Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
Choosing a cable provider may be an easy choice in many areas. The regulations regarding cable providers is normally such that it provides a very limited opportunity for competition. The provider is allowed to operate nearly as a monopoly. This is especially true of markets within the United States. However, for those locations where there may be multiple cable providers, the question comes down to what the consumer wants from their cable TV service.
The first question that must be answered is that of price. Where there are competitors, the television service offered may not exactly match in price. It is good for the consumer to look at what television channels they want most. In some cases, they may be available for a cheaper price in a lower-tiered package on one service and not the other. The packages, and levels of service, cable companies offer differ slightly, allowing for a better chance of deals.
This difference in the packages is one of the key differentiations between the services. Most cable providers do this because it is hard to make a substantial difference in the cost of the service. Finding another way to make draw a line of distinction, therefore, becomes very important. The best way to do that is to offer slight variations in the channel packages.
Another way some cable providers may choose to differentiate television service is by offering pay-per-view specials that another provider cannot offer, or chooses not to. This is especially true of some sporting events. However, this information may not be readily available to the consumer at the time they are choosing a provider. In those cases, the best way to discover a certain provider's reputation for pay per view and sports packages is simply to ask others who may be using different services what their experiences have been.
It is important to also understand which cable providers in your area have a good reputation as being focused and responsive to the customer. The Better Business Bureau, or BBB, can help in that regard. They will log complaints against businesses and tell how many get resolved to the customer's satisfaction. It is important to understand that even the best companies may receive complaints from time to time, to understand that, in the vast majority of cases, there will be many satisfied customers as well.
Also, those looking at different cable providers will probably find it beneficial to know how and when they schedule installations. Some tend to make it substantially more convenient for the customer than others. Some may have waiting times of several weeks. Others may be able to do an installation within a business day or two. Some may work around your schedule. Others may insist you work around theirs.
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!