Taking a poll on a question of fairness

  • imperator

    Posts: 626

    Dec 30, 2008 12:04 AM GMT
    So here's the situation: "K," "J," "M," and "A" move in to an apartment together. K and J happen to be a couple. Before everyone commits to move in, K (who is co-ordinating the move, finding the other two roommates, finding the apartment, setting up the utilities accounts, etc) communicates to everyone that he wants the movie networks included in the cable, and tells everyone what it will cost. Everyone agrees without complaint, fully aware of what the monthly total of rent and utilities will be.

    When the first cable bill arrives, though, everyone looks at it and J, M, and A all change their minds; the movie networks cost too much so the three of them get J to tell K on their collective behalf that they don't want the movie networks anymore. K still does and is furious, says that the others are going back on their agreements with him which were made with informed consent, but the other three won't budge, so K goes over the bill line by line, divides every item by who uses it (so for example, basic cable and the receiver in the living room gets split 4 ways, the receiver in K&J's bedroom gets split 2 ways, the receiver in A's room is paid by her alone) and K-- since he's now the only one paying for the movie networks-- puts a lock on those channels so he can choose to watch them when he wants but no one who wanted to get rid of them can tune in without the pass code. M and A seem to accept the arrangement, but J is disgusted/angry, says it's unbelievable, and so on.

    So I'm curious to see what other people think. Is K fair in limiting access to the channels that the others wanted to get rid of? Is J's reaction justified?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 30, 2008 1:01 AM GMT
    I think K is being petty. The majority of the roommates weren't satisfied with the original agreement, and since cable services are not eternally binding, it should have been a little thing to just cancel the movie networks. It sounds like K had his mind set on both having the networks AND the idea that he could have them at a quarter of the cost. It didn't work out that way. The tantrum and the subsequent blocking of those channels may be technically "fair" but is all just sour grapes. It shows a lack of character and grace. Is K a 3 year-old who doesn't like to share or play nice, by chance? Unfortunate.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Dec 30, 2008 1:05 AM GMT
    I think if K is the only one paying for the channels, then he should be able to lock them. If J, M & A decided they didn't want them anymore and don't want to pay, then it should be an non-issue for them to no have access to a channel they don't want to watch.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 30, 2008 1:15 AM GMT
    I agree, he should be able to do what he wants with the channels if he's paying for them. BUT this is not a business, this is your home and these are the people you're living with. It seems to me that one would be more invested in good will than a meticulous breaking down of a cable bill to satisfy his deflated expectations.
    I don't think there would be anything wrong with blocking the channels if he hadn't overreacted in the first place. Now the blocking just seems to cross the T's in tantrum.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 30, 2008 1:19 AM GMT
    A cable service contract can be binding for a period of time, and either cannot be changed at all, or only changed with a penalty. Is that the case here? Often an original service installation offers discounts that only apply when a minimum period of service time is contracted, discounts which are forfeited if the contract terms are terminated early.

    "K" might have been personally stuck with the bill for premium services, since I presume it was done under his name. After the rug was pulled out from under him by the others, was he still on the hook for the premium service contract the others had previously approved?

    First, I don't think the others had the right to change their minds, once they had authorized "K" to proceed, and obligate himself on their behalf. Second, I see no reason why the others should receive more cable service than that which they are now willing to pay. Why should "K" subsidize their premium viewing, after they went back on their word, and left him holding the bag?

    I'm not sure why "J" is unhappy, though. Doesn't he get to watch the full range of programs with his partner "K"? Or does he think the other 2 are being treated unfairly? Frankly, I think the others are fickle jerks, and I have no sympathy for them.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 30, 2008 1:30 AM GMT
    I'm assuming that the cable service operates like it does here in NY... you can add or subtract as you choose without penalty (beside prorated costs). If he's stuck with a bill that the others refuse to pay, I can understand being upset. But it sounded like the 3 weren't getting what they wanted from the additional cost and shouldn't be expected to keep paying for something that was unsatisfactory. Should they pay for as much of the service as they used? Yes. Should they have to continue to pay if they are not satisfied? No. The majority of the housemates shouldn't have to bend to the will of just one.

    If I were J, I'd be bothered by my boyfriend if he acted rashly and immaturely. But I can only judge from what I've read and can extrapolate. Hmmm...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 30, 2008 1:35 AM GMT
    K is correct. The other three are wrong if they still want access to the movie channels without paying for them.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 30, 2008 2:58 AM GMT



    M and A are the roommates that have no problem with this arrangement of 'no extra money means no extra channels' etc., and J is upset because he thinks his lover, K, should be generous and extra magnanimous, perhaps because J has an idealized view of K and is seeing a practical side to K that doesn't jibe with how J thinks K should be.

    What's a little mind-boggling in all this is it's over a rather small amount of cash when the extra is being split four ways. Pehaps K is making vast quantities of money that J thinks K is so wealthy that the cost of the extras to K's budget is a speck of dust, so feels his lover should be easy-going with everyone else. We'd be inclined to agree there, but only there. Let's face it, if K liked having filet mignon everyday at breakfast, there's no reason for him to share it with the others eating cheerios, unless they're willing to pay for some of it.

