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Americans Hate TV and Internet Providers More Than Other Industries

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the show-of-hands-who's-surprised? dept.

Television 255

An anonymous reader writes "According to a new report by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, subscription TV providers and ISPs were the industries Americans disliked the most over the past year. 'Over-the-top video services, like Netflix and Hulu, threaten subscription TV providers and also put pressure on ISP network infrastructure. Customers question the value proposition of both, as consumers pay for more than they need in terms of subscription TV and get less than they want in terms of Internet speeds and reliability.' Unsurprisingly, Time Warner Cable and Comcast are the companies with the most dissatisfied customers. The ACSI said, '[I]t's a concern whenever two poor-performing service providers combine operations. ACSI data consistently show that mergers in service industries usually result in lower customer satisfaction, at least in the short term. It's hard to see how combining two negatives will be a positive for consumers.'"

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Not me (4, Insightful)

rossdee (243626) | about 3 months ago | (#47054513)

The industry I hate the most is the fossil fuels industry
Not just because of global warming, but mostly because they control the politicians and stop anything being done about it.

Re:Not me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47054537)

Tired of paying to put gas in your guzzler? Boo hoo poor you.

Try walking sometime, you lazy fuck.

Re:Not me (1)

Andtalath (1074376) | about 3 months ago | (#47054547)

That is basically the opposite of what he was complaining about.

Re:Not me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47054555)

He's just complaining because he doesn't control the world.

Re:Not me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47054815)

He's just complaining because he doesn't control the world.

I'm sure things would be so much better if I did

Re:Not me (-1, Offtopic)

rossdee (243626) | about 3 months ago | (#47054627)

"Tired of paying to put gas in your guzzler?"

I don't own a car, and the mower is electric.

"Try walking sometime"

I walk just about everytime, unless its raining, or extremely cold (below 240 kelvin)

Re:Not me (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47054663)

Does a large cloud of smug follow you everywhere you go?

Re:Not me (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47055007)

Only when he's wearing his lycra biking outfit.

Re:Not me (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47054691)

Someone lives next to work it seems

Or you walk 200km?

Re:Not me (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 3 months ago | (#47054975)

Someone lives next to work it seems

Or you walk 200km?

Someone obviously doesn't live in Florida. Where the same word means "pedestrian" and "target".

Re:Not me (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 3 months ago | (#47055001)

How do you think it affects the goods you buy? They don't walk themselves to stores you know...

Re:Not me (1)

makapuf (412290) | about 3 months ago | (#47055171)

Yeah sole of them can come by train .. Ah except the railroad network has essentially be killed by big oil. Besides, Try having big oil accept that we just use oil for logistics.

Re:Not me (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about 3 months ago | (#47055159)

You are stating you should find a home located in a commercial district of a City? Then have your life locked down to that city, as you cannot get a job outside of the walking limits. What happens if that particular company folds or goes away? Are there enough other companies in walking distance to cover that. Are the city streets really that safe in these areas, or do you risk getting mugged, beaten up as a Gang initiation right. God help you if you need to work past dark.

Re:Not me (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47055271)

> What happens if that particular company folds or goes away?

Um, you get off at a different tube stop?

Re:Not me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47055289)

Then move to a sensible country.

Re:Not me (4, Insightful)

itsenrique (846636) | about 3 months ago | (#47055427)

You sound like a pretty fearful person, who never lived in a big city.

Re:Not me (2, Insightful)

Cornwallis (1188489) | about 3 months ago | (#47054559)

I don't blame them for doing what a business is supposed to do as much as I blame the politicians.

Read "Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets" -http://www.amazon.com/Extortion-Politicians-Extract-Money-Pockets/dp/0544103343

Re:Not me (5, Insightful)

cryptolemur (1247988) | about 3 months ago | (#47054793)

If we started to assume that business is not supposed to behave the most sosiopathic and misantropist way possible, the world might become a better place.

In other words, the bottom line is no excuse for anything. Not even in business. A creepy bastard is a creepy bastard, even if it's for profit.

Re:Not me (5, Insightful)

FudRucker (866063) | about 3 months ago | (#47055045)

RE:" A creepy bastard is a creepy bastard"

that is the truth, and especially when they do it for profit, no wonder the rest of the world hates the USA, the politicans and corpirates have raped and murdered across the globe for profits http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

Re:Not me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47055429)

Very good video. Thank you for sharing.

Re:Not me (0)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 3 months ago | (#47055141)

You need to assume that a business will first and foremost look after its own interests, which is to make money. Companies by nature are not immoral, but amoral (though there's plenty of immoral people amongst their senior leadership); it is not their role to be nice to society, unless we make them. That is why we have rules and politicians to make those rules. In that sense I agree with GP: I do not blame business for furthering their own goals by legal means; if I find those means to be immoral or undesirable, I can choose not to do business with them. If we as society share that opinion, then we can change the rules companies play by. That's where politicians have dropped the ball.

Re:Not me (5, Insightful)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 3 months ago | (#47055319)

You need to assume that a business will first and foremost look after its own interests, which is to make money.

Isn't any corporation composed on individual humans? Don't those individual humans have any responsibility or culpability for wrong-doing?

