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Old 09-10-2015, 10:49 PM   #21
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I'd cancel your cable TV and land line and just keep internet. You will save money and it's a lot simpler. I did that over a year ago and now that I can't watch stuff like "Gold Rush", "The Kardasians", "Duck Dynasty", "Housewives of wherever" I feel like my brain has had an enema and I feel so much better.
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Old 09-11-2015, 12:01 AM   #22
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I'd cancel your cable TV and land line and just keep internet. You will save money and it's a lot simpler...
+1

All you really need is a high-bandwidth connection to the internet. If you really think you need a landline phone, Google: 'obi google voice.' For TV, start with an antenna and Netflix; then Google: 'cut the cord' for the myriad sub-$20 options available if you REALLY need to see SportsCenter, MTV, and/or Duck Dynasty. Then sit back and enjoy your new life, free from the mind-numbing tyranny of cable companies and their ridiculous pricing/bundling/DVR rental/bait-and-switch contract schemes.
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Old 09-11-2015, 12:25 AM   #23
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+1

All you really need is a high-bandwidth connection to the internet. If you really think you need a landline phone, Google: 'obi google voice.' For TV, start with an antenna and Netflix; then Google: 'cut the cord' for the myriad sub-$20 options available if you REALLY need to see SportsCenter, MTV, and/or Duck Dynasty. Then sit back and enjoy your new life, free from the mind-numbing tyranny of cable companies and their ridiculous pricing/bundling/DVR rental/bait-and-switch contract schemes.
It is sometimes not that simple. We have Comcast and had a triple play at a good price for a year. We didn't need or want the landline or most of the pay movie channels but triple play with the pay movie channels was cheaper than an option that just had TV and internet.

Well the bill just went up about $30 a month since the year is over. We called and the best they will do is reduce it about $13 a month (so still up $17) if we agree to a 2 year contract.

We can go down to just internet but when we do that our internet charge goes up and we are then at about $95 a month! Where I live getting antenna service is difficult (most don't work unless I get an expensive one for the attic which might work).

I actually don't even care about the broadcast TV but life would not be worth living if my 91 year old mother visited and she couldn't get ABC, NBC and CBS which are the only channels she wants to watch.

So we can pay extra to the cable company just to get basic channels. Sigh.

The only channels I care about I get on Sling TV which isn't that expensive..But, there is no DVR capability. Some shows you can watch if they aired in the last 3 days but that is it. I usually watch TV only when using the treadmill so I like to DVR stuff that I can watch while on the treadmill.

So, to get the channels I like (mostly HGTV and a few others) I have to subcribe to Sling TV but give up having a DVR which is a big issue for me.

So just to have basic cable TV on one TV (for my mom), internet and Sling TV I will have to spend about $130 a month. That does save me about $100 a month below what I'm paying now but I won't have DVR any more.

And the OP is right. There is very little recourse and so far they aren't that upset about us cancelling any of the TV stuff since I can't really cancel the internet service and they charge an arm and a leg for it.
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Old 09-11-2015, 12:52 AM   #24
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I have Internet only from the cable company. They made me go through three different sales people who grilled me to get "triple play", no thanks!
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Old 09-11-2015, 05:43 AM   #25
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I never take anything anyone says verbally as a promise since that just leads to a "your word versus my word" situation. Business is done in writing, at least through email, these days.

Telecommunications is not cheap. And we're not living through a time when we can rely on laws and regulations to make sure it is cheap for us if we cannot afford it to be expensive. There are approaches you can use to get a slightly better deal, a few times, but after a few times getting such accommodations, you really truly have to be willing to live without what they're offering, walk away from them for a while, in order to do much better than the advertised price. As much as we consumers are learning the game from our side, service providers are learning the game from their side as well.

