If cable companies said true things

The saddest part of this video by Extremely Decent Films [NSFW-L] isn't that it's true, or that it's supported by our governments, or that it's merely representative of many anti-consumer media and technology infrastructure oligopolies, but that we tolerate it to exist.

Does this sound like your cable company? Your cell carrier? When did that become okay?

Source: Extremely Decent Films via The Loop, thanks Anthony!

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

If cable companies said true things


LMFAAAAAOOOOOO!!! Soooo true! Annnnd that's why I will not get cable when I get my own place. I'll just pretend I am living in an age where TV is non-existent and when I see a show that I like or see people on FB saying how much they love The Walking Dead (which I got addicted to because of this reason as well as American Horror Story), I'll just wait and buy the Blu Ray of the season or download episodes ($ of course). Or just catch up by watching missed episodes online....much less commercials at least and completely free!...Other than paying for internet. No ridiculous 15-30 mins of commercials and no ridiculous cable company to tell me what I better pay. Cheaper, and I get to own the episodes/shows. More than worth it. And that's what I would say to the cable companies, F YOU. What a good find on a Good Friday. ;-)

You can buy a full season of a TV show every month for the cost of cable. No ads, no commitment and you own a copy of the media. It's absolutely worth not having TV. My wife and I use Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (and an occasional RedBox or Digital Rental). I've turned my cable company into a dumb pipe and I'm sure they hate it.

Fwiw, you don't technically own a copy of the media, merely a single license to play it. You therefore don't have the right to copy or otherwise distribute it. (Not saying I agree with that policy, just wanted to clarify.) I don't pay for cable or phone service and I use monthly, contract free wireless home internet for my connection as well...use my Apple TV for all media consumption:)

I'd also point out that this video applies to the wireless carriers as well (well...at least AT&T, Verizon, & Sprint in the US). The worst part isn't even that people tolerate, THEY DON'T EVEN REALIZE HOW POORLY THEY'RE BEING TREATED! Seriously, most people are complacent and find the behavior rational because it's what they're used to. More than anything, we need increased education and consumer rights advocacy.

If you purchase a Blu Ray disc you own a hard copy and fair use terms apply, you do not own a license to distribute it (as you pointed out). If you buy a movie on iTunes or Amazon, you do not own a copy, you own a license to watch the movie.

You're right on about the wireless carriers. Few things are more convoluted than trying to figure out what you're paying for and why on a wireless contract. I wrote a post on my blog about T-Mobile's new plans, the gist was that at the very least they tell you up front exactly what part of your money goes to buying the phone and what part goes to paying for the service. That clarity is huge. (if you want to read my post find me on Google+ or Twitter).

Yeah, I have Netflix (they just asked me to come back to them for a free month, haha)....but I know there aren't new shows on there etc, it's just that there ARE shows on there....you can't really be bored....watch a classic, watch something different, watch what others have said was good, but to you you've never thought you would watch it....and may be surprised to see how good it actually is. You always have the option to stop watching it whenever you want and move onto another show....or heck, even a Tom & Jerry's classic cartoon! lol. (Not sure if that is on netflix, but you get the point). And Andrew you have Amazon Prime...even with two of those (plus you're getting benefits of shipping with Prime) or Hulu Plus or now the up and coming Verizon/Redbox, it's so much cheaper still to have two services. All for the benefit of you watching what you prefer for a much lower price all while you're taking advantage of your ISP as well. And if you need to watch a game or something....there is always a friend/family or the bar. Get out and get noticed ;-)

It became okay when they learned how spineless the people were and easily fooled they were. The found that people would pay more so they raised the prices and when people did start to complain a little they called it inflation and raised the prices even more. And in the US cable and Internet provider choices are slim if you have any choice at all. All ridiculously expense after the first 6 months or first year.

Lol that is so funny yet so painfully true. It's quite sad companies get away with this crap. Reminds me of Seinfeld when Kramer was hiding from the cable guy lol.

If you call and complain enough they will come with some deal for you. Comcast does not like to see my number on the caller ID.

Not sure whether to laugh or cry...probably both. I don't know about in Canada, but in the US it became accepted as soon as governments found it convenient to accept money from cablecos. From the early days of municipal charters granting regional monopolies, to later day lobbying to lower the definition of "broadband" to avoid having to invest in their networks with public funds they were given for that express purpose, ISPs have been able to manipulate the law for their own ends.

More recently, when cities get fed up with it and even go so far as vote their own tax increases to lay their own fiber, ISPs buy legislators to outlaw the practice.

Montecello, Minnesota managed to create such a network, but only after years of legal battles, and state reps introduce a bill to ban the practice in other cities each session [ http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2012/03/26/ground-level-bro... ]

ISPs in North Carolina were quicker on the draw, passing statewide bans *before* any city could implement plans [ http://www.wired.com/business/2011/05/nc-gov-anti-muni-broadband/ ]. Other states are expected to follow suit.

