Tech Friday: The business practices of telecommunication, cable and Internet providers are ripe for disruptive innovation

Posted By on March 29, 2019

CincinnatiBellLogoIt has been a year since I’ve checked my Internet speed since we have not had any problems, but I doubted we were getting the advertised 500Mbps speeds , but then that my internal network problem.

Speed aside, there hasn’t been any reason to question Cincinnati Bell’s service (our TV and internet service provider). They have been excellent.CincinnatiBellSpeedTest190326 Unfortunately, they play the same game with promotions and surprise price increases as their competitors (ours price bump was a $100 increase per monthly as of February due to expiring promotions). My irritation with this practice is probably magnified ten-fold by those who set up automatic payments and forget about their promos ending until they catch it months later (“Auto Bill-Pay is a terrible practice, but something every monthly service biller loves to do). 

The only way I’ve found to address the issue is to set a calendar reminder and call just before it expires. Getting an acceptable deal usually requires a “threat to leave” and escalating the call to a supervisor in order to find out “what’s newmultiscreensafeguardnew and being offered” in order to “play the game.” At one time this haggling was reserved for buying a car! 

As for our speed, 162 Mbps down, 123 Mbps up without unplugging network devices likely slowing things down,  are acceptable, but nowhere near what is promised. If it is anything like last year, I could unplug everything (including all those “Internet of Things” plugs, switches and smart devices, and likely gain a few Mbps). 

For now, I’ll just live with the above speeds and keep everything the same for another year. After wasting time on the phone with Cincinnati Bells customer service, I was able to get them to lower the bill for another year … but not refund the half month of full priced service (I missed my reminder). I’m sure this “game” is their business model and it enables them to squeeze a little bit more out of every customer … we tolerable it over returning equipment, knowing it is exactly the same hassle with another ISP/cable company all over again. Industry disruptors are seriously needed in this industry.

Comments

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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