Time Warner Cable offers building managers free access, but only if they promise to snitch on tenants


#1

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#2

I have a solution that serves everyone, turn your cable off.


#3

Maybe its my lack of caffeine right now but I have no idea WTF that story is about or why anyone gives a shit. Building attendants get discount cable as long as they give TW access to the building and now TW want them to report cable thefts and maybe put up a few leaflets? Stop the presses!!!


#4

Show me the part of a typical rental agreement allows a building manager to snoop on your online activity and report it to an outside corporation in return for favours.


#5

When monopolizing a service is not enough!


#6

Oh, quit yer whining, this is a brilliant example of Free Market Capitalism FTW!


#7

The Super could easily make up for it in tips.


#8

The bit where they bribe the Super to make it easier for them to get at the junction box is just good sense. The bit where the Super is supposed to snoop for cable thieves is just creepy.


#9

You might want to look up the German word “Blockwart”.

It does not quite mean “A responsible person that's loved and respected by all his neighbors, who would never report illegal mixed marriages to the authorities.”


#10

Thanks for the pointer to another odious, weird Nazi factoid. There is always the question of, "What would the World have been like if the Nazis had won", to which I feel the answer is "GDR". A society consumed by its neurosis. Though I guess it was only different in degree form McCarthyist America.

I suppose the difference between a bribed Super and a Blockleiter is that the first is a guilty secret and the second is a poltical rank.


#11

Here are the two relevant bits from the NYT, almost all the rest is whargarbl.

Then there is the requirement that superintendents “identify, discourage and report” instances of cable theft or tampering with equipment.

Ya know what? If I knew my neighbor was stealing cable, I'd say something to them and if it went on I'd call the cable company myself.

Now heres the kicker:

But over the past two years, Time Warner has been making an effort to comply with new federal tax legislation, Ms. Chau said, and it appears that has meant a stepped-up commitment to paperwork. They have pushed harder to get contracts signed, and sent out W-9 tax forms so the discounts supers receive are better accounted for.

So TWC is actually trying to correctly identify where they owe tax, something that so many people think is good and right, and somehow they are the villain here?

Horse hockey.


#12

I didn't read the article, (I know, please don't cast eggs at me), but they are worrying about internet theft and not cable TV, right? I don't think it's possible to have cable TV in rooms anymore where you don't have their boxes and cards.

Also, how would the managers necessarily know who is using cable without paying? Are they required to actively seek out those stealing, or is it that they agree to say something if they happen to find out about it randomly?


#13

I have a job. Suppose my cable company said to me, "We'll give you free cable if you spend 10 minutes of your workday answering customer complaints for us instead of doing your job." Am I supposed to take that offer? If I don't and they cut off my cable because I wouldn't comply, am I supposed to shrug and say, "That's capitalism, boys!"

This really isn't okay.


#14

Some apartments are actually owned by the tenants, so the super is their employee. Their employee, with access to their home, who is being paid to snitch on and advertise to them.


#15

Actually, with the W-9s, it sounds like TWC is reporting to the IRS that they paid the non-employee supers taxable income, and that the supers might owe income taxes on their "free" cable.


#16

Correct me if i"m wrong but that's soundning like time warner wants these non-employed supers to pay part of Time Warner's taxes.

Plus snitch.


#17

No. The IRS may treat the free cable as income, so that when the supers receive that benefit, they have to include it on their tax return. TWC has to keep W9s on file for each super and then send out 1099s in January.


#18

The article says his cable was cut off - but do they actually mean that his discounted cable was cut off? And that he now has to pay regular price? Or do they mean that TWC just completely refused to let him have any cable service at all? Because the former is just fine and dandy for me. The latter, not so much.


#19

I contemplated that distinction, but I have to take the article at it's word that they mean his cable was cut off, not that his cable was no longer free. If it is merely the latter (his cable was cut off because he wasn't paying for it, not because they wouldn't provide him with it at all) then I would downgrade my assessment from "how sickening" to "I'm not a huge fan of this."


#20

TW is not asking for building managers to actively snoop on anyone, just report instances of theft (which is illegal) and equipment tampering. Just to be clear, no one is sneaking into homes or spying on internet traffic to rat people out.