cable bill http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3762/all en-US 3 TV Must-Haves Once You Cut the Cable Cord http://www.wisebread.com/3-tv-must-haves-once-you-cut-the-cable-cord <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-tv-must-haves-once-you-cut-the-cable-cord" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-618335432.jpg" alt="Woman getting TV must-haves after cutting cable cord" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Is it time for you to join in on the cord cutting movement? You know that you're only watching a few channels out of the hundreds that you're paying for. And cutting the cord on your cable bill will undoubtedly be good for your budget. But can you still watch the shows you love? Yes. You'll be surprised at the variety of options you have without paying for hundreds of channels you don't use.</p> <p>Here's a basic breakdown of the great options you have available when <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cutting-the-cable-cord-has-more-than-financial-benefits" target="_blank">cutting the cable cord</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-everyone-can-cut-cable-and-still-watch-what-they-love-even-sportsfans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Cut Cable and Still Watch What You Love</a>)</p> <h2>An HD antenna</h2> <p>The first option to consider when you're ready to cut the cord is an HD antenna that you can install in your home. Here are a few of your best options.</p> <h3>Mohu Leaf 50 Indoor Antenna</h3> <p>For about $50, you can pick up a <a href="http://amzn.to/2mK3syc" target="_blank">Mohu Leaf</a> and depending on where you live, score a bunch of HD channels for free. The Leaf has a 50-mile range and can be placed indoors on a window or bookcase shelf. To figure out how many free HD channels you can get at your home, visit <a href="https://nocable.org/hd-antenna-coverage-map" target="_blank">NoCable.org</a> and enter your address.</p> <h3>Antennas Direct 50 Clearstream Eclipse</h3> <p>If you're cutting the cord from DishNetwork or DIRECTV, the <a href="http://amzn.to/2nYk9XL" target="_blank">Antennas Direct 50</a> is a great alternative. This is due to the fact that you can install the antenna directly onto your abandoned satellite dish, or a wall or window indoors, making installation really easy. You can then connect the antenna to the existing infrastructure of your home and start watching free HD channels immediately.</p> <h3>Mohu Sky 60 Antenna</h3> <p>If you live in more of a rural area, especially with mountains and hills, the Leaf probably won't get you many free channels. So instead, check out the <a href="http://amzn.to/2mJUaCe" target="_blank">Mohu Sky 60</a>, which should be attic- or roof-mounted and will offer a much better solution. For example, I live 10 miles out of town with hills in every direction. The Leaf gives me only two HD channels, while the Sky 60 gives me six HD channels including FOX, CBS, and ABC.</p> <h2>A subscription to a streaming service</h2> <p>For the rest of the TV shows and movies you've come to depend on through your cable or satellite service, choose among these affordable streaming services.</p> <h3>Netflix</h3> <p>A Netflix streaming account starts at $7.99 per month, or $9.99 per month if you want HD quality. While you won't pick up cable channels with Netflix, you will pick up a ton of original programming as well as thousands of movies, TV shows, and documentaries. Besides viewing on your TV, you can also access all of Netflix's programming on your tablet, computer, or smartphone.</p> <h3>Prime Streaming</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2nbqHCb" target="_blank">Prime Streaming</a> is available free to all Amazon Prime members. Prime membership costs $99 per year and gets you access to thousands of titles, including popular TV shows and movies. You can also use Amazon's streaming service to rent or buy current TV shows and new movies to view immediately. You can also pay an additional fee to get access to HBO, Cinemax, Starz, and Showtime. Plus, get access to special programming like animé, foreign dramas, and more, as add-on services.</p> <h3>Hulu</h3> <p>If you're interested in streaming the current season of your favorite TV shows, get Hulu. For $7.99 per month, you can stream many of the current shows that won't be available on Netflix until next year. Movies are also available on Hulu.</p> <h3>DIRECTV NOW Streaming</h3> <p>Just recently DIRECTV introduced a streaming option to try and capture a new customer base and it actually looks promising. For $35 a month, you can stream live TV from over 120 channels plus over 10,000 on-demand titles. With the cheapest DIRECTV satellite package coming in at about $55, this is a solid alternative if you don't want to give up your satellite options.</p> <h3>HBO Now</h3> <p>For $14.99 per month, you can access HBO's original shows, documentaries, and their movie selection, without having a cable subscription. This is the main difference between Now and HBO Go &mdash; which you're only able to access with cable.</p> <h3>Livestream</h3> <p>There still aren't many streaming options for sports programming, but Livestream is one of the few available at the moment. This app allows you to stream live events through your Chromecast, Roku, or Apple TV. The app is free and you can also use it on your iPhone or Android device.