Cablevision Caught Blatantly Lying To Customers About Digital TV Switch

from the don't-blame-us,-blame-the-fcc dept

As you probably have heard, in early 2009, over-the-air TV stations will no longer be broadcasting analog signals to those who receive television over-the-air (with an antenna). This is part of a necessary effort to reclaim valuable wireless spectrum that the broadcasters have held (for free) for many years, and put it to much better use. This change only impacts those who watch TV over-the-air. That means it has no impact whatsoever on anyone who receives their television via cable or satellite TV (representing the majority of TV viewers out there). Yet, this apparently didn’t stop at least one cable company from claiming otherwise.

Consumerist has caught Cablevision telling customers that they need to upgrade to a digital cable box by order of the FCC. This is simply untrue. Cablevision is upgrading many of its channels to digital format from analog, and those channels will no longer be available to customers who don’t have a digital cable box. But, that’s entirely a business decision made by Cablevision, and has absolutely nothing to do with the the FCC-mandated switch for over-the-air broadcasts. It’s just that Cablevision timed this deal to coincide with all the stories about the over-the-air switch, and is using that to make people think that it’s the FCC’s fault. Cablevision responded to Consumerist admitting that the change has nothing to do with the FCC’s mandated change — but refused to explain why every customer support person Consumerist spoke to gave the FCC as the reason, even after they specifically went to check their training notes. It’s a rather sneaky (and likely illegal) move to claim that people need to upgrade due to the FCC when the FCC has nothing to do with it.

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Companies: cablevision, fcc

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Comments on “Cablevision Caught Blatantly Lying To Customers About Digital TV Switch”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Is this an issue?

I’m a cable vision subscriber mainly for the fact that for man years they had a monopoly on Long Island, which was not a big deal because gas and electric are also a monopoly, and so was telephone for awhile.

But the point was that you rent the cable box from cable vision for a small monthly fee and they replace them every couple of years, since a switch to digital cable TV reception (when it works *Cablevision Sucks*) has been flawless. Sure it cost a bit more but Cable Vision no longer has a monopoly so just choose another cable provider.

yo ho ho.... says:

Re: Is this an issue?

Yes — this is an issue.

Perhaps you are out of touch with the majority of America — but I don’t have a choice. And there is still only a single-source provider of cable for almost 85% of the US. Most cities don’t have multiple providers either…

… so please, don’t start toting Cablevision (or any other cable providers) BS by saying that one can choose another cable provider. That’s simply not true. The only option for most of us is to either pay outrageous cable fees from the only provider in town or, sign up for a mediocre dish service, or plop out the old rabbit ears… which won’t be an option soon enough.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Is this an issue?

Of the HD choices currently available, the “ol’ Rabbit ears” are pretty much your best choice. ALL of the other HD sources have had enough extra compression added (to reduce their bandwidth & the “providers” to transmit more channels in the same bandwidth) that the images just suck.
If course if you don’t live in a major market, you’re pretty much boned. I’m lucky I live in Chicago.

BlowURmindBowel says:

Underhanded? yes... but...

I dunno how this company was planning on changing up their channel lineup…

But if they need to lie to get people to rent digital cable boxes, let em do it… For an extra $2 a month you get access to more channels that you have already been “paying” for but couldn’t see, anyone who doesn’t have a digi-box yet needs to get scammed… Yeah I’m being a jerk, but I think that upgrading to digital cable is more of a benefit to the consumer than it is a rise in profits for the provider, but admittedly I don’t know the specific pricing scheme for this company.

My local provider charges $40/mo for the expanded basic (non-digital cable).

And $50/mo for the basic digital cable (one box rental included) and the basic digital package has 60! more channels than the expanded basic non-digital service, plus a bunch of free on-demand content, menu based guide, etc…

Non-digital cable is a jip anyways 😛

BlowURmindBowel says:

Re: Re: Underhanded? yes... but...

Actually I have service from a very very small locally owned Cable provider that actually doesn’t suck.

The $10 upgrade gets you: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, FSN Midwest, Metro Sports, Versus, Fox News Channel*, CNBC, MSNBC, ABC News Now, CNN Headline News, CNN*, TNT*, USA*, A&E, Tru TV, AMC, TBS*, Bravo, TV Land, History Channel*, Sci-Fi Channel, F/X, Spike TV, Comedy Central, E!, CMT, GAC
The N, MTV2, BET, MTV, VH1, Travel Channel, TLC, Lifetime
Lifetime Movie Network, Oxygen, Food Network*, HGTV, Nicktoons, Noggin, Nickelodeon*, Toon Disney, Disney*, Cartoon Network, KCPT Sprout, Discovery*, ABC Family, National Geographic, Hallmark Channel, Animal Planet, FamilyNet, American Life, Inspiration Network, iLifetv
TBN, EWTN, Blue Highways, Retirement Living, The Weather Channel, ESPN PPV and 48 Digital Music Channels.

