A Reporter's Notebook
Your inside scoop to the South Florida Jewish community

It’s all about money

The first thing that enters my mind when some big corporate entity tells me they’re giving me something for nothing is – how are they going to rip me off now. And sure enough, that’s always the outcome.

Case in point: My TV cable provider, which comes with my condo dues, notified me that they are making “enhancements” to my service. All I have to do is add this little gizmo they provide to my TV set. Well, since I was happy with what I had, I didn’t get around to picking up the ‘free’ gizmo, which I wouldn’t know how to attach even if I wanted the enhancements.

Anyway, last week, while I was out on vacation and enjoying some free time at home lounging around, I turned on the TV to find I had suddenly lost all the cable channels – which, instead, were replaced by a notice that my “current TV set wasn’t equipped to receive the ‘enhancements.’” All I got were the local channels … and for some odd reason … HBO – which didn’t disappear with all the other channels.

Well, this sour state of affairs caused me to finally give in and splurge for a new digital TV, which a friend helped me pick up at Wal-Mart. Being somewhat technologically challenged (I have trouble even changing flashlight batteries), I had to enlist aid in installing my luxury purchase (It cost $260.)

Happy as a clam with my new 32’’ digital TV – not to mention my expected new ‘enhancements,’ I plop down on the sofa and hit the remote. Big disappointment! Not only were my ‘enhancements’ nowhere to be found – but the same old ‘notice’ occupied the screen where CNN should have been.

Okay – I call the cable company and explain my dilemma. To make a long story short – they tell me I still need the gizmo if I want cable channels. BUT … once I attach the gizmo I would lose all the local channels. What! No Masterpiece Theater! What happens when “Downton Abbey” comes back on!!! What about “Independent Lens” and my favorite old reruns of “Are you Being Served?”
And … I’ll lose HBO, which the voice on the phone tells me I’m not supposed to be getting, anyway. Horrors! No way am I giving up “Game of Thrones”!

This is the long and short of it. In order to get the ‘enhancements’ and still receive the local channels and HBO – I have to order yet another receiver box from my cable company – which, of course, is going to cost an arm and a leg. And for what? I don’t watch the tons of junk shows on cable like ‘American Pickers,’ ‘Hoarders,’ ‘Pawns Stars’ or the never-ending sports channels, cooking shows, etc. and all the other crap they throw at us – while at the same time making us pay through the nose for stuff we don’t want.

So, the reality is – the so-called ‘enhancements’ deal is nothing more than double talk for making me cough up more money while telling me they’re doing me a favor!

What to do?

Well – my college-student son came up with a solution – albeit, a pain in the butt solution. He said I should install the little gizmo so I can watch my cable news channels and other things on cable that I enjoy – then detach the gizmo when I want to watch local channels and HBO! (And here I thought I had died and gone to heaven because I now had a remote so I didn’t have to keep getting off the sofa to change channels or lower the volume on commercials!)

In my verbose way, the point of this story is … IT’S ALL ABOUT MONEY! We, the people, just can’t win. Whatever little we manage to squeeze out of this downhill economy – they want it!

Will any one of our elected officials ever stand up for us? Not in my lifetime!

3 Responses to “It’s all about money”

  1. brian mcdonald says:

    Join the gang Shani, the stimulus is working hahaha

  2. Jay from Wellington says:

    You think they’re ripping you off now, Shani. Vote for Romney, and you’ll find you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

    The GOP is about to culminate a 30-year drive to resurrect midieval Europe right here in the USA, with nobles who own everything and can pretty much do anything they like, and serfs who work their tails off for the nobles with no chance of advancement and in constant fear of being replaced (or outplaced). That’s the grand plan. They’ve already got the House and the Supreme Court. Next the Senate and the White House. While we watch American Idol, they’ll be creating their idyllic America.

  3. brian mcdonald says:

    vote for Obama and he will add another 5 plus trillion to our national debt, food stamp receipients have doubled since he was elected, solyndra and all the other green initiatives have failed at a cost to the taxpayer to the tune of billions, I know progress can not be stopped but now is not the time, I guess that is what makes America Great, we can (at least for now) have different opinions, but not for long if we keep electing Idiots to lead us

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