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June 21, 2012


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I think you should be legitimately prepared to quit the service youre calling about, if youre threatening (or hinting) at quitting. *THAT* is what companies have gotten wise to.

If you're not prepared to actually close your account, and its all hubris, don't bother calling.

Sorry to hear.
Our WOW cable is great. All three bundled together for $95 a month and never a customer service problem. We don't do the premium channels seeing that you can get almost anything we want with internet sites like hulu plus through xbox 360 live and who knows what else.

I know of other people who have had problems with comcast. I know of people who have att's Uverse. Some like it some don't.

I had a very similar situation recently with Comcast. I also felt they aren't trying as hard to keep customers anymore. Even on the phone, the reps didn't understand we were trying to lower our bill. I ended up switching to U-verse which is the only other competitor in my area, and since I live in a condo I'm not sure what the by-laws are for dishes.

I had Directv for six years and I left this year because they were not eager to keep me enough with rate reduction as in years past. I finally switched to Verizon. It's been great. I finally get HD service to go with my HDTV and they have free on demand and WiFi hookups, not to mention the fiber optic t technology that is bar none. I recommend Verizon if it is offered in your area but be sure to get it from internet as they have the lowest bundle offers. Mine was $79.99 for three services.

Have you tried to watch your soccer and live sports free on ? It works great to watch the Tampa Bay Bucs since they are blocked all season at home. You can hook up PC to TV via HDMI.

I probably would have tried the phone number. They could have been honest about not being able to do anything like you wanted. The online chat people seem very limited in what they can do in most cases, that's what I've found with just about every company I've used that with.

I normally call and almost always get a reduction. I think the online reps are limited in what they can do but I also don't have Comcast. I'd give calling a shot if I were you.

I'm so glad I ditched my cable years ago. There is NOTHING that I want to watch that badly every month (not even soccer, and I love watching soccer).

A Roku box with Netflix ($8) and HuluPlus ($8) and we have more stuff to watch than we have time for.

I was going to suggest the same website that Frugalapolis suggested. I downgraded to antenna (and we don't really watch TV anymore!) and get my out-of-market NFL games there.

I've tried to call and do the online chat with no results from either. As a matter of fact, I was escalated to someone who offered me a $20/mo. discount off my bill and never got it. When I called back I had the guys name, he answered and told me he never did anything of the sort. I was told they recorded each call and he would review the records and call back. He never did. When I called back I was hung up on over and over. My husband was convinced that he could do better so he called and someone else promised a credit to our bill for the trouble. It never came either... So I've had DirectTV for about a year now. We have had great service so far and our dish is mounted on the back side of our house and out of sight. I know our rates are about to increase, but it shouldn't be any worse than what we were paying with Comcast and at least I feel I'm getting good customer service from them.

If I could I would drop cable, but the wife wouldn't let me. For the 4 hours a month we watch Comcast TV its hard to pay $60/mth. This is with no DVR or cable boxes; only digital adapters. We also have a Roku box with a Netflix subscription, but seldom watch that also.
If I drop my TV with comcast, my internet from comcast goes from $40 to $50/mth and I need that to work.
My other options are limited.

@AndrewB. What are you only watching 4 hours a month that you cannot get anywhere else? And saving $60, but having to spend $10 still saves you $50 a month.

Based on my personal experience with Comcast, James is right - you have to call them and let them know that you're really going to cancel if they can't match/beat your deal. They will transfer you to retentions, and that person may or may not offer you some small concession to keep you. But it's not until you tell them to actually cancel the service that they will suddenly "find" a better promotion.

This has worked for me every time except once. When it became obvious they were actually going to cancel, I told them not to cancel the service until the end of the billing cycle, which was still a few weeks away. Then I called back a few days later and talked to someone else who was able to offer me something better.

Roku or XMBC + Netflix should be more than enough. The only downside is no live sports. Plus you can get local stations through an antenna (~$10 to build, or try using a potato first).

Not sure why you keep paying out the wazoo to be a couch potato, FMF.

I have a smart TV with Netflix streaming ($8 a month) and Hulu (free). I get network programming (NBC, Fox, ABC, CW, CBS, PBS, etc.) for free through an antenna (Mohu Leaf) in crystal clear 1080i/720p.

"Anyone else dealing with the pain of cable TV?"