Oh and 35 HD channels. *Denotes HD availability at no extra charge.


BlowURmindBowel says:

Re: Re: Underhanded? yes... but...

I was speaking from my own experience with my cable company and only regarding the extra hardware costs. I presume costs are different with everyone’s service, how smart of you to not follow that…

basic box $5/mo; Digital Box $7/mo = total increase in rental fees = $2 easy enough for ya?

Scott G says:

I agree that Cablevision is scum but...

The truth is that Cablevision has a different way of transmitting its signal from what Time Warner does in NYC and FIOS does in Long Island. Time Warner requires you to get a box if you want a TV to work. Period. Same with FIOS, and as a result, FIOS just sent us “free” boxes that only display the channels but do not offer on demand/guide content.

We’re ex-Cablevision customers for another reason (they’re scum) but Cablevision has forever broadcast tv over the cable lines without requiring the use of boxes. I’m not making excuses for them, please don’t be fooled, it’s their own policy that ended up screwing them in the end. I’m glad.

RevMike says:

Re: I agree that Cablevision is scum but...

“The truth is that Cablevision has a different way of transmitting its signal from what Time Warner does in NYC and FIOS does in Long Island. Time Warner requires you to get a box if you want a TV to work. Period. Same with FIOS, and as a result, FIOS just sent us “free” boxes that only display the channels but do not offer on demand/guide content.”

Actually, FIOS provides an analog signal as well (at least they did a few months ago). I ran several TVs off of FIOS in Long Island and they got “broadcast” service just fine. We only needed boxes for the “cable” services.

Screwed anyway says:

Lack of choices

Why is it that we have to be subject to these kinds of dealings? If that happened where I am, it would be moot, as I don’t have options for cable providers. I get Time Warner. period. No choice on a cable provider. I’m using Dish, and I hate it, but it was the cheapest I could find, so now I’ve got an ugly dish drilled into my roof; there just isn’t any REAL competition in the TV marketplace.

Rose M. Welch says:

Once again, most of you miss the point.

I don’t think anyone is upset that the company is trying to sell thier boxes or make more money. Cablevision is obviously a for-profit company, and they have every right to tell thier customers to upgrade or lose channels.

They’re upset that they’re lying about it and blaming it on the FCC instead of just saying, ‘We’re trying to move all customers to our digital boxes. Upgrade or lose channels. Have a nice day.’.

If you follow the link and read the letter, they don’t even tell you what the pricing will be. They offer you a free time-period, and say that you’ll be charged the ‘then-current price’ once the period expires. What a crock!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Once again, most of you miss the point.

They’re upset that they’re lying about it and blaming it on the FCC…

It’s a sad commentary on our society that so many people are used to a world where lies are such a normal part of the fabric of that society that they just completely miss that point. In fact, many of them probably see absolutely wrong with it. I would be very surprised if Cablevision winds up facing any criminal fraud charges whatsoever over this.

Paul (profile) says:


I agree that they appear to be lieing about needing to upgrade to digital cable, but the prices in the consumerist article look like the price for a DVR box ($6.50) and DVR service ($10.95). At least they appear to be close to what time warner charges for each. The actual cost of a basic digital cable box that does not record is quite a bit less I think.

Rick says:

Charter Isn't Supporting Digital TVs unless you pay...

Charter called me up last month and offered me a free upgrade to a higher tier internet (10MB/1MB) and free Basic cable if I agree to a year contract for $30/mo. I said sure, sounds great as I have Dish but locals are not available in HD, but the cable company has them in HD.

They cam and set everything up for me to get the basic cable, but it wouldn’t work. None of my TV’s have an analog tuner – I would have to PAY $10/month for an HD box to watch my free Basic cable, which only comes in analog.

There are 4 local networks plus PBS I WAS able to get over rabbit ear antennas on my old analog TV’s. Unfortunately I can only get ONE of them in HD over the air – there is a hill between me and the towers for the other 4 channels, so I am S.O.L. and have no choice but to pay for local channels now. In fact there is a huge swath of my town that is unable to get those 4 channels because of a hill between us and the towers 35 miles away.

The FCC may have mandated the switch, but they did not force the stations to provide a signal to everyone that got one before. Digital does not have the range and does not do well with natural obstacles like hills. So starting next year 1/3rd of my town of 15,000 people will only be able to watch one over the air television channel, unless they pay Charter $10/month for a ‘box’ as they intend to keep their analog signal for their wired customers.

DUH says:

One channel vs 100 channels.

Rick, I have 100 channels and still have nothing worth watching. One channel makes it faster since you don’t have to flip through 100 on the guide to realize there is nothing but garbage reality shows, old repeat movies, and little else.

