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Looking to cut expenses for TV,phone and Internet. Need advice
Old 03-09-2014, 04:44 PM   #1
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Looking to cut expenses for TV,phone and Internet. Need advice

I am trying to cut expenses as much as possible. I have a 2 year contract with Verizon for phone and FIOS which expires next month. Presently I am paying $60/month for the bundle but I received a $30 monthly discount or it would have been $90. For TV, I only watch local channels and have a basic plan from Comcast for $15 so my monthly total for everything with taxes is about $80.

I was thinking of staying with Comcast for TV and changing my phone to something like Directtalk, Basictalk or Nettalk. Does anyone know if these plans work well. I use my phone mostly for local calls.

Also does anyone know of low cost internet that would provide the same speed as FIOS? I have 15/5 mbps and that if fine for my purposes.

Thank you.
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:56 PM   #2
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I don't know the answers to your questions, but just wanted to say that I feel the same way about my TV, phone, and internet costs. It's ridiculous how much these cost!

I think the only real value I get is my internet access and cell phone. The rest is just wasted money (for me) and one of these days I will shut off my landline and cable TV completely. Just haven't got around to it yet but one day I will.
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:08 PM   #3
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Where I live, the only internet choice I have is the local telephone company, so I'm not typical. I got it bundled with the landline. Our TV comes through the antenna on the roof.

But they have been inching up the rates over the years, and last month they increased my bill by over 11% for no reason except they could. That was the straw that broke this camel's back, and I canceled the landline.

We could have just relied on our cell phones, but DW was nervous about it so I got OOMA.

I can't begin to tell you how happy we are with OOMA. We are using their Premier service and now we have all the features possible from the phone company plus many more, all for less than a third what we were paying last month.

Not a huge deal, but the $300 a year we'll save from this small change will buy a couple of nights in a good hotel, so it is significant.
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:02 PM   #4
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Go over the air if you can. Otherwise $15 sounds pretty cheap. A prepaid phone would be cheap, depending on how much you use it. How much is FIOS by itself? Is the $30 discount disappearing?
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:14 PM   #5
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FIOS is $50 and yes the $30 discount will disappear.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:12 PM   #6
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We have Ooma for phone for about $3 a month in some kind of random fees.

We were prepared to drop cable TV for Netflix, Hulu Plus, Prime and a dedicated lap top hooked to the TV with an HDMI cable and a wireless keyboard for direct web streaming at the network sites.

For Internet we call around every 6 months or so and get the new customer rates. Currently we have $44.99 Internet 50 mpbs download from Comcast, with basic cable plus on one TV. We kept the cable for now on one TV since Internet alone would not be any cheaper. I ordered a cable modem from Amazon to avoid the $8 month modem fee.

We can't go over the air because of the terrain but I would get an antenna if I could.

Best Buy Mobile currently has a two month Hulu Plus free trial.

Next up everybody gets Walmart / T mobile prepaid smart phones and plans. If you only want voice you could probably get something like a Tracphone pretty cheap.
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:44 AM   #7
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We use Optimum cable internet, Vonage phone service and an antenna. BB internet (15 mbps) costs $55. per month, Vonage is about $40. per month w/all you can eat international calling. There's probably cheaper deals out there but we don't bother. The antenna signal gets amplified and converted to IP where it's available through wifi and internal network cabling (there's a mini form factor PC running Windows media center perched on top of the TV).
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:36 AM   #8
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Go see Verizon and tell them you are shopping for new service when your contract expires, They may give you a good deal.
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:42 AM   #9
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If you only want voice you could probably get something like a Tracphone pretty cheap.
Apparently even Tracfone now offers some versions of smartphones, or at least more than just talk and text. I was thinking of upgrading my 10-year-old phone.

Phones | LG, Samsung, Motorola | TracFone Wireless
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:09 AM   #10
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We have been OTA for TV for 3.5 years and don't regret a second of it. If you are in Boston and watch mostly local, you should make the switch.

This will tell you what you can receive:
https://tvfool.com/

If you want to just use an indoor antenna, most people lately swear by these ones:
Indoor Antenna - The Leaf Indoor HD Antenna | Mohu - Mohu

So, for $40-$50 you could cut that $15/mo. cost right out.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:50 PM   #11
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I have a prepay cell phone from T-Mobile. Since I don't make too many calls, it's gonna cost me $100 per year. ( I've got the tip from this forum and dropped Verizon. )
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Old 03-10-2014, 01:12 PM   #12
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For those who, like me, use AT&T Wireless with a smartphone, they just dropped their rates this weekend.

I saw it mentioned in the WSJ this morning, and went to their website. With a couple of clicks I dropped our monthly bill by $20 and got more features!
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Old 03-10-2014, 01:19 PM   #13
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I would never pay for broadcast TV of any kind (cable, netflix, hulu, etc.). Goal this year is to eliminate what free over the air TV I do watch as I consider it a waste of time and want to find more effective/fulfilling diversions to replace it during my leisure time.

