Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Striking a Blow (or Two) for The Little Guy

Let me confess something, right up front.

Here in this space, your Uncle PC can be a bit of an unapologetic asshole. That is, sort of, the purpose of this blog.

As stated in my profile and on the very first post, "This is a place for spleen venting..."

Here, The PC can be un-pc. He can blow off steam and be as crude and vulgar, sarcastic and pissed off as he wants.

And, hopefully, be entertaining and funny in the process.

But, (and here comes the confession,) out in the real world, your favorite blogger has always been a bit of a doormat.

Sure, my closest friends know my blog side well. They are the ones who encouraged me to write this stuff down, to begin with. But, in general, out in the big, wide world, the "public me" puts up with a lot of shit with his mouth closed, making no waves, most of the time.

There! I said it.

And, "Why," you may ask, "are you saying it now?"

Excellent question! Thanks for asking.

It's because tonight, your Uncle PC is feeling like a bit of a bad-ass.

I don't know if it's my advancing age, my random glimpses of the reality of mortality, or maybe this blog has just rewired my head, but I am putting up with a lot less shit than I used to.

And not putting up with shit got a couple of things accomplished today.

If you live in Los Angeles, New York City, Dallas, Chicago or any of the other markets affected by the battle royal between Time Warner Cable and CBS Television Networks, or if you have been visiting The PC over the last week or so, you know what is going on.

While each side points fingers and calls the other "greedy," those of us who get our television through TWC are not seeing our favorite CBS shows. TWC has blocked CBS networks in their major markets and, in retaliation, CBS has blocked their internet video content to anyone (like me) who gets their internet through TWC.

Both sides are behaving badly.

The awesome blogger and retired television writer Ken Levine summed it up best...
 "It’s Goliath vs. Goliath. Or more like General Zad vs. Bane. Who do you root for – the gazillionaires at Time-Warner or Sumner Redstone's Viacom? What’s fun is watching the public cat fight."
And, it would be fun, if it wasn't for the fact that Mrs. Blog is not getting her "Young and the Restless" and "Big Brother." And The Blog is missing "Under the Dome."

And, while The PC feels that both sides are culpable, the bottom line is, of the two companies, TWC is the one that sends The Blog a bill for service every month.

So, TWC is the company that has been on the receiving end of The PC's wrath.

Now, it has been fashionable, for a very long time, to deride the cable industry in general and TWC specifically.  Forget baseball. Bitching about bad cable service and it's strangle-hold monopoly is America's favorite pastime.

But, I have never, ever had a beef with Time Warner. I have always gotten excellent service from them.

Even last month when the signal kept dropping out on my favorite channels and it took them a month to find and fix the problem, TWC's techies worked hard and diligently and did find and fix the issue.

Kudos to them!

And, TWC gave me a hefty credit for the month.

But, this week has been different.

Mrs. Blog and I went into the TWC store to voice our complaint about the blackout.

And, I get it. The low level, probably not much higher than minimum wage employees at the store have no control over the battle being waged by their corporate masters.

Fuck, most of them are probably as pissed about not seeing this week's "Big Brother" as Mrs. Blog is.

What set The PC off was the total indifference displayed by said employees. Our concerns were met with literal eye-rolls and shrugs.
"You're going to cancel your service if the issue isn't resolved by the end of the week? Fine with us. Bring your equipment in and we'll cancel your service. Whatever."
To paraphrase a very old SNL bit...
"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the cable company."
 I demanded to speak to a supervisor.

After trying to feed me the official company line, which I had already gotten from the company themselves, the supervisor gave me an antenna and instructions for hook up, so we could get CBS over the broadcast airwaves.

The antenna didn't work.

Five return visits in three days, accompanied by as many shrugs and eye-rolls from every low level "customer service" (HA!) employee that he encountered...

...Brings us to today.

A brief meeting with a tech supervisor got this result...

"Here's what we're going to do. We don't usually do this, but we want you to be happy. So, we will send out a technician, at no charge, to get you hooked up to a working antenna. That should see you through until the whole dispute is resolved."


Finally someone who was interested in satisfying a paying customer.

Without a singe rolled eye or shrugged shoulder.

That's all I wanted.

Score one for the little guy.

Now, on to CBS's petty bullshit.

CBS is blocking internet access to it's video content to TWC internet subscribers.

Thanks to a suggestion posted in the comments on a FoTB's Facebook thread, The PC checked out an internet "proxy server" called...


Don't laugh.

Okay, go ahead and laugh. The site, truly, is indelicately named.

But damned if it didn't do the trick!

He accessed through this anonymizing server and, lo an behold, got full access to's content.

Tonight, Mrs. Blog got caught up with "Big Brother" and The Blog got to watch last Monday's "Under the Dome."

And, finally, there is peace and happiness in The Blog household. And, The PC is now Mrs. Blog's hero.


That is the sound of The Blog sticking it to The Man.

And it feels pretty fucking good. 

No comments:

Post a Comment