Firing DefectiveTV

That, of course, is my name for DirecTV. We can choose between DoucheNetwork (DishNetwork), Cheater (Charter) and DefectiveTV.

We are not big TV watchers, which makes sense because much of what’s on there doesn’t interest us. The ‘History’ Channel is torn between antique dealers and paranormal research. The regular networks are a big faaaaaaaaaaa, except for my trashy reality shows. A&E is bearable. ESPN thinks poker is a sport. Half of what’s on is infomercials, especially late at night.

Here’s what I hate. At any given time, some channel(s) that we paid for and expected to receive are not available. If one navigates to them, one gets a DefectiveTV-slanted pitch as to why. Basically:  “The mean people of this channel want to raise your price to the stratosphere, but we, your defenders at DirecTV, stand firm to protect your lower prices! Write to them and tell them to cave in to us and stop being unreasonable!”

Yeah. I don’t think that’s credible. My prices for DefectiveTV keep going up. When they are bickering over prices, I never get any refund for the content I didn’t receive. The end result, therefore, is that DefectiveTV engages in a lot of pissing matches, but they don’t keep my prices down, and at any given time I’m not getting some of what I pay them for. I think it much more likely that DefectiveTV demands a much bigger piece of the pie, and the content provider balks, and DefectiveTV says, ‘fine. We’ll stop carrying you. Let’s see how your advertisers like that.’ I think DefectiveTV is playing the Wal-Part in this production, and I do not like it. Another good example is the brand new Pac-12 networks. Out here, failure to carry these is not allowable. What is DefectiveTV doing? Bickering with them, of course. What else do they know how to do? Maybe we’ll get them, maybe not. Maybe by the time that’s resolved, I won’t give a damn. Even their satellite reception is crappy, often cutting out just when we want to watch something.

Suppose you are dealing with a child. Daily, the child has a tale of woe. Every day, something goes wrong. Child’s explanation: this person did this, that person caused that, someone dropped this, she is a big meany, he is a jerk. At some point, if the child does not say “I caused this. I messed up. This is my fault,” we tend to think that the common factor in all problems is this child, and s/he is not taking responsibility. DefectiveTV is starting to look like the child.

I think I’m ready to spend my money with adults. I’m sick of second grade recess messing up the few programs and networks I care to watch.

DoucheNetwork isn’t a viable option. I hate going back to regular cable, but so far as I’m aware, Cheater doesn’t spend all this time fighting over content. It’s time to do some research.

Here’s an analogy. I have a grocery store. You shop there. You get used to the products I carry, but now and then there’s some item you cannot find at all. One week, no coffee of any kind; I’m putting the squeeze on my wholesaler. The coffee section is covered over with a large screed pleading my case as to why I am defending your low prices by failing to sell you coffee. Next week, no dairy; I’m bickering with the cow-milkers. Big poster explaining why this is actually to your advantage that you can’t buy sour cream and yogurt. The week after, it’s salsa: none on our shelves, just a large placard blaming the salsa manufacturer for trying to make you pay too much.

But wait: there’s more. You sigh and buy your groceries, minus whatever I was having a bitchfight about. You pay your bill in full. The cashier reaches into your grocery bags and randomly yanks out some of your merchandise, returned to my store’s inventory. No refund. Sorry. This is our policy. You pay for things that you sometimes don’t get. You complain. My employees explain that we do not guarantee that you will get anything at all for your money, therefore we have the right to take back any or all of what you paid for. You call this larceny. My store doesn’t care.

How do you like my business practices?

If you didn’t shower me in vile language, condemning my ancestors as the obvious products of canines fornicating with swine and camels, you either have no passion or weren’t paying attention, or are a nun who doesn’t use that sort of language. One might argue that you should come back to my store and rob me at gunpoint. After all, I robbed you. I took your money and stole back your merchandise. You’d just be getting your money back.

So that’s where we are at with DefectiveTV. We are sick of being robbed. We tire of explanations transparent in a seven-year-old troublemaker. We think the Robin Hood spin is a crock of crap. When we see our DefectiveTV bill go down, when we see a monthly rebate for the content we are denied, we might believe the spin. Until then, it just looks like DefectiveTV waterboarding its content providers for maximum profit, happily hosing its paying customers.

Everyone hates cable companies, but I am hard pressed to divine how they could be more scrofulous than this. I think it’s about time to vote with our wallets.


4 thoughts on “Firing DefectiveTV”

  1. Spot on! The cable companies do it out here (KCMO), too, just fyi. My biggest gripe is the channels they force on you (shopping channels, especially). The only way the consumer would ever win with any of them is if we could purchase channels a la carte. I would have 12, maybe 15 channels and none of the other 80 I never watch. It will never happen.


  2. I think JK is aware that I do now in fact vote with my wallet. I gave up cable all together and stream a few different services to my TV through the internet (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, etc) and so far I’m more than happy. I’m not sure purely internet based streaming media is an option for everyone, but for me it was the answer.


    1. I’m starting to give it more thought myself, Justin. I’ve had enough net outages here to be concerned about reliability, but what I have certainly isn’t making the grade.


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