</p> <h3>Sling TV</h3> <p>If you're one of the many who hasn't cut the cord because of a lack of streaming sports options, Sling TV just might be for you. Sling TV is the first true internet-only alternative to a traditional cable package. For only $20/mo, you can get the Sling TV Orange package which includes ESPN, TBS, and CNN plus about 25 other popular channels.</p> <h2>A streaming device</h2> <p>Using streaming services doesn't mean you can only watch on your computer. There are some nifty devices that allow you to stream these shows to your TV, so you can sit back and still enjoy shows and movies on your big screen TV. Most newer TVs have the required USB port that the streaming sticks and players directly connect to. On older TVs without a USB port, you might be able to use an HDMI-to-USB adapter cord, but it depends on your HDMI setup in the back of your TV.</p> <h3>Amazon Fire TV Stick</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2n2eKzv" target="_blank">The Amazon Fire TV Stick</a> plugs into the back of your TV and lets you immediately start streaming. Of course, you need a Wi-Fi connection in your home, too. The Fire TV Stick is compatible with all of the popular subscription services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video, as well as free streaming options like YouTube.</p> <h3>Roku Streaming Stick</h3> <p>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2n2Dl7u" target="_blank">Roku Stick</a> stands out from the Fire TV stick in the number of apps available, as well as a convenient search feature. The Roku Stick actually searches across all streaming services to find you the exact program you're looking for.</p> <h3>Chromecast</h3> <p>This is Google's streaming device, and it also uses your Wi-Fi connection to stream music and videos on your TV. The main difference with Chromecast compared to the options above is that there's no remote. You use your phone, iPad, or laptop computer to control your programming.</p> <h3>Apple TV</h3> <p>Much like the two options above, Apple TV comes equipped with all the video/streaming apps you could ever need. Apple TV has over 1,600 of them, and the video quality is outstanding. It also connects to your iTunes library so you can seamlessly access your favorite music on your TV.</p> <h3>Gaming consoles</h3> <p>If you're a gamer, you might not need a streaming device at all, because new gaming consoles come equipped with a streaming interface. Nintendo Wii, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, and PS4 are all gaming consoles that are able to stream TV through their wireless connection, so you can download the streaming apps (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc.) and watch your favorite shows and movies through your console.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-tv-must-haves-once-you-cut-the-cable-cord">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-netflix-and-hulu-to-play-on-your-tv">How to Get Netflix and Hulu to Play on Your TV</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-quick-remote-control-hacks-to-save-you-time-and-money">5 Quick Remote Control Hacks to Save You Time and Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/life-without-tv">Life Without Television</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cutting-the-cable-cord-has-more-than-financial-benefits">Cutting the Cable Cord Has More Than Financial Benefits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-subscription-services-every-traveler-needs">3 Subscription Services Every Traveler Needs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Technology antenna cable cable bill getting rid of cable netflix satellite streaming services tv Tue, 28 Mar 2017 09:30:33 +0000 Kyle James 1917303 at http://www.wisebread.com Identify and Solve Your Spending Mysteries http://www.wisebread.com/identify-and-solve-your-spending-mysteries <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/identify-and-solve-your-spending-mysteries" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/finances-3258918-small.jpg" alt="spending" title="spending" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you feel like some of your hard-earned cash seems to vanish into thin air each month? I kept noticing a big chunk of my change seemed to be disappearing into a monthly black hole, despite what I thought was decent budgeting. So, I decided to clean up my act and set out to locate these hidden areas. Here are a few tips that I learned along the way that can help you nab your mystery spending, too. (See also: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-your-hidden-spending-habits-and-save">Find Your Hidden Spending Habits and Save</a>).</p> <h2>1. Unplanned Dining Splurges</h2> <p>Despite having a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-more-tips-for-eating-in-restaurants-and-sticking-to-a-budget?wbref=readmore-2">dining budget</a>, I admit I was not keeping track of every single drink or ice cream that seemed like a small splurge at the time. While an occasional treat is well deserved, often I was being silly. For example, last week while waiting for our table, my husband and I ordered two glasses of not-so-good, lukewarm chardonnay for $21 including tip. When I go to the liquor store, I can buy two or even three suitable bottles for that price. Do the &quot;quick drink at the bar&quot; a few more times, and you can easily run up $100 a month and not really enjoy it.