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Old 09-11-2015, 03:40 PM   #41
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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.

- Rita

Your phone company must be much better than mine... I have AT&T and had crappy service... had static on the line all the time... they replace the line after cutting it and it was worse... the max internet speed from them was 3meg... I get 50 from my cable and it is much more reliable... also, their phone is much more reliable... and it is Comcast.... so far I have not had any problems with them.... but, I have not tried to cancel them either...
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Old 09-11-2015, 03:43 PM   #42
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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?

Just because it is common does not mean it is not shady....

And if every provider is providing basically the same level of service then caveat emptor does not come into play if you want their service....

Another example is drug companies.... they can charge whatever they want for their drugs... they can raise them at any time and there is nothing a consumer can do.... especially if there is only one drug that can be used....
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Old 09-11-2015, 03:59 PM   #43
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Back with today's update, and the continued query--"What would you do?"
I called Centurylink again today and spoke for about 1/2 hour with an "escalation department" rep. He seemed like a good guy. I deliberately spoke slowly and calmly and he spent considerable time reviewing all the notes on my now-massive file. The issue, he said, was that I am in a fiber optic service area and the sales rep who quoted me the original price evidently did not know or ignored that fact. Being in a fiber optic area, I have no choice but to pay the higher cost that comes with that. There is no option to do "non" fiber optic. It is true that the installer who came out last month spent what seemed like hours here and told me about the fiber optic installation that all new services in my area require. But of course no one told me it came at a higher cost than what I was quoted--until I saw my first bill.

I told the escalation guy today that I would therefore need to cancel everything and that I would not pay the bill. He said I understand you will cancel but you still must pay the bill because you had the installation done and one month of service. He lowered the one month of service to the price I should have received if I had got the promised package; however, going forward my bill will be $25/month higher than what I had agreed to. That was "all he can do."

My options are all bad:
1) suck it up and pay the $25.00/month higher bill. They win. No interruption to service; take a deep breath; it is not that much; live and learn. And contact the Attorney General about Centurylink's habit of Bait and Switch.
2) cancel all three services in a huff of righteousness. Still have to pay for installation charges (@85.00) and one month service. If I refuse to pay, have to worry about being a delinquent (I've never not paid a bill--don't know what happens. Knowing my luck I'd predict that I'd just have to pay the bill down the road with accretions of late fees). Then have to start all over, with all the pain that involves. Comcast--the only other choice--equally as horrible and expensive. Have to pay new installation charges. Have to negotiate new package only to get equally erroneous bills. Have to buy new modem. Etc. Etc. Been there, done that. More headache, aggravation, anger. DirectTv also has the one movie channel I watch most frequently on their low tier line-up, TBS; Comcast does not.
3. Cancel everything with Centurylink, pay the existing bill. Then try to figure out other options. I am one of the last people in the world that does not carry, nor do I wish to carry, a cell phone. So go to a smart phone? Then I'd have to buy service and wouldn't the landline, which serves all my phone needs, be even cheaper? And I just purchased a new landline phone two weeks ago! Then I'd have to figure out the TV thing; just haven't used Netflix or any such thing before. I wouldn't be opposed to it. But then I'd have to pay Comcast for internet only, and the prices are much higher for "one play" then they are for "double or triple play." They get you coming and going.

SO--WWYD? The older I get the more I need to conserve my emotional health and energy--need to pick my battles. Is this issue worth being angry about as I have been, now, for two days?
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Old 09-11-2015, 04:18 PM   #44
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I don't know--perhaps I'm just being unrealistic here. The price I was originally quoted for all three services, internet, phone, and a mid-tier TV, was $74.95/month plus taxes. The "new" bill will be $99.00/month plus taxes. What do others pay for similar services?
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Old 09-11-2015, 04:30 PM   #45
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I don't know--perhaps I'm just being unrealistic here. The price I was originally quoted for all three services, internet, phone, and a mid-tier TV, was $74.95/month plus taxes. The "new" bill will be $99.00/month plus taxes. What do others pay for similar services?
Does that include the modem rental? What about a set top box rental? Fees?

With Crapcast, like we are stuck with, they charge for rental of all equipment, $10 for HD service, $15 for a second TV access, etc, etc. You could start with a $99 fee and end up with a $175 bill per month.

To gauge the cost, the extra fees must be included.
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Old 09-11-2015, 04:31 PM   #46
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The issue, he said, was that I am in a fiber optic service area and the sales rep who quoted me the original price evidently did not know or ignored that fact. Being in a fiber optic area, I have no choice but to pay the higher cost that comes with that. There is no option to do "non" fiber optic.before.
This is an excellent way to redirect your attention away from the fact that you have a written agreement or proposal with a lower price that they do not wish to honor.

When you speak with the rep on the phone keep in mind that they do this 10 times a day, 5 days a week. They are practiced and coldly calculating, you are not, they know this and fully exploit it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marita40 View Post
I don't know--perhaps I'm just being unrealistic here. The price I was originally quoted for all three services, internet, phone, and a mid-tier TV, was $74.95/month plus taxes. The "new" bill will be $99.00/month plus taxes. What do others pay for similar services?
Is this still a promotional price that will jump higher after the introductory period?

What is your desired outcome? What would be a "good" resolution to this situation?
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Old 09-11-2015, 04:33 PM   #47
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If you had the time, I would sue them in small claims court for specific performance of the contract they gave you ( the written price they quoted you). It is a fairly easy process and one I used during eviction of a tenant. Simple form to fill out explaining the issues and a small fee (I think it was $25)
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Old 09-11-2015, 04:35 PM   #48
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$99 wouldn't be bad at all if that's it. But fees, taxes and rentals can certainly run it up a lot from there. I don't have a package like that, just internet and Sling.
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Old 09-11-2015, 04:43 PM   #49
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I already bought the modem ($100) outright. I only need one box for one TV. There will be about $18.00 of taxes and fees on top of the $99.00, as far as I can tell. So a total of about $117./month.

