Cox Communications Pitfalls
Raise your hand, if the thought of switching cable companies makes you feel ill. I imagine that anyone who has a hand, has got it in the air right now. Well, I'm unluckier than all of you since I am obligated to give a truthful account of my experiences with Cox, thus recalling all of those painful memories.
Of course, this article would not be complete unless I offered an alternative company, but I want to wait a few months to see how the new one pans out, in order to make an educated comparison. I'll just make an addition to this article, once I get a better feel for the new company...Fair enough?
It's easy to figure out where to begin about my issues with Cox: The day they installed the system - The first time that a Cox representative was in my home. The tech was rooting around behind my computer tower (connecting wires, a modem, etc.), and when he was done, he turned on my computer, and the hard drive had crashed. Now, I'm not going to rule out the fact that the computer was more than five years old, but I also don't believe in coincidences. My computer had never given me a lick of trouble, and the day they installed Cox (which involved messing around with the tower), the hard drive crashed. That was a $400 problem, not to mention all of the information that I had not backed up, which included 50 pages of a novel that I was writing. I had no recourse, because there was no way to prove that the hard drive didn't crash due to its age. Oh well...
I'm not going to harp on the fact that my bill increased 20% at the beginning of the following year, because I believe this is the case for all communications companies. However, with other companies, I was always offered a price-lock feature at the time of purchase, whereas with Cox, I was not.
Throughout the next few years, not only did my internet fail frequently, but since my land line phone was effectively part of the whole system, my land line phone would lose service, as well. So whenever this failure occurred, I was cut off from everything. I could not even call Cox, to tell them about the failure. Thank God that the cable did not fail in-kind, or I would have completely lost my sanity.
When the cable started to pixilate, the 24 hour techs continually told me to detach and re-attach my cables. It was as if they thought that I could perform this exercise at the drop of a hat. I don't know about any of you, but my cables connections are next to impossible to get to. My computer tower is under my desk, so I have to crawl under there with a flashlight and contort my arm behind it in order to unscrew and re-screw all of the cables. The cables run from my tower through my modem, behind my desk (which is up against a wall), through a coupler, through my VCR, and into my television. In order to get behind my TV, I have to unplug it and lift it out from its custom cubbyhole. After doing this on a weekly basis, I started having nightmares about it. And, it never solved the problem. I would just have to deal with it and wait until it (hopefully) corrected itself.
It was happening so frequently, that I finally broke down and had them send a tech over to my house. When he arrived, he checked the connections, inside and outside the house, and found nothing wrong. He left, but the problem stayed. Cox sent over another tech, and the same thing happened. I had three techs over my house within a two week period, and the third replaced the cable coupler. That didn't solve the problem either.
To make matters worse, when I got my cable bill, Cox had charged me $40 for the third service call. When I asked them to explain, they said that the tech had to replace some wires because mine were bad. I told them that this was not the case, and for them to read the notes that the tech had written concerning his visit. The representative told me that nothing was written except for "replaced cable wires". There was no notes regarding the coupler. I told them that I wanted the $40 charge reversed since there was obviously a mistake made. The representative told me that he could not reverse the charge. I hit the ceiling. After screaming at him for half an hour, he said that the only authority that he had was to reverse out $20. That did not go over well with me. I asked him if he was going to let $20 be the reason for losing me, a customer of four years, and he said that he didn't care. I asked to speak to his supervisor, but he had left for the day. I called back the next morning, and another representative answered. I told her of my issue, and not only did she reverse the charge, but she explained that all of the representatives are authorized to do what the previous representative said that he was not authorized to do. So I got back the $40, but my cable problem persisted.
I called a 24 hour tech again, because my computer was running very slowly. He asked me what kind of modem I had, and when I described it to him, he said that it was outdated, and that I could swap it with an up-to-date model free of charge. I asked him if notices were sent out to customers explaining the procedure, and the tech said that Cox never told any customers that they could make the switch. If not for that specific tech, I would still have my old modem. That's just laziness on Cox's part, but by now, I wasn't surprised.
The absolute worst time for your reception to pixilate, is when you're trying to watch a sporting event. I'm a big sports fan, and I can assure, that watching live sports with the picture freezing up and the audio going in and out, is worse than having bamboo chutes shoved under your fingernails. In fact, if I ever wanted to exact some measure of revenge against Cox customer support, I would just make them watch a sporting event on Cox cable. That would certainly be a driving force for them to change their system.
I called Cox the other day, and explained all of my difficulties that I had with them over the prior month. I told them that it would be fair to credit me a month of cable service. Keep in mind that I had the world renowned "Cox Bundle,": Cable. internet, and land line phone. My entire bill was $140/month, but my cable portion was only $70. That $70 was what I was asking as a credit. The representative said that the only thing that she could do was to send over another tech to my house. She said that she saw the record of my previous phone call, but there were no notes written. I told her that sending over a tech would be a pure waste of time, so she said that her hands were tied with respect to giving me a $70 credit. I told her that I had been with Cox for four years at $140/month, and asked her if the $6700 that I'd paid Cox, was reason enough to credit me $70. She said that she could do nothing. I told her to cancel my service. She said that there was a $22 disconnect fee. I told her that there should be no disconnect fee, if the service is sub-par, and she replied that the only way to negate the disconnect fee was to have a tech come over. Wow...What a company. I asked to speak with her supervisor, and I was put on hold for 20 minutes before hanging up.
I called another company and scheduled a switch of service. I found out that for the same price, I would be getting high-definition, DVR service for one year, a speed of 10 megabytes/second vs Cox's 5 Mbs, and all the options for my phone (call waiting, 3-way calls, caller ID, etc.) With Cox, I was getting none of those things.
That's where I currently stand. You can bet your bottom dollar, that I will keep you all apprised as to how the new company fairs, but I think that they would have to try really hard, to do a worse job than Cox.
Well...I needed only two months to determine that my new internet, TV, and phone service provider is better than Cox. I had a billing issue with my current provider, over an issue of $43. In my estimation, this $43 was rightfully owed to me. I spoke to a couple of precursory support personnel, who assured me that their policy states that I was not deserved of said monies. Since my opinion bears more weight than their policy, I asked to speak to a supervisor. After the supervisor explained the policy and I expressed my opinion, she realized that my argument made sense. She said, "What will it take to satisfy you with this issue?" (I can never hear the question often enough.) I gave her the figure which I had determined was rightfully owed to me, and she gave me an immediate credit (not a credit that will be shown on the next bill, but a credit that is applied real-time to my existing balance. I wasn't sure that those kind of credits even existed.) Now, all is peaceful in the jungle.
I wrote this article to explain what I didn't like about Cox, rather than to praise another specific provider. I'm not sure whether or not disclosing my current provider's name would depict me as someone with a dubious nature. So, let's compromise...There are three major service providers in my city: Cox, Centurylink, and Direct TV. You know how I feel about Cox, and I've never used Direct TV. I'll leave it to you, to decipher which provider I am happy with.