If one has a spare hour or two, there's always the Comcast horror stories over at the Consumerist:

My rate just went up again. I'm considering cutting the cord or least trying to play promotion "chicken" with them. I'm planning to move within the next six months, though, so I think I'm going to wait until then. If FiOS is available at the new location, it's buh-bye, Comcast...

One other thing: is it just me, or does anyone else want to choke the Comcast Eliza chatbots to death when they start every response with a regurgitation of what was just typed?

A few weeks ago I met a regional sales manager with DirecTV while waiting for a flight at the airport. It was a great opportunity to get some insight. One beef I've had with DirecTV relates to the promos for new customers - with a 2 year contract they get new equipment a deep discount for 1 year. Since DirecTV is always rolling out new equipment it's frustrating that loyal customers are penalized when new ones aren't.

Anyway, I asked him how I can get the promo rate and equipment like new customers. He said there is no way unless you do the following - once your contract ends cancel your subscription, then a few days later have your wife call and sign up for new service in her name at the same address. She needs to claim you got a divorce and then you will get the promo. It's important that the existing account is in one person's name. This approach seems like fibbing and is some work but that is what the guy said. He came across very credible.

Food for thought....

By the way, I'm in the same boat -- the only thing we want is live sports. None of the other channels are watched much if at all.

I have been with Comcast ever since they came into our area. I pay $85/month for "extended basic", a DVR on our main TV, and three small boxes for other TVs

The price does keep increasing but so does it at AT&T that I use for a DSL line and another land line.

Both companies provide excellent service if you ever need it and the service is very reliable if you live in a built up area.

One thing we now just couldn't live without is the DVR. In addition to recording programs that are on when you're not at home, we find the "Pause" capability invaluable while watching a program while we have dinner.

If you look at other utilities such as Gas, Electricity, Water, Sewage disposal, Pickup for Green waste, Recyclables, and Household waste they also keep increasing and there's nothing you can do about it.

My best buy is my Virgin Mobile emergency use cell phone (only my wife knows the number). I pay $5/month for 20 minutes, what I don't use accumulates, and the price has never increased. The phone was $10 and all it does is make and receive phonecalls. I just don't need any of the Bulls--t that the teenagers spend their time glued to. Let's face it, at 77, I live in a totally different world from young people.

My wife and I get internet and the most basic cable package available from comcast. We mostly watch Netflix through our Wii.

We pay Comcast $58 a month, we were paying $65 before for internet alone. We got a call offering a cheaper rate if we got the basic bare bones cable package. I'd still like the bill to be lower, but there's no competing service available at our apartment. There's another cable company in the area that's cheaper, but their coverage is patchy, and they don't cover our neighborhood.

I'm pretty happy with the internet service, but not Comcast's customer service.

Similar to what was said before, you need to cancel your service. Give the a cutoff date that is about 10 days out. Within 48 hours, you will get a call from the retention department and you will be given new offers and your service would never be interrupted. They really dont offer up much until you actually cancel.

Ah, the idiot box.

When we've been on vacation, there was no cable tv.
Those were the most relaxing, restful times. No must-see drivel, no commercials, no rude cable news shows. Plenty of time for spontaneous fun, conversation and adventure. Not once while relaxing on a beach or cruise ship balcony did I wish I was back at home so I could surf through channels.

My advice: cut the cord and cancel. Even if just for 30 days. The world won't end. You might decide that you prefer it. Rather than spend $1000 per year on television entertainment that is, let's be honest, mostly mediocre, we use the money for live, in person, experiences. A thousand dollars covers a few Broadway shows, professional sporting events and concerts each year. Those have been far more memorable than an episode of anything or a televised sporting event. I realize that I'm missing Mad Men, Real Housewives and Nancy Grace, et al. But none of it seems worth the price of going back to cable.

We do follow our local sports teams and actually prefer the locally broadcast coverage.

I think all the companies play the same game to varying degrees. I've had worse luck with verizon myself. That DirectTV promotion will end in 6-12 months or whatever then you'll be facing the same situation with them.

I've been pretty hit or miss lately on the results I get when calling comcast or verizon to try and get a rate cut. Sometimes its a lot easier and sometimes I've struck out entirely. I don't know if the online chat people even have the authority to do anything.