</p> <p>I noticed that other little treats were adding up, too. We always visited the ice cream shop after a dinner out or made a few unplanned, weekly fast food stops. Somehow, I was forgetting that the tab for such outings can easily run $15-$20 for four people.</p> <p><strong>Curbing the Treat Buying</strong></p> <p>Once I realized what was happening, I established a treat allowance per month. This consisted of setting aside a small, fixed amount in cash, bound in a rubber band. I could do what I wanted with my little roll of cash, but once it was gone, that was it for the month. This quickly stopped the previous over-spending and made me prioritize my buying and how badly I wanted something.</p> <p>Secondly, I found ways to spread out little splurges more. For drinks, it was as simple as holding off for a more economical bottle of wine at the table, or eating at home, followed by an affordable beer at the bar afterwards. For the ice cream shop visits and fast food stops, I made such trips into planned, special outings for my family. This meant not indulging after already out to dinner or because we were just driving by. Looking forward to these planned jaunts made everyone appreciate them more. Spreading treats into separate outings actually made us feel like we were going out more, too.</p> <h2>2. The Curse of the Last-Minute Gifter</h2> <p>I budgeted for big items, like Christmas and my daughter's birthday, but I was still shocked at my annual gift spend. Things like housewarming gifts, other children's birthday parties, and smaller-scale holidays were really adding up. Throw in a wedding or two, and you can easily go off the rails. I never stopped to think about just how many events we were attending and the types of gifts we bought. Additionally, I would often buy presents at the last minute, meaning I usually spent more out of convenience.</p> <p><strong>The Gift-Giving Fix</strong></p> <p>Once I realized that we were averaging 10 dinner parties, 5 kids' birthday parties, and a handful of holidays and special events per year, I made a better gift budget. Then, I saved a bundle by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today">making some of my own gifts,</a> like painted flowerpots, or easier projects like repurposed jars filled with fresh flowers from my garden. Next, I stocked up on some attractive home goods, which I found at craft stores for $5 or less, using coupons or hitting seasonal sales. When out shopping, if I saw a good deal on a toy or baby clothes, I bought a few to have as inventory for upcoming events. In the last six months, we saved over $300 by doing this, and many of these gifts were more appreciated than the default bottle of wine.</p> <h2>3. Too Many Shows, Too Little Time</h2> <p>With the dizzying array of cable packages and providers, it is hard to know if you are really saving. I took a long, hard look and realized I had at least 10 movie channels I hadn't watched in the last 12 months. And, if you have young kids, chances are your days of surfing premium channels to watch &quot;Office Space&quot; undisturbed for the fortieth time are long gone. It was time to take inventory of what I really needed and cut down. My plan was also up for renewal, and when I viewed my account online, I saw a $20 per month increase for the same stuff I currently had. This was not good.</p> <p><strong>Making Cable Worth It Again</strong></p> <p>I already had a combined package for my phone, Internet, and cable, so I was pleasantly surprised more savings could be had. First, instead of settling for what you may see online and giving up any previous promotions, investing the 10 minutes to call your provider directly can pay off. I called expecting a fight, but before I could even plead my case, the representative said <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/thirteen-minutes-to-a-lower-cable-bill">there were special deals for those willing to renew</a> for two more years. I was immediately given a renewal plan that included faster Internet and all of my existing features for $10 less per month. Once that was done, I cut out two premium channel lineups we never use, which saved another $30 per month.</p> <p>The next time you are looking to tune up your budget, take a look at your non-essential spending and really think through where your money goes. My examples were very relevant for a family with a young child in the house, but everyone can attempt to cut down mystery spending. By identifying the common pitfalls and making some useful adjustments, you can save a bunch and still do the things you enjoy.</p> <p><em>Have you uncovered any hidden spending habits? What did you do to spot them and correct them?