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May 07, 2013


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I do not have a landline phone or TV because I do not need any of those things. I purchased a fair rate on my internet and only pay $30 for comcasts second fastest speed.

They have tried to raise the rate on me, but you just have to know how to talk to them. One woman once refused to do anything, but I requested to be connected to the retention line and I explained to them how it was going to be. What most people do not know is that it is far cheaper for a cable company to lower the rates and keep its clients than to find a new one. So I exlpained that to the retention line and told them I had a better deal at AT&T so they kept my rate the same.

I have been paying an introductry rate for over a year and a half now.

We only have internet access, not a landline or cable. Works well for us. :) Free Hulu and the cheapest Netflix streaming subscription are how we get our entertainment.

No landline, no television, fast Internet. Music, TV, and movies a la carte. Amazon Prime's catalogue of no-extra-charge video is pretty good.

Triple play package via cable. We had satellite but didn't like how various weather conditions degraded or interupted service. We kept the landline because cell service is inconsistant throughout the house.

We renegotiate the package every few years back to a lower rate. But it really is a lousy business model.

Just Internet here with Verizon FiOS. We are willing to pay more for better service and so we don't have to deal with Comcast. Though in our situation the cost savings isn't as great between the two as in your situation.

When your year is up and the triple play package increases look into dropping the phone service. You can replace these with a VoIP phone adapter such as Obihai, blackjack or similar devices. These devices attach to your router and you then attach a cordless dect 6 house phone with portable handsets throughout the house.

There are also solutions to reducing your cable bill by searching/using alternatives to Comcast DVR.

WOW cable bundle of all three is $105 a month. All the connection I need.

I have a choice of three different providers. I like WOW the best.

Triple play with FIOS. I work @home, so a land line's a requirement for me.

Every time I have a problem with service I call and complain and they add on free months of HBO, a nice perk, and worth the time of a 10min phone call.

I have a double play with Verizon Fios (PrimeHD) for Internet (15/25 mbps) and TV and use Vonage for landline. I have the landline for work purposes as well as telemarketing calls. (Do Not Call List don't work!) I don't want to give my cellphone number out. I recently called Vonage and they reduced my rate to an "unadvertised" rate of $9.99 month. Between Vonage and Verizon, my total bill is $160, which includes 2 DVR's and 2 set-top boxes. The price is not bad considering it is the families main source of entertainment. My cellphone bill is what is sucking the budget dry. 3 lines, $204/month>!

$30 per month for TWC internet only. Used to have cable+internet for ~100/mo, but after they tried to raise the rate (but not the service!) I just canceled cable and bought a $15 OTA antenna. It's allowed us to rediscover PBS! We also pay for a Netflix streaming-only subscription and my boyfriend has an subscription so he can watch his Cubbies more than he ever could even with cable.

"Landline": I've had Ooma VOIP for about 4.5 years. I have the old Hub and am grandfathered with no monthly fees. I don't recommend Ooma's current products. If anyone's interested in VOIP service, this is a great guide:

Internet/Cable: Currently have Comcast 50Mbps service with digital economy cable. Costs us about $47/month after taxes total. We very, very rarely watch TV with the cable box, but having the bundle is cheaper than internet only for a few more months, and we have free HBO with their vastly superior shows (HBOGO streamed to AppleTV from iPhone). We also have the $8 Netflix streaming-only service, which the kids use daily and (Tigers fan living far away from Michigan). I'll drop the cable service completely when my current promotion is up and stick with the antenna. We have good OTA coverage with a simple indoor antenna.

For cell phone service, we're all prepaid. My wife has a carrier unlocked (completed AT&T contract with their ridiculous prices) iPhone 4 with T-Mobile's $30 unlimited data/text and 100 minutes plan (not sure it's still available). This plan is only a good option on an iPhone 4 if your area T-Mobile towers have switched on the 1900 MHz frequency. You'll be stuck with EDGE (or worse) data speeds if towers in your area haven't switched on 1900 MHz. I'm with T-Mobile MVNO Ptel's PAYGO plan, which costs me about $5/month with my regular (low) usage.

re: DVR FMF said "I figure the time savings alone pays for our cable bill"

THats a good way of putting it. Tivo / DVR is the best invention since sliced bread.

My guess is that AT&T wouldn't give you any discounts because too many customers are calling nowadays and threatening to leave just to get a discount. So some of the companies have probably stopped giving discounts when customers do that because more often customers just bluff and don't leave. I bet they ran the numbers and figured out the discounts cost them more than the lost customers would. Then if a customer actually DOES leave they decide to roll out the discounts to try and lure you back.

Freedom Fighter said:

"I don't recommend Ooma's current products. "

Why not? I only hear good things about Ooma.

Are taxes less because you aren't using a phone company any more?

We have triple deal with Verizon FIOS - land line, TV with 2 DVRs, internet, plus also flat fee package for 300 min monthly on international calls. The total was $120 when we signed up 3 years ago, nowadays is ~$160, I probably need to call them and see about renegotiating something. But quality is pretty good, we are happy with service.
My cell is paid by employer, husband is on prepaid, comes around to $20 a month or so.

