Forum Discussion

wmcole's avatar
New Contributor II
6 years ago

Why No Billing Credits for Frequent and Constant Outages?

Almost every night, usually after 10:00 PM, I land on one or more channels that shows nothing but black (well, really the equivalent of NTSC 7.5 IRE "black", something true digital, rather than clumsy MPEG-2 digitization of old style analog, does not need and should not show), but has a full guide and info banners.  When I log in to my account to reset my cable TV signal, I often see "outage in your area" with  resolution times 12, 14, 18 hours later.   Sometime there is no "outage" alert.  On those occasions sometimes a reset (an 8+ minute operation) does the trick (by which time I may have missed the critical portion of a program I was watching) and sometimes it makes no difference and I have to wait 12 to 24 hours to get the feed for affected channels back.

Now, Cox is forever telling me how much more reliable they are than satellite TV, yet their actual performance is way less.  When I ask aquaintences about their experiences with channels "dropping out" like this, most tell me it has never happened.  One or two in the Southeast tell me the lost it once or twice in hurricanes, but never individual channels, and never with the frequency of problems we have with Cox.

For landline telephone, if ever I lost any time of service availability, I would get a bill credit.

I pay for 24-7 access to my contracted channels from Cox.  Even the ones I consider "disgusting filth" like the shopping and religious channels (worship of two unforgiving Gods).  Yet, despite being denied access for hours on end to several channels to which I subscribe (including premiums like HBO) due to Cox meddling / problems, let alone the poor signal quality (MPEG blockiness /moire artifacts, stutter frames, a/v freezing for 10 sec to over 2 min at a time...) I get no credit on my bill for the time (likely 20 - 30 channel-hours per month) that I cannot view content for which I am supposed to pay.  This is a clear sign of a monopoly which needs to be broken.

Agitate with your Santa Barbara County representative to reneg Cox monopoly grant: allow optical (FIOS UVerse) competition and request a new provider of cable services for southern Santa Barbara County that can provide more reliable service at more reasonable prices with better customer service and less customer abuse.

5 Replies

  • wmcole,

    I regret hearing you're having difficulty with your service, whether it be certain channels or entirely due to an outage. When there's trouble but no outage alert declared we'd want to troubleshoot while the issue is occuring to see if we can resolve the issue, and if necessary schedule a tech visit. Are you having trouble currently?

    We can issue adjustments for time without service, but please keep in mind that the Cox Support Forums and this TV forum are for customers to assist each other and discuss technical topics related to Cox services with other customers.

    If you need help with billing or other account specific issues, or would like to submit a channel request, please reach us on Twitter at @CoxHelp, visit us on Facebook, or at

