The Battle of Greedy #$%&$*!s

After receiving some frustrating email this weekend, I begin this week with a rant.

Over two years ago, I cut the cord with our cable company. OK, I didn’t cut, as in sever, the cord, I made an incision and excised a significant portion of the cord which had become malignant. I can’t really cut the cord, because, among other reasons, the cord connects me to the Internet. The streaming services which I subscribed to replace my cable company’s line up, all rely on the Internet to reach my TV.

To make my life simpler, those services are received and consolidated locally and distributed to my TV via a Roku device. Now, it seems, Roku and YouTube TV (Google) are in a p*ssing contest over who gets to watch what I’m watching and who gets more money.

My data and more money.

That’s what this is about, my data and more money. Specifically, data about what I choose to watch on my TV and more of my money flowing into the greedy hands of networks, device makes, service providers, sports teams, telecommunication companies and conglomerates who proclaim, “Don’t be evil” and espouse “optimism”, “innovation”, “decency”, “blah, blah, blah.”

Since I pruned my cable company’s connection to my TV, YouTube TV has increased its monthly fee by 214%. Disney, which owns a majority stake in Hulu and ESPN, has raised the price for streaming those services and moved some content from ESPN to ESPN+ in order to “encourage” me to subscribe to the latter. Although every vendor claims to want to help me save money, they are all adding expensive, albeit thinner slices to the media pie. $4.99 here, $5.99 there, a 5% raise over here, a 15% raise on this corner. During the pandemic, when media services were just about the only entertainment we had, although nothing new was being produced, and while people were losing their jobs left and right, YouTube TV (Google) raised my monthly fee over 20%. Now, the Goliaths seem to be at an impasse, and the fight is over money and data.

Dear Daniel,

Our goal with YouTube TV is to offer you the content you love, delivered in the way you want — including on all of your favorite devices. To make this happen, we enter into agreements with partners in order to enable access to YouTube TV via different devices.

Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we have been unable to reach an agreement with Roku. We continue to offer Roku the opportunity to renew the YouTube TV deal under the existing, reasonable terms.

And in the other well-lit towering corner, Roku says:

Dear Roku Customer,

We are disappointed to share the news that Google has chosen to let the YouTube TV contract expire…blah-blah-blah

We will always stand up for our users, which is why we cannot accept Google’s unfair and anticompetitive requirements that would allow for the manipulation of your search results, impact the usage of your data and ultimately cost you more.

If in fact, Roku and YouTube TV (Google – I keep pointing that out because, Google) reach an agreement, it will be because one of them will be paying the other one of them more money. But considering where they get their money, the potential solution does not bode well for me.

At a point when the content available across these media platforms is perhaps the lamest it has ever been, they all want more money, and they all want to profit from my data. I doubt Roku is trying to protect my privacy. More likely, they are trying to keep the ability to violate my privacy to themselves. They all want to profit by infringing on my privacy.  

Roku, how does it feel? In one greedy move, you have convinced me to NEVER purchase a Roku TV.

You see, I can easily walk away from your little transponder thingie. It’s been here for two years and I can throw it out with my next batch of batteries at the electronics recycling center in town. However, a TV that becomes worthless because you will not let me access my streaming service provider??? That’s a lot harder to deal with. Therefore, I will never take that chance.

Google, how does it feel? You have conducted yourself in a manner that makes a cable company look like the good guy.

76 comments

  1. Thank you. A good rant is a thing of beauty and a joy forever, and I am certainly in the mood for one. Thanks also for that “final sign of spring,” which I’d have missed completely had you not pointed it out. That Beauty of Moscow lilac is gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed my Monday fuming. I try not to do it very often. The signs of spring are sometimes subtle 😉

      The Beauty of Moscow lilacs got very large last year. It will be interesting to see how it grows this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful spring blooms. Seems we’re always a few weeks behind you though our quince and forsythia are strong right now. As for the streaming services don’t get me started. Too many companies to subscribe to them all and they’re chopping up the programming to force you to do just that. Living in the country with a slow broadband connection we’re still with Direct TV. Not ideal but at least it’s all in one place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of all the things the lazy folks in Washington haven’t done, reigning in these services is high on my list. I’m still waiting on a la-cart tv, where I can pay a fair price for the 12 channels I actually watch, instead of $10 a month per “bundle” of one station I like and 9 shopping channels.

