Cable Company

  1. Entertainment delivery company that provides customers with ten channels they want, 200 channels they don’t want, and internet service that kind-of works most of the time
  2. Entertainment delivery company that constantly tells customers that their calls are important to them, but no one actually believes that statement

Usage Example: “The cable company is giving us 32 Starz channels free for three months. If we forget to cancel, it will only cost an addition $250 per month.”

Background: For most cable customers, the journey begins with a desire to watch ESPN, the Food Network, HGTV, AMC or their favorite politically-affiliated cable news channel. Prospective customers then contact their local monopoly cable company, and a bizarre shopping experience ensues.

If groceries were purchased like cable, the sale would look like this:

Customer: Hi, I’d like to buy this milk.

Salesman: OK, great! We are currently running an incredible promotion! You get the milk, eggs, Slim Jims, Doritos, corn meal, multi-colored mini marshmallows, a Swiffer, and a gallon of peanut oil for only $30 per month for the first 12 months.

Customer: I really only want the milk.

Salesman: We can’t just sell you the milk. We are giving you a great opportunity to get so much more! And you’ll get all of these groceries every month for the duration of your two year contract!

Customer: But… I won’t use the other groceries. And, two years is a long time…

Salesman: We are also willing to throw in six extra-large bags of dog food, free for 3 months.

Customer: But I don’t have a dog. And what happens after 3 months?

Salesman: It’s only an additional $60 per month! When would you like your grocery service to begin?

Customer: Well, I really want the milk, so I guess I’ll sign up.

Salesman: Great! A delivery technician will hopefully bring the groceries to your house sometime between Wednesday at 8:00am and Next Tuesday at 3:00pm.

And, after that exchange, the cable experience begins. Customers are repeatedly told that their calls are important to the cable companies, and the harsh reality of cable quickly sets in: for every ESPN or HBO, there are at least twenty Oxygens.

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