transport TV

Foxtel bad, Metcard good

Well Mr Foxtel came over yesterday to wire me up to a world of entertainment. Hey, wait a sec, that’s Foxtel’s slogan… but don’t they have problems with it also being Crown Casino’s slogan? Did both of them forget to trademark it? Have they agreed to share it?

Anyway Mr Foxtel came over. He wanted to know where the existing point was. What existing point? The one my cable internet comes through. Ah. It’s at the wrong end of the house for TV. Hmmm.

It quickly became apparent that Mr Foxtel won’t install points unless they’re easy to do. I’m told by people who know that these guys get paid on the number of points they install, which means if it’s not a ten minute job, they put their hands up and say "sorry, impossible". Which is pretty much what Mr Foxtel said. He proclaimed that the Foxtel powers-that-be would not permit another point into the house, and that he couldn’t run cable from the existing point.

But he said that if I wanted to move my TV into the computer room, I’d be set. Yeah. Great idea.

Great. I mean, do these people want my money every month or not? The other company, OptusVision, won’t touch flats at all. Why is it so hard to get cable TV? Here! I want cable! Here’s my money! Disposable income a-plenty! Will nobody take it?

So this morning I rang them up. After much to-ing and fro-ing, they’ve concluded that they simply can’t put in a second point. Something to do with the cable access laws. Uh huh. They can run an "exposed" line through the house, but need my landlady’s approval to do it. This is, of course, not what the guy said yesterday.

Harumph. How badly do I want cable? Maybe I should just shell out for a new TV antenna to get the 6 free channels.

Meanwhile, to my utter surprise, the Metcard people sent me a refund (in the form of more tickets) for my destroyed train ticket. That’s right – no interrogation, no demanding of physical proof of the ticket. Apparently they consider the excerpt from my bank statement showing the EFTPOS transaction to be enough. Amazing. Doubly amazing when you consider that the bank statement was just printed off the web.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.