If I get mad and kill somebody, I go to jail. But if I band together with a lynch mob and go out and kill people as a group, am I absolved because the mob was "looking after its own interests, which is to" kill people?

Perhaps you think I'm being inflammatory. But "make money" is not a morally neutral goal -- it can easily result in serious harm and even deaths to people.

it is not their role to be nice to society, unless we make them.

Why isn't that part of their role? Or -- well, I agree their role may not necessarily be to "be nice to society," but surely part of their role should be not to significantly harm society, no? After all, they only exist as legal fictions created by a government that is enabled by the collective social contract of civilization. If they aren't contributing a net positive impact to society, they aren't serving a purpose for the collective good -- and therefore they should be dissolved.

Why do you wish to absolve collections of people from ethical behavior? As a civilized society, if we would not tolerate that behavior from an individual, it should not be tolerated from a corporation. Otherwise, there is no reason to allow their existence.

Re:Not me (4, Interesting)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 3 months ago | (#47055215)

I don't blame them for doing what a business is supposed to do as much as I blame the politicians.

In other words, the bottom line is no excuse for anything. Not even in business.

I absolutely agree. But I also think the GP makes an important point -- businesses shouldn't behave like jerks, but politicians deserve even more of the blame. Why? Because they have the power effectively to set the legal standards for "right" and "wrong."

A rapist can harm one person, but he can be punished according to law. A corporation can harm thousands of people, but it can be punished according to law. A politician can harm millions of people and write his own "get of out jail free card" into law, as well as enabling thousands of bad acts perpetrated by rapists or corporations or whatever evil buddies he has.

Periodically, there's a debate around here about the death penalty and when (if ever) it should be applied. As far as I'm concerned, the debate shouldn't begin with murderers or rapists or cop-killers, because they have nothing compared to corrupt politicians in terms of the potential harm they can do to society. An inefficient or useless politician should be voted out of office. But one who deliberately lies to the public resulting in serious harm or acts against the public's interest in an egregious fashion deserves whatever the maximum penalty is that our justice system hands out.

Otherwise, we're effectively handing them license to legally redefine "right" and "wrong" in their favor, and that often has the potential to inflict much greater harm than any single corporation on its own.

Re:Not me (1, Flamebait)

Mashiki (184564) | about 3 months ago | (#47054841)

Later the parent discovers that the AGW industry has a larger reach, controls more government bodies, and is screwing over developing nations, under the guise of "helping" them.

Re:Not me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47054969)

But he agrees with that viewpoint so that is ok. Taxes are also a means to punish people he doesn't like, not a method to raise revenue. In addition Citizens United case was bad because censorship should be allowed if it silences people he doesn't like.

In other words, oppression, corruption, and sociopathic behavior is complete allowed as long as the target is people he disagrees with because honest open debates can no longer be allowed.

Re:Not me (3, Insightful)

Xyrus (755017) | about 3 months ago | (#47055461)

Later the parent discovers that the AGW industry has a larger reach, controls more government bodies, and is screwing over developing nations, under the guise of "helping" them.

Yeah, because I can't count how many times we've gone to war over some other country's solar panels, overthrown democracies to secure their wind power farms for ourselves, and ruthlessly crushed third world nations for their geothermal resources. I mean it's not like Exxon makes more money in one year than all green-power companies combined or anything. If it wasn't for the billions of dollars of tax payer money flowing into the pockets of oil companies as subsidies, why the fossil fuel industry would just shrivel up and die.

Oh, and there is a rainbow colored talking platypus eating raspberry cake behind you. He seems to think you're more disconnected from reality than he is.

Re:Not me (0)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 3 months ago | (#47055505)

Exxon only makes any money at all because they produce and sell something that their customers want. Said solar panel, bird-blade-chopper farms, etc.? Not so much. That's the deal, buster.

Then you carry on about rainbow colored talking platypuses and expect us to take anything you say seriously?

Re:Not me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47055475)

Later the parent discovers that the AGW industry has a larger reach, controls more government bodies, and is screwing over developing nations, under the guise of "helping" them.

Surely you mean the oil industry. There is absolutely no comparison about the power and reach or the oil industry vs. AGW researchers.

Re:Not me (-1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 3 months ago | (#47055053)

Right now the Fossil Fuel industry is one of the leading job creators for decent middle class jobs. Because the middle class has been screwed by the rest of the economy. With perhaps the exception of Technology. That means their workers include a good size voting base.
Sure they pump the politicians with a lot of money to get their way. But the real issue is if they piss them off the middle class voters who loose their jobs due to the government, will be reflected in the voting.
Being that the Fossil Fuel industry is being vilified by the left (at least by the talking heads) it would be silly to think that they will just sit quietly and take it.
The companies are only fighting for their own self interests, however the problem is we made these energy companies so politically powerful. By concentrating the employment base to that sector.

Re:Not me (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 3 months ago | (#47055109)

Remember, everyone screams bloody murder every time the price of gas goes up. They demand that their politicians do something about it. What do you expect would be the consequence?

Re:Not me (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47055229)

Really? What EV you driving? What did you eat last night? How long is your daily commute?
 