High-speed broadband Internet service, specifically, is an insidious situation in most areas. With television, you can surely live with out it (perhaps, these days, even more so than Internet service), and there is effective competition for television service in practically every jurisdiction in the nation. Ditch Charter or Time Warner, and most landowners are still able get television service from DirecTV or Dish Network, and the law also secures that option for many renters (though it would be great if the political environment was such that renters were granted the same rights as landowners - we're not living in the 19th century anymore!) Furthermore, as long as you have high-speed broadband service, you can get a decent level of television service, now, that way. You have choices. You have some control.

With high-speed broadband Internet, many areas have only one viable supplier. That's because, according to the law, Internet is Internet. And surely everyone has many sources for Internet service available to them. The problem is that the law doesn't distinguish between dial-up service and broadband, and surely doesn't differentiate between levels of service that effectively support services such as streaming video from those that don't. And in today's political environment, it isn't likely that that is going to change. Things are arrayed in the service providers' favor, and that's the way we've collectively decided to have things, now, even though we hate it when it adversely affects us, personally.

To be fair, while part of the problem is that the law isn't on our side, another big part of the problem is that we don't acknowledge just how much the service is actually worth. The critics cherry-pick statistics when comparing the US to other nations, but the reality is that we actually have available to us the best Internet service available, an amazing accomplishment given how many Americans live remote from city centers compared to other nations that seem to have better service. The service many of us enjoy is the absolute Cadillac of Internet service. Even if we don't acknowledge all the value offered, the cost is warranted. And anyone who owns stock in Comcast or Time Warner can see the reality of that: These aren't super-fantastic stocks that yield many times the gains of other stocks. They're just "okay" holdings.

The fact that our Internet service is the Cadillac of Internet service leads to another obstacle for us - one of perception: We have luxury service, in the US, and we have chosen to treat Internet service, in general, legally like a luxury, and so it is going to be priced like a luxury. As I mentioned above, the law doesn't differentiate between this Cadillac of Internet service and dial-up service. However, despite that, consumers don't have an appreciation for sustenance Internet at a lower price. You could get Internet for $30 a month and be done with it. You cannot stream video, perhaps, but you would have Internet access. It's simply not appreciated by consumers in the way that our laws are structured to presume it would be.
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Old 09-11-2015, 08:24 AM   #26
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For internet I have internet only (lowest speed) from Comcast. For phone I have unlimited nationwide from AT&T. I don't want to do the package deal thing hopefully to avoid creeping up rates. Oh yeah, plus I watch tv OTA and Amazon Prime streaming.
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:17 AM   #27
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I've found that they will stonewall you until you say "cancel my service". Then you go to a customer retention specialist who will actually do something. When I switched to ATT a year ago, they promised one price verbally, but when I went on line to review my next bill, it was more. So I called and was told it would take 30 days to correct the error. Since the installer had not been out yet, I asked to simply forget the whole thing. Like magic, the original rep called to say it was all fixed, which it was. One year later, the special rate expired and I got no offer of relief until I cancelled the service.
I play this game with AT&T Uverse every year.

Here's my script:

1) Call in, I get offshore. I tell them, "Please Cancel." This automatically sends me to USA in 10 seconds flat.
2) In USA, I tell them, "I really don't want to cancel. I've been loyal. You need to do better, much better, to the tune of at least 20%. If you cannot, I then WILL cancel for sure and go with Time Warner." And I will. I mean it, even though I dislike TWC too. Naming a competitor is the "open sesame" keyword.
3) They either handle it or send me to a specialist. The discussion then is usually cordial. But it takes time, usually up to 1 hour, which is ridiculous. It is like buying a car or something, "I need to get this approved by my manager" and such.

During my discussions with retention with the AT&T guy in Kentucky, we had a discussion about their competition. They are quite aware of them, including Google Fiber which is starting to boil up in Raleigh. They have their hands full. Use it to your advantage.
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:22 AM   #28
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I play this game with AT&T Uverse every year.

