Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Satellite woes

I must go to bed in half an hour so this will be as quick as I can make it. Alas, I am without Direct TV. The service guys came on Saturday to install it and before I'd even answered the door they knew it wasn't going to happen. To give them credit, they tried. But it wasn't meant to be. My apartment complex requires that the satellite be on your screened porch. Mine faces north and east, and the dish needs to point to the southwest. I thought maybe if they placed it in the faaaaar corner of the porch they could get a signal, but no. So then I asked if they could put it in my bedroom. (They're laughing at me at this point.) They said I'd need a tripod, or at least a bucket with cement in it and a pole sticking up. I said, "Couldn't we set it on a chair or something? I'm desperate!" (The laughter increases.) But they agreed to try and get a signal through the window. They were actually curious themselves as to whether it would work. Nope. So I call up the office in a huff. "The Direct TV guys are here and they can't get a signal on the screened porch. Where else can they put the satellite?" Of course the answer is nowhere. So I whip out, "This is ridiculous. You're basically forcing your residents to do business with a company that is rated unsatisfactory by the Better Business Bureau." The poor guy said, "I can't change the rules, but I can page our maintenance guy." All righty, let's try that. James calls me back in two minutes. Same spiel to him. He has the same response. "I don't make the rules, I'm just telling you what they are." He said to talk to the manager on Monday. So the Direct TV guys had to leave without installing anything. So close and yet so far.

Monday I called the manager and instead of heading out of the gate with my BBB-rating bitchiness, I decided to try the honey approach. "I've got a bit of a problem. Is there anything you can do to help me out?" Turns out she hates Mediaworks more than I do! She wants to switch the complex to Time Warner but they are in a Mediaworks contract and so she's hired a lawyer to get out of it. Meanwhile Mediaworks is causing all sorts of problems for her residents, such as sending them to collections for not returning cable boxes that were, in fact, returned. And, of course, providing crappy cable TV and internet service. After this discussion the manager gave me her boss's boss's phone number and said that he can override the rules, but she doubts he will. Apparently if they let me install a satellite but keep the rules in effect, they will be violating some Fair Housing laws or something. I haven't called the big boss yet because work has been CRAZY lately due to Ernesto threatening Florida and all the schools there scrambling to send us their updated data and send out calls. Hopefully I will have some time to call him tomorrow. I don't feel as crusade-y as I was feeling before, because knowing that the manager hates them too and is trying to get out of the contract makes me feel better. I'll still call to see if there's anything I can do. But I'm basically resigned to living with Mediaworks suckiness until I move next spring.


  1. Argh!! That sucks!! How about you send Mediaworks a copy of your blog post and tell them you're telling everyone and they better get their shit together? I dunno, might work.

  2. Where are you moving next spring? Staying in the Triangle?