Last year, there was an announcement to great hoopla from the CRTC that they had mandated "skinny" cable packages for Canadian consumers.
A cable company employee explaining their new packages......
Here in Canada we pay a lot of money every month for things like Cell phones, Internet and cable tee vee, more than many other countries as a matter of fact.
Could be the fact that everything is controlled by VERY few companies, and competition is highly discouraged. If by saying discouraged, you mean squashed like a bug.
Anyway, as many of us predicted, the skinny basic packages look rather amusing? I looked this morning simply because the article on CBC gave me such a great chuckle? And a groan.
Eastlink, the company I pay my pound of flesh to every month has a new "entry level" package, it includes three pay per view channels, (um. ya. I know!, you pay, and then pay AGAIN to watch em) Their own channel where they sell ads usually along with the channel guides, and a lot of french only channels. SEVEN!
In BC. Oh hell ya. You have to know that is a massive smack upside the head from the Cable companies.
In all there are only about 5 channels, that have actual content that we can understand.
The BC legislature channel is part of this package, the BC Legislature channel used to be on the air for about an hour a month it seems, since the BC legislature doesn't actually meet too often between golf games and dinners with companies that want to do biz with Christie Clark and her merry band 'o' corporate lackeys.
Yes, the cable companies are not going to play fair or nice. They give no fucks really.
The CRTC has received 600 complaints since March first with the new mandate. Now, what is their response?
Wait for it........
And for those cable customers not happy with the new packages? Valladao advises them to seek out something better.
"We encourage Canadians if they're not satisfied to shop around, to try to negotiate a deal," she said.
That is in itself an amazingly dense and horrifically uninformed comment....NEGOTIATE with the cable companies. The same ones that crush small start ups, and consolidate on a regular basis so there are like 4 in the whole country now? In the boonies, we have two companies that provide tee vee/internet/phone services, and they are two of the behemoths. Do you really think they will negotiate anything?
Here in the batcave, we had the tee vee cut off three years back and went to a package deal a year or so back on the internet and phone. Yup, there are still a hell of a lot of adding ons and we somehow lost a lot before the data cap kicks in.
The only way for the companies to listen, will be to totally cut off the cable tee vee, if enough of us did that, it may persuade. Or, it may just allow them to jack up the fees on the other items so they can recoup their "losses".
Since no one is actually in charge of this stuff, as the CRTC is asleep in time in 1990, this will only get more expensive.
"We encourage Canadians if they're not satisfied to shop around, to try to negotiate a deal,"
Um. Ya. I have a set of rabbit ears. It gives me three channels I can actually watch for free, which is way better than the 25 dollar pack offered by Eastlink.
The cable companies are having a good giggle about this.
Consumers will simply have to keep bending over, or go without.
Thanks CRTC! Go back to your Parker Lewis Can't Lose episodes. Parker also thought nothing was impossible! He wasn't dealing with Canadian cable companies.