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Do cord-cutters pay more everywhere?
Old 12-08-2015, 08:19 AM   #1
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Do cord-cutters pay more everywhere?

Took a money-saving tip from one of the other threads and tried to re-negotiate my $99 month Verizon bill. All I have is FIOS 50/50 internet and that's all I want. I really don't want another company coming in, drilling more holes and messing up my setup unless it is going to be well worth it. And I have to say, Verizon has been super reliable.

Best "deal" they would give me is $79 with a 2 year contract. However, if I agreed to the other crud that I don't want - phone, tv, the deal was more like $50 a month. I checked the 2 other competing companies and their pricing is roughly the same.

I'm starting to think that the only frugal strategy is to take the lowest-priced package without a contract and endure the hassle of switching every year. Hey, we're retired, we can wait all day for the cable guy and even putty up the old holes. Is this what other forum members do?
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Old 12-08-2015, 08:44 AM   #2
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Some do. I don't bother because I am not very "on top of things", but I guess it costs me more to keep the same plan. I think the lower price is just to get us sucked in, and then it will go up markedly after a year or two.

In my case I pay $60/month to Verizon for my iPhone bill, and $67/month to the cable company for internet. I am thinking of leaving Verizon the next time I need a new phone, because my understanding is that they now want to do that by raising the monthly rate instead of letting us buy the phone. I might even go back to a "stupid phone" because I don't really use the iPhone's capabilities as much as I used to when it was a novelty to me.

I'm happy to be saving $145/month even with the above costs, by not having cable TV or a landline any more.
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Old 12-08-2015, 09:05 AM   #3
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I'm starting to think that the only frugal strategy is to take the lowest-priced package without a contract and endure the hassle of switching every year. Hey, we're retired, we can wait all day for the cable guy and even putty up the old holes. Is this what other forum members do?
This is what we would do, if we had the option. We have only one broadband vendor; given their monopoly, we have no choice but to put up w/ their extreme prices.
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Old 12-08-2015, 09:05 AM   #4
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If you can, I think switching back and forth is the way to go.

Re negotiating, ATT wouldn't budge an inch, so I switched to WOW. When I called ATT to cancel, they threw out all kinds of counter offers. So, my take is that when you negotiate, you really need to be ready to walk away or they won't play.
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Old 12-08-2015, 09:32 AM   #5
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Guess that would depend on where you live and how many channels you get with regular (antenna) TV. We have more than 80 over the air channels (OTA) in our area. Four OTAs are mainly movie type channels. It's surprising how many OTA TV channels are out there in many areas. We only have basic internet service, and none of the providers in our area discount basic internet service anymore (guess this is the majority of their customer base).

We use OTA Tivo service (bought last refurbished 4-tuner DVR for $50.00 from them on a special) to time-shift programs we want to watch (and to skip through all the extremely repetitive commercials). Bought our 1st refurbished 2-tuner DVR for $80 from Tivo several years ago - still works. Tivo offers streaming internet radio for free, and access to many video streaming services. We've tried Hulu and Netflix, but canceled them as we found their offering not to our liking (have a Firestick, but don't use it).

Use Republic wireless service - they require you to have wifi available for calling. Have unlimited cell svc (calls/text) on one Republic phone for $10/mos (wifi internet only), and wifi phone service (call/text/internet) on the other for $5/mos (our home phone). Both phones can access any open wifi available (and at home) for calls/text/internet.

This all runs us just under $75/mos. Given that we don't find any current streaming services of value, we would probably opt for a loaded special package offered by most providers in areas where our current services/OTA TV is not available.

When we are in Florida for the winter, use Comcast basic cable service. We find it annoying at best, offering the worst daily repetitive programming and subject matter available. Don't know how people tolerate it - especially with the very long commercial breaks featuring (unprofessionally produced) local ads. This probably explains why people cut the cord....
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Old 12-08-2015, 10:02 AM   #6
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If you can, I think switching back and forth is the way to go.

Re negotiating, ATT wouldn't budge an inch, so I switched to WOW. When I called ATT to cancel, they threw out all kinds of counter offers. So, my take is that when you negotiate, you really need to be ready to walk away or they won't play.
Same here with Xfinity. Taking a cue from this forum I called and said I had a better deal elsewhere and could they do better. They tried to tie me in with a phone bundle but I said I wasn't interested in that.

