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There comes a time in a man’s (or woman’s) life when you realize something just isn’t working. It’s hard to pinpoint the root cause, but you can just feel it in your gut. You’ve got a great job, great friends and family, and heck, your hair never looked so good….but you still get that sinking feeling every time you pay your cable bill, like some faceless corporation is completely ripping you off, charging you for channels you don’t need, hiking up the rate on your modem rental and throttling your internet speeds to make you rip your hair out while your youtube video buffers….
I experienced this once.
Exactly once, actually.
So sit back, gram a graham cracker, and lend an ear (eye?) while I tell you the story of how Jake got cable (and promptly cancelled everything directly after).
How I Got Cable
If you’ve read any of the classics, such as It’s Time To Cut The Cable and Home Phone, you probably are looking at me a little bit sideways right now (you know, through your computer screen). You know that I hate cable almost as much as I hate NEW CARS! You’re like “Hey Jake, what gives? The crap you doin’ telling me to cancel my cable, and then you turn around and sign up for it, you cotton-headed ninny-muggins!”
Yeah, I did it. Sorry. BUT I HAVE AN EXCUSE.
So, it all started when I did a video interview for the Huffington Post a while back. I got all set up, put on my nerdy headset, and then…well, the call failed mid-interview. Did I mention this interview was LIVE ONLINE?! Yeah, so that sucked. I realized I needed more upload speeds, and promptly upgraded our internet service 2 years later.
I got on the phone with Comcast (evil Corp.) and told them I wanted MOAR INTERNETS! They said, sure, just send over your first-born and any limb of your choosing. I wasn’t going to fall for their usual pitch, so I told them I wanted the best deal they had on internets, and I wanted at least 10MB upload speeds. The kind lady proceeded to tell me I could have 10MB upload and 50MB download for only $55 per month! I asked if that’s the best they could do, and she then said “well, I could throw in cable and give you a free year of Showtime and HBO?”
“Uh, ok, I guess, but I really just want cheap, fast internet.”
She gave me the song and dance about how just internet at that speed without a “bundle” would cost $65 per month, so it was really a great deal. No contracts or anything.
So I got cable.
Cable Sucks And Nobody Should Have It
I got my new “self-install” kit shortly thereafter, and and I installed my modem and cable box. To my delight, the cable box was not only from the early 1900’s, it was also analog only, giving me SUPER LOW RESOLUTION goodness to watch cable with.
Our internet seemed fine, though the speed tests consistently showed we weren’t getting our promised speeds, but it was close enough. So I figured I’d play around with the fossil … er … cable box and get it set up. Quickly, I realized it was futile.
We didn’t have HGTV (the only channel that matters), and we also didn’t really have anything besides local channels. We did have an HBO channel, which seemed to only show crappy old movies and other junk we didn’t care about. But I was really only excited to watch House of Lies on Showtime. So I flipped over to Showtime (took about 45 minutes to get to channel 3529843 to watch Showtime), and it said “you do not have a subscription for this channel”
So I logged into my account online. Surely I can at least STREAM the show I wanted to watch.
Yeah, that was fun. Instead of calling Comcast to let them know about the mixup, I shut it down for the night. I didn’t really get to mess with it much after that, but was kinda bummed, because I was told one thing, and got another.
A few weeks later, I got my new “bill” for the updated services. They wanted like $83 after taxes and other weird fees, and I was FREAKING DONE! I just wanted to pay another few dollars a month for improved speeds, and I not only got sold some junk I don’t need, I was then charged excess of what they promised, and I DIDN’T EVEN GET TO WATCH MY SHOW!
I Cancelled Cable Without Ever Watching A Show
So, as I usually do when I called Comcast, I prepared myself for a ridiculously long wait time and pushy sales people who won’t cancel my service unless I answer 10 questions in succession without a life line! To my surprise, I actually was able to cancel pretty quickly. They were “sad to see me go”, but I was OVER THE MOON!
I had already lined up for another company to install service the following weekend! They not only offered 30MB download AND upload speeds, but the price was FANTASTIC ($45 per month). BOOM BABY! And they didn’t have extra fees for modem rentals and the like. It’s like they ACTUALLY WANT TO KEEP THEIR CUSTOMERS.
So ends my woeful tale of cable, and not only did I cancel it, I didn’t even watch one show when I did have it.
The Moral Of The Story
Kids, the moral of this story is that I was right all along. Cable is worthless, and so are most of the Multi-national corporations that provide cable.
We’ve had the local company for a few weeks, and the speed is fantastic. Not only that, I realized they had quoted me the wrong price, and I was able to get them to knock my bill down to $39.99 per month, FOR LIFE! So I’m actually saving $6 per month vs. my SUPER SLOW cable internet I used to have, and have 30x the speed.
So, the real question is….have YOU cancelled your cable yet?
13 thoughts on “I Just Cancelled My Cable”
I wouldn’t use Comcast if *they* paid me! Been there, done that. They once mailed me like five separate modems in two weeks for no reason – then threatened to charge me for them if they didn’t get them back in 30 days! WTF!
We have Hulu and Netflix now.
It’s like they hate making money or something. Loyal customers > livid customers.
YUP. Mine has been gone for a few years and I don’t miss it. We too have Comcast, and they also tried to get me to bundle to “save” me money. I told them, I do NOT want cable. Do NOT want commercials and low-def channels, when my rabbit ears give me HD channels for free.
I told them I needed fast internet and a lower price and no bundling. I have that for $49/12m and I’m sure it will jump up to $80 when the year is up, and i’ll need to figure out what to do next.
I just really, really can’t stand cable TV.
Kick them to the curb! There has to be a decent local competitor, no? I have not regretted the decision yet, and just feel less oppressed.
GO FOR IT! 🙂
Grat job! I have been nagging my husband about canceling cable for years. Unfortunately, he got mad at our cable last month because the bill went up…. And I thought I saw the possibility of a cable less home. But, directTV suckered him in with free NFL. His weakness…
Sports are the tough one, for sure. But putting up with rising fees and terrible customer service, not to mention slow speeds, not worth it.
As much as I hate Comcast… I would take them over the crappy Brighthouse internet I have now (it’s either that or even crappy ATT dsl or Frontier DSL both of which are slower than my cell phone data). I can’t wait for my city to finally get the gigabit internet from the new provide finally installed.
I’m perfectly happy with Prime (which is a Christmas gift every year) and Hulu (free with bing rewards). The only thing I pay for is Sling, which gives us ESPN and AMC (it isn’t perfect, but the price is ok)
Yeah, Frontier here is FIOS, so we’ve got crazy good speeds. It’s been super stable as well.
This is a great post, and one that inspired me to write about saving money this week. I’ve linked to you as well since I’ve learned a lot about personal finance as a reader and a subscriber of I Heart Budgets.
Unfortunately for me, Comcast is the only real alternative I have in my area. I checked (again) after reading your post earlier this week. So I think I’m stuck with them (for now).
But I loved the post! Have a terrific weekend.
Great post! It seems amazing idea. Thanks for sharing.
I really want to cut the cable, but:
– I need the fast broadband, and fibre cable is the only way to get it where I live
– I can’t watch football (soccer) on any other service
One day though, one day …
Sorry to hear. Are you able to at least get a check package? In the states, we can get individual sports packages to just stream online, anything like that in the UK?