Archive | May 5, 2017

cut the cable

I know we are late to the party, but, we justified cable with HBO as our ‘entertainment’ expenses because we never go to movies or out much at all.  With 3 little kids escape velocity is hard to achieve so we either have friends over, or, we watch TV for an hour or so before bed.

Then I got in a fight with the cable company….  I have a feeling this isn’t uncommon either.  Our ‘promotion’ ran out and suddenly the bill was kissing $200 and so I call in to see what I can move around because the package we could view online was different from what we had but totally acceptable and I wanted to move to it.  The lady insisted that it was a ‘promotional offer for new customers’ and so my argument was that they list it as the price on MY HOMEPPAGE – like I was logged in and could pay my bill etc.  If they won’t honor a price list like that there are problems.  It escalated and I told them I was going to send a not to the MN department of commerce (thanks to my working with a lawyer I know such things exist).  The return call I got was very not satisfactory and actually included “we have lots of lawyers” so the submit button was pressed.

You know how all conversations are recorded for quality assurance?  They actually are!  1 day after submitting I got a nice note from a lawyer employed by the state and he was contacting them about my complaint.  That got me a VP from the cable company on the phone to me trying to sort things out and he actually had listened to all my conversations with all the people.  I like that #1 he apologized for his people and said there was going to be re-training and thanked me for keeping my cool overall.  Over about 2 weeks he figured out what was wrong and in the end, I got my discount back, but, by then it was on the late side for faith in the company.

Technically they kept our business for 4 more months because of this and that but we have now removed phone and tv and simply have really good internet.  We invested in a Roku and got Hulu and we already have Netflix and amazon prime.  Part of the decision was that we really only watch a few network shows and the kids only watch Netflix with a few exceptions for shows that we can still get streaming.  I plan on getting the HBO add on because still, we don’t get out much, but that can actually wait until we feel like watching the seasons.   We don’t watch sports, we don’t care if we are up to date in general, and some of the network shows were getting really annoying about their start time so we would only get half on tivo and had to go to the OnDemand section where we were forced to watch long blocks of commercials.  Slick move cable, but, you better have some hard core fans for that to fly for long.

Doing this now also has a safety net because our summer is so busy that even if we had zero TV it might be ok.  It was extra silly to be spending $130 extra every month of the summer where we have 2 major camping trips and a trip east to see my family, not to mention maybe moving.  I did the math and even with the upfront equipment cost of the Roku and ooma (phone) if we went back to traditional TV in 6 months (when we would be considered new again) we are still ahead hundreds of dollars.

I’ll check in to see if we miss anything much, I have a feeling we won’t.