    Colleen D.
    Cox Support Forums Moderator

    • wmcole's avatar
      New Contributor II


      1. The labels time labels on this thread are clearly fictional.  I posted the original message at least a couple months ago, not "5 days ago".  Whether or not you manipulated it to match a real "4 days ago" for your post to imply Cox deals with problems in a timely manner in its exclusive monopoly zones like Southern Santa Barbara County, I cannot say without a forensic investigation of your servers.
      2. Having stated you (COX have 99% plus "reliability" in your attacks on satellite TV competitor, when you fall SEVERELY below that number, you should automatically credit effected users (you know who they are if you can say "Outage in Your Area") for lost access as other ETHICAL providers or pay-for-service vendors do.
      3. for DECADES I have reported these and other problems.  In the '90s I finally bit the bullet and paid the $75 fee you required to send a tech to investigate the issue.  I KNOW it was an issue of signal strength, it being attenuated to below acceptable levels by connecting to many households without drop-amps or other signal boosting hardware in the areas of over-saturation.The tech, being unknowledgeable in video signal tech and compression methods (analog at the time) incorrectly rewired my home theater entertainment system so no A/V source other than Cox could be viewed on the TV.  Being an engineer who had set up and run a  number of professional video editing and live switching studios it was clear to me that Cox "technicians" were only trained on how to eliminate all video connections to anyone's house / system other than Cox, including personal VCRs.  "Technical Support" was about blaming "stupid users", getting them off the line, out of the queue, out of the company's hair because it was cheaper than dealing with the REAL problem.
      4. In spite of, at my own expense, adding a drop-amp to my line, replacing the cable from house to utility pole and inside all my walls with CAT-5 cable (2010-2011) at my own expense, the problems continued and got worse when COX unnecessarily and cynically converted ALL their channels to PROPRIETARY DIGITAL ENCODING (instead of using ATSC standard encoding compatible with new digital TV compatible sets sold after 2008) to FORCE users to RENT AN UNNECESSARY DECODER BOX FOR BASIC CABLE CHANNELS.
      5. I REFUSE to pay the REQUIRED FEE TO HAVE A TECHNICIAN COME OUT TO INVESTIGATE THE PROBLEM BECAUSE YOU (COX) FORBID THEM FROM EXAMINING THE QoS / LEVEL AT THE POLE THAT FEEDS THE LINE TO MY HOUSE.  She / he will, once again, go straight to my media center and reconfigure all the connections there and tell me it is fixed (after disconnecting the A/V receiver and its Blu-ray player etc. from feeding the TV, and the cable box from the A/V receiver so that ONLY the cable box is connected DIRECTLY to the TV and NOTHING ELSE.  Of course, no OBJECTIVE MONITORING / MEASUREMENT OF QoS OR LEVEL WILL BE MADE, BUT THE TECH WILL DECLARE THE PROBLEM FIXED!  BUT IT WON'T BE!!!  IT IS YOUR PROBLEM AND I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO PAY TO FIX IT!!!
      6. You (Cox) are guilty of false advertising: an objective measure of your up-time for ALL your services shows WAY LESS than advertised reliability / availability for you TV, Internet and VoIP phone services, (particularly in your exclusive, non-compete government protected monopoly markets like Southern Santa Barbara county where there is one [ABC] network available OTA) compated to OTA and other OTT services.  It will only take one junk-yard lawyer and a few pissed-off subscribers with a little spare cash to hit COX with a MAJOR class action suite that will gut the company.

      You have proved my case - a company shill with no technical awareness, trained to divert attention from the problem by blowing off the customer and trying to shunt them into channels where the problems and customer abuse are not publicly visible - a long-standing COX response to quality of service and customer support issues.  Telephone support gets you to a queue that is hours long waiting for a response; email gets nothing but a list of phone numbers to get into the wait-for-hours queue.  And if you wait it out, you get the same BS that casts the problems as user equipment / stupidity and NEVER, NOT POSSIBLY a REAL COX PROBLEM - the idea and support person training being to 'dispose' of the customer issue as rapidly as possible without requiring COX to do anything substantive about the problem!

      COX - its all in the name! (Say it again...)

      • stinkfoot63's avatar
        Contributor II
        "Technical Support" was about blaming "stupid users", getting them off the line, out of the queue, out of the company's hair because it was cheaper than dealing with the REAL problem.

        This really seems to sum up much of Cox's technical support in practice... at least at a corporate level.  I have a history of attempting to hash out issues mostly with peripheral internet features and get the sense that, while some of the Cox support may sincerely want to render service, they are kept as much in the dark as customers; functioning as placebo buttons at best and more cynically, as up selling agents whose job is to find any reason to dispatch service personnel as a pretext to charge the service fee.

        The cable industry as a whole is composed of a very few companies and since we are to regard corporations as people (with human rights), those companies are little more than self-entitled, condescending bullies.  This refers to the companies themselves and not necessarily the people working for them. 

        I'm an internet and phone customer- having cut the TV cord years ago- after learning that my limited basic package rate included money to be paid to professional sports.  The approach to internet issues reflects the very same mind set.  The problem is that cable companies in general are not beholding to a customer base that would have any choice, but to whomever grants them exclusive access to given area.  Until that business model can be changed things are not going to improve for us.