It seems like half of everybody in New York swaps apartments on September 1st. It's not just students, showing up for a new school year, it's longtime residents looking for a better deal in the same neighborhood, or swapping neighborhoods entirely. Three of my Karma co-workers moved, as did my sister. See? Everybody. And nobody loves the process.

First there's the hassle of bribing / guilt-tripping your friends to help you. Then you have to pack everything before your friends show up, or they'll think less of you. And of course, after the job is done, there's the important responsibility of drinking wine and eating pizza with your friends as you cry about how grateful you are and tell them how much you love them.

And then the next day all you think you’re really physically capable of is binge-watching Hulu episodes of The Profit, and you assemble assorted couch cushions into a chair and prop your laptop up on a stack of remnant pizza boxes and that's when you finally remember: "I forgot to call Time Warner."

Of course, when were you actually supposed to do that? You'd need to plan an appointment a week or two in advance, for an address you don't actually live at yet. And then you have to physically bring your equipment back. Or mail it. Like you have time for either of those things right now. The entire process is confusing, arbitrary, and seemingly punitive.

And do you really want the Time Warner guy showing up on moving day and meeting your friends and eating your pizza? And then it probably doesn’t even work because turns out the last guy didn't cancel his account, and you're trying to "transfer" your account from your old address, and Time Warner somehow doesn’t understand what that means, and everybody gets confused and sad and angry.

The entire process is confusing, arbitrary, and seemingly punitive.

One of my co-workers ended up in a Kafkaesque nightmare cycle of phone calls to ensure Verizon FiOS could be installed at her new apartment. According to Verizon, her new apartment didn’t exist, although other apartments on the very same floor in the building had FiOS. To actually confirm the apartment’s non-existence required a ticket to be issued to engineering, and my co-worker was promised a call back “within 72 hours”. There was never a call back. So she’d try again. This went on for a full two weeks until Verizon finally admitted it could take a month to resolve the issue and even then there were no guarantees.

Another co-worker got a visit from the cable guy, who told her “You don’t have a cable in here,” despite RCN’s website claiming she should be all set. He proceeded to spend the next hour drilling seemingly random holes in her brand new apartment in search of coax.

So let’s say best-case scenario the cable guy finally determines your apartment is on this plane of existence, and destroys enough of your confirmed-real apartment to find a way to hook you up, and you get connected in a week. In the meantime, why not try Karma? (I bet you didn't see this sales pitch coming, just like you were so "surprised" at how great wine tastes out of a plastic cup after four hours of cardio during unseasonably warm September afternoon). It's not just good for tiding you over during a move, it's good at other stuff like when Time Warner has one of those random outages or when you finally feel well enough to leave the house and maybe even get a little bit of work done.

My sister is actually cutting cable entirely and going 100% Karma in her new apartment, at least for a trial period. She likes how both her and her roommate pay only for what they each use — if she leaves town for a month, she doesn't pay for half an internet subscription she received no benefit from. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of her experiment.

But most of all, I'm glad it's a whole year until the next September 1st.


About Paul Miller

That guy who left the internet for a year