Everett Collection
Benjamin Svetkey
April 13, 2011 AT 12:00 PM EDT

This week, I almost broke up with my cable company. We had a big fight over a move from Venice, Calif. to Santa Monica, Calif., a distance of all of three miles. The argument was over whether or not my new apartment was Unit B or Unit D. The cable company insisted it was D. I insisted it was B. I thought I might have won the debate when the company sent a workman to Unit B to install a cable TV box, Internet modem, and telephone, but then, just like a cable company, it changed its mind. A few days later, another workman came to the building to snip my wires. When I called to ask why, I was told it was because I was in Unit D, not B, even though I was in point of fact a resident of Unit B. There were screaming matches over the phone (with me doing all of the screaming; the cable company operator mostly listened) and at one point I even threatened divorce and marriage to a competing cable service.

Of course, most people have a love-hate relationship with their cable provider. I adore Time Warner Cable’s free HD (try watching Mad Men in high-def on DirecTV — you can’t), its snazzy looking Motorola DVR boxes, its amazing new iPad app that lets me watch MSNBC in bed. But I hate the way the company screws up my order every single time I move. The last time, they pulled a no-show at my installation appointment and then made me wait a whole week to reschedule. I was so mad, I very nearly took up reading books.

TWC (which is no longer affiliated with EW’s parent company, Time Warner) and I have already reconciled from this latest tiff — yet another workman arrived this morning to reinstate my service — but still. There are moments, while I’m flipping through the channels, when I can’t help but wonder if I’m stuck in an abusive relationship. Why does my cable company have to be such a jerk all the time? I’m curious, Pop Watchers — are any of you involved in unhealthy romances with your cable company? What sort of nightmares are you living through with your providers?

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