I watch sports and the History channel … I am just stupid and pay a lot for stuff I don’t want. A choice of one channel would save me cash.

BlowURmindBowel says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Waahh, the cable companie's plausable excuse is really a lie, I'm gonna cry about it...

I’m starting to think that my local cable company is the only cable/braodband/phone provider in the nation that isn’t a common crook…

You all need to learn the difference between reality and ideology. Last I checked we were talking about reality.

Ideology at this point would involve thinking about ways of changing this system rather than just lamenting about it:

“It’s a sad commentary on our society that so many people are used to a world where lies are such a normal part of the fabric of that society that they just completely miss that point. In fact, many of them probably see absolutely wrong with it. I would be very surprised if Cablevision winds up facing any criminal fraud charges whatsoever over this. “

-Go cry emo kid.

BlowURmindBowel says:

Sorry for the trolliness...

I guess my lack of concern over this issue stems primarily from three things:

1. The cable company could have just said: “We’re forcing all of our subscribers to go digital cuz we don’t want to have to scan-convert all these soon-to-be digital only feeds for you stingy antiquated bastards”.

2. It seems silly to me to cry foul over a cable company miss-representing its reasoning for wanting users to upgrade, then becoming indignant when people think you suffer from legality OCD, when there are MUCH BIGGER fish to fry when it comes to corporate fraud (Haliburton anyone?). Cuz I’m sure this cable company has made BILLIONS since this “ad campaign” went into effect…

3. Whatever happened to personal responsibility? Or specifically in this case being an “informed consumer” if you cable company sends you a letter saying: “Hey you have to change your service with us because (insert reason x here).” You should look into the reason they provided, and don’t do anything until you are sure 1) is it an improvement? 2) Is it really required? 3) What are the real costs involved in this? Until you can answer those three questions don’t sign anything, don’t agree to anything, call them and give them a verbal berating until they can provide you with those answers… If it turns out they are full of $#!7 or they are jacking their prices more than you want to pay, dump their asses and switch to sat-TV.

I understand that the cable company is lying, and yes it is a stupid thing to lie about, but they could have just said “Hey rates are going up ALOT, and you all have to rent these digital boxes now… deal with it”. People don’t have much of a choice either way.

So now we play the waiting game to see how long it takes someone to sue this company for punitive damages because “they lied to poor-widdle me, they scammed me out of $10, so now I need $10,000 to cover the pain and anguish.”

(I am obviously kidding) But WTF with the trigger-finger calls for litigation? Just raise a stink till they apologize and move on…

Kevin Hulse says:

Big fat double standard.

Why is it that only the individual is expected to be
responsible for himself, his choice and his actions.
Regardless of what illegal or unethical shenaigans
companies try to pull, they are given a free pass just
because “people should be responsible for themselves”?
That’s utter nonsense. Corporations should be held
responsible to the same level any indivdual would be
for a lesser degree of fraud.

Nevermind the tort litigation, just plain arrest someone.

Don’t like greedy ambulance chasers? Fine, then replace them with ambitious, career minded ADAs. Letting people (real or otherwise) off the hook just isn’t the answer.

BlowUrmindBowel says:

You take the high road, and I'll think you're a chode (sung)

The funny thing is that the impression I get about all of this is that it was probably just a brain-fart on behalf of this cable company.

Either that or some idiot mid-management guy didn’t want to publish any legitimate reasons for price hikes/policy changes, so they just scapegoated the digital changeover.

Either way it was surely a masterful conspiracy, reaping billions for the underhanded cabal; involving no less than the CIA, Haliburton, Al Qaeda and Regan’s reanimated evil corpse, oh, and Bigfoot too! 😉

I repeat: BFD?

Nick Burns says:

BrightHouse (TW) doing the same thing

My wife’s grandparents got tricked into upgrading to a digital DVR by the same tactic by BrightHouse Networks here in Orlando. The cable network told them that the FCC was requiring everything to go digital, so they would need a digital box.

Fortunately, they love the DVR (mostly using it to record Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune during dinner).

jeffmd says:

grey area

Its actually pretty long as switching to the digital box dosnt actually cost anything, then a cable provider at this point in time would love to switch everyone over to the more friendly digital format. Especialy when THEY want to pull the analog plug.

However If they pushed the digital cable box and then charged, yea Id prolly say that was illegal in more then one way.

Twinrova says:

Clarification needed here.

“This change only impacts those who watch TV over-the-air. That means it has no impact whatsoever on anyone who receives their television via cable or satellite TV (representing the majority of TV viewers out there).”
Mike, you best get ready to do some follow-up with this because the statement above is not entirely accurate.

There are two types of cable boxes out there: analog and digital. Many analog cable boxes do not support digital signals which means the cable company must convert the signal before being sent out over cable in analog form.

