Opinion

Downgrading to less entertainment

I was once dealing with a customer service representative of a broadband television provider about which viewing package is right for me.

Simple, right?

Well, it is if you either:

a) Deal exclusively and entirely with the literature about the packages you can find online (and have faith your decision will turn out alright); or

b) Deal exclusively and entirely with the customer service people you find at the other end of the telephone line (and have faith your decision will turn out alright).

If you should be daring and do as I did, you will have first checked out online all the literature available on the subject of television viewing packages.

Then, when you make the phone call to customer service to inquire further, you’ll be armed with knowledge and information to (hopefully) make the best decision possible.

Wrong.

This is because you will most likely encounter conflicting information.

And you are not wrong if you think this is correct.

The customer service representative may contradict or awkwardly choose phrases in their discussion with you that may conflict with what is documented in their literature online.

In my case, I was interested in downgrading from a middle of the road tier to one less expensive pay grade as it were, of viewing package service.

I wanted to hear what the customer service person’s take on their not-so-aptly named “Entertainment” package (which was one step below their “Premium” package) was.

“I’m interested in changing my plan.”

“Do you know what plan you’d like to switch to?”

“I’d like to switch to the Entertainment package, but I’m interested in hearing more info about it, specifically, what kinds of channels and how many will I lose, if I indeed decide to follow suit and switch.”

Human voice same as computer simulated one

“I can help you with that.”

“Oh great!”

“You will be losing approximately 30 channels, but you can maintain any of your subscription stations, local stations and premium programming channels that you may have.”

“So, what would you say is the main difference from the Entertainment package and the Premium one?”

“Well, the stations you’d be losing, that is if you made the switch from Premium to Entertainment package, are mostly entertainment-variety channels.”

“So, let me get this straight. You’re saying if I move from the “Premium” package to the “Entertainment” package I’d be losing Entertainment channels?”

“Well, um, yes, sir that’s correct. You’d also be losing some sports channels, too.”

“So why do you guys call a package that contains less entertainment channels, the “Entertainment” package? Isn’t that kind of ironic?”

“I suppose it is sir.”

Time for some entertainment soul-searching

Before I had the rep speak further, I inquired whether or not the change could be effected online or if I needed to call again should I decide to downgrade to Entertainment.

I thought it might be like when you try to cancel service entirely and find you cannot do so online—you can only cancel after stating your name, rank and serial number to a representative over the phone and stating your case for leaving them.

She assured me I could make the move to Entertainment on my own and online, when the time came.

That time came not too long after we ended our call.

She did want to know if I was satisfied with her service and if the reasons I called were addressed during our conversation.

I indicated they were and thanked her for her time and information.

I then went online and downgraded to the Entertainment package—even though I was losing some entertainment stations in the 30-some channels that were going buh-bye, I still reckoned I’d have enough entertainment programming to get by.

The moral of the story

Sometimes there’s a lesson in these articles and other times not so much.

I guess if you had to find one in this case, it would be to either call and speak to a person or research online (and pull the trigger that way)—but do not try doing both, unless you want way more entertainment in the decision-making process than you bargained for.

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