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-medeiros">Kelly Medeiros</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/identify-and-solve-your-spending-mysteries">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-split-the-bill-without-losing-friends">6 Ways to Split the Bill Without Losing Friends</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-your-junk-mail-say-about-you">What Does Your Junk Mail Say About You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-restaurant-menus-are-designed-to-make-you-spend-more">9 Ways Restaurant Menus Are Designed to Make You Spend More</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-way-birth-order-decides-your-money-habits">The Surprising Way Birth Order Decides Your Money Habits</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting cable bill dining out homemade gifts mystery spending spending habits Wed, 03 Jul 2013 09:48:32 +0000 Kelly Medeiros 980278 at http://www.wisebread.com I Finally Canceled Comcast Cable…Before It Hurt More Than My Wallet http://www.wisebread.com/i-finally-canceled-comcast-cable-before-it-hurt-more-than-my-wallet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/i-finally-canceled-comcast-cable-before-it-hurt-more-than-my-wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/comcast_large.jpg" alt="Comcast store" title="Comcast store" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have written about my sketchy relationship with Comcast before, including a popular article about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/last-night-i-threatened-to-disconnect-my-cable">threatening to cancel cable</a> to get a reduced (but still excessive) bill.</p> <p>I would love to report that my relationship with Comcast has been a rosy one since then, but alas that&rsquo;s not been the case. Not even close. The prices have continued to rise, the customer service has been sketchy, the services have had troubles and outages beyond the norm, and the billing statements I received never matched the ones I saw online. That caused no end of confusion.</p> <p>However, the latest gem from Comcast happened around six weeks ago. I say that because I can&rsquo;t pin a specific date on it &mdash; all I know is that it was around that time that I noticed problems. It was also the same time we got new neighbors.</p> <p>Specifically, we were getting some very annoying disruptions in sound and picture throughout the day. Sometimes the sound would cut out every 30 seconds, for about 1 second at a time. Sometimes it was more spread out. The picture would pixilate, then return to normal.</p> <p>We had experienced occasional problems like this in the past, but they were rare. To have it happen time after time was odd. I figured it would go away &mdash; it was probably just a problem in our area. When I called Comcast, a recorded message said there were issues in our area anyway.</p> <p>But after a few weeks with no subsidence with this issue, it was still going on. I was confused, and once again I called Comcast to get a recorded message indicating service problems. &ldquo;Wow, they&rsquo;re having issues&rdquo; I thought, and like the ostrich that I am sometimes, I stuck my head in the sand.</p> <p>That weekend, I decided to blow the winter dust off my lawnmower and give my front and back lawn the first cut of spring. I took the small gravel driveway from the garage to my back garden, with the intention of taking the padlock off the gate. That&rsquo;s when my foot caught on something and I went flying face-first into that same gate, scraping up my hand and my head and landing pathetically on the floor.</p> <p>What I caught my foot on turned out to be a wire going from the cable box on the side of my house to the cable exchange box in the neighbor&rsquo;s back yard. After some swearing and a little hydrogen peroxide, I came back to the scene to investigate the huge wire. I&rsquo;d had Comcast since I moved into the home in 2002, and this wire had never been there before. Very odd. Was the new neighbor stealing my cable?</p> <p>Well, no. And the reason I know is that this wire was providing the feed to the cable box, it wasn&rsquo;t someone tapping the feed. And besides, it would be much easier to tap the exchange directly. No, this was a brand new wire.</p> <p>I whipped out my phone, grabbed a few pics (below) and called Comcast customer service immediately.</p> <p><img width="299" height="500" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/imag0060nt.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><img width="500" height="299" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/imag0061yr.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><img width="500" height="299" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/imag0062s.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>As it turns out, they had no idea what it was. I called on a weekend, and they said they would send someone to my home on Monday to investigate. I stressed that this was a wire just flying loose above ground, and that it was clearly not just a tripping hazard but was no doubt the cause of all the service problems we&rsquo;d been having.</p> <p>On Monday morning, Comcast called to say that my wife needed to call them back to let them know she would be home for the appointment we had scheduled. Why? We made the appointment the day before, we specified the time. Anyway, my wife called back, stayed home, and Comcast decided not to show up anyway.