This is where the breakdown occurs, because most cable companies still broadcast in analog. If one is to read the FCC mandate accurately, it means cable companies will need to broadcast in digital.

This means cable companies will need to replace set-top boxes to support the digital signal and have it convert the signal. In fact, we just received notice from our cable company stating all non-HD receivers will be replaced by the end of the year for the “changeover”. Coincidentally enough, our cable bill just went up.

I’m sure many other cable companies out there are doing the same thing, including Cablevision (misleading, maybe, but possibly necessary).

Now, if you really want to see a crime of greed, walk into any Best Buy store and start talking about HD. It appears these idiots believe the FCC said all stations have to be in HD, which requires an HDTV, which is definitely not true.

It’s the entertainment industry pushing HD, not the FCC. Their only requirement is the signal be digital.

And finally, does any one here even watch TV? Get off of youtube and watch a few of these commercials. Most of them all use “FCC” in its broadcast, pushing further the notion this is the FCC’s fault.

Fault? Mandate? You decide.

I’ve been trying to educate people on this for over a year now and it’s not as easy as it seems.

When it comes to technology, sheople are really, really ignorant of it.

(insert blinking 12:00 here)

John says:


The reps are NOT trained to say it’s the FCC. You shouldn’t write false information that you can’t back up. The reps are taught the differences between the FCC mandate and Cablevision’s own bandwidth reclamation initiative. I know first hand because I worked there during that time. Where does YOUR expertise come from??

Alan says:

Re: Re: Re:

Or.. it was a (gasp) misinformed employee who, unfortunately, didn’t get his facts straight.

I was told very specifically that this was “bandwidth reclamation” and that by taking the analog channels away, it was allowing them to offer even more full digital channels.

Sure, it sucks for people who think they deserve to have 300 TVs in their house hooked up for free with one cable connection, but that’s not the way the business works anymore. All companies are now charging PER TV. Including everyone’s “beloved” FIOS. I wish people would get the facts straight before flipping out and calling a company out on trying to make a buck and stay competitive (by allowing more channels on the service)

Samslembas says:

They still lie now

I received a letter from Cablevision telling me I need to start renting a box from them or lose several channels. I called them asking wtf, and why the box in my TV would not work (it would not work if they were encrypting the steam). All they would say was “FEB/JAN ’09, FCC!”. The guy obviously had no clue what he was talking about. I never did get an answer to my question, but I think it is past time to call Verizon.

not willing to pay more says:

cablevision, 11 removed channels, new fees

My cablevision has gone from $39 new customer two years ago to $49, then they backed down to $45, now it’s $49.95 plus tax for 65 channels. Last year they removed the TCM with the same digital reason, now they are removing ten channels by next month inc. Travel, CSpan2, QVC, and others making 55 channels left. They are giving us one box and a free year in order to receive the 10 channels they are removing. Any TVs over one in your house, the charge is $6.28 per TV for extra boxes. In one year you must buy the Navigational Pkg., now $10.95. Basic cable for me would be $49.95, plus $10.95 for Navigational, plus $20 for three boxes unless one is free, and tax per month, so my bill will go from $49.95 for 65 channels to $63.51 next mo. for the same 65 channels, to between $75 and $81 plus tax per month a year from now for the same 65 channels. Cable in our area is one company, we do not have a choice. I have tried Dish before they were bought by ATT and customer service and the technicians were rude, that may have changed.

Anonymous Coward says:

only $7 !!

does anyone have a link to information on the costs?

cablevision said i had to have IO ($10/mo) to have HD channels, and i had to get a special cable box from them to decode the channels that is $15/mo, (12-box, 2-remote 1-decoder card)

so i’m having to pay $25/mo extra for hd channels

does anyone know how to get this $7/mo box? that’d save me $18/mo
(the cablevision customer support told me they never heard of it)

i’d really appreciate it if someone was able to get me info on how to save the money

Chas says:

cablevision sucking me dry!

It’s really ridiculous. I was watching the twilight zone and poof! On comes a blue screen with the words a “digital cable box is now needed to view this channel! would’nt you know as I channel surfed to see which other channels were being jacked,I found them to be most of my favorite channels! Unbelivable! I really wish I had an alternative.I’m truly considering fios but they want to handcuff you with a two year agreement! I feel like a roach trapped in a corner with a pointed shoe approaching!

tom vayda says:

Cablevision's Same slime lie

I was told this same lie about federal requirement to change cable transmission from analog to digital. Today, next day, I am on the web investigating. I use the only tool I have, paying them as late as possible. If and when Verizon Fios comes, I am gone from Cablevision. They are not reliable, constant internet failures and no monitoring. I would love the Feds to fine them for lying but never will happen.