Here's my script:

1) Call in, I get offshore. I tell them, "Please Cancel." This automatically sends me to USA in 10 seconds flat.
2) In USA, I tell them, "I really don't want to cancel. I've been loyal. You need to do better, much better, to the tune of at least 20%. If you cannot, I then WILL cancel for sure and go with Time Warner." And I will. I mean it, even though I dislike TWC too. Naming a competitor is the "open sesame" keyword.
3) They either handle it or send me to a specialist. The discussion then is usually cordial. But it takes time, usually up to 1 hour, which is ridiculous. It is like buying a car or something, "I need to get this approved by my manager" and such.

During my discussions with retention with the AT&T guy in Kentucky, we had a discussion about their competition. They are quite aware of them, including Google Fiber which is starting to boil up in Raleigh. They have their hands full. Use it to your advantage.

Hilarious! - I do the same thing with them only I have to commit for 2 years at a time though. I have done it for at least 6 years now. I put the anniversary on my google calendar with a "1 week to go reminder email" and then place the call.
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Old 09-11-2015, 12:28 PM   #29
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I have had TW for almost 20 years, only beef is the price. Couple of years ago ATT Uverse ran cable through the hood and a guy knocked on the door and did a good sales job. Of course I found out he lied about many things, including that I would not need a box for each TV. I discovered all the lies except the last one before they showed up for final install, but they had run the cable and installed the box outside the house. When I realized I would need boxes on each (unlike TW) I called ATT. They offered to not charge for the boxes for first 6 months, but I said no way. Made them remove it all and get off my lawn.

Rep at ATT apologized for the misrepresentation of the sales guy, said they use third party contractors for sales and they work on commission, so hence they often lie. Let's just say I wasn't impressed.
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Old 09-11-2015, 12:37 PM   #30
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However, if we use disappointment with how we were treated by a previous service provider to make decisions going forward, we're in for a rude awakening, since such disappointment sheds no light on the relative merits of one service provider over another, since they all operate to precisely the same standards.
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Old 09-11-2015, 12:59 PM   #31
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I think the issue here is not disappointment with the service, more like shady business practices combined with monopoly-like customer relationship management techniques that reflect little regard for customer satisfaction and instead generate real customer issues that are difficult to resolve only because the business is unconcerned.
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Old 09-11-2015, 01:12 PM   #32
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I'm livid at the moment. After carefully negotiating a "triple play" package with a major phone/cable company last month--and getting a confirmation of all agreed upon charges in writing--I received my first bill. The bill does not AT ALL reflect the agreed upon package price. 1.5 hours on the phone to the company today and all I am told is that "the sales rep was wrong; we will make sure we will train our reps better in the future."

I will not pay a bill for something I did not agree to. What can I do? A quick check on the internet confirms that this company frequently uses bait and switch tactics.
That's one reason that I opted out of the triple play package, not to mention that the cost keeps going up every year after the 1-2 year signup promotion.
I switched to an antenna (100 mile range), and can pick up channels from Pittsburgh, NY, Philadelphia, etc. I paid $100 for the antenna, $70 for the cable to connect it directly into cable distribution box, and voila, I've got HD tv for nothing anymore. That was almost a year ago and it dropped my cable price by $95/month or more.
In case anyone is wondering, I mounted the antenna inside my attic between the myriad of joists which support the roof, and literally gave it a rough guess where it had to be directed.
I'm currently considering putting in a second antenna and adding a coupler/switch so that I can get additional channels from other networks.

ETA: We still have high speed Internet with them, and a subscription to Netflix, which gives us plenty of movies and shows with NO ADS.
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Old 09-11-2015, 01:18 PM   #33
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... shady business practices ...
When a business practice is not only defended by the legal standards but is effectively universal - so common that no one is really surprised when it occurs - can it really be called "shady"? At what level of prevalence does caveat emptor come into play?
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Old 09-11-2015, 01:22 PM   #34
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When a business practice is not only defended by the legal standards but is effectively universal - so common that no one is really surprised when it occurs - can it really be called "shady"? At what level of prevalence does caveat emptor come into play?
It can be called shady. also illegal. Businesses often flout the law because the rewards are greater than the penalties.
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Old 09-11-2015, 01:27 PM   #35
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Every cable company has to offer a basic cable package. This is usually the local channels that most can get OTA with an antenna (unless they live in a hilly place, like Seattle).

