Goodbye Insight

My cable provider, Insight Communications, no longer exists. They were bought by Time Warner Cable last year, and today the “Merger” is complete.

I put the word “Merger” in quotes because most of the uses of the word are both highly amusing and incorrect; when Company A buys Company B, B usually refers to it as a “Merger”, while A refers to it as an “Acquisition”.

One way to tell a real merger is to look at the name of the resulting entity. “JP Morgan Chase” is the result of a merger. So is “Lockheed McDonnell-Douglas”. So, for that matter, is “Time Warner”.

The result of the Time Warner/Insight “Merger” will be called… “Time Warner“. It is not a merger. Let’s call it what it is: Time Warner is eating Insight alive.

All that aside, I have been with Insight since they were TKR Cablevision. I have found their service to be fairly good; they answer the phone promptly, it is not too hard to get through to a real person, and their repair crew are very responsive… but they have a nasty habit of sneaking in up-charges on your bill when they think you’re not looking.

  • A couple of years ago they added a $7/month “connection charge” to my phone service. I didn’t notice until a few months later, and they refused to remove it. They try to pass this off as a “Government Mandated Fee”, which it isn’t… and the FCC caps this fee at $6.50.
  • More recently, they started charging me a “rental fee” on my Cable Modem. This is interesting, considering that I have owned my Cable Modem for about eleven years.
  • When I first got my Home Phone Service with them, it cost $18/month. Now it costs $39. For local home service, with NO long-distance. When I asked them about this, they told me that I could get a better home phone service, but I would have to pay them $80 for a Cable Modem.
  • Every January they raise everybody’s prices and see who kicks up a fuss. If you kick and scream and threaten to leave, they give you a “promotional discount”, but they will NOT lower the price back to its original level.

It is easy to complain, but in the past, I have simply called them up and told them that if I cannot keep this bill under $100/month, I would start amputating stuff and surfing on over to the competition. Perhaps this is why my service costs $98/month (for Internet, Phone and Cable TV), while a family member pays $150 for the same service.

Insight were a slippery company to deal with, and the second most adversarial company that I do business with (the first is Verizon Wireless, with whom I am under contract until next May)

So goodbye, Insight, and Good Riddance

Time Warner, I will be watching you. You have been Time Warned.

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