The Epic Saga of Cable TV in my Apartment and its Final Conclusion

So a few weeks ago I had a problem with my old cable TV service, Optimum. What ensued was one of the most bizarre and frustrating situations ever.

So Optimum sucks. Period. I have had their service ever since I moved to North Jersey and I have had nothing but frustration. In the old apartment it was getting any kind of router to work with any one of the 3 cable modems they provided me. When we moved to the new apartment it got even worse. First off the DVR box they gave me not only was incredibly slow and lost several recorded shows, it also had to be reset almost once a week. Now while it is kinda weak to cry about resetting a cable box, when you charge $150 a month for services it should just work. Even more annoying was the endless bandwidth and internet connectivity issues I was constantly having. After putting up with that, and having to watch Giants/Jets fail football games I had enough. I finally was going to switch.

My original plan was to go to FiOS for internet and DirecTV for cable. I enjoy watching football a lot and as an Eagles fan living above Trenton means I can rarely watch them. The Sunday Ticket seemed like a great option and something I was more than willing to pay for. So everything is set for a Saturday earlier in the month. Optimum is send packing and the installers will be there before noon. 10 AM on Saturday the FiOS guy shows up, install takes some time but the guy was a total professional, even stopping to vacuum up some drilling shavings. FiOS is as advertised, fast as hell and with a pretty significant chunk of bandwidth.

Around noon I get a call from DirecTV and their guy is running late. No problem, I don’t have anywhere to go until 4. 1:45 hits and after explaining to the guy for about 20 minutes  that I am at building 15 he pulls up. He promptly gets out of the car and says “Yeah this ain’t happening.” He went on to explain (without asking which apartment was mine) that the angle would not work with any building this side of the complex (despite me pointing out 2 places that have DirecTV). When I asked what I should do next he suggested calling the company and asking for a refund. Now while it was nice that he didn’t install the dish and leave me with no signal it would have been nice to have this known before they charged me for the service, and installation. So the guy leaves and I spend about 2 hours trying to cancel my order. After wrestling with one consultant, and a supervisor who insisted that they send out a “Specialist” to check the situation since they were certain it could be done. By this point I was frankly too angry to listen to reason so after some arguing and yelling. I was finally able to just get a refund.

The next move was to call FiOS to see if I can just add cable TV to my services. That too proved to be a 3 day process. The problem was that since we were so new to Verizon we weren’t in the system which led to all kinds of issues getting the service added. Lo and behold Monday we get it all straightened out and we will be set up on Saturday.

Friday hits and another FiOS tech appears. Again this gentlemen was nothing but professional and courteous. The first problem is that he can’t find where all of our old cabling goes. That is a 3 hour process where we both end up finding out that there is a crawl space below my apartment (and my apartment alone) where all of this wiring is hidden. Fortunately he was able to use the existing stuff because I would have been seriously annoyed if he had to run cables all over my apartment (I’m not a neat freak but I have a thing about cables all over the place).

And to end on Saturday we finally returned all of our Optimum crap. So in the end it cost me two weeks and a lot of charges going and off of my credit card bill, but we finally have FiOS and cable TV. So far I have been really happy with FiOS. Great channel selection, nice responsive cable box, and now I can tweet from my remote.


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