Thank God I am not a HUGE television watcher or I would be in the mad house by now.

Our cable company has no problem charging us a fortune for service. Unfortunately, they DO have a problem PROVIDING the service we are paying for.

For what they charge us, we should be allowed to meet and greet with the stars of the shows...they should pop out of the television and sign autographs.

But I digress.

Our service is plagued by what I understand is called pixelation issues.

Ever watch a show and have the picture scramble up and even freeze? Audio cuts out...picture is unwatchable?

It's the same effect you might get with a satellite when there are atmospheric issues or the dish is pointing in the wrong direction.

Well, we are hard wired. We don't have a satellite pointing in the wrong direction. We are PAYING to have a clear picture.

But it's a daily occurrence to have nearly every show we watch have heavy pixelation problems. Nice. If it were a free service, I wouldn't gripe.

And yes, we have called the cable provider. They also provide the service to our phones and internet, so you can imagine the fun we have when all three go on the fritz. It's always fun to pick up your phone and not be able to even call 911 if you had to. Or doing medical transcription and have the internet signal BURP for 5 seconds--5 seconds that erase 30 minutes worth of your work.

They have sent people out. They have pulled out electronic gizmos. They have checked signal strength and determined the problems ARE, indeed, on THEIR end.

Just turned on the television. The pixelation is WORSE than before they tried to fix the problem. I can't watch a show for five minutes without it happening.

Customer service is, by and large, dead. When I asked them what they were going to do about it and if they would credit us for all the NON SERVICE they have provided us, they look at you like you are NUTS and speaking a FOREIGN LANGUAGE.

I say "by and large" because you can still find it...that elusive smile and helpful guidance that actually make you feel a glimmer of hope...like finding a gas station in the middle of nowhere after your gas light has been on for 50 miles.

We were at a hotel this past weekend. As we checked in, we asked the agent if there were other rooms available because my in-laws wanted to stay at the same hotel. The LAZY woman said "I think we're pretty full. Sorry."

Turns out they WEREN'T full. They HAD rooms. And thankfully for the hotel's investors, my father-in-law asked another agent who booked them the room or they would have been out hundreds of dollars.

Do companies really wonder why they go out of business?

It's no mystery.

The writing is on the wall.

Maybe they can't read it through all the pixelation.

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