Mike (user link) says:

I woke up today to find 11% of all my channels GONE. Do know what giving less services but charging the same price is? A cowedly attempt at a price hike!

I was livid, and called them up…and they told me the same blatant lie that “it was the individual channel’s decision, the individual channel was upgrading to digital, and Cablevision had no choice in the matter.” A BLATANT LIE!

The Voice Of Reason says:

Posts by BlowURmindBowel

BlowURmindBowel, you are the most arrogant, obnoxious sonofabitch I’ve encountered in quite some time. What’s with the snotty condescension and all the faggy bitchiness and sarcasm with which all of your posts are dripping???
You need to get yourself a hobby or a job, pal, along with a halfway decent personality with which you start relating to people with some semblance of respect, patience and kindness… Otherwise, you’ll more than likely have your head handed to you, one of these days…

Bullish says:


Im on Longisland and just found literally EVERY channel i ever watch taken away by this, now, trash company. This is just rediculouse. And to just find out that they lied to give a reasonable excuse for this bullshit makes me sick. Cable vision in my opinion can go fuck themselves. They will no longer be getting my service because i dont like getting lied to or forced to spend more money by the company ive been using since i was a kid to watch the only 2 fuckin channels i ever watch. I will be switching to timewarner or verizon. And one thing to you retard flamers posting here that apprently enjoy being lied to or just dont care because they dont have cablevision so you are supporting it, you can go fuck your cable box because its not a matter of money AT ALL, its a matter of underhanded shit that the company just pulled to give a reasonable excuse for this. And notice they changed over the MOST POPULAR channels to require a box..interesting?

csnet says:

It's a lie that nothing will change with cable TV

No matter what cable provider you have, the days of directly connecting analog devices to the cable will soon be over.

Many who have cable have had a single cable box used ONLY for watching pay, premium and digital content. In our home, most of the time it is tuned to digital music that is distributed around the house while TVs, computer TV cards, DVRs, and old VCRs are connected directly to the cable and receive about 80 analog channels. This allows watching and/or recording multiple channels simultaneously.

Because the cable companies are converting the 80 or so analog channels to digital, this will no longer be the case. In my home, to get the same service we have now, we would require seven additional cable boxes and the added complication of additional remote controls, assuming we could get additional cable boxes each with different remote control codes. It is a going backward having to deal with this.

My blood boils every time I read the hundreds of articles that say, “if you have cable or satellite TV, nothing will change”. Liars!!!!!

Finally the real story is coming out, such as this quote from an AP article today

“Dooner also said Comcast expects to move the majority of its analog television channels to digital in most markets by early 2010. The Philadelphia-based company had set a goal of reclaiming analog bandwidth in 20 percent of its markets this year.”

That means there will no longer be any analog signals in the cable and every analog device will need a cable box to get content. What a pain.

Anonymous Coward says:

blocked channels

I can not believe cablevision has blocked 9 channels on the family service plan. These channels such as The
learning Channel, A & E can not be viewed without the “IO digital cable box”. They have not been moved to IO channel lineup. This is just a nasty way to force customers to pay an extra monthly fee to the outrageous fees.

NoLongerAdmireCablevision says:

Cablevision -- Liar

Cablevision has not been able to deliver HD channels for few weeks now and also fails to acknowledge this as a widespread and an old problem. Indeed the technicians are fed up with their mgmt. They know the problem exists and the mgmt does not care. The ONLY people who think the system is great are the Cablevision Customer Support folks on Phone and the Cablevision Management. Don’t blame Digital conversion, own up and tell the customers and do something about it.

Jonathan Powers says:


I think the point being made here is that Cablevision on long island is overpriced and always has been and they are always looking for new ways to rip customers off. They make the customer feel like they aren’t worthy of the service they provide. They are definitely looking to con their customers out of extra money and the commercials prove it. they tell you 29.95 a month for all three services and if you can retrieve a magnifying glass fast enough to catch it, you will see in MICROFINE print that it’s for the first year only. They’ve been conning people into spending more money for decades now and anyone that doesn’t see that is either working for them or is so financially comfortable that they don’t care how much they are spending. The rest of their customers get fees and rental charges shoved down their throats till they can’t afford to keep up. And god forbid anyone is late paying the bill they threaten to shut it all off. For a person confined to their home that can lead to their demise if they rely on cablevision for their phone service. Contrary to what some people might think, not everybody is capable of using a cell phone either. Some people can’t use a cell phone cause it might set off their defibrillator and/or pacemaker. For some people on a fixed budget, cablevision is all they have to keep in touch with the outside world. It’s disgusting how some people see nothing wrong with taking more money from people who can’t afford to give any more than what their budget allows. Anybody who sees nothing wrong with this picture should have their heads examined!!