</p> <p>We called back requesting a new service appointment. We were then told that we could be charged for this call out if it was considered unnecessary. What?! A loose wire running across the main path between my front and back yard, a path used by two young children (3 and 5) is, in my book, something that needs immediate attention. Not according to Comcast. And by the way, my monthly bill is not exactly small. Including Internet and Phone, my Comcast bill is around $180 per month. And that includes a special promotion I&rsquo;m on. When that expires, my bill will be closer to $220! For that kind of money, I want decent service.</p> <p>After no luck with Comcast to resolve this wire, and the increasing costs being directly proportional to the decreasing customer service, I decided after 7 and a half years that I would call it quits. I met with a representative from DirecTV, told him what I was getting from Comcast and asked if he could beat it.</p> <p>He could. Oh, how he could. My new bill will be around $80 less per month than the &ldquo;special&rdquo; I&rsquo;m getting from Comcast. The only difference &mdash; I won&rsquo;t be getting the Starz movie channel in that package, which is $10 a month to add on. No worries. And next year, when my introductory offer ends, I&rsquo;ll still pay $50/month less than I pay on the Comcast &ldquo;special.&rdquo; Plus, I get way more advanced technology, including an HD DVR that holds 400 hours (as opposed to 60 with Comcast) and can be hooked up to every TV in the house. But I will miss On Demand and a few other cable luxuries.</p> <p>What bugs me most about this is that Comcast is a GIANT of a company. They have no real competition, being the only cable company in Colorado and several other areas. They say satellite is competition, but it&rsquo;s a different technology. If you want cable, with those great services like On Demand, you have to choose Comcast. They know this, and they abuse that knowledge. So much so that they are now hemorrhaging customers at an increasing rate. And when you lose a customer who has been with you longer than most people are married these days, you have big problems.</p> <p>I should have been easy to keep. Comcast should have jumped on that dangerous wire (which is still there at the time this article was published), they should have apologized, they should have made good, they should have done a lot of &ldquo;customer service 101&rdquo; things. They could have said &ldquo;hey, we are really sorry about that, we&rsquo;d like to pay your cable bill for two months to make up for the poor reception and dangerous wire.&rdquo; They could have given me a TV package upgrade for one year. The second doesn&rsquo;t really cost them anything at all anyway &mdash; they just open a feed. As I used to work in the cable TV industry, I know what they can do. Instead, they basically just decided I wasn&rsquo;t worth it. Is it any wonder Comcast recently won the <a href="http://consumerist.com/2010/04/congratulations-comcast-youre-the-worst-company-in-america.html">WCIA (Worst Company In America)</a> award after twice being runner-up?</p> <p>And that&rsquo;s why I&rsquo;m writing today. Take from this what you will, but what I say is that you should not have to put up with the kind of BS that huge corporations like Comcast dish out on a daily basis. You are not just a number in a spreadsheet, you are not a statistic. If you&rsquo;re getting rotten service, vote with your hard-earned dollars and take your custom elsewhere. Don&rsquo;t feel trapped and told feel useless or apathetic. Sure, DirecTV doesn&rsquo;t have all the bells and whistles of Comcast Cable, but man, they are about to have the chance to make up for that with how they treat me. And if it doesn&rsquo;t work out, I&rsquo;ll try Dish Network. If that fails, I&rsquo;ll figure something else out.</p> <p>Bottom line, you are the customer and you have rights. Not just that, you have power. If every single disenchanted Comcast customer left for DirecTV or Dish Network today, Comcast would have a huge problem on their hands. They may have to lower their prices, or improve customer service. The power lies with us. And we can choose how to use that power.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-finally-canceled-comcast-cable-before-it-hurt-more-than-my-wallet">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/last-night-i-threatened-to-disconnect-my-cable">Last night I threatened to disconnect my cable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-will-the-comcastnbc-merger-really-affect-you">How Will The Comcast/NBC Merger Really Affect You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-refund-when-something-is-non-refundable">How to Get a Refund When Something Is Non-Refundable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service">7 Retailers With the Absolute Best Customer Service</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-complain-and-get-a-good-result">How to complain and get a good result.