Michael, I hear you. I know how skilled they are at doing this, and I am not. The package evidently comes with a "3 year price lock" meaning (I guess?) it will not go up for three years. But I'm unclear on that matter and even if I were clear I would certainly not trust it. Remember, now, that even if I strive to get this "new" deal in writing, as I did the last, anything can change willy-nilly. What is my desired outcome? To get the package price I was quoted last month. Will it happen? No. What is my desired outcome now? I would like to go live on a technology-free desert island. Possible? No.
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Old 09-11-2015, 05:29 PM   #50
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Your situation aptly show the difference between a "pro-business" environment where the playing field is tilted in favor of a few, and a true 'free enterprise' competitive environment where the playing field is even.

Alas, until the laws concerning cable companies are reformed to meet modern usage of the cable hook-up (not just getting TV to people who live outside the broadcast range of the nearest stations), we are stuck with the tilted playing field.
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Old 09-11-2015, 05:42 PM   #51
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I think it comes down to a more simple decision tree than you have....

The first thing is what other options do you have that might be as good for a price cheaper than the $117.... if the answer is NONE... you just suck it up and keep what you got...

If the answer is there is something.... then you have to decide if it is worth the trouble of doing it for $300 per year....


As far as the bill, I would just tell them that since they breached the 'contract' (which BTW is not a contract, just a proposal... which we know can be changed) you only plan to pay for the month of service you used and not the install fee since it was their fault... I have ignored bills before when they were wrong... I also ignore the calls.... IF I ever do talk to them I just tell them I am happy to have a judge determine if I am right or they are right...
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Old 09-11-2015, 06:18 PM   #52
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Since you're a customer of century link, comcast will offer a bunch of incentives to switch. That is what I would do.
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Old 09-11-2015, 09:15 PM   #53
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I read a couple of other threads this evening on the topic of cutting cable. One still needs internet service. I see that internet service alone, for some users, can be upwards of $75.00/month or so! Bear in mind that I do not have a smart/cell phone nor want one. Therefore I am wondering whether $99.00 plus tax for the three services--landline phone, mid-tier TV, and internet--is worth it.
If anyone cares to answer: all told, how much do you pay per month for: internet, TV (or streaming services, etc if you use them), and phone (whether landline or cell)?
Sorry to belabor this topic. I guess that's what I am doing. I remain upset about this matter--angry. I despise being backed into a corner, cheated, taken for a fool, "used." That's how I feel.
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:08 PM   #54
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I'm with Comcast and paying about $205 for the triple play right now since the introductory rates have expired. Time to get back on the phone and get it cut back down.
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:37 PM   #55
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I'm with Comcast and paying about $205 for the triple play right now since the introductory rates have expired. Time to get back on the phone and get it cut back down.
I assume you have ALL the premium channels for that price. Yikes.
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Old 09-12-2015, 12:59 AM   #56
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I read a couple of other threads this evening on the topic of cutting cable. One still needs internet service. I see that internet service alone, for some users, can be upwards of $75.00/month or so! Bear in mind that I do not have a smart/cell phone nor want one. Therefore I am wondering whether $99.00 plus tax for the three services--landline phone, mid-tier TV, and internet--is worth it.
If anyone cares to answer: all told, how much do you pay per month for: internet, TV (or streaming services, etc if you use them), and phone (whether landline or cell)?
Sorry to belabor this topic. I guess that's what I am doing. I remain upset about this matter--angry. I despise being backed into a corner, cheated, taken for a fool, "used." That's how I feel.

The $99 for the triple is the going into rate for most companies...

I have cable and phone and am paying $55 per month into, but it will go up to $95 in a year.... this includes the taxes...

I think my sis pays in the $150ish range for triple, with two TVs, DVR and something else.... she is not on intro rate...
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Old 09-12-2015, 04:49 AM   #57
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Comcast basic TV and Internet is $80. That includes modem rental.
Netflix is $8.
Tracfone averages out to $7.
Verizon wireless for 3 phones is $150.

First three items are a triple play of sorts.
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Old 09-12-2015, 06:43 AM   #58
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I'd be surprised that after all the hassle of switching your service to someone else, you would be paying much less than $99 per month for fiber optic based service. I would love to have a triple play like you describe for that price, our internet (DSL 4 meg) and phone are $100 month alone.

I think it would be worth one more try with the escalation supervisors to get them to sweeten their offer a bit more but I'd file complaints about the tactics that others have suggested but use and pay for the new service.
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Old 09-12-2015, 07:48 AM   #59
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I don't blame you for being mad but if the fiber internet is faster than what was originally proposed that would soften the blow. $99/mth for a triple play with fiber internet (>50 Meg) would be a pretty good deal. My beef with TWC is that they continually raised my rate for our triple play. It went from $89 to over $130 before I finally cut the cable.
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Old 09-12-2015, 09:49 AM   #60
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I pay $28/mo for landline local only. $93/mo for cable one step above basic. And $11/mo for unlimited dialup internet (using local access numbers). Total monthly cost $132, including taxes and fees, for this ala carte triple play. Not interested in any bundling, which would be almost as expensive, and need to upgrade my hardware, plus no trust. So your $118/mo sounds pretty good to me. And I share your loathing of the ripoff artists!
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