Monday, June 02, 2008

Prepare yoursleves...

Lots of my friends (local and blogosphere) have done lots of posting about how they are saving money. In this time of high gas prices, etc I have started to question how I am saving money. The answer-uh, I'm not. In fact, I'm spending it. More of it than ever probably. I know the gas saga is a bit stale already but I just filled the van and it was $75 buckaroos...holy mackerel as Jake would say. I mean seriously. Seriously, $75 dollars. I almost scanned the receipt for ya to see it but then I decided that might be over the top.

So, how am I going to do my part? Well, this is where you need to prepare yourselves...if you know me, you know I have a pretty severe addiction to TV...it was already bad pre-bedrest era but now, it's much worse (and I blame bedrest without apology). Alot of my pals are talking about cancelling cable and paying only the basic and stuff and it has made me think...how is the TV really enriching my life? Yes, it's so entertaining and I love the break from reality. I don't watch soaps or basically any daytime TV. I record some Oprah here and there (when it's new episodes) but really, how much is this addiction costing me? Would you believe $100 per month? I had NO idea! This is a major downfall of 1) having your husband responsible of bill paying and 2) Denial.

So, I thought I would check into what is up with why Comcast is so much. I got online-uh-oh as Owen would say, the website doesn't work. I called-smack, "your call can not be processed right now"-apparently everyone has this idea of downgrading services. So, I WALKED into our local office. What do you think the lady at the desk says? Go online to check prices. I explain the above. Oh, she says, then call customer service she says. WHAT? Are you serious? Who are you? Aren't you customer service in the flesh? Ok, I'll throw you a bone, I tried that and I couldn't get through. Oh, well do you want me to look up your account she asks? Arghh! No, ma'am...I would just like to know how much cable costs. So, she says she can give me a "ballpark". And it's $52 just for basic cable and the cartoon network, TLC, foodnetwork, etc channels are house uses. Throw in a couple DVR's and voila-you've got $100 bill.

So, I told TJ that I was considering cancelling cable and he begins BAWLING! He says nothing will ever make him happy again if I cancel it. I try to do damage control and talk to him about it but he's a mess. It's like I've ruined his life. He's a pretty smart yr old so it's not like he doesn't understand reasoning. He does-he gets it. But I think it was culture shock. He's addicted to. I'm his enabler. It's pretty bad. We definitely need an intervention. So, I'm now on a quest to find either cheaper services or figure out how to quit cold turkey. I love my DVR (it's really a love affair and the whole family -minus Owen, I guess- is G-U-I-L-T-Y !!!).

Any advice? Please share. Have you successfully kicked the habit? Please share. Practical tips? Please share. Judgement or scrutiny? Please keep it to yourself;-)

9 comments:

The Goodman's said...

We actually have the basic of basic cable you can get. Just the major networks and we pay about $16 per month for that, however, there really is hardly anything on TV worth watching.

We have been thinking about canceling in and just upgrading our NetFlix to 3 a month. It would cost us about the same and you can even get some TV shows via NetFlix, not the most recent, but eventually you will be able to get them.

If you are paying Comcast monthly for you DVR you could look into what it would cost to just buy one straight up and then at least your bill would go done by half each month. Of course I am not sure how much a DVR costs.

amy f. said...

I was not prepared. Knowing you and your tv-watching self, I was not prepared, heehee.

Mike and I talk about this often and I know we're going to do it sometime, not sure why it's taking us so long. I think it's because we're confused. Every time we call or ask around I feel like we get the run around or a different answer every time!

I really didn't think about many people downgrading this way and that you can't get into their website or call in because of this traffic, huh?

When Mike and I think about it, we really mainly watch the basic channels. However, the cartoon channels really throw a wrench into things. I can't imagine being with out those. Because PBS just does not cut it for Alex. Even if we do utilize the library quite often. But he would have to adjust just like us...and it is up to us, as his parents, to just make it happen. Mike does NOT want to part with the DVR. How much money are we really saving then if we downgrade to basic with DVR? Not much...but I guess it would add up over time. And a lot of it has to do with the brain cells we're losing by watching it...and how we can better use our time without the tube.

I'm with you though...it's hard. And I'm still confused about the charges!

Jessica said...

You went into a local comcast office and they tried to push you off instead of helping you out straight away. I think she needs a new job placement, customer service means helping the customer!

Anyways, we don't have cable. We have an antenna, a real old one. We get roughly 13 channels. When we moved a year ago, I thought I was going to loose it, no HGTV, no TLC, ect... We moved in the summer and were going to wait till fall to decide what to do about our cable situation. Get a dish or not. We didn't get a dish and I didn't loose it YET! I'm going to call and request a rebate for the DTV converter box, it might change the amount of channels we get. I hooked up my aunt's in Indy and she receives more ch. now. She recently did away with her cable too, how much she was watching and how much it cost just didn't add up.

If your going to cut the cable strings or downgrade, I'd suggest doing it now. The kids are busy outside and will adjust easier than downgrading in the winter.

That's my 2 cents. Looking forward to everyone's suggestions.

Andrea said...

TV is too hard for me to give up--it is my break from reality at the end of the day. We "shopped around" with the different cable companies. "So and so costs this much, can you beat that price?" Nobody wants to lose you so they're usually willing to cut a deal.

Kim said...

Renay,
First off laughing MAO at your experience with the "customer service" person at the cable store. Hilarious. Got to love these people.
So your post got me thinking and I called my mom to see how I can cut costs. And I can't. I thought about cable but I am just too into my TV and without cable I cannot watch the Yankees and that is NOT an option. After all I just got the new HDTV so I cannot cut out cable. But I was thinking maybe I'll get rid of my land line, but then there are those nights I leave my phone by accident in the car. Ugh. I think I should write a blog about this. You have inspired me.....

ComcastCaresMelissa said...

Hello, Valiant!

I read your blog. I would like to reach out to my contacts on the leadership team on your behalf to see if there is anything we can do to make your cable bill more manageable. If you would like my assistance, please email me at We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com.

Best Regards,
Melissa M.
Digital Media Outreach
Comcast National Customer Operations

Emily said...

I just have to smile at TJ's response. I completely know how he and you feel. After bed rest, my relationship with TV was different, too. I spent so many months on that couch that it took almost 9 months to get back to basic TV...and a few more to realize that life could be okay without it. :) You can always consider cable your "entertainment" budget and cut back in other ways. Since we no longer go to movies much or out to eat as often, we could say we spend our entertainment on cable.

Anyway, let us know how it all works out. :)

And, how cool that Comcast reads your blog. You are FAMOUS!

Tonya said...

I wish I had ideas for you! We don't have cable. Comcast is $80.00 here, so I opted for no TV. We have been TV free for almost 2 years. We have the bare minimum for a telephone, using it strictly for the internet. We have cellphones so we stay under the alotted mintues. I sell what I can when I have too and sock up on freezer food.

I walk when I can and Knoah not having the 100 appointments a months have helped alot. It is tough, if you find the secret, please pass it along to your dear blog buddy!

How Life Is Measured said...

Haha! Comcast actually commented on the blog...
It's funny you should post this. I have been having the same crisis. I'm a TV addict and my poor innocent son, is starting to show the signs of addiction. Crying when we turn it off, bringing us videos, shaking and screaming "Elmo!" in his sleep. I've been trying to look into the same thing.
I have also been having horrible luck with so called customer service reps lately (see my Priceline post). Having comcast respond to this post gives me an idea. There may be some power to this blogging...Hmmm...maybe we revolt against bad customer service via blog power? Just thinking out loud.
Cat