Currently pay too much (IMO) for ATT LL and DSL. After ER early next year, will drop ATT entirely and replace as follows:

- Internet: DSL extreme @ $14.95/month. https://www.dslextreme.com/dsl/residential

- Phone: Drop LL and replace with cell only from Republic Wireless @ $25.00/month. https://republicwireless.com/plans

For anyone just needing basic internet and phone like me who can beat this, please me know!
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:58 PM   #14
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Verizon for the three of us runs $225, cable/ Internet, which I just got notice is going up again, about $140.
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Old 03-10-2014, 05:00 PM   #15
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I'm fairly happy with our services.

For phone we use Ooma - $4/month + $120 once a year for the premier service

For Internet we use Fairpoint DSL - $50/month. What is aggravating is that Fairpoint advertises lower monthly costs that get even lower (what they call Stay & Save) but it isn't available to existing customers. I've threatened to leave, but they won't budge and cable internet would be more.

We can't do OTA so we have Dish that is $65 a month including DVR.

Our best "deal" is cell phone. Airvoice Wireless has a $10 a month plan that fits our modest needs. It is AT&T network. You bring your own phone (or can buy one from them). DW has a simple smartphone that was %50 but a plain cellphone can be had for as little as $20/ Voice is 4 cents a minute, texts are 2 cents each and data is 6 cents per mb. So $20 a month for our two cellphones.

At $149 per month for all I can't complain too much. I know some people whose cable or cell phone bills alone are that much and if we want local TV we need satellite or cable since OTA is not possible.
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Old 03-10-2014, 06:33 PM   #16
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I'm a sports addict, and can't get live college events, 100% of the time, without cable. I'm embarrassed to admit what I pay for cable. Our AT&T is $110 a month for 2 phones, sharing 1 gb of data. I like being connected, and I pay dearly for it. To each his own.
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:01 PM   #17
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We have friends that switch off every 6 months or so between cable and dish for new customer pricing on TV. We have multiple cable providers in our area so the prices are very competitive and negotiable.

The AT&T rep said putting the bill in my husband's name would qualify our household for new customer pricing.

We have connections in the house for several different cable providers so it only takes a few hours every 6 months or year to price shop rates and swap out equipment as needed.
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:45 PM   #18
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For Internet we use Fairpoint DSL - $50/month. What is aggravating is that Fairpoint advertises lower monthly costs that get even lower (what they call Stay & Save) but it isn't available to existing customers. I've threatened to leave, but they won't budge and cable internet would be more.

What about quitting DSL and going to cable for 6 months. Then apply for the deal as a new customer.
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Old 03-10-2014, 08:04 PM   #19
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What about quitting DSL and going to cable for 6 months. Then apply for the deal as a new customer.
Thinking about doing just that. The rub is right now our email is through our ISP so it would be a bit of a hassle. Wish I had changed to gmail when we changed providers a few years ago.
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Old 03-10-2014, 08:44 PM   #20
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Also does anyone know of low cost internet that would provide the same speed as FIOS? I have 15/5 mbps and that if fine for my purposes.

Thank you.
My first question would be whether you really need 15/5mbps.

My personal philosophy is that the connectivity and technology we have in our modern world is absolutely fantastic, but that the best deals are to be found by being satisfied with something less than the "cutting edge" (for want of a better phrase).

As an example, like Options, I use dslextreme for my internet. After the 1 year introductory period, my cost went up from 14.95 + taxes to 19.95 + taxes for a total of $22.83/month. For that, I get 1500/384Kbps service, which is enough to give me smooth streaming from Netflix. It's not the highest resolution, but when I am watching shows and movies, what really pulls me in is the quality of the narrative. No amount of high resolution can compensate for poor narrative.

I have no cellphone, but my landline service is only $8/month (I qualify for a low income subsidy), so my total cost of local phone service + internet is ~$31/month. Add a few extra dollars of long distance from One Suite, and my total cost of phone + internet service is <$34/month. It's quite surprising how much good stuff there is to watch on YouTube, but if you want to go up a notch, Netflix have a good selection of things to view for $7.99/month for the streaming service. I may start subscribing soon, so my total telecommunications bill for phone + internet + Netflix would be ~ <$42/month.

Of course, if there's something you feel you absolutely need to have (such as a particular channel, or coverage of a particular sports event), then your costs go up, but this is the way it always is - the more flexible you are, the more you can save.

Please note that in no way do I begrudge those who pay premium money for premium services. This is one of the wonderful things about the free world in which we live. I am merely trying to point out that IMO, many of us can be perfectly content with less than we currently have.
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