They just said: "Ok, sorry" and hung up. (I'm still with Xfinity)
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Old 12-08-2015, 10:09 AM   #7
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I have special deals every 6 months with XFinity. They expire and up my charges, and I go into the office and complain. They always cut me a special existing customer deal and cut the high rate by $20-30. 6 months later, I do it again. Sometimes that comes with a land based telephone service that I never use or even hook up.

I don't like doing business that way. Unfortunately, they've got the only high speed internet service available on my road and I'm stuck with them.
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Old 12-08-2015, 10:21 AM   #8
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My situation is very perverse compared to what most others have. We have a great, city run cable service. But I don't do cable TV. I pay the cable company just for internet service and provide my own cable modem. A Roku, Netflix, and antenna for local stations takes care of my entertainment needs. Ting covers our phone service.
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Old 12-08-2015, 10:30 AM   #9
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My situation is very perverse compared to what most others have. We have a great, city run cable service. But I don't do cable TV. I pay the cable company just for internet service and provide my own cable modem. A Roku, Netflix, and antenna for local stations takes care of my entertainment needs. Ting covers our phone service.
I have internet only through cable and phone only through phone co. Own my own cable modem also. Amazon Prime for my streaming and OTA for TV. Magnavox OTA DVR for pausing live TV.

The thought of having to negotiate each year for lower service feels exhausting to me, so I'm happy with my current set up. Seems like a day doesn't go by when I get a new junk mail from to sign up for a package deal or offer to switch which I just discard the letter.
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:06 AM   #10
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Some do. I don't bother because I am not very "on top of things", but I guess it costs me more to keep the same plan. I think the lower price is just to get us sucked in, and then it will go up markedly after a year or two.

In my case I pay $60/month to Verizon for my iPhone bill, and $67/month to the cable company for internet. I am thinking of leaving Verizon the next time I need a new phone, because my understanding is that they now want to do that by raising the monthly rate instead of letting us buy the phone. I might even go back to a "stupid phone" because I don't really use the iPhone's capabilities as much as I used to when it was a novelty to me.

I'm happy to be saving $135/month even with the above costs, by not having cable TV or a landline any more.
I agree W2R. Prices will go up, and these service companies do offer lower teaser (new customer) rates to get the business, and hope you will stay with them as rates increase.

I firmly believe that my time is worth something. After all, it is the one thing I cannot get more of. So spending a little more to give me more time is a good use of my money.

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Old 12-08-2015, 11:27 AM   #11
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I dislike change so I'm not sure if I would be willing to endure the hassle to save $29/month. $79/month for internet and tv seems like a great deal to me.

I wish we had OTA but alas, we do not. Our Dish satellite, which we like and the service has been good, is more expensive than I would like... $60/month for programming and $102 after adding equipment for 4 tvs that access one DVR, tax, etc. DSL internet from our local telco, which serves our needs, is $51/month and VoIP via Ooma is $14/month.

So in total for us $167/month for tv, internet and home telephone. Add $10/month each for two cellphones and that is $187/month.

Not bad but I wish it was lower. If we could do OTA to get the majors I would probably drop the Dish but we do get some double duty out of it as DD uses it too.
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:41 AM   #12
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If you can, I think switching back and forth is the way to go.

Re negotiating, ATT wouldn't budge an inch, so I switched to WOW. When I called ATT to cancel, they threw out all kinds of counter offers. So, my take is that when you negotiate, you really need to be ready to walk away or they won't play.
I always get the retention specialist on the phone before negotiating. That is where the best deal is likely to be.
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:47 AM   #13
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Blame cable costs on sports?