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Entertainment cable bill Comcast customer service Tue, 25 May 2010 13:00:03 +0000 Paul Michael 98238 at http://www.wisebread.com Last night I threatened to disconnect my cable http://www.wisebread.com/last-night-i-threatened-to-disconnect-my-cable <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/151947_superman_imposter_1.jpg" alt="Super phone" title="Super phone" width="212" height="300" /></p> <p>Sit down, relax, and let me tell you a story. A story about how you get to be a hero, and how to get your cable company begging on all fours like a dog.</p> <p>See, I got my cable bill last night. It was not a shock, or a surprise. I know what I&#39;m paying, and I know I&#39;m paying too much. Way too much. Compared to either Dish Network or DirecTV, Comcast (or your own cable co., they&#39;re all the same) is undoubtedly the most overpriced way to watch TV and get Internet service.</p> <p>After seeing substantially cheaper offers, free equipment and all sorts of additional cool stuff, I had reached my breaking point. Why should I pay almost 50% more for almost exactly the same service? This is not the life of frugality I am preaching.</p> <p>So on behalf of Wisebread (and for my own selfish reasons) I called Comcast. I said right out I wanted to disconnect my service, and was not interested in any offers to make me change my mind. Of course, that&#39;s all I was interested in. I don&#39;t want to go through the hassle of returning equipment, stopping service, and setting up a new account with a new provider. That&#39;s way too much work. I just want more for less.</p> <p>After taking my account details, the customer service rep then went into SAVE SALE mode. You know it, I&#39;m sure. It went something like this.<br /><em><br />CSR: Why do you want to disconnect sir, is it because of the high price? (wow, talk about an admission)</p> <p>ME: Yes.</p> <p>CSR: Getting too much for you? (again, this is way more than I was expecting already)</p> <p>ME: Yes, I can get a much better package somewhere else for what I&#39;m paying now. I&#39;d just like to disconnect please.</p> <p>CSR: I should let you know, as you are a loyal customer I can offer you some very special deals right now.</p> <p>ME: Oh, really? (acting surprised and delighted) What would they be?</p> <p>CSR: Well, for what you&#39;re paying now I can upgrade you to the GOLD package (two movie channels, not one) plus I can hook you up to Comcast Digital Voice with unlimited long distance. That means you get rid of your QWEST phone bill, saving you around $30 a month, and no longer pay for long distance calls.</p> <p>ME: Sounds ok. But these other offers I&#39;m getting offer free DVR.</p> <p>CSR: Let me talk to my supervisor (I am put on hold for 5 seconds)</p> <p>CSR: Yes, we can offer you free DVR equipment. All you would need to do is pay for DVR service. </p> <p>ME: Ummm, if I can get FREE service too, I think that would be something I can go with.</p> <p>CSR: Let me check (I am put on hold again, for 10 seconds)</p> <p>CSR: Yes, we can do that. </p> <p>ME: Is there any charge for installation of any of these services?</p> <p>CSR: Yes, the digital voice is $49.95</p> <p>ME: Ummmm</p> <p>CSR: I can waive that!</p> <p>ME: OK, I&#39;ll do it.</em></p> <p>So, here&#39;s a quick summary. I was on the phone for 10 minutes.</p> <p><strong>Before</strong> I started, I had Comcast Digital Cable Silver (Around $78 a month) and High Speed Internet ($43 a month). I also got my phone through Qwest for another $30 a month, and that had no long distance. <strong>Total = $151 a month.</strong></p> <p><strong>After</strong> my 10-minute call, I had upgraded to Comcast Gold (2 movie channels) plus High Speed Internet, also got my phone service through Comcast (dumping my $30 Qwest phone bill) with free installation, I got long distance free, plus a DVR with DVR service and free installation. <strong>Total = $129 a month.</strong></p> <p>The moral of this story. Ask. It never hurts to call and see if your provider can do something to keep you around. It costs them a lot of money to acquire new customers, it costs a lot less to keep old ones. They will always try something. If they can&#39;t lower your price, they can most likely add services for no extra charge, like the DVR.</p> <p>Now, go forth and call your own providers. And let me know how you get on.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/last-night-i-threatened-to-disconnect-my-cable">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-finally-canceled-comcast-cable-before-it-hurt-more-than-my-wallet">I Finally Canceled Comcast Cable…Before It Hurt More Than My Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-free-hbo-or-showtime-just-ask">Want Free HBO or Showtime? Just Ask.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-refund-when-something-is-non-refundable">How to Get a Refund When Something Is Non-Refundable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-laws-of-negotiation">The 7 Laws of Negotiation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-tv-must-haves-once-you-cut-the-cable-cord">3 TV Must-Haves Once You Cut the Cable Cord</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs better deal better service cable cable bill Comcast customer service haggling price negotiation save money Tue, 10 Apr 2007 16:51:25 +0000 Paul Michael 484 at http://www.wisebread.com