CableMan says:

Not an Excuse, Just Reasoning

All Cable Companies are not required to switch over to Digital right away. As a matter of fact, I believe they are suppose to keep the Basic Station analog for a year or two after the FCC Mandated Broadcast Stations change to Digital. Cable Companies are “Reclaiming Bandwidth” by shutting off Analog Stations so they can use that Bandwidth to put out more Digital SD and HD Stations. With Dish and Now Fios adding more and more channels everyday there is a race to see who has the Most. Cable can fit about 8-10 SD Stations per Analog Channel Bandwidth (6 Mhz), but only about 3 HD Stations can fit in the same spot. Of course they would like everything to be Digital because besides the fact that they can rent their I/O Boxes (which cost them about $259.00 each) but they will also be able to stop Cable Theft and No/Late Payment shutoffs without rolling a Truck.

david mitchell says:

== help ?? information ??

I have subscribed to Cablevision for almost forever. Once I paid $9 a month under some package for ‘people under disability’. This was when they were still under state regulation.

Now it’s almost $60 a month for the Family Package and it has not been that many years. I myself watch little TV but pay for it for other family members.

(I live in hilly location. Nothing TV comes in without cable, etc.)

I keep getting less and less channels. Once HBO was part of the package.

I am now just using analog tv’s and their built in tuners.

ok–less and less channels ?? I actually have to pay $6.50 more a month for THEIR box to see what I used to ??

If I bought a HDTV capable TV today would it allow me to see anything I lost ?? Also those HDTV boxes sold with that $40 rebate ??

It just seems a sneaky way at a rate hike. I end up seeing no channels unless I pay $6.50 more for THEIR box.(Cablevision)

I am aware of the HDTV conversion nationwide.–but Cablevision is giving you NO CHANNELS unless you rent THEIR BOX ??

I think all new TV’s are HDTV capable (even though resolution might be the same in say a 13in TV)

Buy one and still have to rent a Cablevision box ??

Family Package reduced to _____________________

AO says:


Cablevision told my elderly mother that she needs to have their cable boxes hooked up to her TVs, for a monthly fee, to receive tv reception after the switch, even though one of her sets is a new, flat-screen, lcd, digital tv! Why would she need cable boxes if people with cable tv service are not supposed to need converter boxes? I have Comcast service, which is already digital, and have no problem receiving reception on even my oldest television sets! Is Cablevision ripping her off or what???????

John from Long Island says:

1 cable box

Everyone I know has more than 1 TV, multiply $7 by all your televisions and then it really adds up. Last year Cablevision moved some of my favorite channels to scrambled digital (supposedly for bandwidth), but they also scrambled the signal so I can’t tune it in with my digital-ready TV. Why scramble a previously clear channel? I guess to sell more boxes. I framed out and installed my LCD TV in a wall and I’m surely not cutting a second space to have a cable box stick out 12 inches.

Ivan Velez (user link) says:

Another Cablevision "False Advertisement"

I am a current Cablevision Customer .
this link if copied and paste gives details about the 240= channels you recieve as a current customer for the io package . I am getting less channels and was lied to by Cablevision employees . I was not allowed to talk to a Supervisor from the Rockland Cablevision . And I was told I was wrong that it is not False Advertising by the Kim,Evan,and Lamont at the Long Island Call Center . It seems I may have to switch over to Verizon and their Direc TV Choice for $29.99 if this issue is not resolved . The reception will not be as good , but atleast I will be satisfied knowing I am not lied too .

lisa says:

Re: cablevision

i will be losing abc family, amc, bet, cnn, cspan, fuse, galavision , history, lifetime, msnbc, mtv, mtvv2, spike tv, tvland, vhi and we without a digital box as of may 12, 2009. i called cablevision and was told they were forced to do this by new gov regulations requiring them to change from analog to digital. i will have to pay 6.75 for each additional box. 2 of my 3 tvs dont have a box. either i pay more or dont get those channels. my cable costs are 75.00 a month. cablevision continue to give you less and less. Is this legal? i asked about giving additional boxes at a discount and was told, ‘its not about the box. we have to do this. you will get a clearer better picture. does anyone know how verizon is on long island? i am dropping cablevision as they are lying thieves.

S Birnbaum says:


5/8/9 – I called and confirmed channels will be removed. IF YOU GET A BOX, YOU WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO USE YOUR VCR! We have two t.v.s – one with a converter for HBO and one without – so we can record some channels.

I couldn’t yell at the customer representative but I asked her to let cablevision know I am looking at switching. I told her to add that I have no idea how far cablevision will go by stripping away channels and I will not pay the $6.95 to get a box. I’d also have to pay $10/month (now) to record. Total cost for maintaining cablevision with our current ability is $17/month in an economy that cannot sustain this.

