D’you guys remember cable TV? It feels like it was just yesterday that every household had cable before more practical and capable tech like IPTV and Netflix and all that other digital goodness came around.
Don’t get me wrong, cable TV is still around, just in a bit more updated format. But the principle is still the same: you have a network of cables and antennas transferring video signals from television stations through TV service providers to end users.
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But did you know that, under the right circumstances, you could have free cable TV? Yep, and if you throw in some malicious compliance, you could get away with it for years.
More Info: Reddit
Enjoy watching TV? You’d probably enjoy it more if it was free too. All you gotta do is maliciously comply for 4 years
Image credits: Clay Elliot (not the actual photo)
This Redditor did just that—despite having cable TV, and actually wanting to make it legit, they were told they didn’t have cable… OK!
Image credits: RealSaltyShellback
The end result was that, despite several attempts, the Redditor managed to enjoy free cable TV for 4 years before moving elsewhere
Image credits: Brett Sayles (not the actual photo)
Back around the year 2000, this one Redditor was moving house and it just so happened that they got a chance to meet the folks who were moving out. After a friendly conversation, OP learned that the kind folks had paid their cable TV bill for that month, leaving OP with 3 weeks of free cable TV to enjoy, which they did.
But after 3 weeks, OP decided to do things right by the cable company and called them about formalizing the service and bills to make the cable TV experience legit. And you’d think the process would be smooth given that the company just needed to switch ownership of what was already set up and ready to go on the premises. Nope. Not gonna happen.
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Turns out, despite having all the technical logistics in place, OP still needed to order the $100 hookup service and have technicians come around and set everything up… yet, again, to reiterate, it worked fine already. This was on top of the $30 bill they would be getting every month for the cable TV service itself.
A quick back and forth determined an interesting turn of events—according to the cable company, OP did not have cable. That was the reason why they needed the hookup. OK, never mind. OP wasn’t willing to pay the $100 fee, and since they didn’t have cable, OP simply said good-bye and hung up.
But a month later, they still had cable. Without paying anything. It still worked. But they gave the company another call, to really clarify things. Nope, the same thing happened. Still $100. Still not technically a customer. Oh well, then never mind. OP dropped the matter, maliciously complying with the fact that they didn’t have cable, and then not not enjoying it for 4 years.
No joke, this went on for 4 years. That’s $1,440 worth of cable TV. $1,540 if you include the hookup fee, and excluding any attempts at upselling something to OP or changing the pricing because economy. And this would have probably gone on if not for the fact that OP moved out eventually. Hopefully, though, someone enjoyed it after they were out of the place and the gift kept on giving.
Image credits: Debraj Chanda (not the actual photo)
Turns out, folks had a lot of stories to tell on the topic. Whether it was malicious compliance or cable TV-related. One person maliciously complied with a similar cable TV situation. Apparently, messing about with the cable box in an apartment can become an offense regulated by law. So, the person, despite being instructed to return it themselves after their contract was severed, made the cable guys do it. Under inconvenient circumstances, mind you.
Another person gave some context on what the hookup fee actually entailed. You’d think $100 would buy you an hour or two of complicated network setup, installing gadgets and software so it would provide maximum customer satisfaction. No, not really. It was just a matter of connecting a single wire. The commenter’s dad did it in a few minutes. Did it for others too. 10 years of free TV right there.
Heck, sometimes the employees themselves understand the struggle and do what this one Redditor shared. Back in the day, when there were connection boxes in people’s apartments, there was a special screwdriver for a filter that would only allow for a single service to be provided, say TV and not the internet or vice versa. The representative who took the filter off for this Redditor didn’t have a replacement filter, so he just said “enjoy the cable” and left without doing anything. Good guy.
Image credits: Karolina Grabowska (not the actual photo)
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, cable TV is still very much around. For a number of reasons, actually. Those who stay with this format are often the ones who prefer the classic medium of consuming entertainment. Another reason is, since the cable logistics are not as high-tech as other options, they are often cheaper. This is besides being packaged along with a number of other services.
Though, there are speculations that cable TV is a dying breed among the scope of services. Streaming services prove to be quite a challenge to the industry, offering a lot that cable TV doesn’t, including the on-demand convenience of watching and shows you wouldn’t otherwise see on TV. And folks have become more aware of how much they are paying and how much they are actually getting, proving that more doesn’t mean it’s better. More often than not, it’s just wasted.
Once folks cut the cord, they often turned to streaming services. In America, Netflix (8.94%), Hulu (8.56%), Amazon Prime (8.13%), YouTube TV (6.57%) and Disney+ (6.34%) are among the top ranking choices for streaming services. And while some decide to return to cable, it’s most likely because of live events, i.e. sports (18.36%) or entertainment (10.02%), or because their services provider simply forced them to (9.72%).
So, what are your thoughts on this? Do you still have cable? Why or why not? Alternatively, share some of the shows you prefer watching outside cable TV in the comment section below!
Turns out, there are a lot of similar stories out there, equally as entertaining as cable TV itself
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