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Old 09-12-2015, 10:02 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Marita40 View Post
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.
Your reluctance toward further dispute is understandable, we can't fight every battle. It is helpful in any negotiation to have an objective, clearly your service provider has one. The new $99 price seems acceptable to you. Members here love to challenge cable companies, but the cable companies are clearly prepared to wear you down.

When you sign up for a bundle it becomes more difficult to change service in the future. The provide knows this, which is why they offer such attractive sign-up packages. Is the regular price, after the introductory offer runs out, also acceptable? If so, the $99 offer seems pretty low. In my area just internet and basic cable costs that much, and phone adds another $30.
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Old 09-12-2015, 10:12 AM   #62
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I pay $60/month to AT&T for nationwide unlimited landline calling and $40/month to Comcast for basic internet. I'm not interested in any bundling either. Also, I have streaming with Amazon Prime. But I get prime for the shipping so really don't count the $99/year fee as my viewing habit. The Prime I consider just a bonus to the OTA broadcasts.
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Old 09-12-2015, 10:34 AM   #63
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I pay about $75 a month for Verizon DSL and phone service, including all fees and taxes.
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Old 09-12-2015, 10:42 AM   #64
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I pay $29/month for 'fixed wireless' internet. There is a small dish on my house (18" dia?) that points to a local tower (line of sight, but I can't see it).

Not the fastest service, we get about 1Mbps consistently, and bursts of ~ 4-6 Mbps, sometimes for up to a minute during a download (not sure how they regulate this 'burst', it might vary depending on their available bandwidth?).

But it's good enough for one stream at a time, and web surfing etc is fine. We have Netflix, and of course youtube offers a lot. We also have VOIP, and it is mostly OK for that, I have had problems when ping times got high and variable, but my provider was eventually able to straighten that out (interference on some channels on their tower).

But streaming and a phone call at the same time can be problematic, it can get choppy on our end. In fact, today I'm installing a switch between the router and the VOIP adapter, so I can just switch off the rest of the internet to the house if I'm on a phone call and having drop-outs. I recently found that some of the Apple computers were downloading stuff in the background (even though I thought I had them set not to), and I couldn't even find settings on the iPad to control this (I installed an app to monitor the network, and it was downloading stuff, and I couldn't figure out why or what for - arghhhh!). So the 'kill' switch will fix that.

But the key for me is, I'm not dealing with some oligopoly. If I have a problem, I call, they fix it. No stress, no annual call to get the fee reduced (it has been the same $29 for over 10 years). I should check again if they have a higher tier service, I might even entertain the idea of just getting a second dish and paying another $29 to double the bandwidth. $60 doesn't sound bad in comparison.

You might want to check if there are any fixed wireless providers in your area.

VOIP (PowerPhone) runs us ~ $12.30/month with all fees/taxes, etc, essentially unlimited local/LD. So ~ $32 for phone and internet.

-ERD50
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:00 AM   #65
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Fiber service @ $99 / month locked in for 3 years sounds like a pretty good price to me. If that's within your budget, then I personally don't think it's worth your blood pressure to keep arguing (although I would go ahead with the complaint to the government regulators). If it's not within your budget, you'll need to give something up.
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:12 AM   #66
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Yeah I'm at $100/mo. on Comcast for all channels + HBO and 75mbps HSI. One box (my Tivo) with multiple Tivo Minis on extra TVs with no monthly fee. This is a 2-year promo price but when it expires I just call, select option to downgrade/cancel service and get a retention rep that gives me another one. Been doing this for 15 or so years now.

That's way better than most are paying for cable + HSI, judging from a lot of posts on other forums (such as dslreports and AVSforum).
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Old 09-12-2015, 12:18 PM   #67
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Just to compare (and comparisons aren't fair as local taxes and fees are different geographically). You asked what others pay. In Seattle suburban area (all taxes/fees are included in the prices):

Comcast Basic Cable - $23.08. That's the local OTA channels + 10 others
CenturyLink Internet is $38 at 7MB DSL, sufficient for streaming Netflix, etc
CenturyLink* Phone is $56 includes nationwide long distance, call waiting, etc.
* This is the unsubsidized rate, I have a $17/mo discount for upgrading to a phone/internet package - discount good for a one year
Hulu $9.45 includes WA state sales tax using Roku-3 player
Netlfix $9.45 includes WA State sales tax using Roku-3 player
T-Mobile Pay As You Go Plan Cell Phone $3 no taxes, covers 30 minutes of calls, no data

So my rates for 'triple play' is $23+38+56, or $117 from two different sources, and you are being offered a similar rate from one carrier with, I am assuming, some sort of on-demand programming available. I have no on-demand programming with basic cable, and that's why I have Netflix and Hulu subscriptions.