As FMF pointed out I think the TV companies have wisened up to the people who call in routinely and ask for discounts. They probably realized most of the people doing so are just bluffing about quitting for the competition so they've made it harder to get the discount. So you've got to move up a level to the 'retentions department' (that 800 # they gave) and argue the case again. Its another hope to jump through if you want the cheaper rate.

Just went through this Free Money. I left Comcast and get my cable tv from Direct Tv for $36 a month, guaranteed for 2 years. I gave up my land line and I bought my neighbor a $99 receiver so he let's me have Internet for free ;)
My bill went from $150 a month to $36....Yahoo!

Did the same thing and in the end I am sticking with Comcast even though I CANNOT STAND THEM. I hate myself for it but there really isn't that much cheaper deals out there and going through the hassle isn't worth it to save a few bucks for a new service that might not be as good.

Comcast knows most people won't switch so they are not giving better deals, this is what you are doing.

What about something like Fox Soccer 2 Go? I subscribed last year to watch Wolves play and got most of the games. I was able to drop DirectTV and the $30/m in sports programming on top of the basic package (fox soccer, fox soccer plus).

Having said that, even if you're not interested in online streaming, I've had far better luck with DirecTV than comcast. If you're going to be getting more why not just switch anyways?

I pay $15 per month for cable with Comcast, plus internet (currently on a promotion) and it comes out to about $52 per month.

I own my own modem. I bought it used from a coworker, which resulted in me not paying him very much money. That was pretty sweet because it was starting to cost me $7/month! To rent a modem!

Granted, I don't watch any crazy sports channels, so I just have basic cable, which is pretty reasonable at $15/month.

I had a similar experience as a reader above. I was internet only with Comcast and they called and offered the Digital Economy package plus the internet I had for not much more money. I got the Mohu Leaf but have had a lot of trouble picking up some of the local channels that I would like to have for sports. I got the digital economy package to fill in that void and utilize a combo of Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Amazon Prime/Instant Video on Roku to grab other shows.

@Leigh - are you getting much more for $15/mo than you would with an antenna? I get about 15 channels using an antenna I placed in my attic. Very sharp reception with that kind of antenna (about $60), would even be HD if I had an HDTV.

The real issue may be the frustration with overseas telephone centers. The Comcast syntax was really bad. Who knows what they understood? I called JPMorgan the other day simply to lower my available limit on my debit card...had to ask for an American THREE times from three different Filipino reps. Took 35 minutes just to do a simple thing.

Then yesterday I called JPMorgan again to move my 401(k) from a former employer they were managing. The rep, an American, started arguing with my about the merits of JPMorgan versus Vanguard, where I was moving the $302k of money. And these guys have the ear of Congress.

You make me happy that I don't watch TV. I had forgotten how annoying it is to deal with companies like that :-)

I pay ZERO, for about $100 upfront, the cost of a decent ANTENNA those in/near metropolitan areas can get of lot of TV free! Full 100/720pHD, not compressed crappy picture like cable, and it's free!! I get over two dozen channnels in the Portland Metro. Movie channels, weather, kids rreligious, sports, all the netowrks, minor networks, etc., etc., FREE! Supplemeted with the old $6 a mnth netflix plan, Free Hulu and the other tv sites online (hook your pc to a tv via an HDMI cable and enjoy!). Then my unlimited prepaid android cell phone is $54 month with all taxes! Gotta love it. no crappy cable compnay or terrible satellite coimpany to deal with! $100+ a YEAR, every year for tv, most of which can be watched FREE!?? Insane!

We recently reviewed what we're paying Comcast. They're both TV and internet provider.

We realized that we don't really /need/ HGTV or BBC-America, so we dropped TV down to the $24.95 extremely basis, "local tv only" package. Total Comcast price is now about $75 instead of $140.

We could just put up an antenna but I haven't got my wife there yet.

I would look at dropping cable and using a Roku box or similar device. I did that a few months ago and now only pay $7.99/month for Hulu and $7.99/month for Netflix and get to watch pretty much exactly what I want. I know Roku also offers sports channels that you can buy and provide access to all games. (My friend buys the MLB package.) You could check and see if there's a paid soccer channel.

Has anyone tried using their spouse as the new account holder? It seems like they use a SSN for a reference, so cancel with yours and switch to hers. I'm just thinking about doing so. Thoughts?

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