Threatening the Cable Company Works - Live Like a Mensch
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Threatening the Cable Company Works

 Image courtesy of Ralpharama


You may recall my previous complaints and hand-wringing over dealing with our cable company, Comcast.

My most recent conversation with Comcast made it clear that we could save something like $50-$60 per month if we were to drop cable, while still keeping our internet and home phone service.

Since today is the last day of the month, it was grand bill-paying day, with the ritual blowing of the checking account conch shell to announce the start of the day, the removal of the sacred bill-paying pen from its hermetically sealed glass case, and the ceremonial banging of the head while waiting on hold with various and assorted "customer service" agents. (I did, however, skip the sacramental bill-paying and head-banging robes. I was running a little short on time, and it's only me here.)

In any case, I got Comcast on the horn sometime this morning. I was a bill-paying woman on a mission. I was going to cancel cable, free up some time that I know I can better spend than by watching endless Friends reruns over and over again because they just happen to be on TBS, and save myself somewhere in the neighborhood of $600 per year.

The first individual I spoke was clearly reading from cue cards. I said I was planning on cancelling cable, and she told me she could certainly understand my frustration. I wasn't frustrated. I wasn't complaining. I just wanted to cancel my cable.

She did not have that authority. (Apparently, cancelling your cable is the sort of thing only a manager can handle. I suspect there's a special register key, like at the grocery store).

She put me on hold to talk to a customer service specialist--nominally the person who had the authority to cancel my cable, but in actuality, the person who was going to try to convince me to keep cable.

I waited on hold for 9 minutes for my customer service specialist, who, once she got me on the phone, asked if there was anything she could do to change my mind. I told her no.

She told me that my price for just phone and internet would be $105 per month. This is a good $20 more than what the last person quoted me for just those two services, but expecting consistency in prices at a cable company from one phone call to the next is as useless as expecting bullfrogs to tap dance. It just ain't gonna happen.

So, I told her that sounded just dandy to me, and to please go ahead and cancel the cable.

She then pulled out the big guns. She could, as a special favor to me, return me to the original bundle price I was given three years ago: $99 for all three services. Which, as you may notice if you're keeping score at home, is LESS expensive than the cost for just the two services I was interested in keeping.

Apparently, Ms. Customer Service rep thought I was playing hardball when I really just wanted to cancel the cable.

Even though I really was looking forward to the time I don't turn on the TV as a matter of course, I agreed to the "new" price, which will theoretically last through the next year. (I say theoretically because I have some trust issues with cable companies).

I'm not entirely sure why Comcast is so very committed to keeping our intravenous television drip on and working--particularly considering the fact that we don't order Pay-Per-View (with one notable exception), we don't upgrade to premium channels, and we have a conversation something like this about once or twice a year.

But, considering the fact that I saved about 40 bucks a month by engaging in the ritual head-banging of bill-paying day, I'm feeling pretty pleased about it all.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go see what Monica, Chandler and the gang were up to 15 years ago.



frugal_fun said:

"Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go see what Monica, Chandler and the gang were up to 15 years ago. "


April 30, 2013 7:07 PM

bobi said:

I haven't engaged in "bill paying" for years. I have ALL my bills set up on EFT. It's safer, cheaper and way easier than checks and Internet payment systems. People seem universally terrified of EFT but (knock on wood) I've never had a problem and there are NO fees involved (I personally think most banks don't promote it for this reason.) I highly recommend EFT.

April 30, 2013 7:40 PM

Emily Guy Birken said:

@bobi, I actually really enjoy paying my bills, oddly enough. (Much as I might grumble about it to J to make it seem like a huge chore). I do have several of my bills taken care of with automatic transfers and payments, but I still like to sit down and balance my checkbook and check income vs. outlay and all of that. And, I still get a weird thrill out of paying via check.

May 1, 2013 9:29 AM

haverwench said:

"I have ALL my bills set up on EFT. It's safer, cheaper and way easier than checks and Internet payment systems."

I can see why it's easier, but do you say it's safer and cheaper? I use my bank's online bill payment system and it doesn't cost me anything, and the protections on it are exactly the same as if I were paying the bills automatically. And it ensures that I actually look at the bills before paying them, so if there's a charge that's wrong I can contest it. (It doesn't happen often, but it has happened.)

May 2, 2013 11:39 AM

Live Like a Mensch said:

I feel like this picture from our wedding is an excellent metaphor for how J and I handle our money.

June 19, 2013 11:38 AM

Live Like a Mensch said:

Recently, a friend posted the following question to the folks at large on Facebook: How do you manage

July 17, 2013 1:39 PM

Credit Cards Aren???t as Competitive as They Want You to Believe | BefurgalBehappy said:

Pingback from  Credit Cards Aren???t as Competitive as They Want You to Believe | BefurgalBehappy

August 1, 2013 2:14 PM

Live Like a Mensch said:

I seem to have a bit of a time management problem. (As a matter of fact, I have multiple time management

March 5, 2014 11:31 AM

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