I called our local cable provider recently to find out how to go about getting a new remote control. It’s hard to imagine a better example of a ‘first-world problem’ but, after 8 years of loyal service, the remote for our cable box was giving up the ghost.
The helpful Customer Relations Associate; Bob, informed me of my options. He would happily (and he really did seem happy about it), ship me a new remote but I would, sadly (and he really did seem sad about it), have to pay the shipping cost. Otherwise, if I could take my current, gasping-for-its-last-breath, remote control to one of their convenient retail locations along with a photo ID, they would give me a new remote free of charge. “I see we have a store 3.2 miles from your home.” Setting aside the flash of paranoia over the fact that Bob knew where I lived when I had only ever given him my first name, I said I would be happy to visit their convenient retail location.
In the aftermath of a recent burglary at Casa de Harper, we were less than thrilled with our current Home Security provider and had been considering changing companies. “Bob, while I am in your convenient retail location, would they be able to give me information about your Home Security services?”; I asked naïvely. Well of course they would! That Bob; what a guy!
“While I have you on the phone;” said my new BFF Bob; “I see you have cable television, high-speed internet, and local telephone services with us; and you are now considering adding Home Security. We are currently offering customers with three or more services in their bundle, premium channels at reduced rates for a 6 month introductory period. You can cancel at any time.”
Cable company bundling prices are a form of alchemy if not witchcraft. I am not a novice in the ways of things financial but I have more success reading chicken entrails than understanding what a change in service would do to my cable bill. Now that I think of it, I have never been inside one of their Call Centers so it is possible the two are related. I heard something that could have been poultry sacrifice in the background while I was talking with Bob.
After a few minutes of helpful chat, I was on the way to getting a new remote control, had the name of a Home Security Consultant who would be contacting me to schedule an appointment to review their services, and two premium channels at a combined, incremental cost of only $11 per month; for the first six months, associated sales & telecommunications taxes not included.
If Harper ever gets a sibling we should name him/her “Bob”.
HBO & Showtime. They’re Heeeere!
Harper’s Keeper disappears into the television just like Carol Anne.