Just how clueless are NTL/UPC?

Posted: December 15, 2009 in Uncategorized

When me moved back to Ireland in 2007 we found ourselves living in an apartment where the only option for TV was NTL (now UPC).
I like their broadband, big fan. But the TV? Not so much. Everything about it is a pain. The Guide Software is slow and painful, I’ve toyed with physically removing the button from the remote so I don’t accidently open it. The set top box has a dodgy relationship with remotes, so much so that when I tried to get my PC to control it via an IR blaster it was impossible. Not difficult, not troublesome…Impossible.

We’ve been promised a SKY community dish for a while now. I’ll believe it when I see it. Until then we have to deal with UPC.

Back in 2007 we bought a swanky 42″ Panasonic Plasma screen. Very swish, we like it a lot. But given that it’s High-Def credentials only get a run out if we watch a Bluray we were hoping to get our hands on HD TV at some point. This took FOREVER, but finally UPC announced something a few months back.

It was …underwhelming. Very few HD channels (not that there are many to begin with), and for existing customers a €60 connection fee. I was about to pass but decided to try and appeal to their better judgement with a phone call. I left my number and awaited the Callback.

It came when I was on the Dart somewhere between home and Blackrock. It went something like this….
(Note, UPC probably have the tapes, so before they object, this is the gist, It’s fairly faithful, but I might throw in a bit
of poetic license to make myself sound cleverer in retrospect).

UPC GUY: You called about the HD packaged?
Me: Yes. I was wondering if I’d really have to pay that €60 connection fee. There aren’t many extra channels,
would you not just connect me for free, you’d be getting more each month from me.
UPC GUY: No sorry, that’s the fee.
Me: Ah, I’ll leave it so, you don’t have enough channels to make it worthwhile.
UPC GUY: No I suppose you’re right, unless you’re into the Sport.
Me: But you don’t do the sports channels in HD
UPC GUY: What?
Me: You mention the Sky Sports channels on the web, but they don’t seem to be HD.
UPC GUY: That can’t be right.
Me: I could be wrong, check for me.

UPC GUY: Uhm. You’re right, we don’t do the Sky Sports channels in HD.
That’s mad. Sure why would anyone sign up to HD with us?

Me: I wouldn’t.

I promise you hand on heart, the guy wondering why anyone would get HD from UPC is word for word what he said.
And he’s right.

I wouldn’t.


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