Companies only have the power that you feed them with your dollars. Unlike government you're not beholden to anything that you don't willingly buy from the outset. If you're not living the life you claim is sustainable than you're a hypocrite who's just waiting for government to take the reigns. If you lived by your own word these companies would either adapt to your will or die.
 
Too many SUVs with "No drilling in ANWR" stickers for me to count and yet so many claim to be environmentalists.

Re:Not me (1, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about 3 months ago | (#47055267)

It is interesting how much more people get worked up about interruption of entertainment and connivence then things that actually impact their life. I guess if nothing else this does indicate just how good Americans have it. If this is the industry people complain the most about, then that means other more critical things are doing pretty well.

Though I suspect that the people in the US who actually do have to worry about things like power, water, roads, food, etc, are not generally covered by such surveys. 'consumer' tends to be code for 'middle class with significant disposable income and an inferiority complex in regard to the upper class and blindness in regard the lower class'.

Re:Not me (4, Insightful)

macpacheco (1764378) | about 3 months ago | (#47055309)

As if the fossil fuels industry is the only power block with politicians in their backpockets.
Don't forget about the military industrial complex, the auto industry.
If the Comcrap and Time Warner didn't have a boatload of politicians in their back pockets they wouldn't dream about this deal.

Re:Not me (3, Interesting)

Jawnn (445279) | about 3 months ago | (#47055331)

The industry I hate the most is the fossil fuels industry Not just because of global warming, but mostly because they control the politicians and stop anything being done about it.

The telecom industry spends, proportionately, far more on it's purchases of lawmakers than any other group. For that reason, I hate them the most.

Noncompetition (5, Insightful)

Travis Mansbridge (830557) | about 3 months ago | (#47054519)

It's a joke when Comcast uses the claim that TWC covers separate parts of the country as justification for their merger when this should just make it obvious that they were never competing in the first place.

Americans love Bushbama (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47054527)

so much more than other tyrants.

You gotta *multiply* them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47054539)

> 'It's hard to see how combining two negatives will be a positive for consumers.'

If you multiply them, then it all turns positive (you just be careful to always use them in pairs).

All will be well.

Funny, they're not my first choices (3, Informative)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 3 months ago | (#47054561)

Hateful industries include lawyers, politicians, washing machine repairmen, insurance companies, heating engineers, telemarketers, car salesmen...

Surely they come before ISPs and TV providers.

Re:Funny, they're not my first choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47054569)

Since when is lawyering an industry, and why hate washing machines? Nudist, are you?

Re:Funny, they're not my first choices (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47054599)

Since when is lawyering an industry

Since it became profitable to make bullshit claims and settle.

The lawyer division of RIAA is only flimsily connected to the music industry. Primarily it is part of the lawyering industry.
Same with patent trolls.

Re:Funny, they're not my first choices (3, Interesting)

flyneye (84093) | about 3 months ago | (#47054861)

Music and Movie industries are up there at the top.
Music industry is completely vampiric , with NO known benefits for anyone except themselves. If they died today, the music you hear would only get better, in spite of the scare stories to the contrary.
Movie industry is continuously the same old shit, recycled from B&W all the way back to the silent era. You could say the special effects are better, but that would be the special effects industry, who also work for television. Nope, nothing new or interesting here, at best they will soak a storyline off some author and hope no one notices it to be a recycled premise from earlier authors. Hard to believe they want the price of a ticket or a rental for that crap.

Re:Funny, they're not my first choices (3, Interesting)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 3 months ago | (#47055281)

The reason I hate the cable providers more than the music/movie industries is that it is harder to boycott the cable providers. You can cut the cord and get rid of cable TV, but if you want Internet access, you might only have access through your local cable company. (Like I do.) So you are locked into paying whatever your cable provider says you will pay for whatever Internet access speed they decide to give you. Don't like it? Go without Internet (or go back to dial up if you still have a landline or use the much more expensive wireless). There are indie options for music and movies. There isn't an "indie Internet access."

Re:Funny, they're not my first choices (2)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about 3 months ago | (#47055377)

Music industry is completely vampiric , with NO known benefits for anyone except themselves. If they died today, the music you hear would only get better, in spite of the scare stories to the contrary.

I listen to a lot of unsigned bands and my brother plays in an unsigned band that paid for studio time to record an EP that's in various online and streaming media services {amazon, itunes, google play, spotify}. When they play a gig they always have t-shirts, stickers, or any other merchandise they can get their hands on because that is how they make their money. {not much money enough to cover cost and record that next EP eventually}

The internet and PC has really broken down the barrier to entry that once existed. Take a little time to check a few music sites like reverbnation or unsigned and you'll find that the bands range from crap to I can't believe they are not already signed. You may just find your next favorite band is a bar band that paid for pro studio time.

 

Re:Funny, they're not my first choices (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 3 months ago | (#47055139)

washing machine repairmen

Really? I find them invaluable. My machine is a 30-ish year old Kenmoore. Its had to be repaired twice in that span. $50 once - $75 the other time. Heck of a lot cheaper than buying a new unit that is likely of lesser quality and would break within 3-4 years.

Kinda off-topic but I think I society needs to get back to higher quality items that are worth repairing rather than the concept of literally everything being disposable.

Re:Funny, they're not my first choices (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | about 3 months ago | (#47055149)

You forgot "clergymen"

Re:Funny, they're not my first choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47055217)

We could throw zealots of any kind in there including science zealots.

Re:Funny, they're not my first choices (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 3 months ago | (#47055189)

My washing machine repairman is awesome, you insensitive clod.

RIAA/MPAA should top the list (4, Interesting)

Katatsumuri (1137173) | about 3 months ago | (#47054587)

I would put the telecom second and the media distribution mafia first.

It is pathetic, true, how the telecom providers have been selling a commodity service on mass scale for 20+ years, yet the pricing and service quality are on "novelty" levels or worse. Your cable bill has no good reason to be higher than that (local) phone bill 30 years ago. One of the reasons for the pathetic prices are the unreasonably high media licensing fees and unbreakable channel bundles. The cable companies then cut costs on everything else, which gives you multiple week waiting times to connect, half-hour wait times on support lines, and clueless staff.

And the media mafia also criminalizes everyone for downloading a few songs on P2P and threatens with lawsuits.

Re:RIAA/MPAA should top the list (1, Insightful)

ruir (2709173) | about 3 months ago | (#47054621)

When your biggest provider, Comcast is owned by Microsoft, and all the Internet providers where born as TV content providers, and are in bed with the media cartel, and both are scared shitless people is giving up TV and turning to Internet, there is no incentive to make Internet cheaper, or debundle it from TV.

Microsoft NEVER owned Comcast (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47055327)

MS invested in Comcast years ago and then they sold their stake - years ago. [barrons.com]

Re:RIAA/MPAA should top the list (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47055337)

That's an American problem. The rest of the world has no problems with separate TV and ISP services, although doubling up can add a discount, it's nothing like the size of the likes of Brighthouse or Verizon do.

Unlike ISP customers, TV service the consumer is the product. You want change, cut the fucking cable.

Re:RIAA/MPAA should top the list (5, Interesting)

Shoten (260439) | about 3 months ago | (#47055209)

Well, heads up there...because TV/cable providers are major media producers AND distributors. NBC? Universal Studios? Comcast owns them...they're Comcast. Time Warner Cable? Just take off the "Cable" and you'll have a clue. And when you're talking about the MPAA, you're talking about an association of...movie production houses (like Universal and Time Warner). Granted, they aren't in the music industry, but I don't blame them...the music industry is still trying to figure out which end is up from the combination of iTunes/Amazon's upending of their distribution channel and the after effects of them deciding to sue their own customers like a bunch of idiots.

Since 1948, there's been a ruling by the Supreme Court in the case of United States v. Paramount Pictures [wikipedia.org] that concerned whether or not Paramount's vertical integration (movie production, movie distribution, movie theaters...with exclusive rights down the pipe) constituted a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Indeed, it turned out that it was, and as a result there has been a long-standing prohibition on that degree of integration from that day forward. Now, it's easy to just point and say, "Hey! If Comcast makes movies and shows movies on their own channels, that's a violation!" It isn't, the way the ruling exists, because Comcast also shows movies from other sources as well. But the needle has been moving in that direction, obviously. But in a way, this isn't a new problem either, and there's hope that it can be addressed.

So Much To Choose From (2)

Guy From V (1453391) | about 3 months ago | (#47054631)

We have so much bullshit in our gentrified business community, how could any of us pick just one area we think is the worst?

assigning hatred features to us ordinarians (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47054675)

one trick phonys march on http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=nazi+zion+media

so? americans always hate some company (0)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#47054695)

or other for no other reason than they have to pay them. over the decades they have hated oil companies, drug companies and i forgot who else. i even made up a formula

take product A that people love and is sold at high margins, but needs a product B or service to work that is sold at low margins.
product A is SUV's, smartphones, high margin products people love and like the companies
product/Service B is ISP's and oil companies and are both relatively low margin. Apple has something like 15% net margins and comcast around 5%. car companies used to sell SUV's at insane profits and people somehow hated the gas companies after buying these behemoths

Re: so? americans always hate some company (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47054737)

And it's cable companies that coercively bundle unrelated services together to maximize their return. I have verizon FiOS and only really want their fast internet, but it's priced so that I might as well swallow their tv and landline phone service as well. Other industries aren't as successful in selling us something we don't really want in order to get what we really really want.

Re: so? americans always hate some company (1)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#47054845)

blame disney, viacom, discovery

they tell cable companies to sell you the bundles. and even then you still have to pay for the cost of the wiring which cost a lot of money to lay down. so buying one service won't be very much cheaper

Re:so? americans always hate some company (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47054787)

Your main point aside, Comcast's most recent quarterly profit margin was 10.75% [ycharts.com] and Apple's was 22.40% [ycharts.com] . Why would you bother guessing at things when they're so easily researched?

Re:so? americans always hate some company (-1, Troll)

benjfowler (239527) | about 3 months ago | (#47055179)

11% margin is pretty damned good for sitting on your ass, and being a middleman parasite rather than actually delivering anything of value.

Those cunts can all die of cancer for all I care.