    Can we have more details, Impersonator?
  • imperator

    Posts: 626

    Dec 30, 2008 3:08 AM GMT
    Red_Vespa said[...]
    "K" might have been personally stuck with the bill for premium services, since I presume it was done under his name. After the rug was pulled out from under him by the others, was he still on the hook for the premium service contract the others had previously approved? [...]


    There is a 12 month credit on the account (which benefits everyone) that is subject to revocation if the service plan is altered; canceling the movie networks outright could (though I'm not *certain* it would) have increased the total bill more by more than the subtraction of the movie networks would have saved. (Paying for the channels in question came to $3.25 per person per month, the credit was good for 10% of the total monthly bill) But K's position is less about that (which is uncertain) than it is about "not being taken advantage of." He thinks that J (in particular) either should have expected not to be able to watch the channels he stopped paying for-- in which case the whole thing should be a non-issue and he shouldn't be giving K grief over it-- or he was specifically expecting K to go on paying for them alone and that the rest of them would go on watching them anyway, which K says is cheap and underhanded and exploitative and doesn't get a free pass on account of being a couple. K is indignant that the rest didn't care what he wanted when they 'revoked' their informed consent (so now he doesn't care what they think of his solution because he thinks it's fair if undiplomatic) and J seems mad that their relationship didn't make him an exception to the lock-out, even though he was the mouthpiece for the three of them and he didn't back K up over keeping the channels.
  • imperator

    Posts: 626

    Dec 30, 2008 3:20 AM GMT
    meninlove said[...] What's a little mind-boggling in all this is it's over a rather small amount of cash when the extra is being split four ways. Pehaps K is making vast quantities of money that J thinks K is so wealthy that the cost of the extras to K's budget is a speck of dust, so feels his lover should be easy-going with everyone else. We'd be inclined to agree there, but only there. Let's face it, if K liked having filet mignon everyday at breakfast, there's no reason for him to share it with the others eating cheerios, unless they're willing to pay for some of it.

    Can we have more details, Impersonator?


    J's net income is greater than K's. Actually, J doesn't pay rent in the apartment because part of the original agreement that K brokered with the other two roommates (at risk of alienating them) was that the rent would be split 3 ways (by bedroom) and the utilities 4 ways (by users) and he pays the third of the rent for the room they share. He made that arrangement so J would have more freedom to pay off his credit card debts, which were greater than K's debts. But they're about equally frugal. K's willing to pay a bit more per month for cable, J eats out more often. Neither is a hardcore penny-pincher but neither throws away large chunks of change on stuff they can't afford either.

    err... and it's Imperator.. I don't impersonate anybody icon_neutral.gificon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 30, 2008 3:25 AM GMT
    If J, M and A don't want to pay for the movie channels, they shouldn't have any right to watch them. That sounds like sour grapes to me. If K wants the movie channels and is willing to pay for them on his/her own, more power to him/her in locking them and enjoying them.

    I'm just thankful I don't have roommates anymore. icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 30, 2008 3:31 AM GMT
    Tell them to get real jobs.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 30, 2008 3:40 AM GMT
    donĀ“t watch TV. icon_lol.gif

    And where is the grace in all of this?

    icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 30, 2008 4:39 AM GMT

    imperator,

    Oh gish gosh, both of us are sorry!! Of course you don't impersonate!icon_redface.gif

    Thanks for the info. It seems that K is completely within the OK zone. J is obviously enjoying the proscribed chammels etc as he's in bed with K! J just needs to relax and remember that K, practical as he is, will look out for J, as evidenced by his financial fairness. We wonder why J has an issue with this....


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 01, 2009 12:25 PM GMT
    I'd side with K. It's bad enough that he's forced to pay for it alone after all the planning.

    It is a bit childish but an understandable reaction after being promised to having it split 4 ways. If J wants to watch cable too, he should offer to split with K. Besides, forchrissakes, they're a couple!

    EDIT: Yeah, it does sound like J is ashamed that K looks selfish to the other two roommates. But what the heck, he's paying for it alone.

    That said, I expect the happy little household to fall apart soon, unless K unlocks the channels out of the goodness of his heart. LOL There are some sacrifices we have to make for the good of MANKIND. icon_lol.gif Hopefully, embarrassment will make the others chip in too soon enough.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Jan 01, 2009 1:45 PM GMT
    From the information provided, the one who is acting unfairly is J, expecting to get something for nothing. Then again, he's getting housing without paying rent, so he's got a pattern going of getting things which K pays for.

    Also at issue, though, is the level of the reaction. K is furious that the other three change their mind about a movie channel that would cost each of them $3.25 a month? Paying for it himself means $16 a month, so splitting it 4 ways would have meant he saved $12.75 a month. He obviously still wants it if he's paying for it on his own now. For that amount of money, annoyance is appropriate; fury is overblown. Likewise, J being disgusted by being locked out of something he's not paying for, especially when it would only cost him $8 a month to take an even share, is likewise pretty disproportionate.

