We Were Paying Too Much
Several years go we decided to cut the cable and opt for a digital antenna and subscription services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. It has been one of the best decisions we ever made. With internet and phone, our Cox bill was around $189 a month and $100 of that was just for cable; 5 million channels we didn’t watch in the first place.
This morning I woke up to an article about the cable companies offering bundles with Netflix to keep their subscribers. Um, hello! That’s why we dumped you in the first place! Stop bundling crap together and offer à la carte services and maybe, just maybe, you will retain some customers.
Projections put the number of cord cutters — adults who cancel pay TV, opting instead for OTT — at 33 million, which is 32.8 percent of TV watchers. That exceeds 2017 projections of 27.1 million, at 22 percent.
But I’m not sure even à la carte will bring me back. There’s just nothing I want to watch on network television. If it’s not horribly written/acted shows like prime time Big 3, it’s reality TV on the other channels. No thank you.
Where To Start
The first thing we did was dump the phone service. We didn’t even have a phone hooked up. The only reason we had the line was for the alarm system in the house. So I called my alarm company and they came out to switch our service to an internet based connection.
Next, I drove to Best Buy to buy a $20 digital antenna so we could get local channels, especially the weather since we live in tornado alley. Once the antenna was installed, I called Cox and dumped cable.
Remember that episode from Friends where Chandler and Ross want to quit the gym? That’s almost how the conversation went with Cox. They send you to a retention specialist whose job is to do nothing but keep you as a customer.
Here’s how my conversation went:
Me: I would like to cancel my cable subscription.
Cox: May I ask why?
Me: We’re sick of overpaying for channels we don’t watch.
Cox: What if I give you a discount for the next year.
Me: Please cancel my cable.
Cox: How about free HBO for 12 months.
Me: Please cancel my cable.
Cox: You’re going to miss out on college football and……
Me: Cancel the goddamn cable subscription!
Cox: There’s no reason to be angry!
Me: Yes there is! I’ve told you to cancel the goddamn thing and you won’t listen. CANCEL THE GODDAMN SUBSCRIPTION!
This went on for about fifteen minutes. It didn’t matter what the Cox rep said, I just kept repeating, “Cancel the cable subscription.” It finally worked!
I have to admit, the first week was a little uncomfortable But once we got used to it, things became so much better. We weren’t watching mindless junk any more. The TV was on for a purpose. We also weren’t paying for junk we didn’t want which made that switch even better.
What We're Spending Now
The best part of this entire endeavor is the reduction in cost. Here’s a breakdown of what we’re paying now:
- Netflix – $10.99/mo
- Amazon Prime – $99/yr, but increasing to $119/yr when we renew this December
- Internet – $63.99 – Cox was quick to fuck me after about six months. The original price was $58.99. I’m sure it will go up again next year.
- HBO – FREE with an AT&T Unlimited plan with our cellphones.
This works out to roughly $89 per month.
Before, I paid $189 per month plus $9.99 for Netflix, plus $8.25 for Amazon Prime, plus $15 for HBO for a grand total of $222.24. I’m saving $133 a month by dumping cable.
Even though prices inevitably go up, it’s nowhere near what I was paying before. And the best part? We’re probably watching less TV than before too. The shows we are watching seem to be higher quality shows, not mindless crap.
Good luck! I hope you decide to cut the cord too. I really want to see the cable companies forced into providing content that users want, not packages we are forced to buy!