Ivan Velez (user link) says:


I think I read Cablevision nets an annual 35billion dollars . Since Verizon Fios is not available in many areas , it is like they have a monopoly . Yet they still charge ludicrous amounts of money for their packages . And nickel and dime you for every little extra they can . Since my last complaint to the Better Business Bureau , they have taken down their false advertisement . And they have been calling me every day . I do not want to talk to them anymore . I am happy with hooked up to my hdtv and the analog and digital signal my tv has . Thieves they even charge you for broadcast basic which should be free . What an embarassment .

Big Jim says:

Cable box

You don’t need a cable box to get digital tv. If you have a Qam card, which most tv’s bought the past few years have, you can receive digital – no problem. What Cablevision has done, under the guise and cover of digital ‘upgrade’ is to scramble the channels. They were not scrambled when they were analog and there is no tecnical benefit in scrambling them now. It is just a Cablevision ‘profit’ benefit. You can not even buy the cable box, you must rent it, making it a Cablevision income stream forever.
As others have noted, this is one more example of Cablevision taking advantage of consumer lack of technical sophistication to bamboozle. When you call and inquire they raise the deceitful stakes by outright lying or doubletalk and get quite annoyed when you call them on their deceit.

lisa says:


i can only speak for how it on long island, NY. As of today, you need a cablevision box in order to get many channels that you once had WITHOUT A BOX. i lost 16 channels today. When i go to a station a blue comes on with the words, “this channel is now available with a digital cablebox or cable card. the cost of each box is around 7.00. i called verizon which is available in my area and am switching over on 5/22. you need boxes with Verizon too but they are 3.99 each and 5.99 each. plus they gave me 1 at no cost. My total per month for cable, internet and phone is $123.00 which includes taxes and the boxes. New customers get 30.00 off their bill for the 1st 6 months or a 150.00 visa gift card. i chose the 30.00 off, making my bill about 93.00 a month for 6 months. then it comes up to 123.00. i was paying 140.00 with cablevision for the minimum package(no HBO Showtime etc) at least now i get ALL the channels that cablevision took away from me. i have to stay with verizon for only 1 year, not 2. im trying it. 93.00 for 6 months is not a bad deal. maybe if EVERYONE drops cable they’ll make changes. they are a monopoly.

Liz says:

WARNING Profit-Seeking Plan targets Seniors

Senior Citizens become easy victims. I first learned about the BLUE SCREEN after my boyfriend reported that his grandpa, a war vet bedridden with severe dementia, suddenly stopped receiving half his normal channels. I thought it was bad enough, that without any warning, Cablevision could suddenly raise rates (at least $7 x 12mo x ?TVs)for the most basic service.

However I then learned that my 86 year old neighbor was recently “required to get a box” as she too suddenly found a BLUE SCREEN in lieu of her regular Lifetime programming. She explained she had to learn how to use the big new remote, but was now able to get a lot of channels. Within days she received her new bill in the mail- (I assumed there should be a scandalous $7- $8 dollar increase) – The monthly total: more than $168! No doubt preying on the elderly, rather than simply suggesting that my neighbor sign up to rent a new box, they push her into THE TRIPLE PLAY UPGRADE. The gentleman showed up, never even entered the house, placed a tag on the outdoor box (as she was already a subscriber) and then apparently explained that he would need to go up on the pole to install the new phone line?? at this point she said “No thank you – please take that off, I dont need a new phone line, sir” and he said he would go to the truck and remove that for her. SHE HAS NO COMPUTER, NO NEW PORTS TO EVEN HOOK INTO A COMPUTER. SHE HAS ONE CORDED PHONE, AND NOW PROBABLY HAS TWO SEPARATE PHONE LINES, AS SHE WASNT PLANNING TO CANCEL HER VERIZON ACCOUNT. And with two rooms in the home and two rather televisions, she only has ONE box so the second room STILL HAS BLUE SCREENS! This makes me SICK! (Oh, plus she was also charged the FULL $40 service installation fee – to have Cablevision basically DELIVER a box.) Now, I am left trying to figure out how I might be able to help reverse the extreme damage which was already done, and hopefully find a way to revert her to the minimum cable coverage without any additional service/cancellation fees. WHY DO I NOT BELIEVE THAT THESE EXTRA DOLLARS ARE EVEN VITAL TO THE DAY TO DAY RUNNING of THIS COMPANY?

Car says:

Call Cablevision to get $29.99 Family Basic with out triple play

I called cablevision’s disconnect line and threatened to leave. They said they would reduce my $52 dollar rate to $29.99 with out having to do triple play. I will still have to pay for 3 additional boxes. Just wanted to let everyone know this. Call and get your rate reduced. I called them last week on May 12, 2009.

