Thursday, December 12, 2013

3809 One thing I did do right

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Among all the things I've screwed up over the past week, I think I did do one thing right.  Or as right as I know how, anyway.

I am paying $168 a month for TV cable, internet, and a stupid house phone I didn't want and don't use.

I watch maybe 5 to 7 hours of TV a week, max.  And I almost never watch any of the 400 or more channels other than some basic broadcast networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS).  In fact, it's almost exclusively CBS and a little PBS.  I don't watch sports, the comedy package, the movie package, any of that other stuff.

Why am I paying for stuff I don't use?

So I called.  The first rep could cut it down to $158 per month for basic cable. $10?  Big whoop.  I made disappointed shop-around noises, so she passed me to another rep who "might know of some discounts".

It's now basic local cable and the internet will be twice as fast without all those channels, and I'm down to less than $90 a month.  Because it's just local broadcast channels, I don't need the four set-top (stupid design - how many sets have room for anything on the top these days?) boxes, either. I gotta keep the stupid useless phone because it's part of "the package".

You know what's really disgusting?  That's still ridiculously high.  When I first signed up for this entire package, it was $99 for the whole shebang, including four DVD(Tivo?) boxes.  In three years it has gone up 68%.


little red said...

You don't have to keep all of those services! They are lying to you to keep your money. You have to be MORE insistent! I got rid of cable TV a few years ago. I, also, was paying $160+ a month for channels I never watched. So I called and cancelled my cable TV service. They put up such a stink and I had people from the "retention" department calling me daily for more than a week trying to get me to stay. I flat out told them NO in no uncertain terms. In fact, I told them that I was horribly offended and my intelligence was insulted by commercials that assume I'm a stupid idiot (which is true) and that's why I got rid of cable TV and will NEVER get it back. So, after all of that, I had cable internet and internet phone for about $100/month.

THEN I got an offer from Vonage. $10/month for internet phone, and if I accepted the offer, my rate would NEVER go up. I called and spoke with several people to make sure there were no catches or anything, and they assured me numerous times that yes, it's $10/month FOREVER!

So now I have Time Warner Cable for internet at about $60/month (with all of those taxes and fees they tack on), Vonage comes to about $12/month with taxes and fees and we just watch Netflix which we stream through our Netflix ready DVD/Blu-Ray player. I don't miss cable TV one tiny little bit.

The thing is that the cable company is trained to pressure you into staying with them, and we are not trained to resist. So most people do not resist. You can get many TV shows streaming online or through Netflix (which is another $16/month, no biggie), and any news is usually on-line as well. And with Netflix you're not locked into watching shows when they're on, but when you want to watch them.

little red said...

I am a huge advocate for getting out of the indentured servitude that these corporations have us in. I actually agreed to a 24 month "contract" with TWC wherein I saved a whopping $12/month but was locked into a 24 month term with them with a hefty cancellation fee. I couldn't wait to get out of that contract and will NEVER get into one again to save a few bucks.

Also, I will never get into a cell phone contract again either. I would rather pay full price for a phone than get into a cell phone contract. Right now, Husband and my phones have been out of contract for 1 1/2 years. Son has a phone that is in contract until July 2014 and I got suckered into getting a mobile wireless device/mobile "hot spot" when I bought my tablet back in August, with a 2 year contract through Verizon. All told, our cell bill is for the 4 lines is about $225/month. I currently cannot afford that, so I am not paying my bill at this time, and all of our cell lines are shut off, without billing, but I had to jump through flaming hoops to get them to NOT bill me while my service was off.

They are harassing me to no end. Calling me several times a day, telling me that if I don't pay my bill that they will disconnect all of our lines, charge me the early cancellation fees on the lines that are still under contract and send me into collection. I HATES THEM! I keep telling them that if I had the money, I'd be happy to pay my bill, but right now I just can't pay. No, not even $20/week. NOTHING. And they continue to harass and threaten me. Too freaking bad! Their threats of collections are not going to make money materialize in my life right now.

So, I've decided through this experience, as well as my previous experiences with TWC that I will NEVER get into a corporate contract with ANY service ever again. I call it indentured servitude, and I whole-heartedly reject that on general principle!

~~Silk said...

My only other choice beyond FIOS for any TV reception here is satellite, and that's even more expensive. The cable companies have divided up the territories, so they each have their own little no-competition fiefdoms.

My cell is a little ancient clamshell with no brain, and on that same wireless contract I have a little unlimited box I can use for internet at the country house. That comes to $96 a month. Ridiculous.