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New house owners enjoy 4 years of free cable TV after cable company's gaffe

A cable company's oversight led to 4 years of free TV for the person who just wanted to sign up for basic cable after moving into new house.

New house owners enjoy 4 years of free cable TV after cable company's gaffe
Representative Cover Image Source: (L) Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio, (R) Reddit/RealSaltyShellback

Cable TV, once an essential feature in homes, played a significant role in revolutionizing entertainment in households. People could sign up for a plan with a cable company and they would set up a box that would allow them to browse different channels on their television. Looking back, it was a genuinely different era from the 1940s to the early aughts. Reddit user u/RealSaltyShellback had an intriguing cable TV story to share. The post has gained an impressive 13.9K upvotes on the site.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Huỳnh Đạt
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Huỳnh Đạt


The user starts by saying that the incident took place back in 2000. They had just bought a house and ran into the previous owners as they were moving out. Being friendly people, they ended up having a conversation with the previous owner. During this conversation, the user got to know that they had paid their cable bill for that month, which had three more weeks to get over.

Even though the previous owner had packed the cable box, he told the new owner that the cable signal would remain active. They thanked him for his kindness and let him continue his packing. "We moved in the following week and when I hooked the cable to my TV, I got all the basic cable channels which was all I was planning on getting anyway," they shared. Time passed and the Reddit user decided to call up the cable company to sign up for a basic plan. They were then informed by the sales representative that the company would charge them $100 for setting up everything.

They wrote in the post, "I told them that the previous owner had left his account active and that I was literally watching cable as we speak, so, there should not need to be a hookup fee because the cable was already hooked up. They just needed to start billing me for basic cable." Interestingly, the salesperson revealed that the location did not have cable according to their database, necessitating a fresh setup.

Not wanting to pay the hefty fee, the Reddit user decided to not proceed with the set-up and ended the call. A month went by and the owner continued to get a signal on the cable. They decided to inquire again and were informed by another representative that it would cost $30 a month for basic cable, but they, too, had the same $100 hookup fee. The user attempted to persuade the salesperson to sell them the cable without the installation fee. However, she declined as she was not "authorized to waive the fee." The user ended the call and thought to use the cable as it was. 

"I asked why the $100 hookup fee? She said that it was because my address does not currently have cable. I told her never mind, I don't want cable unless they waive the hookup fee. She said she was not authorized to waive the fee. I just thanked her and hung up," they wrote. The Reddit user concluded the post by saying they continued to have cable signal for four years, after which they moved out of state for work. It seemed that many other people on the platform had their own stories of getting free cable and they shared them in the comment section.

Image Source: Reddit/Peterthinking
Image Source: Reddit/u/Peterthinking


Image Source: Reddit/jayset4
Image Source: Reddit/u/jayset4


u/UnhappyJohnCandy commented, "My aunt had free HBO for years for some reason. Not complaining; back in the day, she'd tape any movie I wanted to see and bring it over for me. She's a great lady." u/sthilair shared, "My mom had cable free for almost ten years the same way. She had 'no cable'. Good times."

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