The Sports Bubble Is About to Pop - The Daily Beast

-CC
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:47 AM   #14
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We pay, after all fees & govt surcharges, $32 for our landline and $38 for 15/1 DSL Internet. And just received a notice that the Internet will go up by $7 next month.
Have looked into getting cable Internet but but savings are small, current come-on is $35 before taxes & fees & equipment, to go up after 12 months. The biggest pain would be switching emails away from telco servers. Something we need to do one day, but my wife is so involved in multiple activities that it would be extremely disruptive at this point.
Never had a use for cable TV, our house is 50 years old and has never been wired for cable service. All TV is OTA (20%) or streaming (80%). Needless to say, if switch to cable I'd expect free installation!!!
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:54 AM   #15
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Best "deal" they would give me is $79 with a 2 year contract. However, if I agreed to the other crud that I don't want - phone, tv, the deal was more like $50 a month. I checked the 2 other competing companies and their pricing is roughly the same.

I'm starting to think that the only frugal strategy is to take the lowest-priced package without a contract and endure the hassle of switching every year. Hey, we're retired, we can wait all day for the cable guy and even putty up the old holes. Is this what other forum members do?
I just checked an old bill from when I had a 'triple play' package with Verizon, and noted just over $15 in taxes and fees related to the phone and television side, along with ~$15 in equipment rental fees for the required set-top box.

So the $50 price they quote is just the starting point and not what you will actually end up paying each month.
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:54 AM   #16
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With those teaser rates I usually look right past the teaser to what the ultimate rate will be. If the ultimate rates are competitive, then tease me.... please... if not, then forget it.
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:58 AM   #17
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I have special deals every 6 months with XFinity. They expire and up my charges, and I go into the office and complain. They always cut me a special existing customer deal and cut the high rate by $20-30. 6 months later, I do it again. Sometimes that comes with a land based telephone service that I never use or even hook up.
This, except I do it every year or two since I try to get them to lock me into a 2-year deal. And I don't do triple play. Paying $100/mo. for all cable channels + HBO + 75mb HSI (I have to have my sports).

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I don't like doing business that way. Unfortunately, they've got the only high speed internet service available on my road and I'm stuck with them.
Same here about having to call but I do have another (crappy) HSI option - AT&T U-Verse. But I use a Tivo with Minis for whole-home viewing with multiple TVs and no set-top box rental fees so I'm not interested in switching. As long as Comcast keeps giving me the new customer deal I'll stay, and they've done that for almost 15 years now.

The problem with cord cutting is that you usually don't get great deals on HSI alone (it's like $65/mo. here for the 75 tier) so I don't mind paying another $35/mo. to get all those channels.
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Old 12-08-2015, 12:02 PM   #18
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With those teaser rates I usually look right past the teaser to what the ultimate rate will be. If the ultimate rates are competitive, then tease me.... please... if not, then forget it.
+1. When I switched from DSL to cable, the teaser rate was $19/month for 12 months, then $39/month after that. I looked more at the $39/month as reasonable and the first year was just a bonus. The good news is after a year, the rate is still $39/month. My theory is that internet only rates are probably ignored as the big push is for those sucker deals package bundles.
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Old 12-08-2015, 12:22 PM   #19
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As usual, my pattern of consumption is so basic, I cannot really offer any constructive information. I have no cable or satellite TV service. I find things to watch from the free version of Hulu, from YouTube and occasionally, will get a free month trial on Netflix or Hulu. The furthest I'd considering going with spending to watch TV series and movies is a Netflix streaming subscription.

I have a basic local landline from AT&T, and internet with a company called DSLExtreme. Recently, I splurged and got a smartphone - a 1st generation Moto G, with service from Republic Wireless. I get unlimited voice and text on the cellular network, and data when within range of a WiFi signal, and all for $12.05/month including all taxes and fees.

My total telecommunications bill (TV/landline/cellphone/internet), is a little over $45/month. It used to be ~$33/month before I lost all control and got the smartphone Nice and simple - and cheap.
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Old 12-08-2015, 12:37 PM   #20
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I have not found that the bundles are cheaper than internet alone, but it really does not pay to be loyal. If you have multiple cable companies, but a cable modem that is compatible with all the local cable companies. This will save you the equipment cost from the cable companies. Buy a decent one so it will last for years of service upgrades.

There is little choice but to be prepared to move almost every year or so. It is likely better to plan on it... or be willing to pay the higher price. You may get some companies to keep your price somewhat lower if they know you'll move... but you have to be ready to change providers.
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