The Town of Coeymans Enters into a 15-Year Contract with the Backwoods Cable Service Provider, MidHudson Cable!
Do you feel like your cable bill is significantly higher than it used to be? That’s probably because it is. According to a recent article published by the Huffington Post, “The average cable TV subscriber pays nearly three times as much for cable now as they did in 2001, according to research by SNL Kagan cited by the Wall Street Journal. The jump in average prices — to about $128 per month from $48.” (Source: Jillian Berman, “Cable Television Bills Have Nearly Tripled In The Past 10 Years,” The Huffington Post, 12/30/11)
And there’s more cable good news for the consumer, thanks to our whore federal government: Under a recent Federal Communications Commission rule change effective Dec. 10, 2012, millions of television owners who do not currently have a cable box will have to get one for every set, according to public service consumer resource guide Consumer World. Again, according to the Huffington Post:
“[F]or some consumers, that could mean an additional monthly rental fee to access cable down the road.
“The FCC has once again found a way to pick the pockets of cable customers,” Consumer World founder Edgar Dworsky said in a press release.
“Under the FCC’s new rule, local cable TV operators can now scramble their signals, which means a set-top box will be required on every TV to view programs. Those boxes cost around $10 each per month, according to Consumer World.”
(Source: Caroline Fairchild, “FCC Cable Rules Change Will Require Consumers To Pay More For Basic Cable,” The Huffington Post 12/04/2012.)
So, when I first started following this unheard of suggestion of a 15-year cable services contract for the Ravena-Coeymans area, I couldn’t believe that anyone could or would take such a proposal seriously without negotiating some pretty hefty advantages for the consumers in the Ravena-Coeymans area. Actually, I would even balk at a 5-year contract with the back-woods service provider MidHudson Cable. But a contract with that bunch for 15 years? That is downright stupid.
But then I read in a rather confusedly written item in the Ravena News Herald, “Coeymans renews cable contract,” by Byan Rowzee (February 7, 2013), that even the bleakest estimates of the stupidity of the Coeymans town board can be exceeded! And so it was exceeded when the board renewed a 15-year exclusive contract with MidHudson Cablevision. A sad day indeed for Coeymans residents (especially those wide-assed, potbellied sports fan nacho-gobbling couch potatoes! And the guys, too!)
I and my neighbors have direct personal experience with MidHudson’s disappointing and very expensive cable service, if you can call it service, we receive from MidHudson Cable. Let’s just discuss the notion of “service” in general.
Customer service is not 24/7. If you lose service for any reason, you’re out of luck until MidHudson goes back to work. But they’re ever-ready to sell you a new package of “services” at a price far above say Time Warner.
Their equipment is ancient and frequently failing but they want you to purchase cable television packages bundled with Internet telephone and other Internet services. But these are unreliable given the ancient infrastructure used by MidHudson cable.
Compared to other cable services and television/Internet/phone providers, even disregarding the ancient infrastructure used by MidHudson, their services in this area are shoddy and unreliable. They use above-ground lines and modems which means that you’re out of luck if the lines fail because of storms or icing.
Data transmission speeds and quality are average or below average compared to other providers. Here’s the clincher: if you want to transmit a larger file or transmit at higher speeds, you have to purchase a more expensive plan! Now I’m talking about such small files by today’s standards of say, 3 Mbytes! And if you want to send to more than say 5 e-mail addresses, you’ll have to upgrade! (That’s why we use free services like Google e-mail!).
And read your monthly bill VERY carefully. If you do that you’ll find that MidHudson Cable has the sneaky practice of adding small increases to your services and other fees!
Those are just a few of the reasons why MidHudson should be told either play fair and upgrade their equipment of get out of town! But does the Coeymans town board think that way? Hell NO!
The small minds in these small towns don’t have a clue. They’re too important to think. Besides, if they sell the communities down the river, they are probably getting a Judas payoff.
Why else would your elected officials sell out for 15 years, 15 YEARS to a small, inefficient, below-average provider of a vital service to most of the town of Coeymans residents? If the town of Coeymans has awarded an exclusive franchise to MidHudson Cable for 15 years, the board should be lynched! What that means to this community is that MidHudson has a literal strangle hold on the community in terms of what cable services you, the community will receive, and for how much! You will be at their mercy for 15 years!
An exclusive franchise is a goldmine for MidHudson, because if anyone else–that’s competition–tries to come into the area and provide a service option or alternative for cable users, they’ll either be told by MidHudson to get lost or they’ll have to pay MidHudson off to come in. The town board made a great thing better for MidHudson: they virtually sold Coeymans to MidHudson!
But I may be terribly wrong about all of this. You see, when you sign a contract for most services for an extended period of time, you usually get some added value, some extras, like added services for free or discounts. Maybe I should be asking Mr Thomas “Tom” Dolan, the one who spearheaded the move to accept the 15-year contract, Mr Peter Masti, Ms Dawn Rogers, Mr Thomas Boehm, and town supervisor Stephen Flach these questions:
- Is the 15-year contract an exclusive franchise?
- Which other cable services providers were asked to submit a proposal to provide cable services to at least to the town of Coeymans or to the village of Ravena and the hamlet of Coeymans.
- What future benefits do they expect from MidHudson Cable for the town of Coeymans?
- How does this deal impact on any other service providers who want to come in and provide competition to MidHudson, and perhaps improve services in the area?
- What were the economic considerations discussed by the board for allowing MidHudson to have the town of Coeymans as their very own money purse?
- Did the Coeymans town board negotiate any special discounts for services to residents in the town who now are forced to use MidHudson as their cable provider?
- Did the Coeymans town board negotiate any special services for the residents in the town who are forced to use MidHudson Cable?
- Did the Coeymans town board negotiate any rates caps or limitations as part of the contract to prevent MidHudson from continuing their sneaky practice of jacking up rates and adding fees and costs to monthly bills?
- How much money was paid by MidHudson to the town of Coeymans for the privilege of serving the town of Coeymans?
- Will the board members who pushed this goofy deal through be willing to make public their MidHudson cable bills for the last six months before the deal and for the next six months? Maybe the public would like to see what board members, especially Mr Tom Dolan, are paying for their cable services.
Wouldn’t you be interested in knowing some of the answers to these questions? I know I would.
We also expect that the Goofies on the New Baltimore Town Board will be next on MidHudson’s Hit List–That is, If New Baltimore’s Goofies Haven’t Been Sucker Punched Yet!
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