I wrote a post not too long ago about customer service.

I was in a shoe store where the people wouldn’t help me.

I was about ready to give up on humanity.

But then, Saturday happened.

I woke up early (well, it was 11 a.m.) to watch the Iowa Hawkeyes game.

Yes, I have season tickets. But with everything going on this month, I decided another trip to Iowa City wasn’t worth it. The friend I normally go with wasn’t going, and it was Central Michigan. I didn’t figure there was any way Iowa could possibly lose to Central Michigan.

I knew the game was on the Big Ten Network. So I flipped it over a few minutes before kickoff. I was comfortably on my couch and ready to watch the game.

It never came on.

Instead, it was Ohio State. No disrespect to the Ohio State fans in this area, but it certainly wasn’t what I wanted to see. They were playing the University of Alabama Birmingham — another easy win for a team on probation.

So, I went to the Big Ten Network site to see if I could stream it.

No dice.

I searched around a little bit and realized I wouldn’t be able to watch the game.

Needless to say, I was less than happy about that.

So, I contacted the Big Ten Network to see why a game that was played 870 miles (yes, I looked it up) from me was on instead of a game from a state 10 miles away.

Here was the message I sent:

Why are games not regionalized? I live in Minnesota — 870 miles from Columbus and 10 from Iowa — and we are shown the Ohio State game instead of the Iowa game. Why is that? It obviously isn’t regionalized, otherwise we would be getting Iowa. I am extremely disappointed in that reason. Unfortunately, BTN2Go isn’t compatible with Mediacom, my cable provider, so I was unable to watch the game. They will be without a customer on Monday, but I hope this isn’t an issue in the future.

And their response:

Hi Aaron

BTN uses Extra Football Game Channels to televise BTN football games occurring at the same time. These Extra Football Game Channels are only available on Saturdays during the football season.

BTN has offered all of its TV providers the opportunity to make these Extra Football Game Channels available to their subscribers. Satellite providers and telco providers, including AT&T U-Verse and Verizon FiOS, make every BTN football broadcast available on either the primary BTN channel or Extra Football Game Channels. Cable systems usually assign different channel numbers in every market for the Extra Football Game Channels. All “Extra Football Game Channels” are also available on BTN2Go. Channel numbers typically are assigned mid-week for that weekend’s games

Sincerely,
BTN

Needless to say, that didn’t answer my questions. So I sent another email:

Dan,
Thanks for the canned response. But you didn’t address my question. How is it decided that I saw the Ohio State game instead of the Iowa game? It seems like the games would be regionalized, but apparently that wasn’t the case.

As far as those “extra channels,” my cable provider, Mediacom, doesn’t offer those. That is not your fault, that is theirs, and they will be responsible for that in due time.

If you could clear this up for me, I would appreciate it.

Thanks

And this is where the impressive part came in. I realize they have canned responses to idiots who have no idea what they are talking about. While I was an enraged fan at that time, I wanted an explanation. And, I finally got it.

Hi Aaron,

Thanks for the message. It is done regionally, but only to an extent. The distance is not the most important factor programming considers, instead they gauge which game a majority of customers would like to watch based on previous ratings. Unfortunately, this may leave some other customers such as yourself not seeing the game they would perfer. We try to please all of our fans, but it is not a easy task. Hope this helps

Sincerely,

BTN

And I finally got my response. I still didn’t get a chance to see the game. But this went a long way to restore my faith in humanity.

Or at least customer service.