At the beginning of this month I finally purchased a new plasma TV, for which I forgo - for a while - buying a regular bed.
There is only one cable company operating here - and on most of the island - Choice Cable - a monopolist, whose bad service and bad attitude towards their clients I already had an "opportunity" to experience, since it provides internet connection to the institute I have been working for.
Yet, I wanted TV, so it was ither the cable monopolist or a satellite antenna, and I did not want to be bothered with an antenna. So I called Choice Cable. To my - nice - surprise - the lady who took my call spoke English (was she in India, perhaps?) , gave me all information I wanted and took my order, quoting prices, in detail, $25 for installation, $ 8 or so for a compulsory box, etc. etc. Then they totalled everything nicely - $114.85 including installation - and told me that an installation guy would come next afternoon, between 1 pm and 5 pm. Ok, I agreed.
Next morning, just as I was in a hurry to back my car out on the road to drive to work, a white van blocked my path. It was an installation guy - not at the time agreed, but half a day earlier. It was not a convenient time for me, but, since "on island time" usually means a delay, often a substantial delay, I let him install the cable right then, after he assured me it would not take long.
He was very friendly and seemed very professional. He also had with him a preprinted installation order, which he took out of his pocket and gave to me when he was ready. The installation took much longer than what he estimated it would: he walked on the house roof, went to check something on the electric pole, back on the roof, etc. etc.
It distracted me sufficiently to have a "blond moment" and a "senior moment" rolled into one: I looked briefly at the content of the statement: all the services promised were there and the total was exactly as quoted. So I signed the paper, gave him a check and forgot all about it.
Until a week ago a cable bill arrived. It acknowledged my payment of $114.85 and demanded another $75 + change. It specified that I paid $99 for installation $ 8 for the box and some fee, but not for the first month of services.
I checked with the sheet I got from the installation guy. Sure enough: it listed services, but only in the first column, not in the billing column. Thus I have - so far - been scammed for $74 difference between quoted installation and the one listed on the billing sheet.
If the installation guy had not arrived with the preprinted - scam - billing sheet, I might have been angry that he failed to tell me that the installation for some reason would cost almost four times as much as I was quoted a day before, but would not suspect it being a premeditade scam by Choice Cable. Bait and switch!
I am going to call them and complain. True, I have no proof of what she quoted me, since I did not record a phone conversation. But I can do a bait and switch on them and catch them trying to scam another customer - recording a conversation. And, of course, blast them here - may be it will help other potential victims of Choice Cable to be better prepared, knowing that they deal with scammers.