Re:so? americans always hate some company (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47054809)

It's more along the lines of:

"I started paying for cable back in the late 70s to early 80s, with the intention that my monthly bill was a replacement for having to watch all those stupid advertisements-- exactly as advertised-- with the perk that I would have more reliable and higher quality of service."

which is being replaced with:

"Today, I pay over 100$/month for 200+ channels, of which I only watch 15 on average, STILL have to watch advertisements, and have inferior video quality to over the air broadcasts-- which come in for free. I have better quality of service, advertisement free, and with more flexible control over what I can watch with the streaming services, which if I were to subscribe to the top 3 (Netflix, Amazon prime, Hulu Plus) is still only 1/3 the price of cable-- If I combine all three, with a competitively priced ISP, I pay about the same as I pay for just cable- Have internet, have all the shows and movies I actually want, none of the shit I dont want (including adverts in most cases), and have better quality video. Yet, these cable giants keep lobbying to keep abusing me, and to try to remove these options from me using a combination of Media Provider + Media transport mergers (Comcast + Time warner, et al) coupled with erosions on fundamental practices that preserve competition (net neutrality, et al). Fuck them!"

It isn't "I hate them because I pay them money." It *IS* "I hate them because they conspire to fuck me over, and to prevent competition from superior offerings, and dont give a fuck about me other than how much money they can suck from my wallet."

Thanks for playing.

Re:so? americans always hate some company (1)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#47054855)

that's the point of cable, lots of niche channels where you only watch a few that you like

of course it has been bastardized to where you get a channel with one good show and all crap reruns or reality shows for almost every subject or sports. as it is now cable is mostly for sports fans since netflix/hulu has enough content for a lot of people to watch

and even then netflix fucked you over more than comcast ever did since they license content to netflix as well. dozens of streaming services work fine, except netflix

Re:so? americans always hate some company (3, Informative)

Rich0 (548339) | about 3 months ago | (#47054991)

that's the point of cable, lots of niche channels where you only watch a few that you like

From a customer standpoint, the point of cable is that I want to watch the History channel, and it isn't available OTA.

Maybe if you're a cable exec the point of cable is to find ways to charge people for services they don't want. That is more the point of the guy who runs up to your car and washes your window while you're stopped at a light.

The only way cable companies can get away with it is that there is no competition. If the local Walmart forced everybody to buy at least 24 different products every time they walked in the door they'd go out of business. Amazon sells like gangbusters by giving people honest reviews, decent prices, a catalog that includes just about everything that is sold anywhere, and a few options for paying for the shipping. Real businesses have to strip out the non-value-adds to stay in business. Utilities that are allowed to run like conventional businesses become scam operations.

Re:so? americans always hate some company (1)

DoctorBonzo (2646833) | about 3 months ago | (#47055021)

clearly true that people love to whine, but I wonder where you get your margin figures. any citations?

Re:so? americans always hate some company (1)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#47055503)

go look at their financial releases

comcast is $2.5 billion profits on revenue of $65 billion

Re:so? americans always hate some company (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 3 months ago | (#47055095)

or other for no other reason than they have to pay them. ...........

I think its a matter of having a choice for things you don't need, versus have little or no choice for things you need. Along with choice comes the benefits of competitiion, where sellers strive to make you happy.

I need food, I have plenty of choices where to buy it. I can save money and buy generic, or pay more and buy brand name gourmet items.

I need a car. I can buy a low cost used car, or a new expensive luxury car.

I need electricity. I am forced to buy it from Company A at Price B.

I need ISP. I am forced to buy it from Company A. I have little choice in the ways it can be delivered. I pay more for it that others pay elsewhere for better service.

Interestingly, I am willing to pay more just to have a choice. I have TWC and pay for Vonage VOIP. I could use TWC VOIP and save a bit, but then I'd feel even more stuck.

Re:so? americans always hate some company (2)

Shoten (260439) | about 3 months ago | (#47055245)

I think you have a point...but in this case I think the hate is well-founded.

I'm not the sort to jump onto the "Hate Google...they're evil!" bandwagon. I don't think that oil companies are inherently evil for doing what they do...we'd be screwed without their product, after all, and we're the ones demanding their production. And I happen to think that Netflix is really, really cool. But I've had phone, Internet, cable service through both cable providers and more traditional telecom providers, and also seen how things went with satellite TV for a family member. And to me, when I see commercials for those three verticals (cable, telecom, satellite tv) it looks like three pedophiles arguing over who would make the best kindergarten teacher.

When you look at the state of these industries in our nation and compare them to the rest of the developed Western world, we are behind, seriously so. And when pressed for how they would address this, the leaders of those industries came up with a plan that would bring us to 2008-level parity...in 2045. Yes, they said it would take nearly four decades for them to reach the point where Europe was, 6 years ago.

I wish there was a way to "home school" my TV and Internet access...

