Spectrum cable $15 rebate

a “reckoning”

spectrumReading the article Disney vs. Charter Spectrum: The Sticking Points, Where Things Stand, and More in The Hollywood Reporter for September 4, one item jumped out at me. 

“Is Charter Spectrum giving customers rebates? Yes, Charter Spectrum is offering customers who call customer service a $15 rebate. If the dispute drags on, it is possible” that the offer will expand.

Hey, I still have Spectrum Cable. Unlike most of the other carriage disputes between cable providers and carriers, this one affected me. I planned to watch at least some of the US Open tennis tournament broadcast on the ESPN networks over the Labor Day weekend.

When I called Customer Service first thing Tuesday morning, I had a 12-minute wait. The first person I talked with had no idea what I was talking about. I was transferred to billing, which took another 14 minutes.


NOW I’m at the right place. After verifying my information, she activated the $15 rebate plus a $5 rebate for the next six months, which they added because they had just raised their rates by about $8. But it won’t affect my August 23 bill, but rather the following one.

Go somewhere else!

Per the article: “In an unprecedented move, Charter [Spectrum] is telling some customers to consider Fubo, the sports-centric vMVPD, and is offering a discounted rate for three months (yes, the cable company is giving its customers an offer to cancel their TV service).”

In my experience, this was correct! The billing person sent me an email. The last line: “For more information about the situation and to see what options are available, visit disneyespnfairdeal.com.” The link eventually directs me to two tiers of Fubo with a Spectrum discount. Alternatively, “Stream with another provider such as Sling or YouTube TV.”

I’m going to have to consider the options seriously. My phone/Internet/cable services are bundled. Currently, the phone service is reasonable, but the phone is high, and the cable is expensive. I could get the phone and Internet service for less from Verizon.

I don’t know if Fubo would work on my “old” (2015) television. The other issue involves getting a DVR, if that’s an option, because I hate watching live TV.

Less than a month ago, TechCrunch noted: “Linear TV viewing [cable and broadcast usage] sinks below 50% as streaming soars to new heights.”

THR quotes  MoffettNathanson analysts Michael Nathanson and Craig Moffett: “‘The stark reality is the media and distribution landscape has been building up to this moment for many years. Each media company owns some of the blame…’ Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahall calls the [Disney/Charter Spectrum] dispute a ‘reckoning’ for the media business.” Is this “the end of the end?”

iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7

Proving I didn’t live where I didn’t live

watch series 7The doorbell rang, and then there was knocking on the door. I came downstairs and received a box from the FedEx guy. It came from a fulfillment center in Fort Worth, TX. When I opened the package, I found a packing slip for an iPhone 13 and an Apple Watch Series 7. You might guess the problem.

The form message from Spectrum Mobile was a bit ominous. “If you did not order this product, DO NOT OPEN DEVICE PACKAGING and please contact us immediately at (833)…” Oh yeah, “Once a package is opened or seal is broken, future returns or exchanges may result in restocking fees of $50 per device.” And there’s a 14-day window, not from when I received it but from the shipping date two days earlier.

I should note that I do have some services, including the Internet, from Spectrum. But I have nothing from the related Spectrum Mobile.

The first person I spoke with said they’d cancel my Mobile account, which I doubt happened because I kept getting welcoming emails. The second person was worse. They suggested that, since I had the equipment anyway, maybe I wanted to keep it and switch to Spectrum Mobile. What? Upselling me when a fraud has been perpetrated on both Spectrum and me? Then I was on hold for a minimum of twenty minutes.

One out of three ain’t bad

At least, the third person, in the fraud department, was helpful. They told me:
* The items were purchased on a MasterCard that was not mine. But during the transaction that got this unwanted equipment to me, the purchaser used MY Social Security number. This was extremely discomforting.
* The purchase was for $268, but that was just the downpayment on the purchase, which totaled about two grand.
*The buyer used a variation of my name on an Outlook account that is not mine.

I was trying to figure out how a crook would make money sending me the equipment I did not request. My wife theorized that maybe porch pirates were scoping out our house. The rep suggested that I might receive a contact from the fraudsters to tell me the package was sent to me in error. They could then get me to return the box to a fraudulent address.

Before I sent the package back, using a FedEx label Spectrum emailed me, I became obsessed with my vulnerability for identity theft. I went to the Experian page and checked the information they had on me. My credit card usage appeared to be correct. But the file showed that I once lived in Schuylerville, NY in Saratoga County, NY, in the Albany metro, but 30 miles away, where I’ve never resided.

Experian wanted me to send documentation, such as a photo of my current DMV ID, to prove I DIDN’T live in Schuylerville in the past? Je ne comprends pas. I requested that they make the change sans the picture.

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