» Electronics and household app. » Complaint / Review: Cable Service Providers - Cable Service Providers A massive fraud is being perpetrated by cable TV service providers. #664723

Complaint / Review
Cable Service Providers
Cable Service Providers A massive fraud is being perpetrated by cable TV service providers

Many US citizens will soon be unable to use their own TV and video products. They are also being required to pay excessive and unnecessary fees, just to retain the level of cable TV service that they already had. This is due to a deceptive scheme by cable TV service providers to monopolize the video equipment needs of their subscribers. Their fraudulent manipulation of signal formats is rendering all but their own accessory equipment unusable on their cable services.

I am posting this to educate other basic, direct-to-the-TV cable subscribers about the massive cable-box scam that is being perpetrated by cable TV service providers. I am hopeful that this will motivate others to join me in contacting state attorney generals, politicians, the FCC and other cable TV regulators. If enough people will make their voices heard, we can stop the cable TV companies from controlling every aspect of everything we watch on television.

There are thousands of cable TV subscribers that are accustomed to the convenience of simply connecting a cable TV wire to the back of their cable-ready TV and enjoying around seventy channels. The ability to do this is rapidly disappearing. This is due to a massive fraud that is being perpetrated by their cable TV service providers. Anyone without a cable-box that is subscribing to a no-frills, basic cable lineup is being victimized. The direct-to-TV customer has seen a steady decline in the number of cable TV channels that they pay for. This is happening by design as cable service providers shift more channels to formats that require a "set-top-cable-box" to decode their signal.

One might ask why there is a lack of public outcry about this? Why are government entities not being deluged with complaints? The answer is simple. The public outrage is being curtailed by the outright fraud and deception of the cable providers themselves. The CSP (cable service provider) is exploiting the fact that the majority of people in the general public are not electronic technicians. Due to that general lack of knowledge, the CSP is able to engage in deceptive techno-speak, about emerging technologies, new HDTV signals, etc. While they tout bandwidth and improved technology to justify the need for their subscribers to rent their cable-boxes, the truth is quite the opposite.

I operated a professional sound and electronics business for over 35 years. Thus, I am well informed about the various technical aspects of these systems. I find it appalling that cable service providers are being allowed to fleece the unknowing public like this. The only reason that one needs a "set-top-cable-box" to receive a 70 channel, basic cable service, is because the CSP is artificially creating the need for it. It is analogous to purchasing water with an undrinkable chemical added to it by the seller. Then, having the seller rent one a device that will remove the chemical so they can drink the water.

This cable-box scheme should be suspect, even to a non-technical, layperson. Many households already had about 70 direct-to-TV cable channels without using a cable-box. Their CSP then informed them that due to improvements in technology, "it is impossible to provide you with the same 70 channels that we are already providing you with." This attempt to force everyone to use a cable-box is solely about marketing and revenue. It is not at all about advances in technology. If the CSP can persuade all of their subscribers to use their cable-boxes, they can up-sell them entertainment products and upgraded services that cannot be sold to anyone that does not have a cable-box. Likewise, they can extract a rental fee for their additional cable boxes, video recording devices, etc.

This outrageous scenario gives the CSP almost total control over the subscribers ability to use self-owned, no-rent, video devices. This deception by CSPs has already driven many self-owned, DVRs and other TV recording products off of the market. Those who purchased expensive, digital, HDTVs, are reduced to setting their TV to one input/channel and using the complicated remote control for the cable-box. The subscriber is being made to endure a maze of wires, boxes and complicated remote controls on every TV in ones home. This is especially problematic for those with sleek, wall mount televisions, in non-typical locations. It is extremely difficult for the elderly and those without technical aptitude.

Current televisions contain digital tuners that will receive hundreds of channels. There is no justifiable reason that the CSP cannot provide a cable-direct signal that can be decoded by the digital tuner within ones television. The CSP is purposely scrambling and/or encoding channels in a way that will defeat the televisions internal tuner. This forces their subscribers to use the CSPs cable-box, if they want to retain all of the same channels that they had before. Most audacious is the CSP not lowering their monthly fees to their basic cable subscribers, as their no-box, basic channel lineup decreases.

This fraudulent, gotta-have-a-cable-box, scam is nothing the 1990s, I lived in an area that was serviced by a CSP called All American Cable We received numerous channels with their cable line hooked direct to the TV. Unfortunately, All American Cable was acquired by Warner Cable. Warner immediately notified the previous All American customers that Warners technology was different and better. All subscribers would now be required to have a cable box to receive the same channels that they had received before without reality, Warner was simply scrambling their signal and renting their subscribers "set-top-cable-boxes, " to un-scramble their signal.

Warners deception continued until Americast came into the same area and installed a competing cable TV service. Americast, (now called WOW cable,) once again offered subscribers a full array of direct-to-TV channels, with no cable-box. When subscribers began to abandon Warner Cable in mass, Warner suddenly stopped scrambling most of their channels. They flooded the area with advertisements that stated, You can now get up to 70 channels with no cable boxes. Since the change-over to digital television, the cable service providers, including WOW, are using the new technology as a justification to run the same, fraudulent, gotta-have-a-cable-box scam that they did in the 1990s. Unless one desires premium cable services, they absolutely do not need a cable-box!

A cable service provider can manipulate, block, filter or scramble any signal on their lines, any way they want to. For years, they have misinformed cable TV subscribers into paying for bundled channels, many of which they never watch. Now, to add insult to injury, they are again misleading their basic cable subscribers into using cable-boxes to retain the channels that they did watch.

Renting thousands of cable-boxes to people that should not need to rent them, amounts to fraud on a massive scale. Left unchecked, this duplicitous scheme will soon reduce direct-to-TV cable service to a handful of broadcast channels. While Time Warner Cable is reducing their direct-to-TV lineup gradually, WOW cable has already reduced about 70 direct-to-TV channels, down to about 20.

I am writing to request that you demand that something be done to stop this deceptive Cable-box scheme by cable TV service providers.

Thank you for helping to correct this problem


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