That's normal (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47054735)

This is because it is too expensive. In europe, this is different. An article was written associated with a video explaining why it is much better in Europe :
TV and Internet Providers in UK [aulnaycap.com]

constant deception causes spiritual paralysis etc (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47054745)

dark matters stay in the dark http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=wmd+cabal+weather+manipulation

Competition is effectively illegal (5, Interesting)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 3 months ago | (#47054773)

I can't open my own ISP. If I do (let's say I want to run a fiber-based ISP), I will face many legal hurdles simply because that's the nature of the business; one may need to rent space on towers or get right-of-way permits from the town and the whole mess will be overseen by the public utilities commissioner of the state I'm in.

That's all normal ISP business stuff, but the giants have so much power that they are guaranteed to put me out of business through lawsuits. They shroud anything that they don't like in a giant neon sheet of "UNFAIR COMPETITION" and bury the little guy in legal red tape and paperwork. Little guys cannot win the battles of attrition in our legal system against gigantic corporations as it is, but these bastards have managed to lobby so hard that the law is heavily on their side as well. If I get financial assistance from a local government to build my ISP, I'll get shut down because of "unfair competition" since there are laws in many states now making municipal broadband de facto illegal to run and the funding could be construed as attempting to skirt those laws.

There is no competition in broadband services today because the largest companies have slanted the laws so hard in their favor that all competition is legally shut out.

Re:Competition is effectively illegal (0, Troll)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#47054895)

I can't open my own ISP. If I do (let's say I want to run a fiber-based ISP), I will face many legal hurdles simply because that's the nature of the business; one may need to rent space on towers or get right-of-way permits from the town and the whole mess will be overseen by the public utilities commissioner of the state I'm in.

That's all normal ISP business stuff, but the giants have so much power that they are guaranteed to put me out of business through lawsuits. They shroud anything that they don't like in a giant neon sheet of "UNFAIR COMPETITION" and bury the little guy in legal red tape and paperwork. Little guys cannot win the battles of attrition in our legal system against gigantic corporations as it is, but these bastards have managed to lobby so hard that the law is heavily on their side as well. If I get financial assistance from a local government to build my ISP, I'll get shut down because of "unfair competition" since there are laws in many states now making municipal broadband de facto illegal to run and the funding could be construed as attempting to skirt those laws.

There is no competition in broadband services today because the largest companies have slanted the laws so hard in their favor that all competition is legally shut out.

You know nothing of the industry. There are hundreds of ISPs for sale in the United States RIGHT NOW. Go buy one. It'll cost you a few million for a small one. A business loan for that amount isn't unreasonable at all. All the franchise agreements are already in place and ready to go. No legal issues other than the fact that when businesses are for sale like this, you have to sign non disclosure agreements to see whats for sale and make offers. There's no "Craigslist" of businesses for sale. Generally you hire a company that specializes in this sort of thing and they investigate whats out there based on criteria you give them.

The question you need to ask yourself is: If being an ISP means you have no competition, can overcharge your customer and they have no recourse, you never have to upgrade your network and you just rake in all this free cash... why aren't the big ISPs like Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T buying up all these ISPs? It's just free money right?

Re:Competition is effectively illegal (3, Interesting)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 3 months ago | (#47054907)

That doesn't address the problem of starting an ISP. I don't have an interest in buying an existing ISP, I have an interest in starting a new one.

Re:Competition is effectively illegal (5, Interesting)

Rich0 (548339) | about 3 months ago | (#47054963)

You know nothing of the industry. There are hundreds of ISPs for sale in the United States RIGHT NOW. Go buy one. It'll cost you a few million for a small one.

We're talking about residential broadband. I doubt that more than 0.1% of the population is served by anybody other than one of the major phone or cable companies.

If you're talking about businesses buying dedicated lines then that is a different story. In such volumes the last mile problem isn't so much of a problem - you can just run a single line to them and bill them $10k for it, and the business doesn't care because they're paying that much every month. If you try to offer residential broadband with a $10k start-up fee you'll never get a single customer, and it isn't any cheaper to run a cable to a residence than to a skyscraper.

Oh, and I'm sure there are resellers out there who offer some kind of value-add on top of one of the big phone/cable companies, and they just pay the phone/cable company to use their existing infrastructure.

why aren't the big ISPs like Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T buying up all these ISPs?

Because they aren't in the same business. The ISPs you talk of are probably in actual competition. If my employer got a call that the ISP wanted to raise rates by 10% at the next contract renewal, they'd get to go through the usual procurement dog and pony show all over again. At significant volumes the up-front costs to switch are fairly low. The professional negotiators would also ensure the contracts are neutral at worst, but most likely slanted towards my employer. Big corporations don't sign contracts of adhesion.

The big telecoms do get into that business as well, but the rates are fairly competitive. When the data volumes are significant they don't really have any last-mile advantages either - even the local phone company will probably need to run a dedicated line as there is unlikely to be sufficient capacity already on the poles. At best they only have advantages of scale.

Sigh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47054987)

The question you need to ask yourself is: If being an ISP means you have no competition, can overcharge your customer and they have no recourse, you never have to upgrade your network and you just rake in all this free cash... why aren't the big ISPs like Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T buying up all these ISPs? It's just free money right?

The same reason Lipton isn't buying out your kid's lemonade stand.

It ain't fucking Brisk, baby.

