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  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cable, , , , , ,   

    Is there really something wrong with your Amazon Prime account? 

    Is there really something wrong with your Amazon Prime account?

    Today, we’re bringing you scams that are happening locally in communities around the country. As we always say, if it’s happening there it could also be happening in your community.

    First up is a report out of Westchester County, New York where police there are warning residents about calls claiming to be from Amazon. Residents have complained about receiving calls from someone claiming that their Amazon Prime accounts have been compromised and need to be renewed. Victims of the scam are then asked for their financial information to resolve the non-existent issue. In one case, a victim was asked to remotely give control of their computer to the scammers so they could ‘improve the security settings.’ So this scam appears to be a hybrid of phishing and the tech support scam.

    A student at Texas A&M recently found herself scammed out of $10,000 in a Social Security scam. She received a phone call with the caller claiming that her Social Security information was misused with some drug issues in El Paso. They threatened her with arrest or she could pay them $10,000. The student was then instructed to transfer money to the scammers by way of BitCoin and gift cards. No government agency will call you on the phone like this and they especially wouldn’t ask for payment in BitCoin and gift cards. If you suspect there may actually be an issue with your Social Security, call the Social Security Administration yourself at their official customer service number of 1 (800) 772-1213.

    Lastly, if you get an unsolicited phone call from someone promising you a great cable deal, it’s more than likely a scam. The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers of these fraudulent phone calls. The caller will promise you a discounted deal on your cable bill if you pay a certain number of months upfront. As with many scams, they ask you to make the payment by using pre-paid debit cards. Like gift cards, one the scammers are able to get the money off of the pre-paid debit card there’s no way of getting it back.

     
  • Geebo 11:11 am on November 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cable, , government, ,   

    Some towns considering a Netflix tax 

    Some towns considering a Netflix tax

    Did you ever notice that when it comes to cable options you’re pretty limited to one cable company in your area? That’s because municipalities usually enter into exclusivity arrangements with cable companies. This is why one town can have Comcast while the next town over could have Time Warner or Cox. Of course these agreements can be financial boons for many cities.

    These exclusivity agreements have been going on since the advent of cable TV. This lack of competition is also why cable companies feel they can charge outrageous monthly fees for a ton of channels that you will hardly ever use. Fast forward to today and the landscape of paid entertainment content has vastly changed. Services like Netflix have led many former cable customers to cut the cord. This means that many cities and towns aren’t getting the same financial benefit since cable subscriptions are down. In order to make up the lost revenue many municipalities are considering a ‘Netflix tax’.

    Glendale, Santa Barbara, Stockton, and Sacramento are among the more than 40 California cities who are currently seeking guidance from municipal consultants as to how they might implement a Netflix tax.

    Unfortunately it’s the regional monopolies that these cities have created for the cable companies that has led to the cord cutting movement. Monopolies breed complacency while competition breeds innovation and lower prices. Basically these cities are considering taxing the solution to the problem they caused. If that’s not governmental bureaucracy in a nutshell I don’t know what is.

     
  • Geebo 3:36 pm on September 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cable, data caps, , ,   

    Netflix wants ISPs to chill on data caps 

    Netflix wants ISPs to chill on data caps

    Whether you realize it or not, your internet service provider (ISP) may have a cap on how much data you can use. They usually don’t talk about it and they make it almost impossible to find if they have one, and if they do have one they make it difficult to find how much data you have used. While most users never reach their limit, there are many power users who do, and a lot of them reach their limit by streaming video over services like Netflix.

    Because of that, Netfilx is petitioning the FCC to make data caps illegal. In their argument, Netflix says that data caps are arbitrary and are only used for ISPs to be able to squeeze more money out of their customers, and they’re not wrong. Most ISPs are run by cable companies. Even the ones that are run by phone companies, like AT&T, usually have some kind of deal with satellite TV. So in either case they really don’t want to see their services used for things like Netflix since that cuts into their business model. By instilling data caps, there’s an air of intimidation to those who use their internet to stream their entertainment rather than paying an expensive cable bill, so in that way data caps can also be seen as anti-competitive. Data caps are also a throwback to the early days of the internet when dial-up providers like AOL charged by the minute.

    This is just another example of the cable companies refusing to innovate and desperately clinging to their decades old business model that doesn’t fit into modern demands. However, if the cable TV side of their business collapses where do you think they’ll try to make up the difference? That would raise the prices for internet services into the realms of what cable bills are today. That also could be rectified if there weren’t so many municipal monopolies for cable companies and ISPs, but that’s another rant for another day.

     
  • Geebo 10:01 am on September 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cable, , ,   

    FCC proposal attempts to free us from the cable box 

    FCC proposal attempts to free us from the cable box

    It’s no secret that cable TV is expensive and shows no sign of ever decreasing in price. The cable companies make a big chunk of that money for the rental fee they charge customers for the cable box. The cable box has been a fixture of cable TV since the late 1970s but if the FCC has their way, the cable box may be a thing of the past.

    With more people using streaming devices, like a Roku or Apple TV, the FCC wants the cable companies to allow their services to be accessed through these devices rather than exclusively through cable boxes. The FCC believes that this will allow consumers more choices for their viewing habits. The cable companies and some major TV networks oppose this idea fearing that the device makers will favor other content over the available cable content.

    With the much cheaper services, like Netflix and Hulu, many more consumers are making the choice to cut the cable in order to save money and many say that they don’t even miss their cable service. The cable companies see this as a threat to the cash cow that they’ve been milking for decades. Rather than innovate, they’d rather just keep the same system in place they’ve had for years. If it wasn’t for sports fans who have little to no choices when it comes to seeing live events the industry might have been in free fall. However, if an industry fails to innovate another one rises to take its place and cable is in that position right now. If they don’t start making more palatable choice for consumers they’ll become the modern-day equivalent of the buggy whip manufacturers.

     
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