    I expect this household will have plenty of drama if such strong reactions can be provoked by a handful of dollars on a monthly cable bill. What's next? Timing how long of showers each person takes so that the water bill can be individually assessed?
  • RSportsguy

    Posts: 1925

    Jan 01, 2009 3:26 PM GMT
    MSUBioNerd said


    I expect this household will have plenty of drama if such strong reactions can be provoked by a handful of dollars on a monthly cable bill. What's next? Timing how long of showers each person takes so that the water bill can be individually assessed?



    I agree MSUBioNerd. What is going to happen if a real emergency comes up? My opinion is that if this was agreed upon before everyone moved in, then this should be honored.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 01, 2009 3:34 PM GMT
    MSUBioNerd> What's next? Timing how long of showers each person takes so that the water bill can be individually assessed?

    That will be complicated should J & K shower together. And what if the others bring someone home and end up in the shower...? Obviously we need more details about what happens in the shower. And pictures. (:


    If there was a 1 year contract and it actually ends up saving money on the overall cable bill, I don't see why J, M & A are complaining at all. If I understand correctly, at this point cutting the premium channels will increase their bill. So it's even worse than trying to get something for nothing. They want to get something for literally less than nothing (keep the discount).


    MSUBioNerd> I expect this household will have plenty of drama if such strong reactions can be provoked by a handful of dollars on a monthly cable bill

    No doubt. And not just the household, but J & K's relationsihp. Is this really about a handful of dollars... or something deeper?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 01, 2009 4:09 PM GMT
    WOW. I think that's pretty fair and solid.

    I think K has a pretty valid way of thinking. Why should the other people, who orginally agreed to having the movie networks but then changed their minds after seeing the first bill, get the benefits of watching any of those channels for free?

    When dealing with roomies you have to set rules, boundaries, whatever in order to make the live-in relationship work. I wouldn't pay for something like that by myself and be stuck with the bill alone if I knew others were watching it. I'd put a block on it too. With the block he is preventing incidents from occuring since they don't wanna pay."J" should be a little more understanding since "J" also renigged on the orginal agreement as well. Regardless of whether they are a couple fair is fair and bills gotta get paid. It's one thing to say something but it's a nother to follow through with it and since money is involved it makes a big difference especially in a relationship.

    If they aren't gonna pay to watch the channels then they won't miss not having them. Can't miss what you don't have and in all fairness they do need to pay for what they watched. How would anyone one of you feel if you had to pay for something you didn't watch? Messin with another man's money is on the same level as messin' with their loved one. You just don't do it and it among one of the quickest ways to ruin a friendship/relationship of any kind.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 01, 2009 6:28 PM GMT
    I think the fact that K and J are a couple changes the whole dynamic of the situation. I could see where youre coming from if you were all just friends living together, but atleast in my personal opinion, the fact that you are dating one of the roommates changes things. I think for the sake of the living arrangement and the relationship, K shouldn't be so petty. Or maybe still lock the channels he is paying for, but give J the code. Sometimes making a relationship work requires the parties to flex a little and maybe look past some things that they maybe wouldn't see as "fair" with someone other than their significant other. Pick your battles. Just my two cents icon_smile.gif
  • Koaa2

    Posts: 1556

    Jan 01, 2009 7:06 PM GMT
    Good example of why you get an education and a good job so you don't have to deal with roommates and crap like this.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 01, 2009 7:25 PM GMT
    If i were put in that situation, i'd let the other 3 use the movie channels. They didnt want it but I did, Its being paid for so it might as well get used. Them not watching the channels wont make it cost any less. It might even shame them into paying. But thats me.

    Not being in that situation though, technically, K is correct to block the channels but i think since he should give the code to his BF since they are living together and in a relationship. The action taken is ok for srangers, but for your significant other, i think it shouldnt really matter because it all evens out in the end. (I also depends on the dynamics of the relationship as well)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 01, 2009 7:46 PM GMT
    J is a baby. K is smart. They are all cheap and immature. It's cable tv, for crying out loud. If K is paying for the tv, then, K, and only K, can watch it. Seems perfectly reasonable.

    They should have all decided this before the cable got put in. Sounds like it might have been. If it was, then A, J, and M, need to pony up and quit being such divas. Man-up for a change, kids.

    Whining queens, I bet they are.

    K should tell the little whiners to go set on a telephone poll and rotate. Talk about cheap! (Oh, golly, they might work retail and not have the money. (SIC))

    K needs to dump J for being such a petty baby / drama queen / mooch.

    The moral of the story is to get an education and get rid of cheap-ass, whining, bitching, roommates, who are big babies.

    Why on earth do folks put up with all this in "relationships?"
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 01, 2009 8:57 PM GMT

    Thank heavens we do not have roomates.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jan 01, 2009 10:01 PM GMT
    I think "K" better keep an eye on his toothbrush

    'cause it's likely going to be used as a toiletbowl cleaner icon_rolleyes.gif

    Tell "K" to stop trying to be a manipulator