You seriously think it's "free" money to buy up a bunch of shitty regionals? Deal with the money blown on negotiation/buying stock (if it's even issued) to force the issue? Dealing with FCC asshattery for each purchase? Conversion of customers? Wonky foreign kit? Potentially different services entirely? (It's 2014, and many tiny regionals are DSL. Re: It's 2014. Buying a DSL provider is like buying a dialup service.)

Nobody gives a shit about these ISPs, because there isn't money there, not on the scales that Comcast, Time Warner, ATT, Verizon or the other players even notice. Shit, the gross income from these outfits wouldn't even cover a day of C-level blow.

Re:Competition is effectively illegal (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 months ago | (#47055017)

Some cities it's worse... the "agreement" in my local town is that you negotiate a franchise license with the city and you can have your cable TV/Internet company.
If you dont sign up to pay kickbacks to the local government, then you can not start doing business as you will be breaking the law. Yes, it is ILLEGAL to start a cableTV or ISP business in my city unless you negotiate to pay tribute to city hall in regular installments in the form of a kickback.

Re:Competition is effectively illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47055057)

Its the American way.

The first thing you do when you find a path to success is close the door behind you so that no-one can follow.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47054843)

I guess the majority of them (and that probably doesn't apply only to Americans) are not doing much then either watching TV or surfing YouTube and Facebook etc.
So that makes a lot of sense.

Include Satellite Radio in That List!!!!!! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47054847)

The business only insiders with no love for radio, gutted the coffers for personal gain and bloated payouts involving grandiose plans to the point of near bankruptcy.

Their solution to pay off their near infinite debt is to constantly interrupt the programs with endless commercials; most of which are bordering on snake oil and work at home scams. There's no high end quality products or any class to the presentation -- just a loud, fast talking spiel, hammering away with drums and horns to end in repeating 3 or 4 times a toll free number. The music channels aren't immune. They're starting to lose their shine as they get interrupted 3 or 4 times an hour with a station ID that may include an occasional short ad for web-based satellite radio or other channels that are channels with commercials.

Before this crap, it was an amazing experience with a unique feeling found in listening to long conversations or uninterrupted musical genres. Now all I do is spend a lot of my time channel surfing to avoid the obnoxious experience of being reminded of AM radio. It's interesting, but no longer unusual enough to be worth the investment considering the other choices now available.

2 Garbage Trucks Colliding... (4, Funny)

ameline (771895) | about 3 months ago | (#47054901)

When I read of mergers like this, I imagine two large garbage trucks colliding at speed -- the result is inevitably twisted smoking debris strewn wide, and oh God, the smell.

I find, as a metaphor for large mergers, I have yet to find a more accurate one.

Re:2 Garbage Trucks Colliding... (1)

Stumbles (602007) | about 3 months ago | (#47055019)

These mergers remind of that one Mythbusters episode they did to see what happens when two semi trucks with trailers collided at high speed with a car between them. The semi trucks are the two companies merging and the small car are the customers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

Re:2 Garbage Trucks Colliding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47055409)

>I find, as a metaphor for large mergers, I have yet to find a more accurate one.

I'm partial to the metaphor of blending a cup of ice, a 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of feces, one miracle fruit tablet, and 1/2 cup of ice-cream until smooth, and then serving it in convenient 16-oz cups.

"That'll be $14.95."
"Shut up and drink it before we raise the price."
"Next, please."

Really? Who did they survey? (2)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 3 months ago | (#47054921)

Number one for me is the insurance industry. Health insurance, especially; although auto and life insurance aren't much better. They are all giant legalized Ponzi schemes, IMHO. In 2010 the health insurance industry demonstrated how much power they have over the federal government when they managed to make us all obligate customers as an alleged mechanism of "reform". I could go on about how an insurance company that I had about a decade ago tried to drive me bankrupt with practices that are far beyond immoral.

Number two for me (literally and figuratively) are private impound lots. There are some cities (I happen to work in one) where auto theft is essentially legal if you happen to be a private impound lot. The amount of power those animals have over regular people is disgusting, they basically have an unlimited income stream that they can open and close at will.

I don't care for my cable company, but I love them in comparison to either of those.

Great timing (4, Interesting)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 3 months ago | (#47054925)

I have Time Warner and about an hour ago I woke up to an outage. Needless to say it has been cleared up, but outages are routine and expected with their "service". I learned a long time ago that calling their customer service\tech support is futile. Also, I barely break five-megabits down. Unfortunately there has been no alternative and I have been stuck with them for fifteen-years. I guess you can suck that bad and not care if you are a monopoly. Two-days ago I received an email from Google letting me know that Google Fiber will be available to me pretty soon. Yesterday large spools of fiber optic cables showed up on my street. There is one right next to my house. Despite my misgivings about letting Google provide me with internet access, I am absolutely going with them. Time Warner has been flipping out since the roll out started in my city last year, yet no aspect of their service has improved. I am convinced that they have been a monopoly for so long that they literally don't know how to compete. Good riddance to them.

Re:Great timing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47055065)

When i got google fiber i called TW to cancel. And they were desperate.

'How about if we give you 5 times the speed for 1/2 the price?'

'Why dont i have that already? I asked for the fastest service available, why aren't i getting it?'

Too little too late TW, you rode the gouge-train right out of my wallet.