Directv for satellite 82. We also pay extra for the NFL pkg in season. I could do without the TV but my husband watches sports. Comcast internet 58. We've already downgraded our speed to the lowest offering. Sprint cell phone 48 and Virgin Mobile cell phone 38. No landline. I wish they were lower, but we don't have much choice for service providers.

The landline is a definite rip off. Here in Thailand the landline only is a modest $3.50 per month including all taxes... But if it is less than the cell phone for your wife and kids I guess it is worth keeping.


We pay $132 for Internet, Phone, TV from Verizon. Phone is unlimited for a fixed price.

I have a U-verse internet and no cable. The first year is coming up, so the price would go up I guess.

How do I convince them to keep the same rate?


I highly suggest reading the link I posted to techmeshugana regarding VOIP. In short, there are better VOIP solutions available for the same or less money. I'm actually very happy with my Ooma, but I also purchased it 4.5 years ago, so I don't pay any fees at all. When my hardware dies I probably won't purchase a new Ooma unit, due to the proprietary nature and the now unavoidable monthly fees.

AT&T is notorious for their good deal one-year contracts after which there is a big bump in price initially, then subsequent smaller increases several times a year. I refer to this as "AT&T Creep." You are paying way too much for these services...I'd dump them. Plus, I never have to deal with such an inept company again with their shoddy customer service.

We just switched to the Verizon Fios Triple play, with Quantum speed internet, for $79.99/month for two years. That was the rate we were paying for slower internet and a landline (also with Verizon). We have had cable available for almost a month and still have not hooked it up. Most of our entertainment is streaming through Hulu, Netflix ($7.99/month), or Amazon (free with Prime, which we have anyway). I have to admit that the commercials on CBS streaming are starting to make it questionable whether it is worth it to watch the few shows we do watch.

I have an old Ooma too and it's great.
You can always try calling back a few times to talk to different customer rep. I found that some reps are more helpful than others. Most of them are just bored out of their mind and are trying to get rid of you as soon as possible, but you get a nice person once in a while.

I've got AT&T for landline/U-verse Internet[6 mbps] ($61 total).

TV is OTA antenna, works great! Only really have the landline for the security system but exploring ways this year that I can drop that. Would have to go to a cellular based security system instead.

We haven't had a land line in years. Just seems like a waste of money and since between my husband and I we have 3 cell phones (2 personal and 1 that is paid for by his work) we're always reachable. (He could just use the work phone and drop the personal phone, but we both agree in keeping a certain amount of distance between our work and personal lives, so by maintaining two phones he is able to truly "unplug" and turn off the work phone in the evenings/weekends but still be reached.)

We actually go through this issue every 6-8 months with our cable company. We have a package deal with cable, DVR and internet. I totally agree with FMF that DVR is worth every penny in cost savings. Our package started out cheap and then they want to raise the price every couple of months. Our strategy is to see what other competitors are offering and negotiate with our current provider. In every conversation we're always prepared to cancel and have gotten close a few times, but if you work the system you can get a great rate. A word of advice - always talk to the retention folks. Regular reps aren't able to grant the better discounts (in most cases they can't even SEE the best rates), but if you call and say you want to cancel, the retention reps have the best deals to try to keep you. (This is coming from someone who has worked in the teleservices industry and represented a cable provide first hand).

@Freedom Fighter: OOMA (at least in TX) is less than $4/month for the fees. That seems pretty reasonable to me.

@ jclimber99:

It's certainly reasonable compared to a telco-provided landline, but you're not getting any of the features of Ooma Premier for that price. If you compare to VOIPo (or another provider linked in the Technical Meshugana post above), you'll see Ooma really doesn't stand up very well. You can sign up with VOIPo and pay $149 for the first two years of service. That's about $6 per month and you get call blocking, forwarding, voicemails via email, text message support and more. Those features are only available through Ooma Premier (are text messages even available with Ooma?), which costs another $120 ($99?) per year. If you want or need those services, VOIPo (or another provider) is a better choice. Even if you don't think you need those services, VOIPo is worth a look.

As I said, I love my Ooma and it has paid for itself many times over in the 4.5+ years I've had it, but I don't think I'll replace it with another Ooma when it dies. I'd rather pay an extra $3 per month and enjoy the telemarketer block, voicemails in my email and call forwarding that I'm not willing to shell out $10/month to Ooma for right now. The Ooma early adopters grandfathered in to the Ooma Premier service with no fees are the ones living the landline dream. Most of those folks paid ~$400 for their hardware about 6 years ago. Their dream, however, is over when their hardware dies.

@Freedom Fighter - thanks for the response. I took a look at Voipo and the other info and it was compelling. Voipo (and Ooma) don't support alarm systems so I have to divorce my alarm system from the landline before I can get rid of the landline. That requires a cellular-based alarm system so I haven't decided if I want to pay extra to ADT for that or get rid of ADT and buy a DIY system.

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