      As for spring, we’re moving into the second wave. The Beauty of Moscow leads the way. The Rose of Sharron will follow,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A la carte would be marvelous, but we’ll never see it. You know what really ticks me off? Paying for a certain channel only to have them add a + version that you have to stream to get the good shows.
        😡

        Liked by 1 person

        1. ESPN was going to offer a subscription service. I figured I could save money by subscribing to that and Discover. Then Disney realized, “hey, we can move some shows to ESPN+, keep the existing revenue and get even more money from these chumps.” Happiest place on earth my a**

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I refused to go the streaming route and everything has worked out somewhat – but I am a bit peeved about how much ESPN has put on ESPN+.
    New England in Spring is only second to New England in Autumn, great pics!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ESPN+ is clearly the biggest ripoff on the Internet. Most of the time, it’s Northern Wyoming vs East Cupcake State, but I subscribe for the two times a year they might put WVU on there.

      It looks like I’ll be tucking my tail between my legs and heading back to Cox Cable. This time, to save money and aggravation.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh jeez, I guess we’ll be next on the list of peeved customers, but does that apply to people just watching tv? I mean, we aren’t using streaming services as far as I know. But one of our TVs is Roku, one has a fire stick and cable (I think), and one has nothing. I can watch Hulu and Netflix on my iPad, since we already subscribe, but that isn’t considered streaming is it?
    Your pics are gorgeous! Your flowers are so different than ours!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hulu and Netflix are streaming services. Watching them direct on your device is pretty safe. I wasn’t aware that Roku had contracts with the “networks” they carry, but apparently that’s the reason NBC’s Peacock isn’t available (or wasn’t for a while). I don’t know if the TVs are different from the boxes, maybe they have more options.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We have Spectrum Cable. Aaarrgghhhh!!! We have their bottom-of-the-barrel package. Practically every station is nothing more than constant reruns. They raise the price every time you turn around, and if they justify it by adding a couple of channels we never asked for, you can take it to the bank that they added something in a foreign language! 😡😤😡

    The Beauty of Moscow Lilac is outstanding Dan. All your blossoms are exceptionally gorgeous this year.

    Maddie and MiMi and the Bunny are always delightful to see. But Smokey the Toll Collector has come into his own, hasn’t he? So shy at first, and now he holds an important position in the Antion Squirreldom! Dan, with these guys, plus MuMu, you don’t need tv!
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YouTube TV announced a price increase last year by saying how they were adding “8 great channels.” Seven of them were channels I would never watch, and the 8th on was a limited time deal. COX Cable moved a network I liked into a bundle I didn’t want and then started charging me an extra $10 a month. Now, I probably have to go back to them. YouTube TV also used to let me pause live TV using their DVR feature. Early this year, they stopped allowing that. The service was $35 when I signed up, back when they were new. Now, two years later, it’s over $70. I only need to bump my COX deal up one level to get all the stations I watch on YTTV – sad to say, it’s probably going to happen.

      Smokey (both of them) are way past being skittish. The come running toward us like the cavalry, Ginger. You better have peanuts and you better be ready to toss them. Between them and the momma-to-be in the firewood rack, we have quite the customer base. Wait until I tell them our rates are going up ;-)

      Like

  6. A good technology rant is always welcome. We’re still paying triple digits for cable. I wonder what the simple consumer would find if someone traced all these companies back aways, but I’m guessing our brains couldn’t handle it. Gorgeous photos. You’re ahead of us by a couple of weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I seem to remember the notion that if you provided a good product and good customer service, you would be successful. Those days are gone. Now it’s “how can we squeeze another $5.95 out of this guy? Oh. split the good stuff across two networks and fill in both with junk nobody will ever watch.” And then, after you’re used to that, they raise the prices on both networks.