Re:Great timing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47055093)

I signed onto GoogleFiber about a month ago. It was nice telling TimeWarner:

"They're faster and cheaper with you, there's really no way you can compete. Though, since I'm being honest, your service is so bad they could be slower and more expensive and I'd still switch"

Re:Great timing (1)

rally2xs (1093023) | about 3 months ago | (#47055263)

I have a little company called Metrocast, which must be the absolute best cable company on the planet. If there's an outage, they are on the scene within the hour, and never does the TV, internet, or phone I get from them go down for long. I wouldn't think of putting up an antenna myself, my cable is much too feature-rich.

Great timing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47055389)

I went through this with a cable ISP many moons ago. I lived in central NJ and my connection would drop all the way down to 50KB or less.

The way I've solved it was to upgrade to business service. By contract, they had to come out and fix the outage within.. 24 hours I think it was. They came out, fixed something on the pole about 100 yards down the road, and that's all it took. Not sure if I got a better technician (or magician) or just better quality service. Needless to say I've reverted back to residential shortly after. The connection has been stable until I've moved out.

YMMV

worst websites around (3)

RackinFrackin (152232) | about 3 months ago | (#47054947)

My only experience is with charter. Their service itself is usually pretty good, but I hate their website. You can't find straightforward information on what individual services cost, and even finding a channel listing is difficult. On more than one occasion I've searched for services available at my house--where they make me enter my exact address--and their website tells me that they do not service my area.

It really frustrates me that the companies that run the internet don't care enough or aren't required to make basic information about their services available.

yup, its true (for me) (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 3 months ago | (#47055015)

I hate my local cable provider, and Amazon.com comes in a close second, god damn amazon prime made it unpissable to opt out of amazon prime, i went through the motions and jumped through the hoops and they still charged my credit card 70 bucks, i wrote amazon.com a nasty email and they replaced my 70 bucks, one of these days i will cancel my cable TV/internet provider with joy, i will call them up and tell them i am NOT paying them for services anymore and canceling so they can pull the plug any time they want

Re:yup, its true (for me) (1)

boristdog (133725) | about 3 months ago | (#47055321)

I'll take "The big companies that most people deal with at home for 400, Alex"

Re:yup, its true (for me) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47055425)

I'll admit I'm in Canada and was on Amazon.ca, but it took about 5-6 clicks and logging in to the website in there somewhere to cancel my amazon prime subscription.

I even accidently left it past the renewal time by about a month. I didn't even have to request a refund when I cancelled a message popped up saying "You haven't used it since renewal, you should see a refund of the subscription price on your credit card statement shortly".

Was your experience several years ago or something. I have had nothing but good experiences with Amazon customer service.

Everybody hates industry, except... (0, Troll)

tomhath (637240) | about 3 months ago | (#47055077)

People complain about private industry. Until they have to deal with a service the government provides - then they complain about that even more.

Re:Everybody hates industry, except... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47055169)

You can hate the cable companies and still hate the government more. The point is that the cable companies are acting like the government because they are basically officially government sanctioned private companies. Can't compete with them without government approval and that is the problem.

Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47055085)

And the Obama administration quietly backs away from its campaign promise to uphold net neutrality. Instead, it takes millions from the big ISPs and uses tricks of the language to appear to support net neutrality while letting it die.

Don't Like 'Em? Don't Do Business With Them (2)

rally2xs (1093023) | about 3 months ago | (#47055157)

First, oppose laws and homeowners associations and landlords and zoning that don't provide the ability to put up a TV antenna, and I mean a big one so's you can get TV signals from different cities. Then, put one up. No monthly charges ever again, and you can fix anything that goes wrong with it all by yourself. Get your movies over the innernetz and by mail via Netflix, and no, you don't NEED to watch Game of Thrones live as soon as it is aired. You can get the internet via a new satellite company called Excede, the only drawback to that being that it isn't responsive enough to do gaming over the internet. But you can download a whale of a lot of info. Problem solved - no more cable.

How about? (2)

Gonoff (88518) | about 3 months ago | (#47055173)

I have observed that you also are very enthusiastic about your hatred of your phone companies.
If half the stories I hear are true, it is totally horrendous!

at the remote transmitter, with a bomb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47055449)

Justin Playfair was right, the phonecops did try to kill Dr. Johnny Fever!
But now Moriarty has subverted the cable company for his nefarious deeds.

Break them up, don't combine them (3, Insightful)

AnontheDestroyer (3500983) | about 3 months ago | (#47055381)

It's sad that the state of affairs in this country has us discussing the MERGER of two hated monopolies, rather than busting them up into overlapping pieces like they should.

The industry is a cartel (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47055413)

I worked for Time Warner for about six months. It was probably the worst job I've ever had. The amount of frustration we dealt with for a solid 8 hours a day was unreal. Just in our area we lost 5000 customers a day and gained 5000. The attitude from our managers toward the customers and any issues was "we don't care."

I received death threats pretty much daily which explained why the building had various stringent security measures. These guys take over an area and once they do they give up on even trying to provide a decent service and raise rates continuously. There is no competition.

We need some regulation and some trust busting and we need it yesterday.

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