CableCo goes to school

About two weeks ago, my fable (free cable) was disconnected. In all of the years I’ve been renting apartments, I’ve never had the displeasure of losing what I thought was a given. Yesterday, I received the following letter in the mail (addressed to “Current Resident” at my address):

Dear Resident,

While in your neighborhood performing a routine inspection of our cable lines, we found that the line to your address was active, yet you are not recorded as a customer in our billing system.

We corrected our error and updated our customer records.

We want to be your cable television provider and invite you to subscribe to our service by taking advantage of a special installation offer. Call 1-800-698-9867 in the next 10 days and receive a FREE CONNECTION to our Standard Cable TV Package!

yada, yada..

Sincerely, AT&T Broadband

Well, shoot. I guess they have me right where they want me, by the proverbial balls. After three months of extended cable service, I’ve enjoyed more than a few moments of television bliss. Then suddenly, my tether to the network world is severed, leaving my apartment (and myself) cold and lifeless.

And boy, let me tell you, it worked. I was on the phone ten minutes after opening the letter, ready to drop for the minimum package. It really makes me wonder… is this some new marketing ploy by AT&T, sort of like an extended preview package for new residents? Psychologically speaking, I was not prepared to spend money on cable, but now as a part of my lifestyle, I find it hard to give up. If this isn’t a coincidence, I give mad props to AT&T for toying with my mind.