So I got a call from “Rogers” a while ago asking me if I wanted to buy my NTSC (regular TV not HD) cable box. I had been meaning to return that box one day because I was planning on replacing the TV it was connected to, with an HD TV (since I don’t think you can buy a non-digital TV any more). The “deal” I was offered was to buy the box for $29, and then it would be mine (with a 1 year warranty on it).
Whenever I hear these kind of deals I start to wonder why last month if I had wanted to buy the box it would have cost me $100 and today it is $29, and the answer is quite simple, but spans a few business points:
- I have most likely “paid” for this box many times over by renting it. Yes, this was a mistake on my part, I should have either bought it or returned it a while ago, so the box itself is effectively already paid for.
- The biggest expense for cable companies right now, is the maintenance and replacement of set top boxes (cable boxes), however, if I own it, then I have to replace it later (I can’t just bring it in and upgrade it for free). This is actually a much bigger savings for the Cable company, because if all they did was supply signal and the network to the house they could make a fortune, however, the Settop box replacements and upgrades is what is killing these profits.
I ended up buying the box from “Rogers”, I put their name in quotes because I remember distinctly at the start of the call the person introducing themselves as Freida from Rogers, not a marketing firm (name may not have been Freida). I believe in the middle of discussions I was assured that this was in fact Rogers I was talking to, however, at the end when my transaction was about to go through, I was informed that this was “Zizabivits Marketing” that I had been talking to a “licensed Rogers agent”, WTF? So there was a degree of fraud involved in this transaction as well.
At the end of this I will own the box, which may have a limited shelf life (I suppose I could use it with an HD TV, but I won’t get an HD signal from it), and if I want to get an HD box, I will have to buy one, but that is to be dealt with if and when I replace my standard signal TV.
For those who have not seen the advertising, all Canadian TV will be transmitted in Digital format as of August, so if you are using an Antenna, you will need to get some kind of box to translate the digital signal for your TV (so keep this in mind too).