I was a cable cutter for 3 years, using a digital antenna in my attic, my personal Motorola cable modem for Internet only, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Google Voice for free home phone with a $39 Obihai box (still do). Then last year, ESPN had 48 for the 50 bowl games, and so I grudgingly went back to paying for a minimal package that had ESPN. Now that ESPN, HBO, Showtime, etc are all divesting from the cable companies, their days are numbered IMO. I’ve read recently that most media is consumed on mobile devices anyway. I don’t have any of Comcast’s gear in my house, and they are sending me weekly incentive deals now the Google Fibre is rolling out in Atlanta.
The other item that needs a yearly or biannual review is insurance. I jump back and forth usually between USAA and GEICO, depending on who is giving the better deal.
I called in a claim on our Odyssey lately when I had probably my second accident in 40 years of driving. Backed into the mailbox, which I had anchored with two bags of quikrete. Opened the right rear quarter panel like a can opener. When I spoke to USAA, the representative said that I must warn you that this claim ($1700) might raise your premium. I told her that I reserve the right to change insurance companies if our premium rises one cent. It did not.
Brand loyalty is a farce and none of these businesses seem to reward their long term customers with anything other than bill creep. Upward that is.
Yeah…I’ve done the insurance bouncing around a bit the last six or eight years. Most recently I switched my Homeowner’s insurance from Allstate to Farm Bureau because Allstate sent me a bit of mail last year that said that due to changes in insurance laws in NC, they were going to have to increase my rate by 19%. Oddly, Farm Bureau did not have a similar increase…
Same with auto. I bounce back and forth between Progressive and now back to Farm Bureau. Generally I like Farm Bureau the most.
With regards to TWC - I just wonder how many thousands (hundreds of thousands) of people in the system are getting erroneously billed for stuff they shouldn’t (like that $10 a mo. I was getting charged for something that was part of my package). All those little drips must rake in a fortune for TWC.
So, with all that money you just saved, you could buy yourself a Rift and think of it as being “Free”…
My cellphone provider did this, doubled my monthly data limit and told me it could all be on a cheaper plan. I obviously was quite pleased. Then again, it coincided with a big marketing campaign that promised loyal customers offers too.
So update - now I’m at my parents house in Virginia doing the same thing. They have Verizon FIOS with cable, internet phone, and internet. Their equipment is old, the internet up/down is a package they don’t even offer anymore, they pay for all their equipment rental, they pay for domestic long distance!! I looked at their bill and about fell out - $250 a month!!
So I just got off the phone with Verizon…they looked at the bills and turns out (once again) for years my parents have been paying for stuff they shouldn’t have been paying for. They knocked $60 off this month’s bill, reduced by $20 for the next 12 months, and are having an investigation team call me to determine how much money we can claw back. Of course, none of that compares to the intro rate for Cox (ew…but…whatever) that will give them better equipment, better features, all for $120 a month for 24 months. That will be roughly $1500 a year in savings for the next two years ($3000). It’s insane. Then, in two years, I’ll bounce them back to Verizon with whatever promo they are running.
Gonna buy them the Wifi modem, might even get them a ObiTalk as well.
These companies are amazing…and multiple all those over-charges by millions of customers who never look at their bill closely…it has to be billions of dollars a year in charges.
I love these phone calls.
Over here I get new contract offers from my provider everytime there is faster internet available in my area code. Usually the price stays the same or it becomes even cheaper and I just get the faster option. Went from ADSL 2000 to ADSL 6000 to VDSL 25000 that way and pay now less than what I paid for my ADSL 2000 back in the day (that number is speed in Mbit/s btw)
According to the mayor we should have 100Mbit/s available here by the end of the year however I kinda doubt it’s actually coming this quickly
Unfortunately I can’t get cable here…
I wish I could say the same.
I’ve been stuck on ADSL ~4000 for years now.
And twice they even lied to me when I called them, saying “there will be more bandwidth available soon”. And then, after I had signed for two more years the person on the phone said “Hmmm… I can’t tell where they got that information from, my computer says there is no upgrade planned in your area”
And then I told them that I found it weird that my brother who moved into the same area, just two streets away from my house, got a new contract with 16000. They answered “Yes, but that’s not the same area.” I was like … LOLWTF?
The main problem for me is the lack of alternatives. There is no cable in the street, which limits me to the DSL option, and since everyone has to use the same lines owned by that one company, everyone has the same speed available.
The only real other option is a company that provides Internet over a radio link system, with speeds up to 100000 but I don’t have a lot of recent information about the stability (rain, snow and whatnot). I would have to mount that directional radio antenna on my roof and test it.
You ought to be reporting these things to your state consumer protection agency or equivalent and the federal government. They may not be able to do anything about it at first (due to politics etc.) but it is important to get this all on record and out there for other consumers to see, politicians who are consumer friendly (i.e. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders among others) and more important for other actual consumer groups to see. The point is you are a small fish and many small fish then draw bigger fish to help take on the sharks.
Consumer Federation of America
That’s actually a good idea. Probably how class action lawsuits get started… I’m sure these billing oversights are the standard until they get caught, then they come up with a new scam.
The billing oversights are known to the practitioners. They count on people to do nothing and thus allow them to get away with it. I spent 23 years working against the sharks, consumers are fighting a guerrilla war but with patience guerrilla wars can be won.
I had the same frustration years ago. Now no landline. No cable TV. Cable for internet only. And SimpliSafe for security. I love SimpliSafe.
We should have a chat with Near Blind and see if we can win it with fire instead.