Monday, December 12, 2016

Author Break-ups

This week, something that's been 2.5 years in the making is finally going to happen.

I'm canceling Dish.

They put me off from day 1 because of their customer service. The fellow who came to install Dish was great, but there was a mixup with the order and when I called about it they blew me off and then hung up on me.

That's the trouble with service contracts. Free market my ass. Free market means I should be able to switch next month if I want to, but instead I was locked in for 2 years.

At the end of those 2 years I pushed about my continually increasing fees. New customer could sign on for 40% less than what I was paying. DirecTV was offering me rates even lower than that.

Dish gave me 3 months of HBO free and $10 off my monthly bill for 6 months.

It's always convenient to stay instead of changing. We had stuff in DVR we were trying to work through. And I'm sure that's what companies rely on.

A recent "upgrade" to the system pushed me over the edge. Since then, many if our programs on DVR are recording nothing or didn't record at all. We've paid extra to have Sundance just to watch Rectify and last week it recorded a black screen for an hour. We pay for DVR.

And a program that did record flashed up a message saying I had to verify my subscription to the History channel to watch it. Never have I had to do this before.

And last Thursday we paid $2 to Amazon so we could watch Rectify. It's worth the $10 a month and worth the extra but we shouldn't have to pay it.

Dish apologized for channels that had been blocked out for a contract dispute and offered a free movie as thanks for our patience. I followed the email instructions for my free movie.

They billed me for it.

I'm done. The Walking Dead has its mid-season finale tonight. Wednesday is the Survivor finale, and also the series finale of Rectify, but I won't be dvring it... because after last week I cancelled the Sundance package and told Brian we'd just pay Amazon. Since Dish has you pre-pay I'll be getting a refund.

Or so I was told. I got my bill today and they haven't canceled the channels as I requested or applied the refund. This is why I screenshot communications with companies... and this is why I almost always refuse to do business by phone.

Finally, I can make the call that's been 2.5 years in the making.

Companies shouldn't take customers for granted.

Neither should authors. I'm able now to walk away from a book, a TV show, a movie. Even a series I've loved. There was a series I really liked - 2 different book series, actually - that hit the point where I felt I was reading the same book over and over again.

Now, instead of automatically returning to a series I have to be won to the book. I'm still a fan of series books, more so than my husband, but nobody gets an automatic sale anymore.

And while I may fail spectacularly, I've realized as a writer I have to keep pushing myself. I don't want to be recycling. Maybe I'll never have another book published again in my life. But I already have a small collection of manuscripts I'm more proud of for how I've pushed myself to try something new to me... even if those items never make it past my beta readers.

Sure, maybe I'll put commercial considerations front and center and write something mainstream to try to get work into the public sphere again, but I will also be pushing myself on other projects that may never see the light of day, but will undoubtedly help me grow as a writer and satisfy my own need to develop my craft. I firmly believe that ultimately, that will pay off with a project that will be worthy of any reader's faith in my work.

No comments: