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Pulling the Plug on Cable!

One of my least favorite bills to pay is cable.  Many of us can relate to the fact that we pay for 600 channels but really only watch 5 or 6.  After my frustration ran from weeks to years, I finally decided to take some action.  Here’s how and why I’m saving $110 a month pulling the plug on cable.

The Numbers

A couple years ago, I got into Verizon Fios on a introductory deal of $120 a month for the notorious “Triple Play” package (2 year contract).  That was fine for a while until I started to crack down on my budget.

This is where the trouble starts….

I started to consider canceling my cable or at least downgrading to a reasonable price.

  1. They make crazy hard to cancel because of their cancellation fee, which at the time was over $200.
  2. The also make it hard to downgrade.  If you want to cancel your cable and keep your internet, they jack up the internet price! Sounds scammy to me….

Given these two bullet points, I decided to stick it out until the end of the contract.  That day came and went, as they didn’t adjust my price.  I got nothing in the mail, so I was ok with my $120/month price without a contract.

Verizon wised up after 8 or 9 months, raising my bill close to $180/month.  Let it be known, I wasn’t notified of this change.

The Negotiation

After getting on the phone and realizing I wasn’t getting anywhere, I decided to ask them what the rate was to keep my internet and cancel my cable service.  I figured I can stream from some online source, as I’m really not a big TV person.

Of course, Verizon significantly raises the price on internet if you’re going to take this route.  Doesn’t make sense, their whole pricing game feels like you’re getting taken advantage of.  It makes me think, how do they stay in business?  I’ll delve into this below.

After 6 or 7 phone calls, I decided to switch companies to Comcast.  They were offering a NO CONTRACT $60/month internet price with basic cable ($70 after fees).  I really didn’t want to take the basic cable but they actually charge you more if you don’t take it.

I have a gut feeling this is because they will do anything to keep their subscriber numbers up, even if it’s not for a premium package.  That is purely speculation.

Whether Comcast, Verizon, or some other company, the customer service is extremely poor.  Comcast and Time Warner were ranked amongst America’s least liked companies.

How Cable Companies Stay in Business

The old time baby boomers will smile when they think of the old retailers they remember from childhood.  Millennials will be looking back at the cable business, except their won’t be a smile.  These companies stay in business today because they are internet service providers.

Without them, we aren’t streaming anything.  That is their leverage to keep us on the hook.

With the limited competition per area, we are at their peril.  As the internet is increasingly more integrated in our daily lives, they can really charge us whatever they want.  I’m surprised it’s not more than it is.

Cable Alternatives

However you choose to save some money and rid yourself of useless channels, here are a list of the most popular cable alternatives:

Personally, I’ve been using YouTube more than anything else.  That being said, when I put up a social media post about canceling cable, the most popular alternative seemed to be Amazon Fire Stick.  Here is the spec’s from it’s Amazon listing:

  • Fire TV Stick connects to your TV’s HDMI port. It’s an easy way to enjoy over 4,000 channels, apps, and games including access to over 250,000 TV episodes and movies on Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO NOW, Hulu, and more.
  • Cutting the cord? Watch the best of live TV on NBC News, NBA, and Sling TV, which includes ESPN, CNN, HGTV, AMC, A&E, Cartoon Network, and more.
  • 4x the storage and 2x the memory of Chromecast plus a dual-core processor and 1 GB of memory
  • No more buffering, ASAP learns what Amazon Video movies and shows you like so they start instantly
  • Never miss out. Bring Fire TV Stick with you to watch your favorites away from home, even in hotels and dorm rooms.
  • Amazon Prime members get unlimited access to Amazon Video, including original programming like Transparent, plus over 1 million songs with Prime Music. Add-on a subscription to Showtime, STARZ, and more to watch TV episodes, movies, and sports, without cable.

Tell us about your own experience below or comment on my Facebook group here!

Eric Estevez
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