journal for 2003-12-20

cable tv people

Our cable TV started being wonky last night. The high-numbered channels weren’t coming in. I figured it would go away, but it was still like that just now around 15:00. I called Service Electric. The CSR told me to see where the division was, and I said it was around 13. She said, “Your cable is fine, something is wrong with your TV.” Uh.

So, while she yammered and asked me whether I had seen any power surges, I went and found that the problem was between channels 14 and 15. She didn’t care. “Look,” I said, “there’s no problem with my TV. I’m not touching the TV, I’m using the cable box, and the TV is staying on channel three.”

She insisted that she knew this, but that my TV had obviously moved to use the antenna, not the cable, and that’s why it couldn’t get high-numbered channels. I told her that this didn’t make sense, and she just repeated herself, this time angry. “If my cable box is fine,” I asked, “why does my TV matter? The TV is tuned to channel three, and it doesn’t know which channel I’m telling the cable box to put on channel three.” Angrier yet, she said, “Well, in my experience this is what happens.”

Rather than try to teach her how a television works, I checked. The TV was set to cable. She said she’d reset my cable box.

I cannot stand it when I call a company to receive professional support on their product and I end up having to explain its workings to their employees. What a waste of my time.

Written on December 20, 2003