Starting a network is a tall order, so as long as the existing companies refuse to improve *AND* can buy the legislative clout to forbid the public from doing it, the only hope is that private entities with other agendas (e.g. Google with Google Fiber) swoop in. And that is going to be a long time coming.

This was the funniest video! The sad thing is the appears to be so true. I don't know why I feel these companies are saying that about me "Fu@k You" and take what we give you. ROTFL.......

This was the funniest video! The sad thing is the appears to be so true. I don't know why I feel these companies are saying that about me "Fu@k You" and take what we give you. ROTFL.......

Totally true...Le sigh. In North Carolina you can choose from Time Warner Cable and...Time Warner Cable. Try to break it up a little, TWC for Internet, Directv, and Verizon for cell. Either way, this getting ripped off.

The reason large corporations do what they want to do is because we have a plutocracy, not a democracy, in the USA and most of the world. Cable companies are just another symptom, among many.

Yes. I don't know why America (or Australia, where I am) doesn't have the imagination to vote different. We keep going safe even though it's a proven fail.

Next time the vote comes up to add 7 more service providers to choose from in my area, I'll be the first in line. Till then, while this is important to me, I'd rather my representatives did something about bigger problems than the cost of TV.

Lets keep it simple for one a business is in a business to make money. Wages, health cost, programming, etc all tie into the pricing. Many of you work right? So so you under value your service? Do many of you that own a business and run it charge the bare minimum? I think not.... Unless you work in this industry do you really understand what happens on the financial side? What costs are to networks? Franchise fees to the cities you serve?

As for service quality it's all about the company and if they are investing into their network to provide the beat service possible. Not every situation is the same a person living in a 70 yr old apartment probably won't get the same service quality as someone in a newly build apartment and so and so on. Ultimately many people has a choice. So choose the best one that works for you.

Simple as that...

Yup. And that problem won't be solved before people just realize they can pay for episodes of the shows they actually watch and come out ahead. Once enough people start doing that I think cable companies MIGHT change their business model around a little bit.

Since we're talking about choice, all many people want is a choice to watch a channel like say, comedy central or history for example, without being forced to choose the digital premier premium plus package which forces you to choose 57 other channels you'll never watch and comes with $125 /month price tag or whatever. The cable company has the right to make money yes, but that situation is just taking advantage of being the only provider of content. You follow 4 shows? Too bad, here's 200. Now pay us for this great service.

and that's why there are these cool services called Hulu, Netflix and Prime. Pay $8/m and pick and choose what you want to watch.

Part of that is the market. I don't like it either. But one problem is the smaller channels don't make money. They can't survive alone. For example, ESPN & Disney channel basically funds all the other nine useless crap channels. So when the cable company sells a network a channel it's a package deal. To get ESPN you have to take ESPN News, ESPN U etc. Why? Cause if they don't they won't be able to get them exposed cause their userbase is too small. Another example is like Discovery. they make discovery channel, animal planet, the learning channel, military channel. Now problem is they are sold as a package. That's fine if you want all, but if all you want is military package then ala cart means it doesn't have enough viewers to be self sustaining. And what happens. Well that network goes away. Me i don't care personally cause i don't watch any but for example it's an issue for me cause i like soccer. Fox Soccer barely pays it's bills. And if they only keep the ones that are profitable Fox Soccer goes away. they'll keep Fox News and Fox Network. And i don't want that American Idol crap. So it's a trade off.

you may get to pick the channels you want but you may have to pay a bunch more to offset the discount that comes because it would have been sold at a discount as part of a package from network to cable company. In the end you may pay the same or more.

If stand-alone channels can't support themselves à la carte than they don't need to exist. They should consolidate their best, most-popular programming with other money-losing stand-alones until they have a viable product; or look into alternative broadcasting options (such as web-only) that they can afford to support.

There's a "military channel"?! Holy crap!

Actually, I thought that was already taken, i.e., Fox, CBS, ABC, CNN, NBC, etc.

I agree with much of what you say, however there is a big "BUT", and that is that most people don't have any choice. There is one cable company and that is all you have. It was like that when i lived in SF, In LA (changing a bit now with verizon), DC, Chicago. There wasn't a choice.

Hahaha this is soooooo true. I think we could sub cable companies with cell providers. I mean come on 4G LTE is faster than most cable Internet packages and AT

Haha great clip! Thats why I dont have cable. Im not paying a small fortune to watch 5% of the channels im payin for

Hahahah this is just 100% true, company always care about money and not costumer satisfaction, and always think that they are the best when they are not

Wow. Hundred percent true. They have ramped up how much they can screw us by learning over the years that people are easily stepped on and don't know enough to realize they are being cheated out of their money, or better yet..scammed.