Keep That Cable Guy Out Of Our Homes

Thursday, September 20, 2012 Posted by Shattered Paradigm

What if I could name a major local business that is losing a lot of money? I am talking about cable.

But that is a very profitable business, along with internet access and digital telephones, right? It is also very competitive.

The cable business like the telephone company is very profitable. But they are also into invading everyone's privacy. They make an initial trip into your home to set everything up. Then every few months they have to come in to correct something to keep every thing working. And that is where a quiet revolution is occurring. People are cancelling the cable. They don't want the cable guy in their homes.

I have a long term Christian friend. Her name is unimportant. For this article I will call her Michelle.
Michelle is type I and II diabetic. It is where a person has no insulin left. They are insulin resistant.
Michelle weighs in at about 350 pounds. She wasn't always that heavy. I suggest insulin had something to do with the weight gain. Her sister is weighing in at around 275. They are both in their 60s. Both are single and most of their lives they have kept up with the housekeeping. Now they are both barely able to live without assistance. Their house is no longer tidy. There are things to put away. But they may never get put away. Michelle and her sister are couch bound a lot of the time. But they can still feed themselves. Still do basic functions. Still go to the store. Only they have no energy left after doing so. And there is the problem. They are short of energy to do everyday basic things.

Michelle isn't alone. Mary has had a problem walking since her 50s. She has gone arthritic. A lot of people have had operations. In a year or two they are back. They are all crippled. A lot of these people do not and cannot keep house. So they do it once a week. Or even once a month. Or never. But they still enjoy the luxury of being their own boss, having their own home. A lot hire someone to mow the law and shovel the sidewalks when appropriate.. But they jealously guard their privacy. No one must know.

I know a lot of people like Michelle. A lot of people that have gotten to the point where housekeeping is a very big problem. Most own their own homes and a lot are on disability or retired. If you count the spots in front of your local grocery with handicap markers on them, then divide by about 3, you have the number of people at any time of day or night that might be a Michelle or Mary. I estimate I personally know about 30 Michelles in my area. I know there are thousands more. I know the local department stores keep 8 electric carts on hand at all times.

I often volunteer to do minor maintenance for some of my friends. So I have seen first hand what their houses look like. I am not their judge nor intend to be. I don't walk in their shoes. But if a toilet is blocked, I can usually fix it. If a sink leaks because of a corroded P pipe, I can generally fix that also. Been known to replace a light switch or an electric plug when necessary, or troubleshoot a fuse that controls an Air Conditioner.

I often keep their PCs running for them. I am probably an intermediate user. I can do most things on a computer. I can make basic repairs. So because I am trusted, they let me in where they would not let anyone else in. So I know what the numbers look like. And those numbers are fairly large. It is a lot more common than anyone realises.

None of the these people will own cable. Why? Because they have to let someone in their house on a regular basis. And they do not want to let a stranger into their living room. I guest-imate a good 10-20 percent of the people out there without regard to age do not want a stranger fixing things in their living room or repairing them constantly every other month.

That means the cable company is losing 10-20% of the business out there because of privacy issues.
If they get a cable company at all, then they install it themselves or do without. Often it falls to a member of the family that is not handicapped. These people have a little bit of technical knowledge.
Often they go to cable alternatives like Direct TV and others.

I think that is why they often go to a company that allows them to install and maintain things themselves. Or they simply put up an antenna and replace it once every 5 to 10 years. Again that chore falls to a relative with some knowledge and the ability to climb.

What the cable company needs to do is reinvent itself. You have two terminals outside your home.
One is attached to the house outside. The other is attached to a telephone pole or a junction box at the bottom of the yard if it is buried. They need a signal junction. This measures the signal coming into the house. That would be in the junction box attached to the house. They need a second signal junction at the pole. This would automatically tell a technician if the problem is outside the house.
Those cute little squirrels have a tendency to chew through lines. So do raccoons and possums. Under the current system, the cable man comes in and uses your modem to determine where the signal went wrong.

I suggest if the problem is in the boxes in the house or the modem in the house, it is detectable from the wires coming into the house from the junction box. All that has to happen is someone needs to unplug the modem or the cable box and take it in to the cable company. The cable company will happily replace both items for you if you can plug them back in at home. If a family member can learn how to do this, no more privacy invasion.

The cable company is the real winner in a situation like this. If someone in the house can plug the boxes up properly and the modem, there is no real need for someone to invade your home. They don't have to pay the extra freight of a technician coming out every other month.

We had a nickname for one brand of modem. They called it the brick. Every time there was any kind of power outage. Every modem in the district turned into a brick. The techs were working overtime just keeping the system together. They started replacing them with something more stable. Anyone need a king sized paper weight? Uverse actually has a battery backup that acts as wall between the modem and the power company. So it is a real problem when the power goes off and comes back on in a surge.

Not every situation can be solved by family. There are times when a tech is necessary to figure out what is going on. Not everyone has an electrician in the house.

If you want to pick up 20% more business. Find a way to keep it Simple. Find a way to keep that cable guy out of our homes.

(authored by Dave Webb)


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