We are instead doing Verizon’s triple play(includes DirecTV). Directv gives $21 off per month for a year, an extra $6 off from Verizon for Directv(deal continues on after a year) another $100 off because we got referral from my in-laws, and also a $150 gift card from Verizon. You still have to sign on for a 2 year contract. The package I am getting, has over 200 channels, a free DVR with DVR service and I am also paying for three receiver boxes. If you spread all these savings over a 24 month contract, the price per month comes out to $51.99 with all taxes and fees.

If I stay with cablevision and get their $29.99 deal and add on the cost of the cable boxes, and another $5 fee, I will be paying over $58 a month. Not worth it!!!!!!!! I pay less and get more with Directv.

Nora Poli says:

Cablevision Sucks

After being a loyal customer for 10 years I find it sinful that no matter how much money you give to this company for standard cable it isn’t enough. For all those being told to rent the box good luck. 90% of the time the box distorts the channels and you get the pleasure of having them have to come out and switch the box. No that is not an inconvience. Or you get them to trouble shoot it over the phone over and over again. You force me to pay for a box I never wanted, you send me broken box after broken box, and each time I call you waste time with the rebooting and the troubleshooting. Every time I complain and say I want to cancel to go to dishnetwork I get all these childish excuses. STOP STEALING AND START FIXING YOUR PRODUCT.

Nickled-n-Dimed says:

Not $2, not $5, not $6... how much is a box?

Folks, please check your bill, or better yet, check Cablevision’s example at

The box rental is $6.51, the remote is $.24, and the “Additional Outlet Premium Fee” for connecting the box to the network is $1.50.

$8.25 per month.

I already have one HD-DVR and one HD converter. Cablevision has essentially told me it will cost an additional 21% ($24.75/mo over my current $117.19) to recoup the programming I used to have prior to May 1st.

As a regulated monopoly, did my local franchise give informed consent to this rate increase? Did the FCC?

Piss on them. I can get over 20 broadcast HDTV channels off the air. I’ll take your or Verizon’s Internet for ~$50/month and watch free TV, subscribe to NetFlix for movies, and use my cell phone and MagicJack for voice. In a year wind up saving $600 — enough for a nice 3-night holiday in someplace warm this winter (where I can watch pay TV for free).

Joseph Dattoma says:

Cable eliminates apprx 15 channel with no rebate

after being a cable tv customer for almost 34 yrs I have had enuf of their cutting channels without cutting your bill. sitting at the kitchen table watching tv as usual I notice I don’t get channel 43 AMC, then I notice I am missing other channels, I then call cable only to find out that they have decided to cut certain channels, without lowering our bills. While I am only 1 person in this economic downturn I have decided to cut not only cable but any company,any credit card,any bank, who expects loyalty from it’s customers without the least bit of customer service or consideration. I will change companies as often as I see fit until I find a company who considers it customers first. So I say after 34years of customer loyalty goodbye Cablevision Hell-o Verizon Fios. I can’t imagine the Marketing VP in this economic downturn who would considers this program now, while Fios is having this big push on, BRILLIANT

C. Capossela says:

Cablevision lies about channel stripping

I was sent a letter a few months ago telling me I had to get a box installed in order to keep getting C-span. It would be free for the first year and then there’d be an $8.00 a month charge. I didn’t care about C-span. But then they dropped MSNBC from my service (basic). I called and was told that if I had the box installed I would get MSNBC back within the basic service package. I waited a while and decided to do it. I called and was told that MSNBC had been removed from Basic and put in the Family package- which costs $40.00 a month more than basic. Basic has nothing but the network channels and a bunch of televangelists and shopping channels and foreing language channels. For god sake I don’t even get the Weather Channel. I would be better off with a rabbit-eared TV and a converter box.

kay says:


when you have a cable technician at ur house don’t let him out of your site.they take stuff from your house. i learnt when i had to go to the bathroom and i left this pig unattended. after the pig left i realized that he had exchanged my wires he gave me some beat up shit that look like them.i really need my wires i had them for a reason CABLE VISION!!!!

John says:


This is simply not true. Cablevision has been informing its customers of the difference between the FCC mandated ruling and Cablevision’s own bandwidth reclamation in its decision to stop carrying some channels in both digital and the old analog format. It is for THAT reason that customers who wish to continue receiving certain channels will be required to get a cable box. Cablevision even offered customers who had no box and would be affected by the change, a FREE cable box for a year. This, of course does not apply to customers who already have a box or two with 5 extra TV’s connected. You’re not getting 5 free boxes because you don’t pay anything extra for those TV’s. I wish just once SOMEBODY would get the facts straight. Apparently that isn’t happening very much on this site either.

Patrick says:

New claims from Cablevision

I just received a letter, confirmed on a phone call, that as of June 22, 2010 I will need a cable box for each and every TV in my house in order to receive any programs.
I find this action very objectionable and wish that I could do something about it. Even though they offer free cable boxes for one year, it’s just their way of obtaining more income after that free year!

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