozen channels. The FEC last year expressed concerns on the increases in cable rates, and how people should be able to buy only the channels they want. Hopefully, we'll be able to do that soon. And Jashansen, do you work for Buckeye Cable? You were a little defensive about my post for someone who has no connection to it.

posted by riley on Mar 22, 2009 at 09:55:09 pm     #  

Oops. Meant FCC expressed concerns on the increases in cable rates.

posted by riley on Mar 23, 2009 at 02:16:34 am     #  

I had DISH Network for 7 years and I was very happy with it. Had a far better picture and very rarely had it go out because of weather. Much less than when I had Buckeye.

posted by deere1 on Mar 23, 2009 at 08:53:26 am     #  

im surprised so many people are doing a phone with buckeye. do you guys have cellphones too? we canceled our land line years ago. no sense in paying for multiple phone numbers!

posted by upso on Mar 23, 2009 at 12:32:09 pm     #  

Angryconsumer, i got the box and instead of the rabbit ears, i bought the antenna that looked like a stretched out bat its about 5 bucks more than the rabbit ears ($14.99 @ best buy)and the reception is so damn good that you can't even tell that its not cable.

I always had decent experiences with the cable company but unfortunatly, budget reductions forced me to forgo it temporarily. However if we could get att DSL, we wouldn't even need cable, but for some stupid reason ATT isn't available in some parts of e.toledo.

posted by tm2 on Mar 23, 2009 at 01:35:34 pm     #  

" im surprised so many people are doing a phone with buckeye. do you guys have cellphones too? "
-----------------------------------------------------------
Yes, I have a cell phone, and 2 land lines. One for home and one for my office in the basement. The cell phone is for business use only though and the home line if for all non-business calls. There are also some people that I do not want to have my cell phone number, so I give them my land line number.

posted by lfrost2125 on Mar 23, 2009 at 03:52:56 pm     #  

tm2-
I went to Radio Shack today (because it's so close)and picked up a new "box" style antenna. It's not power or amplified but it's giving me a perfect picture. This is just for the tv in the kitchen but nice to have a good picture without losing the signal on and off all the time. Thanks.

posted by angryconsumer on Mar 23, 2009 at 04:08:52 pm     #  

I have had directv for over ten years and I love it. I have SBC DSL for internet.
I like Directv for the sports mainly, and the picture quality is perfect. I renewed with them and got upgraded recievers and new dish. So I am HD ready now and and youget four local ch's included. Now I just need an hd tv.
Ron

posted by ronlandrus on Mar 25, 2009 at 08:09:07 am     #  

I'm sticking with Toast.Net for DSL in the toledo area-20 bucks a month, great customer service, and have only had about three problems in five years, two were with dial-up before I switched.

posted by Darkseid on Mar 27, 2009 at 03:38:40 am     #