I'd take the $99 deal and lower my blood pressure -- especially if they have in writing that they are locking the rate for 3 years. That's a good offer (in Seattle anyway). My expense before moving to this combination was $150 per month.

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Old 09-12-2015, 02:34 PM   #68
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Just got off the phone with Comcast (Houston):

Triple play Xfinity package (240 channel package w/ 2 yrs free HBO) - $99/month - TWO YEAR CONTRACT FOR ONE TV

Includes Blast Internet (50 MB/sec)

Phone line

Xtras: HD DVR - $20/month
Modem rental - $10/month
Maint package - $8/month

Taxes, etc brings it to $157.55

Second year is ~ $20/month more. ($178/month)
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Old 09-12-2015, 03:18 PM   #69
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Tracfone - 3 phones - (this year we didn't need time so it's low) $15.50/mo total


With Comcast we have 3 TVs, 2 computers, 3 rokus, and 3 kindles sharing access via cable tv or internet. This month's bill is below. The bill is constantly going up. The latest increase was in the fees; the one before it was for the two previously free dumb level cable boxes (why they said they were free and then five years later charged for rather old boxes is beyond me). Also, don't ask me what the fee type stuff is for 'cause I don't know.


XFINITY TV
Digital Starter $69.99
Additional Outlet $2.99
Additional Outlet $2.99
Total XFINITY TV $75.97
********************************************
XFINITY Internet
Modem Rental $10.00
Performance Internet $53.95
Total XFINITY Internet $63.95
********************************************
Other Charges & Credits
Broadcast TV Fee $3.25
Regional Sports Fee $1.00
Total Other Charges & Credits $4.25
********************************************
Taxes, Surcharges & Fees
TV
Franchise Costs $0.50
Franchise Fees $5.01
Local Taxes $7.06
State Sales Tax $0.85
FCC Regulatory Fee $0.09
Internet
State Sales Tax $0.87
Total Taxes, Surcharges & Fees $14.38
**********************************************
Statement balance $158.55
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Old 09-12-2015, 03:49 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Marita40 View Post
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?
You are so wise! I agree completely. Even though what they did was AWFUL, still, is it worth suffering a lot of angst over it? That won't change anything.

If it was me, I'd think about my options (and prices) as though nothing had happened so far, and I'd pick the option (and prices) that would make me happiest. Then I'd pay whatever I needed to pay to get out of this one (like, the installation and one month's service), pay for what I want, and go on with life. It's not that your outrage is unjustified - - you have every reason to be furious. It's just that I don't think there is much you can do about it, and you have better things to be doing with your life.

I doubt that what I pay will help much, but it's

$66.99 to Cox Cable for medium level internet,
$60.52 to Verizon for my iPhone calls, data, and so on, and
$0.00 for television, which I get through a homemade OTA indoor antenna.

I got tired of TV, and we get a lot of OTA channels which is almost all that I watch. Also I have Amazon Prime, but seldom watch streaming video. In fact, Frank set up my TV to use his Netflix and despite the fact that it is always there and available to me if I want it, I have only watched half of one show on Netflix by myself. He sometimes watches stuff on it when he is over here but I am just not that into TV I guess.
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Old 09-13-2015, 04:22 AM   #71
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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....
I understand what you're saying. I suppose my problem is that I don't understand how one benefits from viewing the situation that way. To wit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marita40 View Post
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?
And why? Well that's clear:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
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.
Regardless, perhaps it's not important enough to pursue further.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marita40 View Post
What do others pay for similar services?
It is important to note that telecommunications services are priced locally. Since I moved within the last year I can give you two data points, for roughly the same services. Verizon in New England charged me $109 for monthly service + $54 for the equipment I was renting from them. Comcast in Georgia charges me $99 for monthly service + $30 for "additional" services. Of course, government charges taxes and fees on top of that.
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Old 09-13-2015, 09:28 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I pay $29/month for 'fixed wireless' internet. There is a small dish on my house (18" dia?) that points to a local tower (line of sight, but I can't see it).

