Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bye, Suddenlink

For those of you that didn't read about it on my Facebook page, it's official now. We're no longer with Suddenlink cable TV (except I have to call and cancel my service with Suddenlink). We're now on Dish Network satellite TV.

I don't watch all that much TV anymore, but Connie does. She seemed interested in getting more channels. All we have are the 10 or so very basic cable channels. I switched to that because the plan we were on earlier with all the channels was getting up to $50.00 a month, and I don't watch that much TV so it wasn't worth it to me.

So Connie started hinting at me that Dish Network wasn't that much more expensive and we'd get a whole bunch more channels (although some of the channels are junk). Well, her birthday was coming up so that made an easy present. When I looked at my last Suddenlink bill, it was a done deal. I'm paying as much for the few channels I get from Sudddenlink as I'd be paying for 120 channels from Direct TV, for the first year, anyway.

Seems to me I switched to Suddenlink's lower cost plan ($16.50? a month) about three years ago and it's already gone up to over $24.00. Enough of that!

I called Dish Network yesterday and they installed it today. Not bad.

A couple things Dish Network isn't too upfront about in their advertising, though:

It took about 30 to 45 minutes to set up the deal on the phone. It wasn't until the last five minutes or so the gal told me they'd also be charging almost a $50.00 "processing fee" to my credit card. I chided her a bit for that but it really wasn't any surprise.

It looked outwardly like just a one year contract at the low price of $24.99 for the first year, but it's a two year contract. You get one year at the discount price and have to stay with them one year at the regular price of $39.99. No problem. I don't blame them. Just be aware that if you try to get out of the deal before two years are up, they charge you $17.50 for every month you fall short of completing the contract.

I also noticed, when checking my newly opened online account page they have me listed as paying $6.00 a month for some service warranty. I don't remember ever agreeing to that. The guy that installed the dish mentioned it to me earlier and said if I didn't want it I didn't have to sign for it. I didn't, but it's on my account right now. I'll have to keep an eye on that and make sure it's removed.

Things I like, so far, from my hour or so of experience: There are a lot of decent channels from what I can see and I do get local channels, unlike some others I've heard from. Most channels seem to be available in both High Definition and regular, too, so it makes it look like a lot more channels.

I also like the menu channel where it shows you what's available to watch on your plan. You click on the show you want to watch and it takes you right there. No more going through the paper's TV guide and seeing a show you'd like to see only to realize your Suddenlink plan doesn't offer that channel.

So, good bye, Suddenlink. No real hard feelings. Your prices just go up to fast for someone like me.


At 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. That was fascinating.

At 8:29 PM, Blogger Carol said...

Are you on Dish or Direct?

At 8:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, did you have any trouble getting "local" channels? And are they really local? For example, are you really able to watch "our" Channel 3 news from KIEM?

At 5:49 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

It's Dish Network. Sorry for the confusion. I had to look at the e-mail they sent me to be sure for myself.

As far as KIEM, I'll check in a while to make sure. I forgot to try to see if I could watch the local news last night.

At 6:53 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

CEASE FIRE, on this promotion, at least temporarily.

We might NOT have local programming, although the installation guy said we did and local channels started on 3. We couldn't find local programs on the menu and, when we tried to go straight to channel 3 it didn't work.

So, I made the mistake of changing the channel through the TV remote control and it screwed everything up. Now we have no TV at all and I'll have to call the guy back to fix it. Since I didn't buy the service warranty, I'll probably have to pay the big bucks, unless we can fix it before then.

At 7:06 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Cool. Looking at the paper the installation guy gave me that has their phone number, I see they're offering one free service call withing the first 12 days of installation so I probably won't have to pay anything.

Shouldn't be hard to fix this for someone that knows what they're doing.

At 8:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you still use Suddenlink for internet or do you have ATT?

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I have ATT internet.

At 9:22 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Ok, a correction to my correction. Dish Network DOES have local programming. The friendly service guy came over, fixed my problem by simply pushing a button on the TV remote and showed us channels 3 and 13. You just have to know how to get to them. They're under TV1, or some such.

At 9:38 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I just turned the TV on to see if we could find channel 3 and channel 3 was on the main menu. Not sure why it wasn't there earlier.

At 7:24 PM, Blogger Rose said...

That's cool.

At 12:52 AM, Blogger jamie said...

Suddenlink has really disatisfied with their service lately. I have had to call customer service 3 times in the last week. The cable will all of the sudden lose the connection for a good 30 to 40 minutes. When i have a connection a lot of the times i lose hearing volume. It's not on all of the channels but it happens to a lot of them. This is VERY irritating! I am thinking about switching to direct tv or dish. It is getting absolutely rediculous and frustrating! has anyone else had problems with this?

At 7:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have Suddenlink for cable TV only. (AT&T for internet and I like that a lot.)

When I called Direct TV about a year ago, their promise of more HD channels at lower cost turned out to be B.S. They wasted about a half-hour of my precious time trying to trick me into signing with them.

That's all I can offer for now. Hope somebody found my little contribution to the conversation useful.

At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It’s an unfortunate situation that these issues seem to be becoming more and more common in the TV service industry. As a DISH Network employee and subscriber I see it from both sides and although we’re certainly not immune to these types of issues either, it comes down to how their dealt with. And in that area DISH excels by making every effort to mitigate the inconvenience to their customers. That’s probably part of why DISH was ranked highest among TV and satellite TV providers in the latest ACSI survey.


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