A little background first (in case you haven’t been following this site religiously), from our local cable company, Atlantic Broadband, we get the fastest internet they offer because that is what is really important. We also get what they call the Limited TV Service so we can get the local big 4 networks and the PBS stations. Because we get just the limited channels we don’t have the cable box that they usually rent you for a mere eight to ten dollars a month, the coaxial cable gets plugged right into the back of the Samsung.
In early September, we received a letter from Atlantic Broadband with the exciting news that starting October 10th all the Limited TV channels would be broadcast in digital format. To view these dramatically enhanced picture and sound quality channels you would need a digital adapter. The letter states that we were eligible to receive two digital adapters at no cost for use on TV sets that are connected directly to cable and if we needed more than 2, they would be $2.99 a month. One adapter would be mailed directly to our home.
Sure enough, two weeks ago, a box came in the mail and inside was an adapter and its associated remote. I placed it aside waiting for the 10th of October to see if I’m really going to need it or not. Right now, if I let the TV scan for available channels it finds over 40 stations which includes several standard definition versions of the local networks along with an HDTV version. So instead of watching the NBC affiliate in 4:3 low definition on channel 2, I watch the 16:9 high def one on channel 82–14, etc. I’m hoping that this will still be the case once they go digital. But not optimistic.
On Monday, we got an email that our cable bill for October was available for viewing and paying online. Hmmm, that total looks higher than it did last month., so I look at page 2 where the details are and looky here. Under Monthly Charges, along with the cost of our monthly cable service there is a line for a Limited Digital Adapter at a cost of $2.99 for the month. WTF? It is supposed to be free!
And it gets even better. Underneath the Monthly Charges section is one entitled Prorates where there is a line for Limited Digital Adapter at a cost of 89 cents. They started charging me for using the adapter (which wasn’t connected to the cable yet and supposed to not be needed until the 10th of October.) on the 22nd of September. Had they looked at the tracking number of the package and started charging on the day of delivery to my house?
Update: 55 minutes total on hold, 2 customer service representatives and the $4.49 “mistake” was removed from our bill.