RCN Complaint - RCN Scam?
PENNSYLVANIA -- I purchased a Samsung HD DLP TV. I called RCN to find out what needed to be done so I could receive HD channels. (No premium channels, no PPV, no VOD.) I was informed I needed to acquire a HD converter @ $11.95/mo + $25 installation, to which I agreed. Shortly after successful installation, the converter failed to work. I called 800-RING-RCN. After failing to correct, the problem, they agreed to send a tech the next day. In the meantime, I discovered I could receive almost all the HD channels without the converter box by keying in the correct digital channel number, e. g. 93-1 ABC HD. My TV had "discovered" these channels during setup.
It required some time and effort, but I was able to correlate the "discovered" digital channels against RCN's published listing. I decided I would not pay $11.95/mo for a converter box I did not need.
When the Tech appeared the next day, he was apparently able to "reset" the box from a computer in his truck. I explained my experience.
1. I was "stealing" the HD channels since I was not paying for a converter box. (From the RCN website:
Basic Cable $45.94/mo
1-year promotion (reg. $60.94)
What You Get
-Over 75 all-digital cable channels
-30+ free HD channels with HD or HD/DVR box
-2,500+ hours of free Video ON DEMAND
-45 commercial-free, digital music channels
-Interactive program guide with parental controls
-A digital converter box
-Access to order PPV events & other à la carte programming.)
I responded, I had no problem with additional fees for additional service, I just didn't want a box (another remote, more space, more cords) I didn't need.
2. In about 6 months everyone would need a box since RCN was converting to all digital as they had done in Chicago. I responded that I understood the need for a box for an analog set, but why would a box be needed for a TV with a digital tuner and no premium services. He responded that ALL channels would be scrambled and a rental box would be needed for every set in the home. I said I would deal with that when (and IF) it happened.
1. RCN is forcing rented cable boxes on customers that do not need them. I am amenable to paying a higher fee for expanded service; I just don't want a box (another remote, etc.) that I don't need.
2. RCN intends to force every customer to rent a converter box for every TV set in the home, even though the current technology does not require this.
3. Recent ads re the conversion to digital over-the-air transmission have clearly stated that cable customers are not affected. SURPRISE for RCN customers.
4. I predict this conversion will have enormous adverse consequences for RCN, a company that is already losing money.
5. To be fair, I have to date been a contented RCN customer. Their high speed internet support has been good; cable TV and phone work fine.