Thursday, June 27, 2013

I'm leaving you, @DirecTV

Dear DirecTV,

I was really excited to return to you after a long, long gap. Finally I once again lived in a place with the appropriate southern access and a cable system I'd had enough of.  A lot had changed since the last time. I still remember the boxes being delivered to my office and me running home on my lunch break to mount the dish on our apartment balcony and make the adjustments necessary to get a signal. Good times. The software was cludgy and slow and the DVR regularly ate The Amazing Race.

And then we moved to a house that couldn't see you and we went with Dish.  And then a new house and we didn't think any sort of southern access was possible and we went with Comcast.  But that got old and someone swore we really could get a southern view and that weather wasn't really the deterrent that it used to be.

And for awhile, things were good. But then, the emails. More and more emails, more and more irrelevant. (Oh, and for a time, impossible to read on an iPad or iPhone. Thanks for making me only complain three times over six months before you fixed it. You're welcome, by the way.)

But the more the email market matured, the more we looked at what's possible with data, the farther and farther away you seemed to get.  Take this email, for instance:

Now... you know everything we've watched. So it should be easy to see what we are not Showtime subscribers and even when it and HBO and Cinemax all came free in the beginning, we canceled them after a month or two and we've probably never even recorded a movie off of Showtime during the free weekends. You know what we do watch, you know what's sitting on our DVR. You probably know more about us than the NSA. You know we don't watch movies or TV shows like this. 

So why on earth did you send me this email? Is it because you don't care? Is it because you're lazy? Is it because we're on autopay through the phone company and so we're just a little tiny piece of a big check you get from the phone company? Or is it simply that you haven't figured out how to use the data you have to create relevant, engaging experiences that make me feel special? You just batch and blast stuff at me several times a week and I open fewer and fewer. (And as an email marketer, that's an affront to me. Tap this data. Otherwise, it's an incredible waste and eventually, failure to act will cost you. Hopefully you at least have a tripwire.)

But it won't end there. When our contract is up, we're cutting the cord and moving to Netflix or Hulu Plus. If we can't get it there or Amazon Prime, we'll do without, thankyouverymuch.

We do have choices that are not you or your cable bedfellows. 

P.S. Don't even get me started with the sports channel. I'm paying $5.54 a month for ESPN? I don't even watch ESPN. And yes, I am well aware that the top 20 priciest non-premium channels are all sports channels. I won't hold my breath for à la carte, but it should be interesting to see how bad it gets before you finally offer it. 
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