      Walking around with Maddie is so pleasant this time of year. We can smell the lilacs, see petals all over the yard, and hear every imaginable kind of bird.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Welllll…here’s my story, Dan. I’ve had a Roku device attached to a bedroom TV and that’s been working okay. I never considered a Roku TV, so thanks for the heads up. My new Smart TV is a Google TV, but there’s an issue with Netflix kicking me out. It might be the TV, it might be my internet service or both. I don’t have cable, but the streaming services can certainly add up. I will always keep Paramount (formerly known as CBS All Access), but Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime are all dependent on how much I watch in the coming weeks. What drives me insane is when a show is listed as being on Hulu or Amazon but in order to watch that show, you have to sign up for yet another streaming service. I’ve gotten around that by signing up for trials and specials, but it’s frustrating. I cut the cable so I didn’t have to spend so much money for TV, but it seems that the streaming services have decided to get in on that action. Maybe I’ll go back to what I was doing eight years ago – being happy with antenna TV and the pursuit of other hobbies.

    Happy Monday, happy week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s an ongoing battle, Mary. I thought I had found the solution when I pruned my cable contract, added NEtflix and YouTubeTV. Then Netflix dropped some shows I liked, but Hulu had them, so I switched. I didn’t simply add Hulu to the mix. I’m currently thinking of adding Paramount, as there are a lot of things on there I like. As far as I know, Roku won’t let me add Peacock, and the NBC simple streaming has placed the show I was watching so deep in the archives, I can’t find it.

      What I hate about Hulu is when they say they offer a show, but it’s only one season and not one I like.

      All of these services and companies are in it for the money. I guess I have to accept that. This is one area where I maintain zero customer loyalty to a brand or service. No one is doing anything to deserve that from me.

      I hope you have a good week.

      Like

  8. That’s a powerful closing statement, Dan. Sorry. I know how stressful that BS is. I cut the cable cord completely in 2014 and never looked back. But these days, the “streaming” stuff is… well it’s getting like the cable companies. Big money always ruins everything. Wishing you a better week. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Teagan. All the streaming services have looked to find ways to make more money. And the networks have looked and realized that they can make more money by streaming the old shows services like Netflix and Hulu have been offering. Then again, five minutes on a Chat with Cox, makes me want to find an answer that doesn’t involve more of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. From a distance it looks like the flowering crab tree we had in CO.  I agree with the splitting and extra fees rising.  Every one wants more money and a piece of the pie. I tried the free week of appletv and found if you actually want to watch anything you have to pay extra, and now Amazon is charging even for old movies.  Money grabbing everywhere.  My new tv is basically just sitting there because of these problems.  I’m so used to not having one I can barely stand to watch it with all the commercials😄.

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the info on the tree.

      The services and service providers are just in it for the money. It’s really getting hard to choose because I think they are all some level of bad.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I just subscribed to this new service called Snake Oil TV ++. I am not sure what the second + does but it must be something exclusive and good. Gotta go. Watching paint dry just came on…

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Another rant, but this time car insurance. We have our auto and home insurance through State Farm. Always have. Our longtime agent died last year so we were transferred to another agent in town. Friday I received my 6-mos auto billing and it increased 15%! There was no explanation with the billing so I called them. Sweet little gal said, “Yes, it was an across the board raise last month. Have a great rest of your day.” And hung up. Hey, honey, here’s a little tip–why don’t you try some customer service and 1) send out a letter welcoming newcomers to your office and 2) informing me of the darn rate increase. Dammit!
    Windblown Maddie looks so pretty on her sprint. You lilacs are beautiful, Dan! We don’t have lilacs down here.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. He-Man figured that would happen so we’re still hooked up to a service that has our internet, and TV. I use my Prime viewing a lot though. I watch old shows, and movies, and a few of their original series, and movies.

    Spring looks pretty there, and how exciting to see kids/people in the park playing a sport! Woot!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I figured the prices would rise, but I didn’t think they would soon exceed the cable company’s price. I also didn’t anticipated the pie being sliced into so many $5 chunks. The problem with those chunks is that Paramount will become Paramount and Paramount+ and they’ll both be $5.

      Spring has been very pretty this year. It has also been very windy. Seeing people in the park was wonderful. I think Maddie even liked it, because she didn’t bark at them.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. That tree you don’t recognize is a hawthorn. No, it probably isn’t, but any time Charlie asked me if I knew what kind of tree we were looking at, I said it was a hawthorn, because he wrote his Masters’ thesis on Nathaniel Hawthorne. ANYWAY, I have an Android TV and a Roku box, and I can watch SOME episodes of shows on History Channel (Forged in Fire!) and Peacock (Monk!) and some other channels “free”, meaning interrupted by commercials. I can cast YouTube videos to the TV from my phone, which is pretty cool. Mostly I watch Netflix. Anything else I want to watch, I do without. If these streaming companies keep lowering their quality and raising their prices, books will be the new TV.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe I better get to work writing my books :-)

      It is getting crazy. Rather than take pity on the world in a year when, nothing new was being produced, and people were stuck inside watching TV, these guys all decided to charge more for the little content they had to offer.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. The whole situation is beyond frustrating, and honestly, the level of greed these days is just plain gross.

    Lovely photos — for some unknown reason, I continue to be surprised that your lilacs bloom so early (early to ME, of course) each year, lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gross is a good word to describe the level of greed on display. The lilacs are almost full now. The white ones are later and the Moscows are even later, but they’re all on the move.

      Do you still have snow ;-) ?

      Like

  15. We haven’t had cable TV for six or seven years now. With an internet connection we can find more to listen to and watch than we have time to consume. Our TV is also about 10 years old and rarely used. However, I don’t know what I’d do without an internet connection and a working computer. Probably take more walks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We don’t watch a lot of TV. It’s never on during the day, and only a few hours at night. I enjoy watching some shows. I think I would enjoy others, but not enough to pay the going rate.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Beautiful spring photos, Dan. You might as well roll over. The service providers have a way of knowing how to make your blood pressure climb. They then contact their friends at big Pharma who will get you one the BP meds pretty quick. No use fighting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, YouTube TV is a streaming service like SlingTV. They offer about 80 channels, similar to a cable company’s mid-level offering – ESPN and some interesting channels, but not HBO or any premium channels. At first, it was much cheaper than cable. Not any longer.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh you have hit a nerve! The Royals are actually in 1st place part of the time and to see the games (not the home games mind you) we have to pay an extra $130 per month. All home games are blacked out. So t’d off! Radio is my newest weapon. At least til they take that away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s absurd. And they do it because they can, and that’s what bothers me the most. I’ve looked into trying to be able to watch Pittsburgh teams here in New England. On top of everything else, I have to change phone providers. I have MLB at Bat, so I can listen to the Pirates on “radio” on my phone,

      Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s what I figured, but it’s still kind of absurd. I think they keep raising the prices a little here and a little there, hoping we won’t notice. When I pruned my cable contract, it was because it had gone up over $90 in one year without my ordering anything new.

          Liked by 1 person

  18. Ugh. I am still with Verizon FIOS for cable, internet, and phone. As your post shows so well, things get complicated quickly when you try to pick and choose and cobble together something that fits your needs better—and then each of the pieces separately raises its prices. It seems like this a game in which the house always wins.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right, Mike – the house always wins. When I first started using streaming services, I was saving over $100 a month. Ever so slowly, they’ve been whittling away at the service and raising the price. Now we’re at the point where I think I can save money if I drop YouTube TV and go back to the cable company. It’s crazy.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. All of the streaming services are no dummies – they know we are using them more and traditional cable less. We are also watching more during the pandemic. It’s enough to make anyone say “#$%^&”.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Hi Dan – I don’t understand my own let alone anyone else’s … and accept it for now … but I do love all your photos … so gorgeous to see so many different flowering bushes and trees. Let alone all the specials … Maddie and Mimi et al – enjoy more Spring – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I accept the fact that there’s no way I’ll ever get ahead of these folks. They are way too good at this game. I can’t win, but I can complain. Spring has been particularly pretty this year. We’ve had a fair amount of rain, and I think the plants like that. Thanks for visiting and commenting. I hope you are enjoying spring as well.