Not the fastest service, we get about 1Mbps consistently, and bursts of ~ 4-6 Mbps, sometimes for up to a minute during a download (not sure how they regulate this 'burst', it might vary depending on their available bandwidth?).

But it's good enough for one stream at a time, and web surfing etc is fine. We have Netflix, and of course youtube offers a lot. We also have VOIP, and it is mostly OK for that, I have had problems when ping times got high and variable, but my provider was eventually able to straighten that out (interference on some channels on their tower).

But streaming and a phone call at the same time can be problematic, it can get choppy on our end. In fact, today I'm installing a switch between the router and the VOIP adapter, so I can just switch off the rest of the internet to the house if I'm on a phone call and having drop-outs. I recently found that some of the Apple computers were downloading stuff in the background (even though I thought I had them set not to), and I couldn't even find settings on the iPad to control this (I installed an app to monitor the network, and it was downloading stuff, and I couldn't figure out why or what for - arghhhh!). So the 'kill' switch will fix that.

But the key for me is, I'm not dealing with some oligopoly. If I have a problem, I call, they fix it. No stress, no annual call to get the fee reduced (it has been the same $29 for over 10 years). I should check again if they have a higher tier service, I might even entertain the idea of just getting a second dish and paying another $29 to double the bandwidth. $60 doesn't sound bad in comparison.

You might want to check if there are any fixed wireless providers in your area.

VOIP (PowerPhone) runs us ~ $12.30/month with all fees/taxes, etc, essentially unlimited local/LD. So ~ $32 for phone and internet.

-ERD50
I am surprised that your VOIP provider does not 'force' the issue.... where I used to work, when you started a phone conversation the system dedicated the small amount of bandwidth needed for the phone call... there was a max of 24 lines and if all were used the other people could see slower internet etc.....

There might be something like this that is available instead of a kill switch... however, if it does not matter in your house that is an easy fix...
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Old 09-13-2015, 09:37 AM   #73
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I understand what you're saying. I suppose my problem is that I don't understand how one benefits from viewing the situation that way. To wit:And why? Well that's clear:
Regardless, perhaps it's not important enough to pursue further.

It is important to note that telecommunications services are priced locally. Since I moved within the last year I can give you two data points, for roughly the same services. Verizon in New England charged me $109 for monthly service + $54 for the equipment I was renting from them. Comcast in Georgia charges me $99 for monthly service + $30 for "additional" services. Of course, government charges taxes and fees on top of that.

Well, the quote just does not look the same... but anyhow...

I agree that pursuing the matter is not worth the time and trouble... what does the OP expect to happen in the end? Get the original quoted rate? Not going to happen... as I mentioned earlier it was a proposal... it was not a legal contract... they have given their best offer and it is now up to the OP to decide what to do... since there are no good alternatives, I would just suck it up and pay... I might do what she did and complain a bit more, but in the end it is either pay the higher rate or get someone else...
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Old 09-13-2015, 09:47 AM   #74
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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.

