Cable companies are losing customers every month to other providers. So they are fighting back with deals and bonuses to get you to come back., or switch to them for the first time.
But as one customer learned, getting the "welcome back" bonus is not always so easy.
Offer at Discount Buy hard to resist
Joe Matthews wasn't sure he needed Cable TV anymore, with streaming video and HD local channels available free with an antenna.
But like a lot of people shopping at Best Buy, a deal to come back to cable caught his eye.
"It was TV, phone service, and Internet," Matthews said. "And we would get an email from Best Buy, to go into a Best Buy store and get any iPad up to $250."
Cable companies nationwide from Time Warner to Cox to Comcast have been offering Best Buy gift cards the past year as a way to bring back customers who cut the cord.
So Matthews signed up, then waited.... and waited... and waited. "We got the cable, the phone, the Internet," he said, "but no email gift card from Best Buy."
Why so many complaints?
He's not alone: Complaints of long delays in receiving Best Buy gift cards have been piling up at online forums the past year.
So we contacted Time Warner Cable, which was the partner in this promotion, and promised to expedite Matthew's gift card.
Time Warner has explained that a third party company is handling the program.
That firm has to make sure that customers meet all the conditions first, such as getting all required services, and keeping those services for a certain time period.
It says everyone will receive their gift cards. But Matthews, like others, says the wait is frustrating.
"Somebody should step up and deliver those iPads or gift cards," he said.
What you can do
If you are thinking of switching back to cable, these offers are tempting.
But make sure you meet all the qualifications, and then hold on to all emails and paperwork in case you hit a delay.
______________________________________Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co. "Like" John Matarese on Facebook
Follow John on Twitter (@DWYM)