      Like

  21. I have had Direct TV, AT&T phone, and Internet for a long time. My uncle had gotten a Roku tv. He didn’t really use it. He had Spectrum cable too. When he died on Valentine’s Day. I decided to cancel my Direct tv and cancel his Spectrum cable. I have been using the Roku tv with the Spectrum internet my mother set up. I have been watching my shows for free. Since we have to sell the house, I will be keeping the Roku tv.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Streaming has many advantages, especially if you don’t want or need access to any of the standard cable company offerings. I’m a little too set in my ways to give up the channels I like. It almost seems like my cable company knows that, because they spread them around in such a way that I’ld have to have their top level package to get the 12 channels I like.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I used to watch some shows and movies on what I call “iffy” sites. They are not so legal sites which I stram on the computer. They are also iffy because some times the link doesn’t work. Now if I run into a show that I won’t be able to get for free on Roku, I can watch on a iffy site. That is what I had to do with one show two months ago because a network isn;t on Roku and they were delaying the show before I had to come to my uncle’s house.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Because we have prime for the business it includes Amazon Prime streaming, and so I’ve nto done much of what you are talking about but I do rant at Amazon a lot. I don’t know what I will do when we no longer use Amazon Prime… But rally, they are suck. We watch Netflix more than any other provider, still have great movies and leaves them up for more than a nanosecond, has made soem good series to watch, and never gives us crazy shit by changing the way you interact with them. CBS now became whatever-they-are-calling-it-now and it now makes me mad every time we have to interact because it wants us to sign in every time… when we are. I HATE SOFTWARE DESIGNERS…. and apologize if someone here thinks they are a good software designer but they don’t get it should be easy and not change every fricking minute. BTW, yours is the first blog post I’ve had time to rad in months… huggs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s good to hear from you Kate. Good software design, these days, means it works well on a phone. I don’t think these guys have much imagination about the ways people might want to use the service. They tend to program things around a path they think is the best way for you to use it. I’ll probably sign up for Paramount at some point, and Peacock – although Roku won’t let me access Peacock. There must be some bad blood there too.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Excellent article Dan. You hit the nail on the head. I have a huge grudge against Google and all huge monopolies. How dare they squeeze us all like they do. I was so upset when Google bought YouTube. I knew things would get bad. I tried streaming services for a short time and could not get the channels I wanted so I am hooked up to Verizon and am paying through the nose. Some programs I liked moved to new channels that want me to pay more to watch them. Netflix is OK. I keep my CD rental with them so I can get old movies that are not streaming. Amazon Prime has some good stuff. Though Amazon is a big bully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Between Google, Apple, Disney, Amazon and Microsoft, it’s hard to figure out who the biggest bully is. None of them have our best interest at heart, that’s for sure. I don’t like the arrangement I have, but I guess it’s the best I can get without spending a small fortune.

      Liked by 2 people

  24. I’m late to this rant party, but I’m cheering for you. Sometimes it’s the only way to make peace, the inner kind. When it comes to technology, I’m all for ranting.😊 The colors in your photos are particularly brilliant today. Spring has definitely arrived. Hope you have a good evening, Dan — maybe with a beer or two.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Is the moral of the story, don’t cut the cable cord? This is awful. Doesn’t someone sit in that board room with an ounce of interest in customer support? And isn’t customer support what ultimately gets you more money via more customers? Maybe these guys need to go back to preschool.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Even if I don’t understand the specifics due to unfamiliar cultural elements, ranting at content providers in whatever form is universal so I hear you.

    PS Reading this in the WP Android app and your photos and captions are all mushed together. Just an FYI. I could still view them by tapping on one and scrolling through but without the captions.

    Liked by 1 person

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