If all you are interested in for live TV is the local stuff, then call the cable company and ask for the basic package. They will offer everything else, just repeat you want basic cable. You'll get it.

Then you'll need a provider for internet service. That could be the cable company, but, by now you are so angry you won't go near them. So, there should be one or two other options. I personally use the phone company for internet as they are less expensive than the cable company. Again, be aware of what you need in terms of speed. They may offer you Direct TV or Dish, just let them know you are interested in them for internet access because you'll be streaming from Netflix, or Hulu, etc.

Use each of these companies for their strengths, not their 'add ons.' Cable companies are great at basic cable, and phone companies are great at basic phone service, or internet access. Neither of them is customer-focused, because they think they have a monopoly.

They don't, they just have convinced people they do. It's confusing to work through the maze, but in the end, you will be happier because you are paying for what you need, not what someone else can coerce you into accepting.

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Old 09-11-2015, 01:29 PM   #36
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Rep at ATT apologized for the misrepresentation of the sales guy, said they use third party contractors for sales and they work on commission, so hence they often lie. Let's just say I wasn't impressed.
This is clearly a conflict of interest (misrepresentation of services for commission gathering) if the hiring company allows their contractors to practice this without penalty.
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Old 09-11-2015, 01:30 PM   #37
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You might have 3 days to cancel the contract.


Canceling a Contract Within Three Days | Nolo.com
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Old 09-11-2015, 01:30 PM   #38
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When a business practice is not only defended by the legal standards but is effectively universal - so common that no one is really surprised when it occurs - can it really be called "shady"? At what level of prevalence does caveat emptor come into play?
The OP had a price IN WRITING for the service. The company is refusing to honor this written quote. That is shady.

They blame the worker/contractor - but they HIRED that person...

I don't see how you can defend this.
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Old 09-11-2015, 01:50 PM   #39
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+1 most companies would honor the deal as a cost of doing business and then either fire or train the rep who provided the deal that was outside company bounds. A "Sorry but the sales rep should not have offered you that deal" is slimy.
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Old 09-11-2015, 02:01 PM   #40
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It can be called shady. also illegal. Businesses often flout the law because the rewards are greater than the penalties.
They do, but I think most of the issues people raise and call "shady" are really just standard, and legal, practice.

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Every cable company has to offer a basic cable package. This is usually the local channels that most can get OTA with an antenna (unless they live in a hilly place, like Seattle).
On June 3, the FCC declared that the entire nation now enjoys effective competition for subscription television service, and therefore cities and municipalities can no longer limit the price of the lowest level of service offered.

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The OP had a price IN WRITING for the service. The company is refusing to honor this written quote. That is shady.
Yes, I agree... that was an instance of shady business, on the part of the sales person. The question remains: Who's responsible for the sales person's actions. We don't know, and cannot know.

Independent resellers are often free agents. All the service provider can do is no longer do business with free agent resellers. Are we sure that they didn't detach from that sales person?

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They blame the worker/contractor - but they HIRED that person...
Where's the proof of that? I think a lot of folks are assuming things that they cannot prove in this case. I've seen a lot of business arrangements that simply don't work the way you seem to think all business arrangements work.

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I don't see how you can defend this.
I don't see how you can categorically eliminate all possibility that there is another explanation. And that's really the crux of my concern. Let's agree that there is a 99.9% chance that you're right. But please grant that there is at least a 0.1% chance that you're wrong.

And more importantly, that there is a 99.9% chance that this is the way things are and that we'd better get used to it. It isn't going to change. And getting upset about something that happens over and over again serves no purpose I can see.

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+1 most companies would honor the deal as a cost of doing business and then either fire or train the rep who provided the deal that was outside company bounds.
That's simply not the case in this industry, as a whole, any longer. And more and more industries are moving in the same direction.
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