Knoxville, TN- Cable Pro of Knoxville has for years had to put man hours and money into the problem of cable company clients who were delinquent in their payments. The practice has traditionally been that cable customers who persisted in not paying their bills would, after three notices, have their cable service cut off until their account was settled. While this practice has been successful in rooting out non-paying customers, it still costs the company an estimated $60,000 per year in lost time, and man hours.
But recently Cable Pro president, Larry Maezell experimented with a new idea that has so far been very successful. Now, instead of canceling a person's service, or sending him or her repeated notices of delinquency, Cable Pro simply changes a customer's subscription preferences resulting in his or her service becoming 24 hours of the Trinity Broadcasting Network on every channel.
"It's worked beautifully" said Maezell. "In the past we'd have to try and try to get in touch with the people who weren't paying, try and get our man out there to cut off their service. It was just a big hassle. Now, they call us!"
Cable Pro customer Chris Kjos was one of the first to experience Cable Pro's new policy.
"All I wanted to do was watch a little golf on Sunday afternoon" said Kjos. "I turned on my set and all I saw was this lady with big poofy hair singing. I just thought the cable company had switched up all the channels again. So I changed the channel, and it was the same thing on every channel. When I called the cable company they said I hadn't paid up my bill in over a month."
Now, "like clockwork" customers who are behind on their payments for cable services usually call the company within 24 hours wondering what is wrong with their cable service, only to told that they must pay up if they wish to have any channels other that TBN.
"This is the greatest idea we've had in a long time" said Maezell. "We've literally saved thousands of dollars. And last week when TBN ran the non-stop Benny Hinn marathon people were calling in so fast we couldn't keep up."
While a number of cable customers have complained that Cable Pro's practice amounts to "cruel and unusual" measures, Maezell has no plans to change.
"The rule stands" he said. "Either pay your bill or all you'll be watching is TBN, twenty-four-seven."