Re-reading the original post, I would switch to another provider then enjoy when the old provider begs you to stay. By walking, you'd cut your losses and not give another penny to the company that got you livid in the first place. Maybe you'd find a company that doesn't d the bait and switch tactics.
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Old 09-13-2015, 03:36 PM   #75
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After asking DW to hide the Comcast bill, my blood pressure dropped 20 points.
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Old 09-15-2015, 02:44 PM   #76
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OP here reporting back. I've probably spent a total of 5 hours on the phone to Centurylink over the last week. After much insistence and arguing, I convinced the "escalation" team to have their supervisor call me. To my surprise, after waiting 3 days, she did--and I was actually free at the time to take the call. Although I did not "win" in terms of her getting the cost down to the original quote (she, like everyone else, said she was sure it was not a 'bait and switch' but a poorly trained sales rep) she did lower the outrageous and erroneous first bill by nearly $100.00, and she gave me a slightly lower priced package than any of those I spoke to before her ($91.00 + tax per month for internet, phone, and mid-tier TV; 3 year price lock on the internet and phone). I decided that it was worth it to me to take that offer, essentially $15.00 higher per month than the original quote, rather than go through the considerable hassle of dropping the services and starting all over with Comcast. Finally, this escalation supervisor was the only one out of the many people I spoke with who asked for the sales rep's name and put in an order for another supervisor to listen to the recorded call I had with him back in July, then call me with an explanation and what disciplinary or retraining measures will be taken with him. I am to expect a call within 48 hours. No, I'm not holding my breath.
Meanwhile, I think I've determined on this and another forum I participate in that 91.00/month plus taxes is not a bad deal for what I'm getting. So it is not that issue--ie the issue of cost--that still makes my blood boil but the bait and switch. Once I get some energy back I will try to take some measures to address this issue with the Attorney General.
Thanks for all your responses on this enlightening thread. Something is SO broke with these cable companies. They are just sorry that I probably am one of the few who won't just pay an erroneous bill but dog them until it is corrected and at least some reasonable compromise is made. But it sure takes a lot out of me.
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Old 09-15-2015, 06:49 PM   #77
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Until this Spring, I paid the local telco about $$73 for 30/5 internet and basic TV under a promotional rate. The internet was never actually that fast, only about 80% the advertised speed. The TV was poor, constantly freezing and sometimes just unavailable. This was for a "fiber" connection, although the last half mile to the house was still copper. We moved right about the time that promotional rate was due to increase, so it would have gone up.

When we moved, that service was not available in our new place, so my only real option was Time Warner cable. I now have 30/5 internet and I actually get that speed (often higher). I pay about $55 for it.

I'm using Roku/Hulu/Amazon for TV, and it's great. I pay $11.99 for the commercial-free Hulu, and of course the $99 per year for Amazon Prime.

So, bottom line, my internet and TV cost is about $2 a month more ($75) than the promotional rate with the telco, and the level of service is an order of magnitude better. In both places, we have just used Ooma for telephone, so that's an additional $4 a month.

I'm a very happy camper here, and much to my surprise, all my interactions with Time Warner cable (even with hard-to-understand customer service reps in India) have been pleasant, professional, and hassle-free.
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Old 09-16-2015, 05:33 AM   #78
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I decided that it was worth it to me to take that offer, essentially $15.00 higher per month than the original quote, rather than go through the considerable hassle of dropping the services and starting all over with Comcast.
A good decision, given that I just posted a reply in a Comcast-related thread on another forum, within which several people are spinning themselves up with anger because they feel they're owed better terms than they're getting.

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Finally, this escalation supervisor was the only one out of the many people I spoke with who asked for the sales rep's name and put in an order for another supervisor to listen to the recorded call I had with him back in July, then call me with an explanation and what disciplinary or retraining measures will be taken with him. I am to expect a call within 48 hours. No, I'm not holding my breath.
However, I hope you have made note of the supervisor's name and contact information, someplace where you can find it months or even years from now. In our society-wide environment of poor customer service, future problems are bound to occur. You'll benefit greatly from the ability to, judiciously, use contacts you've already established in prosecuting your future concerns.
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Old 09-16-2015, 06:41 AM   #79
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Just as a tag on anecdote - I quit ATT on August 15 and went to WOW (Wide Open West). Last week WOW tried to nail me $4 a month for a TV guide I didn't order and have no use for and two days ago ATT tried to re-bill be for July even though I had autopay with them and they were paid, which I confirmed.

I was able to straighten both out, but the cynical part of me wonders if this is just part of the business model, nickel and diming customers with BS charges that frequently don't get challenged.
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Old 09-16-2015, 08:21 AM   #80
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But streaming and a phone call at the same time can be problematic, it can get choppy on our end. In fact, today I'm installing a switch between the router and the VOIP adapter, so I can just switch off the rest of the internet to the house if I'm on a phone call and having drop-outs.

-ERD50
There are number service that perform poorly or not at all over satellite internet. VPN is the main one and VOIP also. The latency is much higher and it is not a solid connection. It's not so much the bandwith but the delay time going up to space and back.
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